On trendy habit of "Revolution bashing"

by Roozbeh_Gilani
"It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws." V.I. Lenin 

It is very trendy amongst the Iranian intellectual circles these days to bash the idea of Revolution, equating Revolutions to backward movements in society. And there is plenty of evidence to back that point of view. Just look at our country Iran. How about Lybia, Tunisia, and Egypt? Just look at the way they are going "islamic". I mean just the shock and horror of Gaddafi having objects inserted into his anus before his execution and public showing of his corpse in a poorly refrigerated meat storage facility.

However, the  western minded Iranian Intellectuals need to consider the fact that two great European democracies, French and British, both owe their democratic institutions and socio economic progresses to Revolutions. (French  and English Revolutions, where in both cases the Monarch's head was chopped off, a very cruel act indeed at first glance...) 

True, Revolutions are cruel and injustices do occur during and post Revolutions. But the key points to remeber is that revolutionary processes begin when masses of people are under severe socio economic pressures, with no democratic outlet to voice their just grievences, with no hope of reforms. The fact that a lot of revolutions get hijacked by the most reactionary and anti revolutionary segments of the society (per Iran 1979 and possibly Lybia 2012) is another story....

So instead of blaming Revolutions and the people who revolt against tyrants, go and blame the tyrants who create the ideal climate for a revolution by their arrogant dictatorial behaviour.

In conclusion: Long Live Revolution, Down with the dictators!


Recently by Roozbeh_GilaniCommentsDate
Islamo Fascist Paedophiles in London.
Dec 01, 2012
For Sattar Beheshti
Nov 06, 2012
For a fist full of Dollars, For Syria!
Oct 07, 2012
more from Roozbeh_Gilani

Great comments on this blog.

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Thanks friends for the great comments. Dear Fraramarz, souri, Houshang, G.Rahmanian, Masoud.k, Anahid, Fozooli, Divaneh..., everybody for reading and commenting. I was attending a triathelon event this weekend which led to a knee injury, and also not being able to read all these great comments till this morning. 

 The point i was making is very simple, that Revolutions are like huge storms. They are natural events which occur when certain (social) conditions are met. As such they cause huge mayham and destruction. but under correct leadership, they propel an stagnant sociaty into a very dynamic mode of progress. I deliberately quoted France and Britain. Because all the reforms (as correctly pointed out by our friend  Fozooli), happened due to the fact that a successful revolution created a social and economical environment where reforms could indeed happen. 

Our own very popular Revolution in 1979, was definitely defeated by an extreme right Islamist fascist movement, strongly backed by the centres of world capital, terrified of losing Iran and it's raw materials to a truely democratic and representative, possibly even socialist system. That is precisely why we can not have a succesful reform movement under islamist regime. Fascist Dictatorships can not be reformed. They can only be removed. The current  reformist mindset in Iran has offered the Fascist islamist regime an ideal climate under which to steal, kill and lead the country towards a possible dangerous and destructive  war with very strong foreign superpowers. A war, outcome of which for our country, would be at best like Lybia and at worst like former Yugoslavia 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."



by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

GR, here's the best account I've read yet of the demise of USSR, and it's a bit long, but a comprehensive narrative.

RG, sorry for the length. You could also say tis is  a comparative study of the Russian and Chineese revolutions.


New Left Review 61, January-February 2010


Perry Anderson




Rough Notes//

If the twentieth century was dominated, more than
by any other single event, by the trajectory of the Russian Revolution,
the twenty-first will be shaped by the outcome of the Chinese
The Soviet state, born of the First World War, victor in the
Second, defeated in the cold replica of a Third, dissolved after seven
decades with scarcely a shot, as swiftly as it had once arisen. What has
remained is a Russia lesser in size than the Enlightenment once knew,
with under half the population of the ussr,
restored to a capitalism now more dependent on the export of raw
materials than in the last days of Tsarism. While future reversals are
not to be excluded, for the moment what has survived of the October
rising, in any positive sense, looks small. Its most lasting
achievement, huge enough, was negative: the defeat of Nazism, which no
other European regime could have encompassed. That, at any rate, would
be a common judgement today.

The outcome of the
Chinese Revolution offers an arresting contrast. As it enters its
seventh decade, the People’s Republic is an engine of the world economy,
the largest exporter at once to the eu,
Japan and the United States; the largest holder of foreign-exchange
reserves on earth; for a quarter of a century posting the fastest growth
rates in per capita income, for the largest population, ever recorded.
Its big cities are without rival for commercial and architectural
ambition, its goods sold everywhere. Its builders, prospectors and
diplomats criss-cross the globe in search of further opportunities and
influence....Towards what horizon the mega-junk of the prc is moving resists calculation, at least of any current astrolabe.


