Joined: 09 Feb 2007
|Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:05 am Post subject: The White ( non- ) Revolution in ( Post WW2 ) Iran
|THIS IS A "STORYVILLE" DOCUMENTARY ON THE SHAH OF IRAN'S PARTY AT PERSEPOLIS WHICH ANTAGONISED THE PEOPLE IN IRAN - AVAILABLE UNTIL 10/03/16 -
- The Shah's regime sort of epitomises the political incompetence of any Monocracy : on the one hand he purposefully propogated a form of " White " politics through a series of far-reaching socio-economic reforms - but he was only imitating Republican politics and he employed violence to enforce them. In reaction to his own bigger " black faction " arresting, torturing, jailing and killing his opponents many smaller " black factions " arose and eventually they thought that they had found a leader in the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini but after his return the consequences were as Republicanism predicts : in a society where control of the government is contended for through violence those who are the most violent will win ... so a bad " black faction " will either be replaced by an even worse " black faction " or between them as their conflict escalates into civil war they will either destroy their society themselves by consuming all of its resources in the pursuit of victory - or perhaps more frequently, as is presently happening in the case of the Syrian civil war, they will reduce their society to such economic dire straits that foreign regimes will proclaim themselves to be invading that society to restore peace - and of course will be doing so for their own purposes. This is what had already happened to The Shah's father's regime after World War Two when he was forced to abdicate and his son was installed to ensure that Iran was pro-West in The Cold War which ensued.
In the 1960s my parents were trying to secure Iranian students the right to remain in The United Kingdom - but many of them were forced to return and their fates were uncertain ; my parents never disclosed to us what happened to those young earnestly political Iranian students who sat late at night on the other side of our kitchen table arguing out the business of actually doing politics with my dad as the trade union leader who utterly loathed those who thought that his union was some kind of vehicle for left wing politicos ( he equally loathed the right wing politicos who sat on the other side of his negotiating table.) Our parents taught both them and us to take these kind of conversations as sport ( i.e. which I suspect meant that my Dad had to be sure of winning before he ever sat down to start these games : ever the trade unionist ! ) but it is unlikely that The Shah's police, judiciary or military were very sporting when these guys had said their farewells to us and had to return home ...
... These Iranian students were really quite moderate in their political opinions and there was the rub : they wanted that same modern Iran which The Shah proclaimed to everybody else that he was creating - only he was not ... on paper " The White Revolution in Iran " seemed to echo " The White Revolution in France " in that it supposedly opposed sectarian groups who sought to seize power by violence, especially Reds as had happened in The Thermidorian Reaction, but the reality was that a sectarian group had already seized power by violence and had installed the The Shah with the help of foreign allies. When the moderates tried to actually create a modern political system and limit the power of The Shah, he simply got rid of them - and that is what led to the train of events which resulted in a revolution that resulted in a Hierocracy not a Democracy in Iran, the ramifications of which are not obvious to those who blindly insist that the only viable and correct political system is a Democratic one ( not that any of these madly passionate " Demockerats in Wales " understand what that word means : what they demand is obedience to themselves.)
Oh ... it is late again ... have a read of these ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Iran ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Iran#Pahlavi_era_.281925.E2.80.931979.29
... Reza Shah ruled for almost 16 years until September 16, 1941, when he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. He established an authoritarian government that valued nationalism, militarism, secularism and anti-communism combined with strict censorship and state propaganda. Reza Shah introduced many socio-economic reforms, reorganizing the army, government administration, and finances. ... To his supporters his reign brought "law and order, discipline, central authority, and modern amenities – schools, trains, buses, radios, cinemas, and telephones". However, his attempts of modernisation have been criticised for being "too fast" and "superficial", and his reign a time of "oppression, corruption, taxation, lack of authenticity" with "security typical of police states." ... the Allies invaded in August 1941, and easily overwhelmed the weak Iranian army in Operation Countenance. Iran became the major conduit of Allied Land-Lease aid to the Soviet Union. The purpose was to secure Iranian oil fields and ensure Allied supply lines (see Persian Corridor) . Iran remained officially neutral. Its monarch Rezā Shāh was deposed during the subsequent occupation and replaced with his young son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. ...
... The new, young Shah Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi initially took a very hands-off role in government, and allowed parliament to hold a lot of power. Some elections were held in the first shaky years, although they remained mired in corruption. Parliament became chronically unstable, and from the 1947 to 1951 period Iran saw the rise and fall of six different prime ministers. ... Mosaddeq was briefly removed from power in 1952 but was quickly re-appointed by the shah, due to a popular uprising in support of the premier and he, in turn, forced the Shah into a brief exile in August 1953 after a failed military coup by Imperial Guard Colonel Nematollah Nassiri. ... Shortly thereafter on August 19 a successful coup was headed by retired army general Fazlollah Zahedi, organized by the United States (CIA) with the active support of the British (MI6) (known as Operation Ajax and Operation Boot to the respective agencies). The coup—with a black propaganda campaign designed to turn the population against Mosaddeq—forced Mosaddeq from office. Mosaddeq was arrested and tried for treason. Found guilty, his sentence reduced to house arrest on his family estate while his foreign minister, Hossein Fatemi, was executed. Zahedi succeeded him as prime minister, and suppressed opposition to the Shah, specifically the National Front and Communist Tudeh Party. ... Iran was ruled as an autocracy under the shah with American support from that time until the revolution.
