Occurrence of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1357 [February 1979] surprised experts of phenomenon of “Revolution”?, governments and intelligence organizations which did not predict such event.
In 1353 [1978-1979], Central Intelligence Agency of America (CIA) believed that Iran was not in the situation of occurrence of a revolution and Mohammad Reza Shah would not face the problem of instability at least for 10 years. And when Carter - the then President of America - had made a visit to Tehran before the Islamic Revolution, he described Iran as an island of stability in the turbulent sea of the world.
Western Thinkers Were Surprised with Occurrence of the Islamic Revolution
Occurrence of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1357 [February 1979] surprised experts of phenomenon of “Revolution”?, governments and intelligence organizations which did not predict such event.
In 1353 [1978-1979], Central Intelligence Agency of America (CIA) believed that Iran was not in the situation of occurrence of a revolution and Mohammad Reza Shah would not face the problem of instability at least for 10 years. And when Carter - the then President of America - had made a visit to Tehran before the Islamic Revolution, he described Iran as an island of stability in the turbulent sea of the world.
The main question is what major reason or reasons caused this surprise? And why experts of revolutions and the intelligence organization had not been able to predict fast occurrence and happening of a revolution in Iran?
The same surprise about occurrence of revolutions had been observed in other countries too. Alexi De Toucoil - who had written a book under the title of “France Revolution and Its Previous Regime”? almost 50 years after occurrence of this revolution in 1789 - has said: “The revolution of France occurred in a much unpredicted way. And this event should teach the government men that they should be completely cautious in their decisions.”?
He wanted to present a new theory that was rarely believed by that time; because he believed that the revolution of France showed that this view is not correct that “Revolution always happens due to change of situation from bad to worse.”?; but revolutions mostly happen when a long - time bad situation is suddenly improved. At this time people’s expectations increase and they want to eliminate the remained part of the previous situation.
But despite the fact that there were theories that believed in the role of improvement and/or decrease of economic and political difficulties at the time of occurrence of the Islamic Revolution, at the same time, occurrence of this revolution was not predicted by any outstanding and reliable thinker and theorist.
We should search for the reason in the scientific paradigm that prevailed in minds of theorists of the phenomenon of revolution at that time.
At that time, it was the period of time of the third generation of revolution theories. And according to Jack Goldstone; based on this theory, revolution had the characteristic of structural fatalism and leadership and ideology did not play serious role in the revolution.
From the other side, it was the time of earthly and materialistic revolutions. It means that - as Hana Arnet had written in the Book “Revolution”? - being earthly and materialistic is one of the outstanding characteristics of these revolutions. Marxism or Westernized Liberal Nationalism was the ideology of these revolutions. But the Iranian revolutionary people did not pay any attention to these ideologies. In Iran before the Islamic Revolution, the prevailing idea was that Marxism and Liberalism both result in slavery of human. In addition to that, the contemporary history of the country has been a good laboratory for test and failure of the three ideology of “Novelty Seeking”?, Liberal Nationalism”? and “Marxism”?; because “Novelty Seeking”? appeared on the political stage during the Constitutional Movement.
Although the Constitutional Movement reached to its end line when Reza Khan reached to power but it gave people an unforgettable lesson to people. And it was the lesson that the religious forces should not trust the unknown forces and empty the stage for them.
The Liberal Nationalism also reached to its end line with the coup d’etat on Mordad 28th, 1332 [August 19th, 1953]. And the Iranian Marxists could not achieve success due to dependence of most of the Marxist groups to the foreign powers including the “Toudeh”? Party that was dependent to the Soviet Union [Toudeh Party was the major left - wing party in Iran at that time].
Considering the fact that occurrence of phenomenon of revolution in that particular period of time in the countries of the Third World was exclusively in hands of particular groups such as Marxists or Nationalists, “SAVAC”? [The intelligence service of the Pahlavi Regime] was able to identify and sweep these opposing people in Iran. This organization has proved its capability for discovering and neutralizing the anti - governmental activities in action.
There fore, we should seek for the reason of surprise of writers and intelligence organizations in predicting and understanding occurrence of a revolution within a short time in occurrence of a special type of revolution, it means the Islamic Revolution.
The religious nature of the Islamic Revolution of Iran - considering the era of returning to oneself at least during the second final decades of the Pahlavi Government - caused very fast expansion of the revolution and participation of Muslim people in the stage of revolution. And as a result, the Pahlavi Regime and its foreign supporters lost the control of people. And this revolution was led to victory with an unbelievable speed.
The special characteristic and nature of the Islamic Revolution not only caused progress and victory of this revolution in a speedy way but also - in contrary to some other earthly and materialistic revolutions like the revolution of France that caused instability and long term clashes after its victory or the revolution of Russia that resulted in vast killings of people during the time of Stalin - the Islamic Revolution experienced reliable stability. And thanks to this stability, Islamic Revolution of Iran has achieved considerable scientific and technologic progress during these 30 years that pass since its victory.
Despite the fact that the definite role of religion is obvious in occurrence of the Islamic Revolution, the western writers expert in pathology of revolution and the westernized Iranians have misunderstood and gone into the wrong path in analyzing and explaining the reasons of occurrence of the Islamic Revolution. That has been either due to ignorance of the reality and considering this event as an unimportant event and also preventing the repetition of such revolution and influence of this revolution in other countries or due to the current dominant paradigms that exist on their minds that was mentioned before.
Meanwhile, appearance of the fourth generation of theories about revolution presented at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century indicates the mistakes of these writers and theorists. Following appearance of the fourth generation of theories of revolution, there have been also efforts made to correct these mistakes. The efforts in this field have not been how ever enough.
In this new generation of theories, although the role of elements such as leadership, ideology and culture in making the phenomenon of revolution is paid attention but still this role is not a basic and primary role. And it is discussed mostly in between other elements. This way, most of western writers or the westernized Iranian writers write articles and books about the Islamic Revolution of Iran based on the methods that are used for knowing revolution in west.