Reminisce on this: Rosa Luxenburg's Last Speech

by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

Rozbeh jaan thanks for another good blog. Some have called Rosa's last speech, the greatest speech of the 20 century as far as issues of revolution and reform. There are very good reasons for such praise. The beginning, middle and the end of the text.

I'll briefly go over the beginning, leave the middle to you, and post the last paragraph. You be the judge.

Rosa goes over the Manifesto, and unlike everyone else she actually pays attention to more than ten introductions wrriten for that book, and points out how Karl and Fredrich had to adjust their intro for each edition, according to the revolutionary or non-revolutionary situations and sequences of the continent. Sort of a permanent calculus of social forces and the balance of forces.

And tis the last, a bit long, paragraph:

"Our motto is: In the beginning was the act. And the act must be that the
workers’ and soldiers’ councils realize their mission and learn to
become the sole public power of the whole nation. Only in this way can
we mine the ground so that it will be ready for the revolution which
will crown our work. This, comrades, is the reason, this is the clear
calculation and clear consciousness which led some of us, and me in
particular, to say yesterday, “Don’t think that the struggle will
continue to be so easy.” Some comrades have interpreted me as saying
that they wanted to boycott the National Assembly and simply to fold
their arms. It is impossible in the time that remains, to discuss this
matter fully, but let me say that I never dreamed of anything of the
kind. My meaning was that history is not going to make our revolution an
easy matter like the bourgeois revolutions in which it sufficed to
overthrow that official power at the center and to replace a dozen or so
persons in authority. We have to work from beneath, and this
corresponds to the mass character of our revolution which aims at the
foundation and base of the social constitution; it corresponds to the
character of the present proletarian revolution that the conquest of
political power must come not from above but from below.
The 9th of
November was an attempt, a weak, half-hearted, half-conscious, and
chaotic attempt to overthrow the existing public power and to put an end
to class rule. What now must be done is that with full consciousness
all the forces of the proletariat should be concentrated in an attack on
the very foundations of capitalist society. There, at the base, where
the individual employer confronts his wage slaves; at the base, where
all the executive organs of political class rule confront the object of
this rule, the masses; there, step by step, we must seize the means of
power from the rulers and take them into our own hands. In the form that
I depict it, the process may seem rather more tedious than one had
imagined it at first. It is healthy, I think, that we should be
perfectly clear as to all the difficulties and complications of this
revolution. For I hope that, as in my own case, so in yours also, the
description of the difficulties of the accumulating tasks will paralyze
neither your zeal nor your energy. On the contrary, the greater the
task, the more will we gather all of our forces. And we must not forget
that the revolution is able to do its work with extraordinary speed.
I make no attempt to prophesy how much time will he needed for this
process. Who among us cares about the time; who worries, so long only as
our lives suffice to bring it to pass. It is only important that we
know clearly and precisely what is to be done; and I hope that my feeble
powers have shown you to some extent the broad outlines of that which
is to be done."

Rosa Luxemburg

Our Program and the Political Situation

(December 1918)




"Revolutionary Class"

by religionoutofgovernment on

I couldn't beleive the word "revolutionary class" thrown here by some. This is great!! It is very nostalgic for me. Suddenly, i feel I am 15 again walking from Alborz high school to Polyteechnic university (just North of Alborz) standing in a small crowd, surroundning a couple of guys with mustache, throwing words like "revolutionary class" and others that I never knew the meaning of but pretended I did!! May be I was wearing a T-shirt with Che's picture in the front! 

It has been over thirty years. Things have changed! The soviet union is gone, Cuba is a society stuck in the 50's with people fleeing in boatloads. Watching Khosrow Gholesorkhi on youtube, he appears just a fool and not a martyre. People all over the world want freedom, democracy, voting rights for all and I hear "revolutionary class". I actually quite enjoyed reminiscing a bit!

G. Rahmanian

An Innocent Question:

by G. Rahmanian on

If it were for the lack of theory and a few other organizational factors that the communist movement in Iran failed to achieve its objectives in '79, then what can the failure of communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe be attributed to? The Tude Party, too, with its prodigious theoretical and organizational strength failed dismally in adapting theory to practice.


