Iran's Islamic Revolution in Comparative Perspective Author(s): Said Amir Arjomand Source: World Politics, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Apr.

, 1986), pp. 383-414 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2010199 Accessed: 13/10/2010 15:50
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IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
By SAID AMIR ARJOMAND*

object of this paper is to bring out the theoreticalsignificance of the Islamic Revolution in Iran by focusingon the political dynamics of the radical change in Iran's societal structure domination of and the moral dynamics of reintegration and collectiveaction that accompany it. The political dynamicsof revolutionprimarily explain the collapse of the structureof domination,while the moral dynamics of revolutionunderlie its teleology-i.e., its directionand consequences. In the analysis of the moral dynamics and teleologyof revolution,revolutionaryideology assumes primaryimportance. Revolution can be defined as the collapse of the political order and its replacement by a new one. Modern revolutionsoccur in political orders dominated by the state.I will use the term "societal structure of It domination" to referto the prevalentsystemof authority. comprises the state, which is paramount at the time of occurrence of modern revolutions, but it also includes otherinstitutions and corporateentities measure of autonomous authorityin the religious, juthat have some diciary,or economic spheres. The most importantof these other institutionsis usually the hierocracy i.e., the church or its equivalent. Modern revolutions occur not in stagnant societies, but in those undergoing considerable social change. Social change involves social dislocation and normativedisturbance.The dislocated groups and individuals need to be reintegrated into societalcommunityand may also demand inclusionin politicalsociety. The integrative social and political movementsthat arise to meet these demands have oftenbeen a major factorto the occurrenceof revolutions. contributing The collapse of the societal structure domination in revolutionsis of caused by two sets of factors:the structure's internalweaknesses and and the concertedaction of the social groups and indivulnerabilities, viduals opposing it. Such groups and individuals may have political motives for opposing the regime,usually arising in the contextof the power struggleset in motion by the centralizationof the state. They
* This paperwas completed the Institute Advanced at for Study, Princeton, has and benefited from comments thefellow the of of members theSocial Sciences Seminar for 1984-85.Of thecolleagues friends and whohavecommented earlier on drafts this of paper, I especially wishto thank LewisCoser, Jack Goldstone, Linz,and James Juan Rule.

THE

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whichusuallyrequirethe preconditions mayalso have moralmotives, of socialdislocation normative and disturbance. addition, In theremay be othermotives, such as class interest. The degreeof cohesionand within each socialgroupis a primary determinant its caof solidarity pacityfor collective action;the possibility successful of revolutionary actionusuallydependson theformation coalitions of amongopposing socialgroups.All of theabove factors provide important pointsof referencefor comparisons the of regarding causesand preconditions the IslamicRevolution Iran. in Revolutions and shouldbe compared terms onlyof their can in not causes and preconditions, also of theirconsequences. but Those integrative socialmovements whichsuccessfully buildon thepreconditions of social dislocation and moraldisorder createrevolutionary to movements so byusingideology an instrument. ideologies do as The thatset therevolutionary struggle motion are shapedin itscoursebridge in and thegap between causesand theconsequences revolutions. the of They cannotaccountforthe collapseof thesocietal structure domination of to anysignificant thatform degree.On theother hand,thevalue-ideas theirnormative foundation, are oftenprogressively and definedand formulated do the order during revolutionary process, shapethepolitical installed therevolution a significant to extent. by A comparative of analysis theteleology theIslamicRevolution of thus a and of The requires serious systematic analysis revolutionary ideologies. modernpoliticalmythof revolution and the variousideologiesonto whichit has been grafted thepasttwo centuries have constituted a in to causal factor motivating in revolutionary opposition the statusquo, but it would be a serious mistake stoptheanalysis there. to Ideologies are of primary theoretical in constitutive value-ideas interest thattheir determine teleologies therespective the The and of revolutions.' nature specific content thevalue-ideas distinguish of that different revolutionary therefore for ideologies supply basicpoints reference comparison the of of withthe teleology theIslamicRevolution. These latter comparisons enableus to assessthedistinct of significance Iran'sIslamicRevolution in worldhistory.
I.
A. THE CAUSES AND PRECONDITIONS OF THE MONARCHY OF THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

THE

COLLAPSE

on The emphasis recent of scholarship the role of the state,its reto seriouscriseshas brought and its ability weather pressive capacity,
X

The logic of the analysisrequires that I exclude the unintendedconsequences of rev-

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

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out thefact thatrevolutions often owe their success moreto theinternal breakdown paralysis thestate and of thanto thepowerofrevolutionary groups.2 has beenarguedthatthedecisive It factor theoccurrence in of a revolution thefragility theexisting is of political system.3 Centralization of monarchical statesreducesthe degreeof pluralism society in and increases political its fragility. Among political the regimes themodern of world,monarchies especially are fragile and vulnerable revolution to becausepopular discontent be focused a single can on person. TocqueDe ville, who considered hatred theOld Regime that of dominated other all the also howthat hatred passions throughout French Revolution, showed focused a singleperson, king:"To see in himthe on the becamefatally commonenemywas the passionate thatgrew."4 agreement The same can be said abouttheShah,whoseouster was theone common demand that brought almostall of the disparate sections Iranian of together the of in society. Furthermore, same property the monarchical system the rise Iran goes a longway towardexplaining meteoric of Khomeini and as anti-monarch theShah'scounter-image. is call "neopatrimonial" also The typeof political regimewe might In to of characterized itsfragility. contrast theideal-type theabsolutist by servant the state, is of statein whichthe kingis the first government in patrimonial states. executive The chief extremely personal encourages elitein orderto rule.Such within armyand thepolitical the divisions statesare particularly neopatrimonial subjectto collapseand ensuing The MexicanRevolution that revolution once the rulerbreaksdown.5 Diaz in I9II, as well as the was set in motion thedeathof Porfirio by Cuban and the Nicaraguanrevolutions, be citedin support this can of In the proposition. his regime, Shah combined weaknesses the the of of He states withtheold vulnerabilities monarchy.6 had neopatrimonial constructed machinery thestate the of aroundhisperson; painstakingly can be no doubtthatthecollapse themanpreceded collapse there of the waof the machine. This collapsewas evident the Shah's pervasive in
olutionsand confinethe pointsof comparisonto thoseconsequencesthatare prefigured in the goals of the historical actorswho eventually appropriatethe revolution. 2 Charles Tilly, From Mobilization to Revolution (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley,I978); and Social Revolution Theda Skocpol,States (London and New York: Cambridge University Press, I979); Ekkart Zimmermann,Political Violence,Crisesand Revolution(Cambridge, MA: Shenkman, i983), 309-14. 3 Jean Baechler,Revolution (New York: Harper & Row, I975). 4 Alexis de Tocqueville, The EuropeanRevolution and Correspondence Gobineanu,ed. with and trans.by JohnLukacs (New York: Doubleday Anchor, I959), 82, I09. 5 S. N. Eisenstadt, Revolution and the Transformation Societies(New York: Free Press, of I978); JackA. Goldstone,"The Comparativeand HistoricalStudyof Revolutions," Annual Review of Sociology8 (i982), i96-97. 6 The Shah was aware of these vulnerabilities, and, in I978, knowing he had cancer, began trying make theregimemore"democratic" thesuccession hisson. Mohammad to for of Reza Pahlavi,Answerto History (New York: Stein & Day, i980).

