03. Not a Coup but a Reactionary Revolution
Progressive development in the modern world works in tantamount with the struggle for forming an Open Society. It is noteworthy that some of those who think of 1979 Revolution, as the work of Carter's human rights breeze, have since blamed Carter and the U.S., for not bringing in the necessary mechanisms to contain the unleashing of the freedoms, and thus they think Iranian society ended up in Islamists using freedom to kill freedom, to take over the country, because of the U.S. unleashing the freedoms, while not being able to protect the democracy.
Of course, in the case of Iran, although Carter's policy in supporting the Islamists at the end, helped the Islamists to finally dominate the political scene in post-1357 Iran, but Iran's movement was not the work of the U.S., to be able to control the unleashing of the forces that were freed by the fall of the Shah, with or without proper policing, and the interim government and various political forces of the time, are more to blame for giving in to the Islamists, and as I noted in Why Shiism Became the Flag of 1979 Iranian Revolution, lack of a progressive alternative, left the scene all open for the pre-industrial forces of Shi'a Islamists, unchallenged in their scheme to fully usurp the power in Iran.
Calling the 1979 Revolution a coup, by some monarchists and others, only means they still have not understood the above reality, that the revolution is *not* synonymous with progress, and since they see the 1979 Revolution to be retrogressive, they disdain to call it a revolution, and call it a coup, as if a revolution would always have to be something progressive and good, which as I explained, is not always true, not only for all revolutions, but neither for all reforms.
For some others, the reason they call the 1979 revolution a coup, is because they want to blame the problems of Iran on foreign powers, and they do not want to believe this reactionary development to be an internal event. Again, considering the 1979 upheaval as a revolution, and not as a coup, and looking at it as an internal event, and not a foreign conspiracy, does not mean that one sees it as something "good" and progressive.
As I pointed out, I actually see the 1979 upheaval as a *reactionary* event, although I see it as a *revolution*, and as an internal development by Iranians, and not as a conspiracy.
When the world is progressing towards a post-industrial society, Iran fell to reactionary forces that offered a reactionary retrogression for the society, as the solution for the real problems of development that Iran was facing, and the Islamists were unchallenged, because the suppression of secular democratic forces in Iran's society, for three decades prior to the 1979 Revolution, under the Shah's dictatorship, meant that there were no social and political organizations strong enough to compete with the mosque, which became the center of the revolution and its leadership organization.
The 1979 Revolution symbolized the reactionary response to the crisis of industrial society, in absence of futurist social and political forces, to lead an alternative development towards a post-industrial society for Iran. Iran was a country that faced the challenge of deciding an alternative for the future. A future which was not going to be the capitalist or communist solutions of the industrial society, as they were not viable choices at the end of 1970s, and new secular organizations, with a new platform beyond the old paths of socialism and capitalism were absent, and all this vacuum helped the success of pre-industrial forces, who offered themselves as an alternative to the crisis of industrial society and its discarded options in Iran of 1979.
What follows from my theory that the Iranian Revolution was *the* major reactionary revolution of our times? Simply it follows that the futurists have the best perspective to offer for Iran and the region.
True that in this day and age, one can still try a capitalist or a socialist path, but the outcome will be another failed experience that many Latin American capitalist states or the Cambodian Killing Fields and Vietnamese socialist states have tried and failed. Those countries have not retrogressed to pre-industrial society, but the capitalist and socialist alternatives of industrial society were tried again by them, in this day and age, and the result was simply failure after failure.
The above experiences show that an alternative beyond the industrial society is needed, a solution beyond both the capitalist and socialist forms of industrial past, to drive these societies towards a post-industrial society, to tackle the dilemma of development in the world of today.
Those looking for an alternative beyond the industrial society in Iran had two choices. Either to end up in a pre-industrial solution with Islamists or monarchists at the top, or they had to be futurists, going beyond the liberal and socialist traditions and plan for a post-industrial society.
Unfortunately a futurist force was almost nonexistent in Iran of 1979, and even three years later, the first blooms of futurist thought, were strongly opposed and threatened even by the Iranian opposition itself, which was mainly leftist, and made even death threats to me for raising such doubts about their leftist doctrines, communist dogma, which they espoused like a religion.
I wrote over three years ago, that the most important lesson of the 1979 Revolution of Iran, the opposition learned, was that overthrowing the regime was not the hardest work, and lack of program and organization after the change, was the real challenge.
Furthermore, I wrote in the same article that there are no quick panaceas for those who really want to work for democracy and progress in Iran, and after the 1979 Revolution, the opposition just found out how much it did not know, in terms of answers to the issues facing Iran, when the opposition had spent all the years prior to the revolution, on polemics, rather than doing any serious theoretical work on the real obstacles hampering Iran's progress into the 21st Century.
References Chapter 3