Numerous Books and Articles Written about the Islamic Revolution and the Reason
There are a large number of books, articles and researches written about the Islamic Revolution of Iran at the present time. Such large amount of articles, researches and books about different aspects of a revolution have been written about few revolutions within an almost short time. These books, articles and researches have been written about why and how this revolution happened.
The mentioned fact has had different reasons. As for these reasons, we can refer to the important position of Iran before the Islamic Revolution in the regional strategy of America; it means the role of Iran as the gendarme of the region. And occurrence of revolution in Iran meant revolution in the country that was the gendarme of America in the region. And it is obvious when the gendarme of the region - it means the country that should supervise and control the countries of the region in order that the interests of America do not face with serious challenge and problem - faces with revolution it causes a vacuum of power that can create storm of events.
We witness this issue at the present time. And these difficulties increase as the time passes more. And it has created ambiguous and even frightening future for the fate of West - America in particular.
Dependence and need of the world to the oil of Middle East and the Persian Gulf have also added the global importance of Iran. The nature of the Islamic Revolution of Iran - it means the Islamic ideology and mottos and the objective of this revolution in fighting with the cancer tumor of Israel - has been influential in increase of studies in the field of Islamic Revolution due to the reflex of nature of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in the political atmosphere of the region through influencing on nations, governments, intellectuals and political parties.
In addition to that, the fact that occurrence of such revolution was new and unique was one of the important and considerable reasons that writers analyze and study the Islamic Revolution of Iran. Because thinkers who are expert in the field of revolutions believed that the Islamic Revolution occurred at the time that revolutions happened under the influence of Marxist, Left Wing Nationalist or Liberal Nationalist ideologies; but it was not correct about the Islamic Revolution of Iran.
Besides, the oil of America is obtained from the Persian Gulf. And the life time of the oil sources in this region is estimated as 100 years. That is while oil will exist in other regions of the world for much less time. Therefore, the events that happen in this region and this country are focused by analysts and theorist very fast.
From the other side, the fact that occurrence of such revolution was new and unique was one of the important and considerable reasons that writers analyze and study the Islamic Revolution of Iran. Because thinkers who are expert in the field of revolutions believed that the Islamic Revolution occurred at the time that revolutions happened under the influence of Marxist, Left Wing Nationalist or Liberal Nationalist ideologies; but it was not correct about the Islamic Revolution of Iran.
Many of these articles, researches and books are not only written about the Islamic Revolution of Iran but also they are written about the related subjects such as the Islamic Thought, Islamic Movements, Shiite Lessons as well as Knowing Iran. These subjects have been the topic of research in many articles, conferences and university theses.
Pathology of Theories on the Islamic Revolution
Pathology of western works and books about the Islamic Revolution of Iran is not separated from the pathology of western theories about the phenomenon of revolution.
The Word “Pathology”? has been borrowed from the medical sciences. And it means knowing the diseases that cause problem for suitable work of body and creates an unusual situation for body. Apart from credibility of the theories, we review the theories that have been more ignored in the western theories regarding the phenomenon of revolution:
* Most of the theories of revolution are based on studying one to three or five contemporary revolution. It is obvious that due to difference of revolutions in their natures we can not generalize the gained result to all the revolutions by studying merely a limited number of revolutions. The theories presented by Brington, Alexi De Tocoil, James Davis (Curve), Scotch Paul are and Hanington are included in this type.
* Some of the theories about revolution have not explained the main concepts in their explanations in a clear way. And it has caused different understanding of the same theory. And it causes decrease in the ability of prediction in this theory too. When a revolution happens, such theories claim that occurrence of that revolution can be justified and interpreted based on that particular theory of pathology of view of revolution. The “Curve”? Theory of James Davis (In the group of psychological and social theories) is an obvious example of such theories.
* Some other theories of the revolution have established their analysis based on the basis of series of incorrect or not creditable beliefs about human, the human society, government and the human history. And if there is tight relationship between the content of this theory and these bases that theory will not be creditable wither. The Marx based theory on revolution is a suitable example for this situation. Based on his theory, Marx had predicted that he would witness occurrence of socialist revolutions in the advanced capitalist countries even during his life. Due to the fact that promises and mottos of Marxism - that was directly rooted in Marx’s theory about revolution - faced with ideological and political crisis and finally accepted elimination of the Marxist world two times, once in the beginning of the 20th century and again at the end of this century.
As a matter of fact, inappropriateness of Marx’s understandings and his followers about the factor of “Human”? - that was described as merely a materialistic factor by Marx - and in conclusion their understanding about Society, Government and History all were seen in the inappropriate understanding of them about the phenomenon of revolution.
In addition to the mentioned three conditions, there are other conditions for the credit of theories. These conditions are some times ignored. In this regard, we can refer to the fact that the concept network of the theory should be acceptable. The theory should not be in contrast with logical bases. The current evidences should confirm the theory. And finally, if the theory excludes special cases it should explain the characteristics of these excluded cases.
From the other side, some of the works, books and articles about the Islamic Revolution are exactly written based on what a theory of revolution has explained. They have discussed about the Islamic Revolution exactly based on what a theory of revolution says. Therefore, the weak points of these theories - that are emphasized in the books of many writers - have also disrupted the analysis of that particular writer about the Islamic Revolution of Iran.
As an example, we can refer to the articles and books which have been written about the Islamic Revolution based on the theories of Marx, “Charisma”? of Max Weber, Chalmerz Johnson, “Curve”? of James Davis, “Relative Deprivation”? of Ted Robert Gar, “Mobilizing the Sources”? of Charles Tibely, “Unbalanced Development”? of Samuel Hantington and other works.
Now, we can categorize the articles, books and works which have been written about the occurrence of the Islamic Revolution of Iran into different groups of cultural, sociological, psychological, economic or political as well as combined groups that have mentioned two reasons, three reasons and several reasons. These articles, books, etc. might have been written based on a theory of revolution or they are the personal opinions of the author. In these books include narration of historical events, articles in news papers and narrating memories.
Since I will criticize the above mentioned approaches in the next chapters in details, I do not start the discussion on evaluating and criticizing these approaches here in this part of the article.