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he (for and indecision example, could notmake up his mindto vering untilit nationalist opposition for appointa primeminister the liberal, and of combination rewards threats, was fartoolate),in hisinconsistent use inhibited of force.7 and in his highly the of character his statenotwithstanding, Shah The neopatrimonial force.He armyand police and well-equipped did have a disciplined movethe to effectivelyrepress revolutionary refused use them to simply to ment.The Shah pretended be usingthearmy.He declaredmartial law in some citiesin late summerof I978 and installeda military of the But in government November. after BlackFridaymassacre Septhe tember8, I978, he had muffled army,to the outrage of his generals.

8 about250 in theSeptember massacre, in This is reflected low casualties, three and five about 750 in Tehranin thefollowing months, probably 2I, for thisfigure thewholeofIran.On December I978, thePrime times his and attack from bedGeneralAzhari-aftera mildheart Minister, of of ambassador the demoralization the to complained the American to the forbidding troops to armywhichhe attributed theShah'sorders how badlyabused or pressed."You fireexceptin the air, no matter This mustknowthisand you musttellit to yourgovernment. country make up his mind."8 is lostbecausethekingcannot largely Unlike the Czar's troopsin I9I7, the Shah's armyremained leaflets i6, on he intact loyaluntil departed January 1979. Khomeini's and of There wereinstances fraterniamongthesoldiers. were distributed were twelveofficers and zation withthe demonstrators of desertion; soldiersof the ImperialGuard; a mutiny killed by threerebellious in occurred Tabriz in December;and therewere a numberof other troublewith paramilitary There was also persistent minorincidents. the But of technicians theAirForce,knownas theHomafaran. overall, the affect morale with of strain confrontation thepeopledid notseriously the It after Shah'sdeparture of and discipline thearmedforces. was only pressure of of thatthe process disintegration the armyunderpolitical the use of the armyfor I set in seriously. do not wish to assertthat We the wouldhaveprevented revolution. will never massive repression to his if knowwhatwouldhavehappened theShah had ordered forces were and November I978, whenthey in be brutally repressive October or The turmoil. army might might notyetaffected therevolutionary by
7Ibid., i68-7I; William H. Sullivan,Missionto Iran (New York: W. W. Norton, i98i), (New York: in J. Jerrold Green, Revolution Iran: The Politicsof Countermobilization Praeger, i982), 92-I24. for The figures Tehran are takenfroma Master'sthesisforTehran 8 Sullivan (fn.7), 2I2. to I by University supervised Dr. Ahmad Ashraf. am grateful Dr. Ashrafforthisinformation.
i90;

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

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or not have disintegrated split;the factremainsthatit had not disby I6, integrated January I979. And the opposition knew it.9
but had a strongsense of professionalidentity, The army's officers no attachmentto any particularsolidarysocial group or any organized interests. Furthermore,the Shah had carefullychosen his top generals to assure theycould not act in concertagainsthim,and he had succeeded in that. The generals could have acted under him, but he did not let them. They could not act against him, but neithercould they act for themselvesor any other group. In desperation,some of them finally emphasized made a deal with the clericalopposition.Tilly has correctly challengers to the the importance of coalitions linking revolutionary military.0Although the term coalition would be too strong,the agreement worked out by Bazargan and Beheshtithroughthe mediation of the American ambassador with a numberof the generals was of crucial importance in bringing about a split in the army and its consequent neutralizationin February I979." If the Shah's regime collapsed despite the fact that his army was intact,despite the factthat therewas no defeatin war, and despite the factthat the state faced no financialcrisisand no peasant insurrections, where does all this leave the usual generalizationsabout revolutions? Mostly in the pits. War has been called the midwifeof revolution,and are considered indispensable in many currently peasant insurrections we fashionabletheoriesof revolution.12 The inferences can draw from the case of Iran are as follows: financialand fiscal crises-or, for that matter,the extractivecapacityof the stateand heavy taxation-are not necessaryfor the occurrenceof revolution.It is possible for the societal structureof domination to collapse without the participationof the peasantry; and a major war or defeat of the army are not necessary preconditionsof revolution. I will show how a political order may collapse without any of these conditions.For now, let us merely note that the Cuban Revolution was an instance of a revolutionwithout a rebellionof the peasantryand withouta major defeat in war. Skocpol, whose theoryof revolutionputs a great deal of emphasis on both these allegedly necessaryconditions,cavalierlydismissesCuba in half a footshe note. Furthermore, does not face the theoretical consequences of the
9 Gary Sick, All Fall Down: America'sTragicEncounter withIran (New York: Random House, i985), I42-43'0Tilly (fn. 2), 20. *ISullivan (fn. 7), I99-247. Skocpol (fn. 2), chap. 3 and p. 286; Walter L. Goldfrank,"Theories of Revolutionand RevolutionWithoutTheory: The Case of Mexico," Theory and Society7 (No. 3, I979), I53; Zimmermann(fn. 2), 3I5, 322, 336-42, 352-57.
12