I still haven't found

by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

Sourie jaan thanks for proving me wrong on number of Vladimir's readers. And you're correct that in '79 we lacked theory. But that was just one of the elements missing back then; lack of popular support and mobilization, lack of  independent workers' organizations,...

By far these are the same problems we still face after almost three decades.

Not to mention that some "lefty ' groups were actually calling unemployed workers agents of this and that. You know who I'm taliking about.

All and all, as Vladimir used to say on many ocassions, don't let your head get too big, as if you've resolved all the issues and...

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For



G. Rahmanian

Mr. fozolie:

by G. Rahmanian on

I meant the states or financial institutions and large international corporations that control the states, not the individuals commenting here. I meant heads of financial institutions who turned down Obama's invitation to the White House for a face to face meeting after their banks were bailed out using taxpayers' dollars!


Nobody is against change, but I say again

by fozolie on

violant change is not desirable and highly destructive. If you want to remain idealists fooling yourself so be it. It has nothing to do with Europeans or intelllectuals. The younger generation more politically mature than our discredited Left have figured it out otherwise they would have kicked the mollahs to kingdom come a long time ago.


They saw what your last glorious revolution cost Iranians. 


Mr. Fozolie



by Souri on

In that text, it said:

"second, that
the revolutionary class must be prepared for the most rapid and
brusque replacement of one form by another."

Absolutely! But to attain this objective, the revolutionary calss, must have first a theory, a mean and a solid specific plan! Otherwise, they will get behind, before they know it!

Hence, the notion of "highjacked revolutions". 

In 1979, we had only the "will & passion", but other necessary factors have been missing. 


On Complexities of Revolutions (II)

by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

Rozbeh jan, other than you , probably no one will read Vladimir seriuosly, but hey, one better than none!

"History as a whole, and the history of revolutions in
particular, is always richer in content, more varied, more
multiform, more lively and ingenious than is imagined by even
the best parties, the most class-conscious vanguards of the most
advanced classes.

This can readily be understood, because even
the finest of vanguards express the class-consciousness, will,
passion and imagination of tens of thousands, whereas at moments
of great upsurge and the exertion of all human capacities,
revolutions are made by the class-consciousness, will, passion
and imagination of tens of millions, spurred on by a most acute
struggle of classes.

Two very important practical conclusions
follow from this: first, that in order to accomplish its task
the revolutionary class must be able to master all
forms or aspects of social activity without exception
(completing after the capture of political power —
sometimes at great risk and with very great danger—what
it did not complete before the capture of power); second, that
the revolutionary class must be prepared for the most rapid and
brusque replacement of one form by another."

G. Rahmanian

Dear Roozbeh:

by G. Rahmanian on

Similar to most half-boiled "theories" regurgitated by some Iranian intellectuals, the idea of "revolution bashing" started in Europe. It's not an original Iranian "theory!" Subtitle for this blog could have been, "Who Is Afraid Of Change!"


Lenin also said emigres are neurotic

by fozolie on

The progress in Britain was not because of the revolution but the realization that constant civil war and tyranny of the mob does not work!! It was the realization of the need for compromise that allowed it to become a civilized society. Don't play ostrich. Revolutions are the least favoured outcome.


Role of ideology in revolutions

by religionoutofgovernment on

The main problem for most revolutions, has been the role of ideology. Ideological beliefs, whether communism or Islam, derail revolutions and give a selected few the right to from the next tyranical regime. This is true for The Soviet Union, Cuba, Iran and could also become a bitter reality for the Arab spring. A democratic "revolution" or "change", based on a democratic ideas and the collective public opinion and votes, devoid of a precoceived notion of how society should be (ie ideology), is much harder to succeed, but also much more likely to be civilized.

Anahid Hojjati

Good point Faramarz

by Anahid Hojjati on

you wrote:"...trying to avoid future violence only masks the current one. "


Revolutions in the 21st century

by divaneh on

I think the era for the old style revolutions is closing. The ever presence and corruption of the global super powers together with the fierce competition for the resources means that any revolution can quickly be diverted into another dictatorship as was the case in Iran. Civil disobedience should play a much larger role in revolutions now.


Revolutions Are Like Making Sausages!

by Faramarz on

They are not pretty and you are never 100% sure what the outcome will be!