One Major Inadequacy
One major inadequacy in presenting theories about revolutions - Islamic Revolution of Iran in particular - is rooted in the reality that a number of theorists focus on different stages of the revolution separated from each other when they want to discuss why and how the Islamic Revolution of Iran happened and achieved victory.
In other words, it is right that it is possible that grounds, reasons and elements for occurrence of a revolution and start of a revolution are formed within a long period of time. And such revolution has particular type of leadership, ideology, mottos and objectives; but it is wrong to separate these two stages from each other. Some of the theorists have made mistakes by the lack of attention to the existence of logical and tight relationship between these two stages.
We should know the fact that series of cultural, economic, social and political actions of the government influence on in the situation in which a revolution occurs.
Series of characteristics and activities of social forces have influence too. These activities are such as the role of nature of revolutionary ideology and the leadership strategies and tactics as well as the cultural characteristics and history of people. Now, when a revolution started, progress of the revolution till achieving victory is related to the characteristics and activities of both sides; it means the political power and the social force.
It is important to notice one important point and that is the fact that revolution occurs when different sectors of people find out that social, economic, political and the cultural path of the country is opposite their mental beliefs, values and beliefs. It might have been formed during the history of a country. it means that the government carries out actions that can not be tolerated by both ordinary people and the intellectual people. These actions and activities are in contrast with the cultural values and demands of these people. In this case, for pathology of the western view of revolution we should focus on the activities of the government in order that the main element is clarified and distinguished. Or we should introduce the role of culture and public values as the main element. In addition to that, where should the role of characteristics of existing structures discussed. These structures are such as the Army or the spirit of government men.
To reply to this question, we can say that history, culture and education form mentality along with special beliefs in members of a country that play important and critical role in occurrence and progress of a revolutionary movement.
More than any other revolution, this saying is matched with the process of occurrence of the Islamic Revolution; it means that the revolution in which most of people [Almost all of them including intellectuals and the ordinary people] were involved in it.
These people were the people who had grown up in the school of Islam, the Shiite Islam in particular. These people had particular images on their minds about seeking justice and the pure truth that were observed in the performance and fights of the Islam Prophet and the innocent imams. These people had become familiar with such concepts during their lives.
But the whole direction of the society in different political, economic and the cultural fields was in clear contrast with their ideas and understandings. Politically, we had a cruel and dictator government. Our government had appointed freemason forces in their government. Iran had changed into the gendarme of America in the region. The law of capitulation was approved. The government had close and sincere relationships with Israel and the apartheid regime South Africa. The Shah Regime emphasizes on its dependence on the foreign countries. Economically, the policies of the government caused gap in the society very much. Technologically, we had not progressed. And our country had changed into a consumption place of western goods. The Jewish capitalists had dominated on the industry of our country. All these were the results of government’s policy.
Culturally, the government brought up the ideology of “Kingdom”?. Government forced women to put away their scarves and chador. Government appointed “Bahayee”? people on key positions (Like Amir Abbas Hoveyda who had been appointed the prime minister). The celebration of 2500 years of kingdom of Iran was held. The calendar of Iran changed from hejira solar system into kingdom system. Films were shown on TV and in cinemas that were not match with the Islamic principles of the society. Selling alcoholic drinks was free. And theatres were played on streets that were not match with the Islamic principles of people. These theatres were pe4rformed under the title of “Celebration of Art of Shiraz”?. All these mentioned actions were opposed to the cultural truth seeking of people.
When the revolution started due to these contrasts, the role of revolutionary ideology and its inner content started too. These contents were such as the concept of self sacrifice and seeking martyrdom, revolutionary leadership of Imam Khomeini as far as considering characteristics such as having self confidence and being decisive, strategies and tactics of the revolutionary movement such as time strategy. When the revolution started due to these contrasts, the role of revolutionary ideology and its inner content started too. These contents were such as the concept of self sacrifice and seeking martyrdom, revolutionary leadership of Imam Khomeini as far as considering characteristics such as having self confidence and being decisive, strategies and tactics of the revolutionary movement such as time strategy such as strategy of negative fight and holding gatherings with participation of millions of people, not having clash with the Army and breaking the military government by screaming “Allah Akbar”? [God is the Great] on the roofs of houses. These mentioned activities were of high importance. The strategy of negative fight and holding gatherings with participation of millions of people, not having clash with the Army and breaking the military government by screaming “Allah Akbar”? [God is the Great] on the roofs of houses. These mentioned activities were of high importance.
In this stage, we can not ignore the role of characteristics and activities carried out by the government men and political structure of the country. the progress of the revolutionary people may face with problems if the Army was fully in hands and control of the government men and the government men had enough self confidence and strong spirit.
Although it is possible that the type of revolutionary ideology and the methods of leadership and support of a large number of people to the revolution cause instability in these two; I mean the Army and the government men.
Speed of victory of the Islamic Revolution and few casualties were very noticeable in occurrence of the Islamic Revolution. And it again shows the role of ideology and leadership of Imam Khomeini in the stage of victory of the Islamic Revolution.
As it was mentioned before, the important role of the cultural and historical elements - which are emphasized this much while studying the stage of victory of the Islamic Revolution - can be also observed in the period of time before occurrence of this revolution.
In this period of time, in addition to existence of ideological, the cultural and historical frame work, we should also mention the activities of the revolutionary people including the revolutionary leadership.
By reminding dissatisfactions, expressing and spreading new ideology, establishing revolutionary spirit in the society, the revolutionary leader plays role in directing and leading the society towards revolution. These activities were carried out by Imam Khomeini and groups of “Rouhaniat”? [Clergymen] as well as Muslim thinkers and intellectuals during the two last decades before the occurrence of the Islamic Revolution.
A Method for Knowing the Nature of Revolution
Except the prevailed methods in knowing the nature of a revolution, the type of government that is formed after a revolution and the changes that are made are also expressive in this field. To explain the importance of the cultural elements in victory of the Islamic Revolution, I can refer to the following events:
98.2 percent of eligible people in 1358  voted to establishment of Islamic Republic Government. People welcomed Imam Khomeini in a unique way when he entered our homeland on February 1979. And vast participation of people in the funeral ceremony of Imam Khomeini in 1368  all indicate the superior role of the cultural elements in occurrence and victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran.