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to I94I, when the revenue receivedby the statefromthe Anglo-Persian Oil Company was in factsmall-some IO to I5 percentof government revenue,and minuscule compared to the oil revenue in the I970s. She mustersa modicum of other plausible but ad hoc subsidiarythemes to account for the Iranian Revolution. However, Skocpol never faces up to the problemof reconciling Iranian Revolutionwith her theoretical the schema of I979.'3 One generalizationis borne out by the revolutionin Iran:'4 the Shah was seriouslycompromisedby his close and subservient associationwith the United States, and the American militaryand economic presence and the presence of a large European work force acted as a major stimulus to mass mobilization. The antiforeign motive in challenging the legitimacyof the societal structure domination findsparallels in of the English, the French, the Russian, the Chinese, and the Cuban revolutions,and in East European fascism.
B. THE STATE, THE HIEROCRACY, AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN SHI ITE IRAN

absence of these factors her subsequent in articleabout the Iranian Revolution. is rightly She determined bring state to the intothepicture, but does so in an unsatisfactory largely deploying new pet way, by a state."The basic idea is misleading that the in phrase,"the rentier "rentier state"was actually created Reza Shah from earlyI920S by the

It would be a mistake to equate the societal structure domination of with the state alone. For Max Weber, its major components were the stateand the church. He definedthe two institutions legitimateauof thority analogously,and took care to analyze the relationshipbetween the churchand civil societywhen appropriate.'5 This point is significant because the unique featureof Iran's Islamic Revolution is that it is a crucial stage in the conflictbetween hierocracyand state,while at the same time being a modern politicalrevolution.It is a compositeof two phenomena whose counterpartsin Western historyare separated by centuries. The absolutist statesof Europe had alreadywon the protracted contestwith the Roman Church beforethe coming of the early modern European revolutions.'6In the historyof Iran, the analogous contest
Skocpol (fn.2), 3i8, n. 2; Theda Skocpol, "RentierState and Shi'a Islam in the Iranian Revolution,"Theory and Societyii (No. 3, i982), 265-304. On the Cuban Revolution,see JohnDunn, ModernRevolutions: Introduction the Analysis a Political Phenomenon An to of (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, I972), chap. 8. ' Samuel P. Huntington, Political Orderin ChangingSocieties(New Haven: Yale University Press, i968), 304-o6. '5 Weber,Economy and Society vols.),ed. byGuentherRothand Claus Wittich (2 (Berkeley: of University CaliforniaPress, I978), I, pp. 54-56 and II, chap. I5. i6 Otto Hintze, "The State in Historical Perspective," Reinhard Bendix and others, in

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declared the state religionof Iran in I50I, but the hierocracyremained heteronomousand subordinateto the statefora long time,consolidating its power and autonomyonly at the end of the i8th and the beginning of the i9th century. The curtailment the power of the hierocracy of and the appropriationof many of its prerogatives and functions the state by took place in the 20th century.The Shi'ite religious authoritieswere and remained doctrinallyand institutionally independent of the state, however: theyretainedtheirautonomous religiousauthority well as as their control over appreciable resources independent of the state bureaucracy.'7 The Western revolutionswere directedagainst stateand church.The church had been anglicized in England, gallicized in France, and disestablished by Peter the Great in Russia; in all instances,it was an integral part of the monarchical regime. In the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the entire beleaguered Shi'ite hierocracyrose against the state. the (This was partlydue to the Shah's fateful ineptitudein not splitting Shi'ite hierocracy time; thereis now evidence thatsome of the grand in ayatollahs were ready for a compromiseby the summer of I978, and a split did in factoccur afterthe revolution.) For analyticalreasons,too, it is importantto conceive of the societal structure dominationin more inclusiveterms.Revolutionary of situations occur because of the disintegration central authority. With the disof integrationof the authorityof the state,other elements of the societal structureof domination assume greaterimportance.Corporations and individuals with authorityin other spheres of life can extend their authorityto the political sphere and assume positionsof leadership. In such situations,they emerge as "natural leaders" of the people. The and men of religioncan use theirtraditional in hierocracy authority this In fashion,and have oftendone so-for instance,in Spanish history.'8
eds., State and Society: Reader in Comparative A PoliticalSociology(Berkeley:University of California Press, i968); BertrandBadie and Pierre Birnbaum, The Sociologyof the State (Chicago: University Chicago Press, i983), 63, IIo-II. of ' Said A. Arjomand, The Shadow of God and theHidden Imam: Religion, Political Order, and SocietalChangein Shi'iteIranfromtheBeginning i890 (Chicago: University Chicago to of Press, i984). i8 We encounter this kind of situationin rebellionsin Castile in I520, where Franciscan and Dominican monks figuredprominently among the leaders of the Comuneros. Similarly,as the presidentof the Catalan Diputacio, the priestPau Claris assumed the leading position in the rebellionof the summer of i640. When the Spanish people rose against Napoleon in i8o8 withoutany king or government, theywere led by the church-priests and monks. See Gerald Brenan,The SpanishLabyrinth: Account theSocial and Political An of Background the Spanish Civil War (Cambridge: Cambridge University of Press, I943), 42; Perez Zagorin, Rebelsand Rulers,I500-i66o (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, i982), I, pp. 266-67.

