Wednesday, September 9, 2009

After the Revolution

"Iranians are too sophisticated to be ruled for ever by a clutch of old men in turbans. The regime has been illiberal and authoritarian. It is often vicious in its suppression of opponents and its disregard for human rights. Iran has the highest rate of judicial executions per head in the world."

- The Economist, 20th June 2009

The Germans were too sophisticated to be ruled by a short corporal. They were illiberal (to put it mildly) and authoritarian (ahem!).
The excelled in everything: from sophisticated composers ranging from Bach, through Beethoven and Brahms, and – whoops! – Wagner, to philosophers like Kant and Nietzsche.

Yet it took a less sophisticated people – the Russians – to stop them.
After the Iranian revolution, the revolutionaries found they had no plan: no one had thought of what kind of regime would replace the Shah's. The only people who had a blueprint – and one from heaven – were the mullahs. Otherwise, the nation would have descended into chaos.

It has been estimated that 11% of Iranians took part in the revolution; the corresponding figure for the Russian revolution is 9%; and for the grand daddy of them all, the French revolution, it is 6%.

All three revolutions had one thing in common: no one knew what to replace the previous regime with, except the mullahs, the Bolsheviks and Napoleon.

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