This analysis does not ignore the political, social, economic and psychological elements; but the writer believes that the cultural elements in its vast meaning the series of concept and structural cultural aspects played important role in start, fast victory of the Islamic Revolution, its continuation, establishment of the new government and even the changes after the victory of the Islamic revolution.
As Max Weber, the famous sociologist has said; if we want to find out how much an element has had role in occurrence of a social event, we should think for one moment and imagine how that situation would be if that factor was omitted. And we should see if that event occurred without that factor.
As for occurrence of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, we should say that if we omit the role of different cultural elements such as the leadership of Hazrat Imam Khomeini, no power was able to fight with the Shah Regime that was benefited from foreign supports, the oil income, strong military forces and strong suppression power through “SAVAC”? and the guards.
If it is so, we should look at western and westernized Iranian analysts with doubt; the analysts who have written different analyses about the Islamic Revolution and basically analyze this phenomenon from the social, economic or political points of view.
One of the writers has mentioned a number of common and different points between the western theories and the views of Hazrat Imam Khomeini. Quoting these points seems useful in the section of “Pathology of Articles and Analyses”?; because Imam Khomeini has been the leader and ideologue and the architecture of the Islamic Revolution. It will be useful to focus on the points that were emphasized by him when we want to know this revolution as well as the strong and weak points of works written about the Islamic Revolution.
Being ideological and having religious objective and the connection between religion and politics had been previously mentioned in speeches of Imam Khomeini as the characteristics of the Islamic Revolution. These elements have been emphasized and mentioned by the following theorists in their books too: Hamed Elgar, Asef Hussein, Olivier Roa, Rubby Wurth Carlson and secondly in the works of Fred Holiday, Ted Scotch Paul, John Foran (No Violence), works of Gerald Green, Niki Caddi, Mark Gazyorovski (Speed of Victory), in the work of Gerald Green (Anti - Islam Policies of Shah), and in the works of Benoshtel Bari Robin (And Fighting with Expansionism and Protest against America), and in the works of Asef Hussein, Gazyorovski, Niki Cadi and John Foran.
Imam Khomeini has also emphasized on the spiritual nature of the Islamic Revolution. And that is in contrast with the writers and thinkers that have merely mentioned the materialistic objectives for the Islamic Revolution. These thinkers and writers are namely Holiday, Scotch Paul, Abrahamian, Fisher and Cadi. Imam Khomeini has emphasized on the fact that Islamic Revolution has been influenced by the domestic situation and the role of “Rouhaniat”? [Clergymen] in this revolution as well as having roots in people.
And in contrary to this opinion the following thinkers and theorists have written that occurrence of the Islamic Revolution was due to foreign situations. These thinkers and theorists are namely Foran, Gazyorovski and Holiday. Imam Khomeini has emphasized on the fact that the government of Pahlavi wanted to suppress people and had the authority for that; but they failed to resist against the will of people. In contrary to this opinion, there are thinkers and theorists that say that the government of Pahlavi did not have this determination for suppressing people. As for these thinkers and theorists; we can refer to Marvin Zonis.
As you see, a number of western theorists have attached second grade priority to the element of being ideological and religious of the Islamic Revolution. Or they have considered this element next to the other elements of victory and occurrence. It can be observed when we consider the theories all next together. It is true about the views presented by thinkers such as Fred Holiday, Ted Scotch Paul, John Foran and Niki R Cadi. As an example, here we study the inadequacy in the two views presented by Ted Scotch Paul and Niki R Cadi. Then we will elaborate on the cultural theories.
The Theory of Revolution and Ted Scotch Paul
The revolution theory of Ted Scotch Paul which has been presented in the Book “Governments and Social Revolution”? is clearly different from his article written under the title of “The Shiite Islam in the Revolution of Iran”?.
Here, I write down both of these parts; because from one side the revolution theory of Scotch Paul is the most famous example of the third generation of revolution theories and there have been a number of writers who have benefited form his theory for analyzing the Islamic Revolution and from the other side, the problems of this theory have disrupted the idea of revolution of Scotch Paul. And he became compelled to write an article about the revolution of Iran in 1982. And it was very different with the content of his book.
The book of Scotch Paul was published concurrent with the occurrence of the Islamic Revolution. In this book, he believes that “Political Revolution”? is different from “Social Revolution”?. And following this theory, he elaborates on the reasons of occurrence of social revolutions and the results and side effects of that.
In his point of view, a political revolution is along with no changes in the social structures after the government changes. In this revolution, arguments between different social classes and farmers have no role; but a political revolution is the fast and fundamental transfer of government and social structures related to social classes of the society. It is along with clashes between the low class (Farmers) and high class of the society. Besides, such revolution is formed in unique series of social, structural and international situations.
Following Brington Moor’s ideas in the Book “Social Roots of Dictatorship and Democracy”?, the method of Scotch Paul is the method of historical and comparative analysis. In this respect, he has chosen the societies of France, Russia and China as the social revolutions.
Reasons for Occurrence of Social Revolutions
By denying the fact that occurrence of revolution is based on volition, Scotch Paul believes that interpreting social revolution is the only pathology of the view of revolution on structural elements which have been previously predicted. In occurrence of the revolution, he denies the role of revolutionary people in spreading their ideology and their role in achieving success in this field. In this book, he believes that “Revolutions are not built; but they just appear.”?
In the point of view of Scotch Paul, revolution occurs when the political and military crisis is mixed with riot of the low class people and participation of the intellectual people who are standing next to the revolutionary mobilized people.
When a country which its main job is farming and agriculture competes with a stronger country in the international field and the capitalist system of the world and this country faces with failure in a military threat, this country makes efforts to reconstruct the country. The expense for this program should be actually collected from land and farm owners; because the surplus of agricultural products has been taken for other goals.