between stateand thehierocracy the occurred muchlater.Shi'ismwas

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the Shah out but had no interest whatsoever a theocracy in accepted Ayatollah Khomeini's leadership. The centralization thestatenecessitates concentration ecoof the of and resources. entails It encroachments nomic, coercive, symbolic upon imlocal and provincial as privileges well as fiscaland constitutional and it entailsthe dispossession certainprivileged munities; of social groups. thus inmotion intense continuous It sets an and political struggle. The reaction privileged of of groupsand of autonomous centers power againstthe expansion and centralization the stateis a major source of ofmostifnotall oftheearly modern the Europeanrevolutions:'s revolt Comunerosof the citiesof CastileagainstCharlesV in I520; of the the revolt theNetherlands reaction thecentralizing of to in policiesof Philip II in the I560s; the FrenchCivil War of the i6th century; the revolt theCatalansonceOlivares of had consigned their "constitutions" to the devil,and of Portugalin i640; the earlyphase of the English and theFrondeand thearistocratic Revolution;20 of pre-revolution I787I788 in France.2 In all these cases, and estates corporations reacted when theirautonomy and inherited privileges were threatened the state; by and they usuallyfoundmenof religion their as allies.The dispossessed or debt-ridden of for foundalliesin nobility theNetherlands, instance, Calvinist and In preachers iconoclasts.22 theIranoftheI970s, thepreachers and the chiefdispossessed were solidary groupcapableof reaction thesame group. Threemajorprivileged socialgroups werevictims thecentralization of of the stateunderthePahlavis.The first consisted the tribalchiefs. of The pacification of campaigns Reza Khan (laterto becomeReza Shah) in I92I-I925 brokethepowerof thetribal chiefs and eliminated many ofthemphysically,23 though even resistance themostperipheral in areas suchas Luristan untiltheearly193os. The land and property continued law registry of I922 converted surviving the tribal chiefs intobig land20

olution of 1905-I906.

Iran,manyof the high-ranking members the Shi'itehierocracy of led the popularopposition themonarch to duringtheConstitutional RevIn
I978,

manygroupsand individualswho wanted

notably,the proponents aristocratic of constitutionalism the risinglocal landed gentry and who resistedits increasingly statist policies. See Lawrence Stone, The Causes of theEnglish Revolution(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, I972), 30, 57, 92, I24. De Tocqueville (fn. 4); Alfred Cobban, Aspects the FrenchRevolution(New York: of Norton, I968); Zagorin (fn. i8). 22 Ibid., II, p. 9423 Richard Tapper, Introduction to The Conflict Tribeand Statein Iran and Afghanistan of (London: Croom Helm, i983), 26-28.
21

19Eisenstadt(fn. 5); Baechler (fn. 3), I39; Goldstone (fn. 5), I94-95. By i640, the English Crown had alienateda large segmentof the elite which included,

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landowning of becamemembers thecity-dwelling, As they lords.24 such, manyof thementeredthe Pahlavi upper class, and, as individuals, elite. political attackby the was The Shi'itehierocracy nextto come underfierce it UnderReza Shah,thestatedeprived of all Pahlavistate. centralizing and social privfiscal, its eliminated prebendal, functions, its judiciary and overeducation overreligious its reduced control and greatly ileges, it and In endowments. thefaceof Reza Shah'sdetermination severity, fashion. did not reactin anysignificant with the class of big Reza Shah had reachedan accommodation in who predominated the Iranian landlords, "the thousandfamilies," (Majlis) untili960. It was duringthe first-and onlygenparliament in uine-stage of MohammadReza Shah'sland reform i962 and i963 the including tribalchiefs, "thousandfamilies," the landowning that the wereliquidatedas a class.Once theMajlis was dissolved, "feudal" basis institutional and could not class had no autonomous landowning by dispossession economic and political partial its against complete react of largeholdings land retained Thoughmanyof itsmembers thestate. thusjoiningthe petrofarmers, commercial and becamemechanized remained thePahlavipolitical in of and many them bourgeoisie, though whichwas thepower relationship, the peasant-landlord elite, traditional in for classand accounted itsprominence the basisof the landowning been destroyed.25 Majlis,had undoubtedly had improved and Relations betweenthe hierocracy the monarchy of afterthe resignation Reza Shah-especiallyin the late I940S and was was weak and the hierocracy alarmed I950s, when the monarchy its posture The the threat communism. stateresumed aggressive of by sphere upon thereligious in the i96os and I970s, thistimeencroaching class,the partially to In in the strict sense.26 contrast the landowning institutional did estate havean autonomous Shi'iteclerical dispossessed did. and eventually of basis.It could reactto theexpansion thestate, and by set struggle in motion thecentralization modIn thepolitical
Ann K.S. Lambton,Landlordand Peasantin Persia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, chap. I525 Ahmad Ashraf "Dehqanan, Zamin va Enqelab" [The Peasantry, Land and Revolution], in Kitab-eAgah (i982/I36), I, I I-I2; Eric Hooglund, Land and Revolution Iran, g60-oig80 in (Austin: University Texas Press,i982), 79, 8i; Ann K.S. Lambton,"Land and Revolution of in Iran" (Review Article),Iranian Studies I7 (No. i, i984), 76-77. The destruction the of peasant-landlordrelationshipwas completed in the i960s, during the second and third phases of the reform, withthe schemesfordivisionof land betweenpeasantsand landlords. Though the redistributive effect thesephases was negligible, of in theirsociopoliticaleffect breakingthe traditional links betweenpeasantsand landlordswas profound. 26 Said A. Arjomand, "Shi'ite Islam and the Revolution in Iran," Government and Oppositioni6 (Summer i98I), 293-3i6.
24