But when the status quo is unacceptable and the living conditions for the average citizens are unbearable, it is the only way to go. I don't believe that anyone in their right mind believes that the Regime in Iran will make it nice for the average Iranians and somehow reforms itself. These people are beyond reform and actually think that they will succeed in the long run if they could only manage to survive the current hardships.

Unfortunately, violence has been a part of the human nature since its inception and trying to avoid future violence only masks the current one.

It is a bitter pill that we will have to take at some point to save the patient.


Great Post Roozbeh, and KUDOS....

by P_J on

to Libyan people! Although, I would have loved to see him brought to justice in a “REAL” Court Of Justice, naming his collaborators of 42 years (i.e. France, Britain, US, etc.), telling us of the embezzlement of NOW exceeding $200 Billion, in a country that poverty rules with an average annual income that is far lower than that of Iran's, and the unemployment rate of 33%-35%, and that is having said nothing of the MASS murders he had committed!

Yes, I would have loved to see him defending himself and naming names!  



by Souri on

Please give me a concret example of my concern about Gaddafi!

My main concern was about the "West" having planned all this against Gaddafi, and not for the people of Libya (as many people including the Libyans think) but for their (the West) own purpous.

Then, there were also one or two phrases here and there about the savagery of the people agaisnt Ghaddafi. This subject has not been initiated by me.

You are making a mountain from a little.

Sorry, I have nothing to answer your question. You must be right about everything you said about me.

But rest assured that I have never meant to be rude to you.

Being emotional is a very human and admirable quality, especially for a woman. I am sorry that you took it this way. I would be proud of myself, if I were you.

Anyway, sorry dear, please forgive me if I hurt your feeling.


Souri Kudos on Concern for Humanity

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

Anahid Hojjati

Souri. your concern about brutalizing a dictator

by Anahid Hojjati on

is logical but my concern about brutalizing millions of people is emotional. I find your comment  not logical and a bit rude. Women have always been taked down to because they are "emotional "so I did not expect it from you. I was nice on my blog and did not answer it but for you to keep repeating it, I have to answer it. No if I am emotional defending defenseless people, then you are also emotional defending a dictator unless there is some kind of reward for you, otherwise you failed to explain your logic in your comments. You were not at all convincing that why you spend so much energy worrying about Ghaddafi when you did not care at all about Libyan people before.

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Dear Roozbeh

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

Roozbeh jaan,

Excellent blog.  Mamnoon

Best regards,



Libya’s new rulers have

by Truthseeker9 on

Libya’s new rulers have said that the people responsible for Colonel Gaddafi’s alleged mob execution will be put on trial,  despite the ordinary people of Libya declaring them as heros.

Yesterday at the National Transitional Council press conference, Mr Ghoga announced: ‘With regards to Gaddafi, we do not wait for anybody to tell us. We had already launched an investigation. We have issued a code of ethics in handling of prisoners of war. I am sure that [Gaddafi’s death] was an individual act and not an act of revolutionaries or the national army.

In any case, I doubt the family of the likes of Sadeq Hamed Shwehdi have regrets about Gaddafi being sodomised. And there are many such families that do not care about how "great" Gaddafi was for libya.



Anahid (and Simorgh)

by Souri on

I have addressed this subject in Anahid's blog....but repeat it here, as I have nothing more to say about that.

Nobody is crying for the dictors, I cry for the humanity

Your reaction is purely emotional, which is very beautiful and
understandable. But I, as a person who talks about the brutality of the
people, am more worried about the destiny of the humanity, where the
sheeps become wolves.

We don't do a revolution, to get to there!

Talking about the brutilized people of Libya and Iran and Syria
....etc, is important. But i think that there are so many articles
posted in IC and all over the medias, to which I can not add that much.
Maybe i put my effort to help
those people, in some other orgnization, what do you know? Maybe I
choose to help the humanitarian cause in another way, than coming here
and repeating the same news which have been talked here over and over,
every day.

But when it comes to the brutality of a poor mislead mass, there's
not much said here. All we read is : Good for him! He was a dictator!

If we let this trend going, without giving it an important dose of
attention, the brutality and dictatorship will never leave this world.
There will be always another dictatorship replacing the old one.

My two cents;




On Complexities and the Law of Revolutions

by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

A blast from the past, in two parts:

Firs, on the complexities:

"History as a whole, and the history of revolutions in
particular, is always richer in content, more varied, more
multiform, more lively and ingenious than is imagined by even
the best parties, the most class-conscious vanguards of the most
advanced classes."

