18 June 2012

What Happened to Iran?

Here’s an interesting video about Iran in the 1970s:

Note how modern everything looks, and also note how the women are dressed.  Obviously, things have regressed in Iran since then.  But why?

I’m sure will argue that the current theocracy is responsible for the problems facing Iran, but this view is somewhat shot-sighted, and begs the question of why a prosperous country put this government in charge.  Part of the answer to that question is, unsurprisingly, US intervention in foreign affairs.  Wikipedia has a pretty good overview of the matter, so I will simply say that the US government’s attempt at meddling in another nation’s affairs set up the chain of events the established a literally retarding government.  No wonder Iran hates the US.


  1. One word.


  2. You must remember that the revolutionary zeal that swept over the Iranian nation was one of contempt for the old ways; whether those ways be western colonialism or traditional Persian societies. The initial revolutionaries were the young, urbane, upper and middle class Persians, western educated, who wished to implement a more Marxist overtaking of the nation. I'd think of it as an imitation of the unrest felt throughout the West in the sixties (specially the soixante-huitard of '68.)

    Like all revolutions, the initial revolt was taken over by other dissidents, demagogues and then finally the reactionaries who were meant to be overthrown. (There is an excellent term coined to explain this process but it alludes me right now.)

    In this case, the revolutionaries lost the plot very early on, and the Ayatollah actually stepped in to stop the nations (since Iran is made up of 20-something different nations) from tearing each other apart.

    Since then, the situation has been bizarre and hard to comprehend from the outside with what appears to be a ever-present power struggle between all groups representing the secular and religious governments. In other words, it was a failed revolution.

    But having said that, I wouldn't trust any Western media source (or Iranian source for that matter) on what is going on there. There is so much propaganda to paint Iran in a certain light that nothing comes off as realistic. Iran, when she deserves opprobrium and when she doesn't; is in a very precarious situation along with being of strategic importance to the three most powerful nations: US, China and Russia.

    This, presents a very skewered view of what the hell happened and where this whole thing is going....

    So 'that' Iran is still very much there, they just don't have hold of the media like the nationalist Ahmedi Jinad and the Islamist mullahs do.

  3. @Gorbachev- Good point. I had forgotten how Islam didn't exist in Iran until the 1980s. That's obviously the difference right there.

    @SomeGuy- This helps quite a bit, though I still remain a little puzzled as to why Iran went from being on the brink of mdernity to being a trash heap in just a coupke of decades. It just doesn't make sense to argue that cultural or HBD differences play primary roles, nor doe it make sense to claim that religion or terrorism is the key. There are undoubtedly many factors that explain this regression, and I'm curious to see to what extent US intervention played a role.

  4. Is it possible that the very modest very traditional Iranians looked at the anarchy and, nihilism of modernity as the twilight of their civilization? And in fact it has proven to be that as their birth rate has plummeted while the imams try to hold back this force. We could could argue the value of traditionalism vs modernity but what is not arguable is the effect on Iranians.

  5. @CCC- I'm not sure I quite get what you're driving at.

  6. My point is that what you see now is the true iran The US may have accelerated the revolution but they are a traditional ancient Islamic culture. The video is the elite urban clique that ran the country under the Shah. They are in no way representative of most of the country's people. Whayevr resentment they have of their goverment now they loved the revolution They don't hate us fr "retarding" their government they hated us for dragging them into modernity.

  7. Someguy is wrong there were liberal elements to the revolution but they were quickly crushed by the majority of Iranians who were interested in maintaining their traditional Muslim culture. The video presented was made of the ruling elite clique. Modern western progressive. They were hated by most. My point is that what you call regression they call protection of their country and culture

  8. @CCC- that makes more sense. Maybe the lesson to take away from this is that it would be best to leave other countries alone and let them determine what they want for themselves.

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