1953),

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ernization the state,the dispossessed of social groupsthat retainan institutional forreacting basis againsttheexpanding statestillneed to create coalitions with other socialgroups classes they tosucceed. and if are tribal chiefs made poorly coordinated attempts forge coalition, to a but the separateuprisings Khomeini's of followers and the Qashqa'i and BoyrAhmadtribes Fars in i963 wereruthlessly of suppressed.27 I978, In when an effective coalition come intobeing,it carried did out a revolution. Because of theircommonhatredof the Shah, therevolutionary coalitionof I978 included bulkof Iran'surbanpopulation. the The peasantry notplaya rolein theIslamicRevolution, neither the did and did industrial class.All othersegments thepopulation working of actively opposed the Shah and acceptedKhomeini'srevolutionary leadership. The two mostimportant coalition of partners themilitant clericsconsisted thenew middleclass-government of schoolteachers, employees, the intelligentsia, the white-collar and workers the service in sectorand thetraditional of bourgeoisie thebazaar. The coalition betweenthe Shi'iteclericsand the new middleclass was highly unstable. rested fraudulent It on silenceon the partof the former on wishful and self-delusion thepartof thelatter. did not on It lastlong:having ejectedtheShah,Khomeini no timein liquidating lost theWesternized intelligentsia. The coalition betweenthe revolutionary clericsand the traditional on bourgeoisie, the otherhand,rested moretangible on on grievances bothsidesand on a moresolidhistorical basis.It hasbeenmoreenduring. It is the latestinstance the allianceof the mosque and the bazaar, of and resembles allianceof theurbanbourgeoisie the churchin the and the i ith and I2th centuries Western in Christendom. was forged It in thelate I970s, undertheimmediate of impact theShah'sdestruction of the seminaries Mashad and his massiveantiprofiteering in campaign againstthebazaar merchants retailers.28 and Whydid thenew middleclassloseout? History couldhavegone the otherway-as it did in the case of Nasser'stemporary coalitionwith theMuslimBrothers who had wide popularsupport and werein some waysmuchbetter organized thanthemullahs. 20th-century the In Iran,
Ann K.S. Lambton, The PersianLand Reform (Oxford: Oxford University Press, i969), Tapper (fn. 23), 29. 28 According to Bakhash, 8,ooo shopkeeperswere jailed and as many as 250,000 fined during this campaign in I975 and I976. Shaul Bakhash, The Reign of theAyatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution(New York: Basic Books, i984), I3. The last figureseems too high.
27

In the early i96os, elementsfromthe hierocracy, landlords,and the the

I02-I3;

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degree.It had to centralizing statehad atomizedsociety a considerable the class;and it had and the detached tribal chiefs dissolved landowning a class,a bodyof armyofficers createdan intelligentsia,bureaucratic group; and, lately, industrial/entrepreneurial all of thesewere unan an or socialcommunity, it a tribe, estate, a be attached any solidary to France, In to corporation. partialcontradistinction prerevolutionary threeelements theold civilsociety of had escapedtheatomhowever, ization of Iranian society:the Shi'ite clericalestate;the bazaar and in and urban communities certainolder city traditional bourgeoisie; by group. To these,one quartersthatwere dominated the previous from created chainmigration shouldadd thenewurbancommunities by ruralareas and small townsintothelargercities.It is not surprising, then,thatthe atomizednew middleclass provedto be the proverbial whiletheother socialgroupsin the Marxian"sack ofpotatoes" solidary and werecapableofremarkably concerted action, soon coalition political tookover.29 supervision The Shah had keptthenew middleclassunderconstant or by the secretpoliceand had not allowed it to formassociations to to Moreover, ability act was seriously its gain any political experience. were isolatedfromthe restof its impairedbecausethe armyofficers of elements. Thus, the politicalrepresentatives the new middle class whichwas too closely a withthearmy, could noteasilyform coalition withtheShahand hisregime. therefore decidedto form identified They withtheShi'itehierocracy. a coalition their of place to who According Tilly,contenders are in danger losing action.He collective in a polityare especially disposedto "reactive" action form collective of observes thatforcenturies principal the rightly followeda "reactionary" pattern-i.e., it was "reactive"and "comthat the munal."Thanksto socialevolution, however, is no longer case, in and collective actionhas becomepredominantly "proactive" modern times.30 conceptual This distinction seemsof dubiousvalue: a wholeset and ofrevolutions in paperareboth"reactive" "proactive." analyzed this
29 It is interesting to compare the heterogeneity lack of cohesivenessof Iran's new and middle class withthesame features associatedwithitsWesterncounterpart, whichGouldner erroneously portrays a new class in the Marxian schema. Alvin Gouldner, The Futureof as Intellectuals theRise of theNew Class (New York: Seabury, I979). and s Charles Tilly, "Revolutionsand CollectiveViolence" in Fred I. Greensteinand Nelson W. Polsby, eds., Handbook of Political Science, III: Macropolitical Theory(Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley,I975), 507-I0. It is highlyrevealingthat the period identified Tilly as by markingthe transition fromtraditional modernformsof collectiveaction,the mid-igth to century, coincidedwiththeend of theclassicage of revolutions. Charles Tilly, "How Protest Modernized in France, i845-i855," in William 0. Aydelotte, Allan G. Bogue, and Robert Fogel, eds., The Dimensions Quantitative of Researchin History(Princeton:PrincetonUniversity Press, I972).