Second, the Law:

"The fundamental law of revolution, which has been confirmed by all
revolutions and especially by all three Russian revolutions in the
twentieth century, is as follows: for a revolution to take place it is not
enough for the exploited and oppressed masses to realise the impossibility
of living in the old way, and demand changes; for a revolution to take
place it is essential that the exploiters should not be able to live and
rule in the old way. It is only when the "lower classes" do not
want to live in the old way and the "upper classes"
cannot carry
on in the old way that the revolution can triumph. This truth can be
expressed in other words: revolution is impossible without a nation-wide
crisis (affecting both the exploited and the exploiters). It follows that,
for a revolution to take place, it is essential, first, that a majority of
the workers (or at least a majority of the class-conscious, thinking, and
politically active workers) should fully realise that revolution is
necessary, and that they should be prepared to die for it; second, that the
ruling classes should be going through a governmental crisis, which draws
even the most backward masses into politics (symptomatic of any genuine
revolution is a rapid, tenfold and even hundredfold increase in the size of
the working and oppressed masses—hitherto apathetic—who are capable
of waging the political struggle), weakens the government, and makes it
possible for the revolutionaries to rapidly overthrow it."


Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder




Roozbeh jaan

by Truthseeker9 on

Very good blog, enjoyed reading it and agree with what you say. There is no civilised way to remove these dictators. In lybia the rebels feared Gaddafi – who warned they faced the ‘fires from Hell’ – would unleash WMD on his own people. 

"In Misrata, panic gripped the population when forces loyal to Gaddafi were seen wearing gas masks."

How can you topple people like that, who would use ANY means to rule. His death was in war, and war is brutal. Gaddafi would have done worse to these "rats" as he called them. What they did to him was not legal but ... 


Anahid Hojjati

How come many did not write about these dictators before

by Anahid Hojjati on

many of us did not write about how these dictators brutalized millions of people before but now we are quick to write about how the dictator was treated badly? that is after the dictator killed many but at the time that these dictators killed people, the killed ones possibly had done nothing more than participating in some demonstrations. Maybe if the world including us cared more about how dictators brutalize their people, we would have never gotten to this place.


Souri - what to do with despots

by Simorgh5555 on

It really is a tough call. Sometimes there is no civilised way of killing a despot or a terrorist and really what would have been the difference between NATO dropping a bomb on Gaddafi's convoy and a group of fighters lynching him. I suppose if he was killed by a bomb Gaddafi would have been mutilated and die instantly instead of a humiliating death like the one he was subjected to.

I can understand how a political opponent and someone whose family has been killed and raped by Gaddafi would want to tear the man from limb to limb but the Transitional Government could have immediately put a stop to the ghastly freak show of displaying his rotten corpse in a meat freezer. Thats where it had to stop and if the new Libyan transitional government cant even do that then it too deserves to go down the toilet like Gaddafi's regime.  

Here is where we may disagree

In view of the IR, I have always supported a campaign of target assassination against its leaders as it is better than carpet bombing an entire country. If Libyans thought Gadddafi was bad then they should actually swap places with an Iranian any day! If any regime needs changing then it was the IR and not Libya.  Each regime and each despot needed to be dealt with separately. Gaddafi had his virtues and he was neutralised as a threat to the West when he dropped his chemical weapon program. The IR on the other hand, and as I mentioned in your blog, has done nothing to redeem itself. It has not done anything good socially, economically, politically or indeed on a human rights level. Gaddafi was a freakin' angel when it comes to Seyed Ali Khamenei


are we responsible to only care for the powerful ?

by Souri on

No, of course not!

But, there's a civil way to fight tyrannies and dictators! We have to discuss this matters every time that such criminal actions are committed by the civil and normal people, in the name of "revolution".

This should not become (or better say: no more be) a world of eye for eye and teeth for teeth. We have evolved, Anahid. The world must learn the civil ways of fighting and overthrowing a dictator.

Anahid Hojjati

I don't recall any blogs or comments

by Anahid Hojjati on

about poor Libyan people dying from those who are upset about way Ghaddafi was killed. Why were thre no tears for poor people, no comments about them on IC from those who are concerned about fate of dictators?As humans are we responsible to only care for the powerful and what happens to them?


Ghaddafi was not an angel!

by Souri on

He was a  dictator! We all know what the word "Dictator" means.

He did and said many bad things, but it should not be a reason for us to do to him, what he did to others.

There's a reason for what he was called a dictator. And there's a reason why dictatorship is disgusting in our eye.