Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Comment on PJM, Michael Ledeen: Faster, Please! »
How Long Can the Iranian Regime Last?

Faster, Please! » How Long Can the Iranian Regime Last?

Will this clerical opposition to Khamenei result in renewed prestige for the religious scholars and a future opportunity for a restored and purified clericy to remain in power? The alternative would be for the fires of fanaticism to burn out in a Thermidor and lead the way to an eventual restoration of a civil society and a government that reflects what passes for middle class consensus in Iran.

England had it's episode of Puritan excess and that lead to the Restoration, and not just of a soon to be constitutionally restrained monarchy. It was the agricultural and rural Tory conservatism combined with the tolerant practical Whig mercantile values of the English that formed the basis of their successes over the following three centuries. If such a transformation could follow from the repudiation of Khamenei and Khomeini's legacy then Iran may have a bright future.

The English experience of recovery from revolutionary excess was happier than the French. That may have been due to many factors both internal and external. Other societies have remained trapped by the conditions the revolution created, even after no one still believed in it. The soviet system lasted for over 70 years. Some may simply view Islam itself as a permanent regime transforming captive societies through terror. The Iranian Theocracy has already lasted for 50% longer than English Puritanism. That means that a whole generation has grown up and is raising families with no personal knowledge of life before this regime. The destruction of human, financial, intellectual and moral assets is real.

When the next chapter opens which model, the English, French, Russian, etc., will most closely resemble Iran?

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