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In reality, collective actionthatTillyhad typified "reactive" as does not lose itsimportance after middleof the i9thcentury; it usually the and continues drawon communal to traditional solidarities. Whenever these communalsolidarities class solidarities, are theypertain not to rising but to declining threatened or in socialclasses.The IslamicRevolution Iran alertsus to the undeniable importance reactive of actionin the revolutionary movements thelasttwocenturies, of thosethat including Marx tookto be revolutions rising of classes. Fascinating evidenceforthe importance reactive of actionand traditional communal solidarities revolutionary in movements recently has come to light;it concerns very the Marx withthe groupswho inspired of thathas distorted understanding the phetheory revolution our of for nomenon overa century. myth themiddleclassin theEnglish The of and theFrenchRevolutions longbeenexploded, has notably Hexter by and Cobban.Trevor-Roper's characterization theEnglishRevolution of as the declining "meregentry's" revolution despaircontains eleof an mentof truth, also much exaggeration.3' the otherhand, we but On now know that the revolutionaries I789 were not the capitalist of and the of bourgeoisie,32 that revolutionaries thefirst decadesofthei9th in century Englandand of i848 werenottheindustrial class. working The Englishrevolutionary working classof thattimein factconsisted of theartisans and craftsmen werethreatened capitalist who by industrialization wereholding to thememory thegoldenage of a and on of of basedon mutualtiesand cooperation.33 community smallproducers A recent of study these "reactionary radicals," oneobserver them, as calls concludesthat"commitment traditional to cultural valuesand immediatecommunal relations crucial many are to radical movements." Communal relations seen to be important are resources mobilization for as enabletraditional they communities remain to for mobilized a longtime and in the face of considerable privation.34 and artisans Shopkeepers in predominated theFrench insurrectionsthei830S.35 samegroup of The ofartisans industrial who reacting and against capitalism proletarization,
3' For an assessment of Trevor-Roper'sidea, see J.H. Hexter,Reappraisals History, in 2d ed. (Chicago: University Chicago Press, 1979), 129-3I. of 32 AlfredCobban, Social Interpretations theFrench of Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, i964); JackA. Goldstone,"Reinterpreting French Revolution,"Theory the and Society13 (SeptemberI984). 33 Krishan Kumar, "Class and Political Action in Nineteenth-Century England: Theoreticaland ComparativePerspectives," EuropeanJournal Sociology24 (No. I, 1983). of 34Craig J. Calhoun, "The Radicalism of Tradition: CommunityStrength Venerable or Disguise and Borrowed Language?" American Journalof Sociology88 (No. 5, i983), 886, 897, 908. 35 Tilly (fn. 30, 1972), cited in Zimmermann(fn. 2), 374-75.

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

395

drewtheir standards idiomofprotest and the from past,constituted the backboneof the i848 revolutions Franceand Germany. France, in In the journeymen's corbrotherhoods whichperpetuated traditional the consciousness solidarities theancien and of constituted the porate re'gime leadingrevolutionary element i848. In Germany, in artisan groupswere in prominent therevolutionary movement i848 whiletheproletariat of of was themostquiescent all socialentities.36 if been "Reactionary radicals," concludes Calhoun, "haveseldom, ever, able to gain supremacy revolutions. at thesametime, in But revolutions of With the worthy thename have neverbeenmade without them."37 a IslamicRevolution, groupofreactionary radicals undertheleadership of thecustodians theShi'itetradition of have at lastgainedsupremacy in whatis theoretically mostinteresting modernrevolutions. the of Let us moveon to consider somemovements Marxdid notstudy. that First,thereare the peasantrebellions. Generally speaking, Islamic the Revolution has thisin commonwithpeasantrebellions: draws on it solidarities communal kinship and and and consequently corporate ties, In has manyconservative defensive and features.38 Mexico,therewas themassive of peasantrebellion i8io led byFatherHidalgo and Father Morelos, bothparishpriests.39 Spain,the Carlists' In aim in the i830s has been described the "restoration 'monkish as of ": democracy' the in led to clergy theprosperous Basque and Aragonese yeomanry rising and their defendtheirlocal autonomy fuerosagainstthe centralizing In therewas policyof the Bourbongovernment.40thepresent century, the revoltof Zapata in defenseof the local autonomy traditional of agrarian communities against the expandinghaciendasin Mexico. Thankstothedevout Zapatistas (lawsof 1915 and 1917)and toCardenas of the Mexican Revolution established the security the (1934-1940), or inalienable individual communal holdings ejido-community-owned, in the villages.It shouldbe added thatthe outcomeof the Mexican and Revolution wouldhavebeenmuchlesssecularist moreconservative if the Cristero and lay Catholicsin movement, organizedby priests reaction theanticlerical to policies central of government, themotto with
36 William H. Sewell, Jr.,Work and Revolution France: The Language of Labor from in the Old Regime to 1848 (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress, 1980); BarringtonMoore, Injustice:The Social Basis of Obedience and Revolt (White Plains, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1978), I26, 127. 37Calhoun (fn-34), 911et 38 Georges Lefebvre, "La Revolutionfranqaise les paysans[The French Revolutionand de the peasants],in Etudessur la Revolution (Presses Universitaires France, 1954 franpaise [I933]), 250, 254; Tilly (fn. 30, 1975), 498; Zimmermann(fn. 2). 39Dunn (fn. 13), 52-5340 Brenan (fn. i8), 206-II, 213, note A. In the Second Carlist War (I870-1876), monks and priestsagain led the guerrillabands.

396
I928.4'

WORLD POLITICS
1927-

Viva Cristo Rey (Long live Christthe King), had succeededin

was of bourThe pernicious idea thatfascism a movement thepetty The petty bourgeoisie was geois class has finally been laid to rest.42 in and it is unmovements, somewhatoverrepresented most fascist in in doubtedly overrepresented the Islamicmovement Iran. But it is in We overrepresented all sortsof radicalmovements. findthe "little in riots i6th-century in France people," "menus the peuple," thereligious on bothsides.43 findthemamongthestormers theBastille44 We of and, as we have just seen,we findthemamong the i9th-century radicals E. working class.Recent studies who,for P. Thompson, madetheEnglish from all were supported elements by clearlyshow thatfascist parties and the the social groups,but especially dislocated, dispossessed, the declassed.What is more to the point(and not disputed)is that the of movements came disproportionately the from leadership the fascist from declasse' and the dispossessed, fromdemobilizedarmyofficers, or thosedislocated the bureaucrats (especially by displaced unemployed and the dispossessed redrawing national of boundaries), from occasional communal aristocrat. Nazis also did notfailto tap thetraditional The of solidarities theProtestant countryside.45 and the Islamicmovement Iran are similarin in Europeanfascism elements. there twoimportant But are that they wereled bydispossessed differences. thefascist First, werea heterogeneous whereas leaders group, Khomeini's militant clerics form homogeneous a solidary group. Second, thefascist did control overanycultural leaders nothaveexclusive assets, and had to get theirideas wheretheycould findthem.The Shi'ite of consisted thecustodians a richreligious of tradition. The hierocracy of will presently. consequences thesedifferences becomeapparent
4 Dunn (fn. I3), 49, 64-69; Franqois Chevalier, "The Ejido and Political Stabilityin Mexico," in Claudio Veliz, ed., The Politics Conformity Latin America(Oxford: Oxford of in University Press, I967), i6i-69; Guenter Lewy, Religionand Revolution (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), chap. i6; AlistairHennessy,"Fascism and Populism in Latin America,"in Walter Laqueur, ed., Fascism:A Reader'sGuide (Berkeley:University of CaliforniaPress, 1976), 280. 42 Stein U. Larsen, Bernt Hagtvet, and Jan P. Myklebust, Who Werethe Fascists?Social Roots of European Fascism (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, Richard F. Hamilton, Who i980); Voted Hitler? (Princeton:PrincetonUniversity for Press, I982). 43 Natalie Z. Davis, "Religious Riots in Sixteenth-Century France," Past and Present59