If the officials of this government are not included in the land owner sector of the society, this reconstruction will be carried out without elimination of the government otherwise the government will be eliminated because they military forces do not like to eliminate this sector of people and the military and governmental leaders are also from that social class. And consequently, the government faces with administrative and military elimination.
In such situation, the intellectual people living in cities focus on mobilizing different sectors of people. And in conclusion, dissatisfied farmers start riot. Not due to ideological reason but due to the fact that they see it out of access to be able to reach to the class of aristocrats or having no wealth, these intellectual people organize and mobilize different sectors of people and ordinary people.
Considering occurrence of the Islamic Revolution, the Book “Government and Social Revolutions”? can be evaluated as follows:
In contrary to the opinion of Scotch Paul, we should say that mentioned economic and military pressures did not exist at the time of occurrence of the Islamic Revolution. And even if the government was under pressure for beginning the reconstruction and renovation, there was no need to obtain the expenses from the land and farm owners; because there was sufficient oil income in the hands of the government. From the other side, the government of Iran had not participated in any long time war that causes losing and weakening of the armed forces. As a matter of fact, administrative and military elimination was not the reason for start and continuation of riots in Iran. But in contrary to that, it was caused by that.
Considering his structural view and theory and also using parts of theory of Marx and Charles Tibeli, Scotch Paul denies the role of idea, ideology, determination and will as well as the leadership in the revolution.
Like Marx, he believes that revolutions are created and caused by materialistic reality not thoughts and ideas. And he believes that revolutions are not built but they appear. He believes in a kind of historical fatalism. He attaches importance to the international competitions. He has taken the whole meaning of political confrontation from Charles Tibeli.
Even in establishment of the governments after the revolution, Scotch Paul has rejected the role of determination, will, thought and idea, etc. but it is true that even the history of the countries that have been studied by him shows the fact that idea, determination, will and ideology played major roles in establishment of the governments after revolutions.
In this case, we should close our eyes to the reality especially one century full of different ideas in France - the 18th century is called the century of enlightenment - and we ignore the efforts made by different political groups in Russia at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century and we should consider that the type of regimes after the revolution in the countries that have been studied by him has had no relations with his ideas and theories.
And the following point mentioned by Scotch Paul does not match with the coming process of event in revolutions. According to what Scotch Paul writes about the role of the intellectual people in the revolution, they do not organize riots due to their ideology but they organize these riots because they were deprived of power in the current regime and they do not have wealth and they are not members of the ruling system.
He has assumed that all the revolutionary groups are the same.
The role of awareness, leader and idea was obvious in the Islamic Revolution of Iran too. Later in 1982, Scotch Paul called his theory about analyzing this revolution as an inadequate theory in the article he wrote under the title of “The Shiite Islam in the Revolution of Iran”?. In this article, he wrote: “If there is one revolution in the world that has been made based on awareness, it is the revolution of Iran.”?
According to him, when Shah wanted to modernize the country in a fast way and did the land reform and industrialized every thing, people immigrated to cities from villages, the modern educational system was developed, Shah attacked the traditional aspects of Bazar [Main and Big Market] and interfered in businesses and controlled them, firing clergymen from educational jobs and the jobs in the Justice Department, people faced with disappointment. And then the government became weak. At that time, the revolution of Iran was made in an aware way by series of the cultural, organizational and historical forms such as the Shiite Islam and the basic legend of the Shiite (Martyrdom of Imam Hossein) and Islamic ceremonies, the network of mosques and “Rouhaniat”? [Clergymen].
In conclusion and in order to evaluate the article written by Scotch Paul, we can say that although he says that the content of his book for analyzing the Islamic Revolution has been inadequate but in his article he has attached importance to the results of “Modernization”? in Iran. He has not mentioned different fact such as the anti - cultural and anti religious activities of the Pahlavi Regime and his dependence to the Western countries - America in particular - and having good relationship with Israel - it means the subjects that were always opposed by the religious groups - and the efforts made by “Rouhaniat”? [Clergymen] - Imam Khomeini in particular - and the Muslim intellectual people for returning to people’s original identities.
And the Islamic Revolution would not be formed if these fundamental Islamic ideas would not be transferred to the minds to intellectuals and university students.
Niki Cadi and the Book “Roots of Iran’s Revolution”?
Ms Niki Cadi starts the Book “Roots of Iran’s Revolution”? with the question if Iran’s revolution was religious, political or social revolution or another thing? Then she answers: “It seems that the revolution of Iran was a combination of all of them; because social and political dissatisfaction during tens of years had been mixed with the original Islamic connection between different sectors of people who presented a new commentary on religion that justified revolutionary ideas. And then this dissatisfaction spread in the society.”?
She intends to be classified in the group of theorists that defend multi - reason theories. But considering the whole path that she goes through in her book, we study her ideas and theories.
Generally speaking, the Book “Roots of Iran’s Revolution”? lacks any organized frame work. This book has been written based on narrating historical events. The book has been written in nine chapters. As for the subjects discussed in this book; we can refer to “Religion and the Iranian Society up to the 19th Century”?, “Agricultural, Industrial and Commercial Economy”?, “The Role of Foreign Governments in Iran as far as Considering Economic, Political and Cultural Aspects”?, “Sectarian Movements”?, “Report of Reformers such as Ghaem Magham - e Farahani, Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir and etc.”?, “The Role of Clergymen and Their Social Position and Their Influence on the Government and Bazar”?, “Agriculture and Industry and the Influence of Modernization on Them”?, “Women and Their Role in Social and Political Changes in Different Periods of Time”?, “Revolutionary Uprisings and Movements”?, “Status of Iran at the Time of Reza Shah and His Programs”?, “The Role of Intellectuals in Political and Social Changes of Iran”? and “Revolution and Revolution in Power till the Early 1360’s Decade”? [1360’s is equal with 1980’s decade].
In a chapter under the title of “New Political Idea of Iran”?, Cadi has discussed modern and literary tendency in Iran up to 1960. Then she has quoted Jan Richard when introducing the contemporary Shiite ideas. In this part of the book, ideas of Jalal - e Al - e Ahmad, Imam Khomeini, Taleghani, Bazargan, Shariati and Bani Sadr are written.
