Where are my Comrades?
Let’s face it: Some of us , on this forum, like the status quo in Iran. We believe, the foundation of Islamic Republic of Iran is the best thing that has happened to us since the invention of “Barbari”, and we do everything we can, to defend it. Then there are those of us who miss the good old, Shah’s days. We’ll do anything to have those days back, hopefully with his son on the throne.
Some of us are rooting for MKO: Finally, a Democratic Republic of Iran. This is what we have been wanting all along.
Then there are the Mossadeghis: Nationalist, secular , independent, democratically elected, charismatic leader, who fell in the coup. We also have reformists: IRI is fine, but this whole “Supreme Leader” concept needs to go away, Khatami-minded people take over, and then we are fine!
Have I overlooked anyone?
I was a teenager in 1979. It was only after the Revolution that I was exposed to Marxism. I remember going to “ShahReza street”, across the street from the Teheran University with my father. It was the “Spring of Freedom” and every group and party had a presence there, advertising their own vision of future Iran. My father noticed me buying my first “Communism 101” book:”Marxism cheh meegooyad”(What Marxism says). Later that day he bought me it’s antagonist:”Marxism cheest?”(What is Marxism?), as a precautionary measure to save me from turning left, I believe , in retrospect.
I started reading my own book first. It was in “Question and Answer” form, and was written in simple language, by a Marxist organization (Chereekhaayeh fadaaeeyeh khalgh?)
Equality! Nobody would be filthy rich, and no one would starve.
Education? Free for everyone!
Peace? Why not!
Science? bring it on!
Religion, mosques, churches? Get the hell outta here.
I was sold. I was going to do my share in changing the world.
I think I was a communist for one single day : I was caught, spreading communist propaganda to my 13 year-old cousin, by my Dad.( My cousin had told me about sex earlier, and had complimented his lecture with an old Playboy magazine. I was trying to impress him and get his eye boggled up , just like he did me, by telling him about Marx and Lenin!)
My Dad’s theory was that ”Communism, on the paper, sounds like heaven, but in reality, it falls far shorter”. He gave me a 15-minutes speech, and I just simply did not know enough for a come back.
Bummer! I bought his logic; still don’t know , I did, because it was “Dad”, or because he made sense, but I suspect it was the former. Looking around me, I have a feeling, in choosing our school of thought, emotions have much more influence on us, than logic. If you grew up in a warm family and had good relations with your parents (especially your Dad), chances are you followed your parents’ political ideology. If not, you probably picked the opposite side.
In the following years, I got to know many communists, some became dear friends; good Iranians who thought the best for our country is to join the Soviet block, and many brave ones lost their life promoting the idea.
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Iranians in Europe are much more political than they are here in the US; at least back in the early 80’s they were. Iranian leftists were active, having their own clubs and publications, still yearning for a Socialist Iran. I never figured it why they didn’t go to Romania or Poland, instead of coming to Germany and France and Sweden.
I came to the U.S. and lost touch with most of them. The Berlin Wall came down, and we all finally realized that the misery behind the iron curtain was not just American propaganda. No matter how you looked at it, they lost the cold war, and no one seems to be sorry, even those living in the former Eastern block.
Every once in a while, there is a gathering of the leftists where I live in the USA. I have seen thousands in concerts, hundreds for a simple speech on Hafiz, but no more than a handful for their gatherings, and I can’t help but think: What happened to them?
If you have even been a Marxist, how do you feel now? Do you view your former ideology as “the Great Lie” of the twentieth century?
If you are still a Marxist, what do you wish for? What would you like to see happen? Your former comrades, who are no longer here, are looking down, wanting you continue their path, to bring peace and prosperity and equality to the world, and get workers of the world, to unite.
What do you have to say to those fallen comrades?