Linz, "Some Notes Towards a Comparative Study of Fascism in Sociological Historical Perspective," ibid.,38-39; Peter H. Merkl, "Comparing the Fascist Movements,"in Larsen and others(fn. 42), 764, 789; Miklos Lacko, "The Social Roots of Hungarian Fascism: The Arrow Cross," ibid.,395-96; Hamilton (fn. 42), esp. 444-55.

44George Rude, The Crowd in the FrenchRevolution(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), cited in Zimmermann(fn. 2), 387. 45Francis L. Carsten, "Interpretations Fascism," in Laqueur (fn. 41), 4i6-i9; of Juan J.

(1973),

85-86.

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION
C. INTEGRATIVE DISLOCATION SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AS REACTIONS TO SOCIAL

397

We can now turnto thepreconditions revolution-the of socialdislocation and moraldisturbance followrapidsocialchange.Let us that beginwithnormative disturbance themostsuperficial at level. The conspicuous consumption thepartofIranianhighsociety on and the abundanceof nouveaux riches producedan acute senseof relative whitedeprivation amongthenewmiddle-class government employees, in collarworkers theprivate sector, schoolteachers. times, and At there was theadded discomfort absolute of deprivation, whichresulted from an acutehousing of shortage was aggravated theinflux a sizable that by foreign workforce and American advisers. In this it discontent context, wouldbe validtospeakofthewidespread of 1977-1978 a confirmation Davies's J-curve continuous of of as rising and Iran's expectations suddenfrustrations.46 GNP grewby30.3 percent in 1973-1974 by a further percent 1974-1975.Then came the and in 42 economic or because themassive debacle-despite, rather of, unregulated inflow oil revenue. of Severebottlenecks skilledmanpower in and infrastructure haltedeconomic in The problem was more growth 1976.47 however. What underlay widespread the desireforrevodeep-rooted, disorientation anomiemore and lutionary changewas a fundamental thana superficial short-run of As and frustration material expectation. Durkheim pointed "crises prosperity" has of disorientation out, generate the normative order.48 There can be no doubt by disturbing collective createdby the massive about the tremendous confusion and disorder inflowof petrodollars, as therecan be littledoubtabout similar just in The consequent senseofmoral confusions Nigeriaand Mexicotoday. should disorder and desireforthe reaffirmation absolutestandards of notbe minimized. Therewas a widespread cultural malaisethroughout and on Iraniansociety, from ranging generalconfusion disorientation riches sharply to and intense thepartof thenouveaux focused rejection offoreign antireligious and cultural influences thepartofthemullahs on of and themerchants thebazaar. In Europe,thesocialist fascist and massmovements werepartof the wave mobilization national and extraordinary of masspolitical integrain tionthatsweptthecontinent theearlydecadesof the20th century.49
46

(No.
47 48

JamesC. Davies, "Towards a Theory of Revolution," American SociologicalReview 27
i, I962). [1897]).

RobertGraham, Iran: The Illusionof Power (London: Croom Helm, 1978). Emile Durkheim, Suicide:A Studyin Sociology (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, I95I 49Merkl (fn. 45), 760-62.

398

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for It is easy to recognize thatthesemovements acted as vehicles the of mobilizedmassesintosocietalcommunity. integration the recently thatreligious movements have oftenperBut one shouldnot forget function thepast. in formed same the Politicalmobilization comesaboutas a result basic social change of whichalso entails considerable socialdislocation. Socialchangedisplaces a largenumber persons of from strata the intowhichtheywere born. These persons yearn and demandinclusion new forms societal for in of movements sects age-oldchannels the and are for community. Religious reintegration such dislocated of individuals. Politicalmovements and partiesare the new channelsfor societalreintegration. Islamic The Revolution demonstrates theold and thenew can combine. that Urbanization theexpansion higher and of education thetwo decin ades preceding revolution the two dimensions rapid social the are of
change most relevantto the problem.Between 1956 and 1976,the urban of from percent 47 percent population Iran increased 31 to 6 (from to

even higher Tehran.This decadealso witnessed unprecedented for an expansionof highereducation.The numberof personswith higher education in quadrupled(to about300,000) and theenrollment universitiesand professional schoolsin Iran trebled about 150,000). These (to factors contributed to significantly the riseof the Islamicmovement. Thousandsof religious associations came intobeing in spontaneously citiesand in universities, acted as the mechanism the social and for of of integration a significant proportion themigrants thecities into and of thefirst-generation students.50 contrast, Shah'sparthe university By allel attempt integrate to thesesamegroupsintohis one-party political system provedto be a fiasco. There is nothing new about dislocated, men and women uprooted new in finding moorings religious moveassociations, and revivalist sects, In ments. England, instance, for "masterless" becamesectaries men many in the i6th and i7th centuries.5' earlyas the 1570s, Presbyterian As Puritan took lectureships rootin townsto an astonishing to degree, the of Church. and became dismay theAnglican Laymen patrons paymasters of the Puritanlecturers, the congregations and around the clustering latter for The became "models ideological party organization."52 situation
50 Arjomand (fn. 26).
5-

of this shift-over one-thirdfor the decade I966-1976, the rate being

i6 million). Rural-urban migration accounts a substantial for proportion

classes were attended by laymen,but it is in the i62os and i630s that

1975), 45-48.
52

Christopher Hill, The WorldTurnedUpside Down (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin,
103, 120-21.