Generally speaking, considering the content of the book, we can say that Cadi believes that the following elements were the reasons for occurrence of the Islamic Revolution: Approving “Land Reform”? Law and implementing this law and consequently its negative influence on different sectors of the society, political suppression, lack of freedom, changing and becoming radical the Shiite ideas and become radical.
The book has how ever no theoretical style.
Considering this point and the claim made by her, some of the writers have categorized her in the group of multi - reason theorists. Correctness of this opinion should be studied more; but considering the method of the book in following the social - economic changes in the contemporary history of Iran, we categorize her in the group of bi - reason.
In a new book under the title of “Consequences of Iran’s Revolution”?, Niki Cadi has explained her opinion on a number of changes after the Islamic Revolution in three chapters. These chapters are namely “Policy of Economy during Ruling of Ayatollah Khomeini”?, “Politics and Economy in Iran after Ayatollah Khomeini”? and “Society, Culture and Ideological Life”?.
Considering the fact that the subject of this book is post revolution period of time in Iran, I do not enter this discussion.
The Book “Roots of Iran’s Revolution”? can be criticized considering the aspect that it has focused on social - economic changes with a historical approach.
In addition to that, there are misunderstandings or obvious mistakes observed in this book. These cases are mostly in the first chapter of the book which includes topics related to the religion and the Iranian society up to the beginning of the 19th century. Meanwhile, this book has good reasonable and positive points.
In order to complete the subject of pathology of westernized theories and showing their inadequacies, we study the main inadequacy that is lack of the cultural view.
Cultural View in the Theories about the Islamic Revolution of Iran
Cultural views and written works are told to the group of views which are about occurrence of the Islamic Revolution out of which one or more than them have been known as main or key role:
* The views that have known the main target of the revolutionary people as strengthening of Islam and establishment of Islamic Republic and brining spirituality to the political stage
* The views that explained that fight of the Pahlavi Regime with the Islamic appearances and the Islamic culture of the society of Iran as the reason for occurrence of revolutionary uprising in Iran
* The views that emphasized on the role of Shiite ideology which consisted of its inner content; it means the anti - cruelty nature and the nature of seeking justice in this ideology both considering the role of religious ceremonies such as the role of historical religious anniversaries such as Tasou’aa and Ashoura, Eid - e Fetr [The first day after Ramadan Month on which Muslims finish fasting and celebrate] as well as the role of ceremonies for honoring and commemorating martyrs and the role of historical movements and uprisings
* The views that referred to the role of religious leadership of Imam Khomeini and religious structures in the society such as the role of “Rouhaniat”? [Clergymen] and mosques in planning the strategies for the revolutionary movements and mobilizing people and bringing different sectors of people into the political stage
* The works, articles, books and researches that have been written based on theories of dialogue including the theory of Lakla and Mouf and analyzed the reasons of occurrence of the Islamic Revolution; although these works merely pay attention to the hegemony of revolutionary dialogue not to its being true due to the characteristics that the theories of dialogue have and that is the dominance of relativity in them.
There are many written works that believe in the role of the cultural elements and fields; but they do not attach key important to these elements. They have discussed about these cultural elements on the side of other elements and even in layers lower than other elements.
Here, we review and introduce clear examples out of the cultural views and written works:
Cultural views and written works form a considerable part of existing works regarding the occurrence of the Islamic Revolution. In this regard, we can refer to the opinions of the following thinkers and writers:
A - Imam Khomeini
B - Morteza Motahhari
C - Hamid Enayat
D - Seyed Hamid Rouhani
E - Ali Davani
F - Abbas Ali Amid Zanjani
G - Michel Foco
H - Manouchehr Mohammadi
I - Hamed Elgar
J - Saeed Amir Arjmand
K - Mohammad Shafee’ee far
L - Hamid Parsa Niam
M - Mohammad Bagher Heshmat - zadeh
N - Hamid Reza Akhavan Mofrad
O - Leili Eshghi
In addition to the above mentioned thinkers and writers, we can include the analyses which have been made based on the theory of dialogue in the cultural views; because they believe in dialogue and its role in social and political changes. It is obvious that theories of dialogue suffer from problems related to knowledge of insight such as special relativity and other problems which are clearly and directly in contrast with our cultural beliefs and the cultural views.
Here, as good examples, we introduce and elaborate on two important views of Imam Khomeini and Professor Motahhari.
A - Imam Khomeini
Imam Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution and the founder of Islamic Republic of Iran - who has played and programmed all leadership roles and functions in the revolution very well - believed in a full cultural element when answering to what the Islamic Revolution was and why it should happen. He elaborated on these issues in his leaflets published before the Islamic Revolution and the lectures that were delivered before and after the Islamic Revolution. These roles were namely the role of commander, architecture and ideologue. And the functions are namely planning strategies and tactics of the revolutionary movement.
From the point of view of Imam Khomeini, we should seek for the secret of occurrence of the Islamic Revolution in change in spiritual mood of people; it means belief and seeking Islam, asking for establishment of the Islamic Government, putting trust in God, seeking martyrdom and unity of the nation based on Islamic basis and self confidence:
The secret of your victory was first strong belief and then unity. (The base of this movement is rooted in two things: the first thing is the foreign and domestic pressure and very close political atmosphere, lack of freedom and the second one is our wish for establishing an Islamic Government and one government of justice.)
We have not overcome these problems with the natural power; it was only because of trusting in God that our nation achieved victory in this movement and we could overcome to problems.
We know that this great revolution - that cut the hands of super powers and cruel regimes and people from Iran - achieved victory with the divine helps.
In other words, Imam Khomeini believed that finding a new understanding about religion, relying on God and putting trust on him, unity among all people and the fact that people became aware of the pressure of lack of freedom and the corrupt actions of the Pahlavi Regime caused occurrence of the Islamic Revolution.
From the point of view of Imam Khomeini, we can describe the characteristics of the Pahlavi Regime and the situation in Iran before the Islamic Revolution - which were influential in occurrence of the Islamic Revolution - as the following.