The White Revolution (Persian: انقلاب سفید Enghelāb-e Sefid) was a far-reaching series of reforms in Iran launched in 1963 by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Mohammad Reza Shah’s reform program was built especially to strengthen those classes that supported the traditional system. The Shah advertised the White Revolution as a step towards westernization, but there is little doubt that he also had political motives; the White Revolution (a name attributed to the fact it was bloodless) was a way for him to legitimize the Pahlavi dynasty. ... the White Revolution in Iran represented a new attempt to introduce reform from above and preserve traditional power patterns. Through land reform, the essence of the White Revolution, the Shah hoped to ally himself with the peasantry in the countryside, and hoped to sever their ties with the aristocracy in the city. ... In order to legitimize the White Revolution, the Shah called for a national referendum in early 1963 in which 5,598,711 people voted for the reforms, and 4,115 voted against the reforms. ... Mohammad Reza Shah had intended it to be a non-violent regeneration of Iranian society through economic and social reforms, with the ultimate long-term aim of transforming Iran into a global economic and industrial power. ...
... The White Revolution received most of its criticism from two main groups: the clergy, and the landlords. The landlords were angry about the land reforms because their land was bought by the government and then sold in smaller plots to the citizenry at a lower price. They also did not appreciate the government undercutting their authority when it came to dealing with peasants or land laborers. ... The powerful Shī‘ah clergy were also angered at the reforms that removed much of their traditional powers in the realms of education and family law, as well as lessening their previously strong influence in the rural areas. A "large percentage of the upper echelon of the clergy came from landowning families" deeply affected by the reform and much absentee rent income went directly to the clergy and their institutions. The rents from an estimated 10,000 villages whose rents helped finance the clerical establishment were eligible for redistribution. ...
... The result of the White Revolution was that the rural population could be separated into three groups: prosperous farmers, small landowners, and village laborers. The first group was the only group to really benefit from the land reforms, and this group consisted of former village headmen, bailiffs, and some former landlords. The second group consisted of sharecroppers who received no more than 10 hectares of land. Most of these people ended up trading their land in for shares in state cooperatives. The last group received no land at all, and survived as farm hands, laborers, or shepherds. Many of them migrated to urban centers for work ... What the Shah did not expect was that the White Revolution lead to new social tensions that helped create many of the problems the Shah had been trying to avoid. The Shah's reforms more than quadrupled the combined size of the two classes that had posed the most challenges to his monarchy in the past—the intelligentsia and the urban working class. Their resentment towards the Shah also grew since they were now stripped of organizations that had represented them in the past, such as political parties, professional associations, trade unions, and independent newspapers. Land reform, instead of allying the peasants with the government, produced large numbers of independent farmers and landless laborers who became loose political cannons, with no feeling of loyalty to the Shah. Many of the masses felt resentment towards the increasingly corrupt government; their loyalty to the clergy, who were seen as more concerned with the fate of the populace, remained consistent or increased. As Ervand Abrahamian pointed out, The White Revolution had been designed to preempt a Red Revolution. Instead, it paved the way for an Islamic Revolution ...
.... There was a minor industrial revolution during this period of reform. Port facilities were improved, the Trans-Iranian Railway was expanded, and the main roads connecting Tehran and provincial capitals were asphalted. Many small factories opened up specializing in clothing, food processing, cement, tiles, paper, and home appliances. Larger factories for textiles, machine tools, and car assembly were also opened. Educational institutions also grew after the launching of the White Revolution. Enrollment in kindergarten increased from 13,300 to 221,990, elementary schools from 1,640,000 to 4,080,000, secondary schools from 370,000 to 741,000 and colleges from 24,885 to 145,210. Not only were new schools opening, but they were also instituting new educational policies designed to undercut clerical control over education and religious education. The Literacy Corps also helped raise the literacy rate from 26 to 42 percent. The White Revolution also included certain reforms of women’s rights. Women gained the right to vote, to run for elected office and to serve as lawyers and later judges. The marriageable age for women was also raised to fifteen ...
SO YOU MIGHT THINK " WELL WHY DID THE PEOPLE IN IRAN OBJECT TO ALL OF THIS MATERIAL PROGRESS ? " ... REPUBLICANISM MIGHT ARGUE THAT POLITICS IS NOT EVERYTHING - REPUBLICANISM HAS A MUCH BIGGER CONCEPTION OF THAN MERELY POLITICS : REPUBLICANISM IS ABOUT CONSENTING SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS - THE SHAH COERCED THE PEOPLE IN IRAN : " EVERY ACTION HAS A REACTION " IS THE NATURAL LAW - WHICH IS NOT LIKE HUMAN LAWS WHICH CAN BE BROKEN AND THE CONSEQUENCES EVADED : THE NOMOS IS THE UNBREAKABLE LAW AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE CONSEQUENCES FOR DISREGARDING IT.