* Much Political Limitations and Lack of Freedom in the Shah Regime
In brief, we can say that the Shah put intolerable political pressure on people. And it has caused people to be in dire straits such that they started an uprising all together.
2 - Ruling of American Counselor
There were 45 thousand or 60 thousand and even mentioned in a reference that there were 80 thousand Americans that administer our government. And many of them were counselors. American counselors have power in Iran not the Shah?
3 - Support of Shah from Israel Regime
The full support of Shah from the occupier regime of Israel was one the reasons that Muslim people of Iran revolted against the Shah. His support to Israel appeared in supplying Israel with its required oil and changing Iran into the market place of Israeli goods and other spiritual supports.
4 - Propagating Immorality, Kashf - e Hejab, Destroying the Thinking Power of People and Propagating the Culture of Getting Westernized and Losing National Identity as well as Deviating Ideas from Real Issues of the Society
[Kashf - e Hejab means forcing women not to use scarf or chador for covering their hair and body according to Islam commands] he number of centers for prostitution and doing immoral works was more than the number of libraries and educational centers in Tehran at that time. That is because the government wanted that the young generation grew aimlessly and were involved in these immoral actions. Then this young generation could not carry out any positive action against the foreign abusers.
5 - Separating Nation from “Rouhaniat”? [Clergymen] and Causing Separation between the “Hozeh Elmieh”? and Universities
[Hozeh Elmieh was and is the center special for teaching and learning Islamic lessons] it was Islam that was the main danger for the Pahlavi Regime. They believed that the danger would disappear if they destroy Islam among people. Then they could do any work and preserve their dominance and ruling. And in order to eliminate Islam, they should eliminate “Rouhaniat”? [Clergymen]. They knew that clergymen would protect Islam by the time they exist. And in order to eliminate “Rouhaniat”?, they intended to separate “Rouhaniat”? from people. Therefore, they started vast propagations on separating “Rouhaniat”? from people - and they are doing the same at the present time too- they believed that people would not have any support if they become far from “Rouhaniat”? and they could achieve their objectives. And they believed that the nation could not carry out any important action by itself.
6 - Financial Ruin
Financial ruin and problems included ruin of agriculture due to the “Land Reform”? Law, depending on the imported food stuff and plundering the public properties. The whole program was basically the program of ruining and destroying. They totally eliminated farming and agriculture under the name of “The Land Reform Law”?. And this way, they created a market of food stuff for America in which has a lot of wheat.
In the point of view of Imam Khomeini describes the ordinary revolutions of the world are earthly and materialistic revolutions and the revolution of Iran a divine revolution and consequently an Islamic movement.
In his point of view, the damages to the revolution and the Islamic Republic are mainly inner damages. And division between the intellectuals, officials and foundations of the government can be the most important damage.
From the other side, spreading revolution is a necessary duty; because Islam is a global religion. Nations should how ever accept this message voluntarily not by using military actions and by interfering in their affairs.
Imam Khomeini also looks at the issue of spreading revolution as a defense tactic that delays the attack of enemies against the Islamic Revolution. As for the methods of spreading Islamic Revolution in other countries; he has referred to unity, acting based on Islam commands and propagating Islam commands in foreign countries in particular. He believed that Islamic Revolution will be spread in all parts of the world if we have pure intention.
B - Professor Motahhari:
Views and written works of Professor Motahhari about the Islamic Revolution of Iran can be also categorized in the group of the cultural written works. First, we focus on three concepts in his point of view:
1 - Definition of Revolution
Revolution means the uprising of people in one area or land against the cruelty of the current ruler in order that a favorable order is established and formed. In other words, revolution is included in the category of riot and rebellion against the ruling system in order to establish another situation. This way, we can come to the result that there are two roots for any revolution: one of them is dissatisfaction and anger with the current situation and the other one is the ideal of a favorable situation.
Any revolution is the result of series of dissatisfaction. It means that people are dissatisfied and angry with the ruling system and they wish a favorable situation. In this case, grounds are paved for occurrence of a revolution. Now, I want to explain the complementary part of this subject. And that is the fact that dissatisfaction is not merely enough for occurrence of a revolution; because people may be upset with their situation for a period of time. And they may wish another situation. And at the same time they might not revolt. What is the reason of that?
That is because that nation has the spirit of satisfaction and obedience. They may have the spirit of accepting cruelty and this spirit may prevail in this society. Such people are dissatisfied; but at the same time, they accept being oppressed. A nation revolts that is dissatisfied and at the same time this nation has rebellious spirit and the spirit of refusing cruelty. Here, the role of schools of thought becomes clear. It is one the characteristics of Islam that advises its followers to “Jihad”? [Fighting in the way of God], “Commanding for the right and good actions”? and “Prohibiting from bad and wrong actions”?. This way, Islam gives its followers the spirit of fighting and protesting against the unfavorable situation.
2 - Nature of Revolutions
In contrary to some schools of thought that believe that the nature of revolutions is the same - and this nature is consisted of being materialistic and economic - while their forms are different from each other, not all the revolutions have the materialistic root. It is how ever possible that some revolutions are rooted in separation of the society into two poles economically; but many of the revolutions have had political and or religious and ideological roots; it means that when there are people who believe in particular religion and then they see their religion in danger and start uprising, it is not related to being hungry or full.
3 - Direction and Origin of Divine Movements
According to Islam, divine movement target at “Mostaz’afin”? [Mostaz’afin is said to the poor and oppressed people of the world]; but the origin of revolution is not necessarily “Mostaz’afin”?.
According to Islam, the movement of the prophets is for the benefit of the deprived people; but this responsibility is not limited to the deprived people. Lack of understanding about this different between the direction and root of revolution has been the origin of many mistakes.
Social groups and classes - either the deprived people or other people - are addressed by Islam; because there is one person who is imprisoned and oppressed inside any cruel system. And at the same time, the deprived people naturally reply positively to the invitation of God; because the cruel person or group should give back the rights of others by accepting this invitation. But the deprived person has both replied to his nature and gained some thing materialistically.
Nature of the Islamic Revolution from the Point of View of Professor Motahhari:
As confessed and emphasized by many thinkers and theorists, the revolution of Iran is a special and unique revolution. It means that there is no similar revolution to this revolution in this world. This revolution was an Islamic revolution in our opinion. But the meaning of “Being Islamic”? should be clarified. It is obvious for us that “Islam”? is not mere spirituality as the westerns think about religion- and it is true not only about the current revolution but also about the revolution at the time of appearance of Islam. The revolution at the time of appearance of Islam was a political revolution while at the same time it was religious and Islamic revolution. And it was also spiritual and political revolution. It was economic and materialistic revolution too. It means that being free from earthly limitations, freedom, justice, being against social prejudice and social gap were included in the Islamic lessons. This great treasure of humanitarian values that were hidden in the Islamic lessons became part of knowledge of people in Iran since 20 years after the appearance of Islam. These values were spread by a number of good and real Islamologists. It means that it was told to people that Islam is the religion of justice. Islam is opposed to prejudice among different sectors of the society. Islam is the religion of freedom and having free soul. This way, in addition to spirituality, other ideals and concepts such as equality among people, freedom, justice and so on were influenced by Islam and found their places on minds of people.
When such concepts came into the minds of our people, the recent movement of Iran prevailed and spread every where.
This movement was both in villages and cities. It was started and continued by both deprived people and the rich people, the workers and farmers, business men and other ordinary people who did not do business, intellectual people and ordinary people. All these people participated in this movement. And it is because of the fact that this movement was an Islamic movement in which all different groups moved on one path and one line. And the most important thing is the fact that our movement could achieve another great victory too. And it was causing harmony among people and standing against the western and eastern countries. Our movement could tell people that you have one independent school of thought and one independent idea. And you can stand on your feet and just rely on you.
The Ways of Knowing the Nature of Islamic Revolution of Iran from the Point of View of Professor Motahhari
In the point of view of Professor Motahhari, a revolution occurred in Iran which its origin was in mosques and newly born revolution. In order to know this revolution, we can study through the following ways:
1 - Studying Quality of Leadership of the Revolution
The reality is that many groups made efforts to lead the movement; but they did not achieve any success in this field. And the leader was chosen spontaneously. What happened that the society selected Imam Khomeini as the leader? Imam Khomeini became the leader of the revolution because he had the characteristics and advantages of a leader such as being honest, brave, open mind and decisive. In addition to that, Imam Khomeini was in the ideological path that was conformed to the Iranian people’s ideas and needs.
* It was impossible that our movement and revolution spread this much vastly all around the country if Imam Khomeini was not the religious and Islamic leader of this movement and if the Iranian people were not deeply familiar with Islam in their hearts and if there was no love of our people to the family of the Islam Prophet and if people did not feel that it was the words of the Islam Prophet, Hazrat Ali and Imam Hossein that comes out of the mouth of Imam Khomeini. The secret of success of leadership was fighting in the frame work of Islamic concepts.
2 - Flag Holders of the Islamic Revolution
Which people carried the flag of the Islamic Revolution on their shoulders? Was it just one particular sector of people? Or was it the whole people? There is no doubt that this vast and wide spread revolution included all groups and sectors of the society. And even the deprived groups of people participated in the demonstrations. They insisted to say that their demonstration was not due to low salary. They insisted to say that their demonstration was because of executing Islamic rules. They felt shy to say: “Our revolution is because of welfare and materialistic issues.”?
In the subject of flag holders of the Islamic Revolution, Motahhari has referred to the role of Shiite “Rouhaniat”? [Clergymen] and the reasons for their historical role of them in this movement:
There have been two main reasons for the fact that Shiite clergymen caused and started and were the origin for great movement during the history. One reason goes back to the special characteristic of the culture of Shiite “Rouhaniat”?. The Shiite culture is a live and motivating movement. This culture creates revolution. This culture is fed by the method and thoughts of Hazrat Ali.
This is the culture that has the event of “Ashoura”? in its history. This culture has “Sahifeh Sajjadieh”? and the innocent imams for 250 years. None of the other cultures has such motivational elements in them. And the second reason goes back to the fact that the Shiite “Rouhaniat”? was basically opposed to the cruel and expansionist ruling powers; the “Rouhaniat”? that is independent from the government.
3 - Roots, Reasons and Origins of Occurrence of the Islamic Revolution
In the opinion of Professor Motahhari, we should analyze the history of Iran during the last 50 and even 100 years in order to know the roots of occurrence of the Islamic Revolution:
The important element that influenced and included other elements and could change and unify all sectors of the society and bring them into one particular path was the fact that Islamic emotions and values of people were disrespected.
From the point of view of Professor Motahhari, the following events occurred in our country during the Pahlavi Regime that were against high value Islamic objectives. These events were opposed to the ideals of reformers of the country:
1 - Rough dictatorship and lack of freedom
2 - Influence of the modern expansionism; it means the hidden type of expansionism
3 - Keeping away and omitting religion from the political stage
4 - Making efforts for taking back Iran to the illiteracy of before Islam and eliminating Islamic mottos
5 - Distorting the valuable Islamic heritage
6 - Propagating and spreading the governmental Marxism
7 - Brutal murder of people, imprisonment, tortures and illegal exiles
8 - Prejudice and increase of social gap day by day; it was despite having the claim of reforms
9 - Dominance of Non Muslim people on Muslim people in the government and administrations
10 - Obvious breaking of rule and regulations of Islam Religion
11 - Fighting with the Islamic Persian Literature that preserved the Islamic soul of Iran; and it was carried out under the name of fighting with foreign words
12 - Cutting relations with the Islamic countries and establishing relations with the Non Muslim countries such as Israel and America
In his opinion, we should add disappointment with the western liberalism and eastern socialism among the nation to the above mentioned reasons for occurrence of the Islamic Revolution.
In addition to that, Islamic writers succeeded to show the beautiful and attractive face of the real Islam to the contemporary generation since Shahrivar 1320 [September 1941].
Source: Quarterly Books of Shahed Andishe