Stone (fn. 20),

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION
i960s

399

strongly resembles growth layreligious the of associations Iran in the in personbut later,when demand outstripped supply, through cassette players-toavid audiences urbanites. find evencloserparallel of We an in theriseof Methodism. thei8thand earlyi9thcenturies, In migrants intothe new industrial townsof Englandflocked theassemblies to of theMethodist preachers. Here,theperspective integration societal of into community brings thesociological out cogency Halevy's of famous thesis: the Methodist Revivalintegrated recently the urbanizedmasses into societalcommunity thusprevented political and in a revolution Engand especiallythe 1970s, where the mullahs preached-at firstin

Fascism,too,actedas the vehicleof integration rural-urban of migrants intosocietal community. Germany, instance, In for "manyofthe new urbanites failedto complete theircultural adjustment citylife to and instead remained curiously vulnerable theagrarian to romanticism of vdlkisch ideologues."54 One-half of the top Nazi partyleaders were bornin largevillages.55 and Literacy Puritanism wenthand-in-hand. sameis trueof the The of growth Islamicscripturalism. Islamicfundamentalism spreadin Iranian universities as Puritanism just had spreadat Oxfordand Cambridge.56 form of Many of the Islamic activists the 1970s, who currently thelaysecond stratum theIslamicregime, of discovered trueIslam" "the at in university just associations, as Cromwellwas reborn Cambridge. in In Fascismspreadat Europeanuniversities a parallel fashion. Eastern activists constituted students young and Europein particular, university thecoreof thefascist and their Rumanian fascism is parties leadership. of particular interest this respect. the early i92os, its leaders, in In Codreanuand Mota,werefounders university of for associations Christian reform and nationalrevivalin the universities Iasi and Cluj, of respectively.57 is education and socialdislocation of parof The combination higher of movethe for ticular importance explaining politicization integrative of ments.The key to the social composition Islamic and university
53 Elie Halevy, The Birthof Methodism England, trans.and with an introduction in by Bernard Semmel (Chicago: University Chicago Press, 1971). of 54Merkl (fn. 45),75755Linz (fn-45),5056 Stone (fn. 20), 96-97; Michael Walzer, The Revolutions of the Saints: A Studyin the Origins Radical of Politics (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, i965), 140-43. 57 Hugh Seton-Watson, The East EuropeanRevolution, ed. (New York: Praeger,1956), 3d 44; Carsten (fn.45), 418; Linz (fn.45), 48-50; JuanJ.Linz, "Political Space and Fascism as and a Late-Comer," in Larsen and others (fn. 42), i67; Zeev Barbu, "Psycho-Historical on Sociological Perspective the Iron Guard, the Fascist Movementof Romania," ibid.,38587.

land.53

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smalltownsto big activists the 1970s is thatthey of either movedfrom generation fromtracitiesto go to universities, theywerethefirst or ditional lowermiddle-class to or universities, both.58 backgrounds attend politicization the of These youngmen contributed therevolutionary to in to educatedcountry gentlemen Englandhad contributed the revowithRumanian faslutionary politicization Puritanism. parallel of The cismis evenmorestriking. thelastIronGuard leader,Sima,put it, As "in I926-27, ouruniversities flooded a bigwaveofyoung people were by and the of sciousness werethusdestroying laststrongholds foreign spirit in our universities."~5 "legionary leadership According EugenWeber, to came fromthe provincial, sons only just urbanizedintelligentsia: or of grandsons peasants, schoolteachers, priests."6o and Max Weber once remarked thatwiththe adventof modernmass the of domination itself changes. "Hierocracy politics, condition clerical a and has no choicebutto establish party organization to use demagogic and means,justlike all otherparties."6' Rapid urbanization theShah's the failureto integrate mobile, uprooted elements-especially socially offered Khomeini newlyeducatedelements-intohis political system for and the corneredShi'ite hierocracy unparalleled an opportunity a mass Using the organcreating politicized revolutionary movement. izational network thelayreligious of and associations Islamicuniversity the the anti-Shah demstudents, mullahs periodically organized massive onstrations closuresof the bazaar whichamountedto a general and strike unprecedented of duration. couldevenhavebrought Perhaps they down a stronger is regime;we will neverknow.What is certain that theclerically general led strike bring did downthefragile Pahlaviregime and itsvacillating ruler.
D. THE POLITICAL AND AND MORAL MINOR MOTIVES OF THE SUPPORTERS OF CLASS OF INTEREST REVOLUTION THE SIGNIFICANCE

Islamic revival of the

i96os

and

1970s

in the same way in which the

of peasant origin ... who brought with them a robust national con-

Politicalmotivemay be defined the motiveto retainor recover as and institutional assetsthreatened expropriated, to gain or and political control political of, political powerby membership and maximally, in, On for a society. the negative side,themoralmotive supporting revo58 Ahmad Ashraf and All Banuazizi, "State and Social Classes and Modes of Mobilization in the Iranian Revolution,"State,Cultureand SocietyI (No. 3, 1985). 59Barbu (fn. 57), 39260 Eugen Weber, "The Men of the Archangel," Journal Contemporary of Historyi (No.

I, 1966), 107.
6,

Max Weber (fn. I5)' II, p.

1195.

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

401

lution maystem from condemnation a regime the of becauseitis unjust, becauseit is servile foreign or in to powers, becauseit is instrumental spreading alien culture an and undermining authentic traditional culturaland religious values.The moralcondemnation the regimeas of as or unjustmay,in turn, due to its beingperceived tyrannical, it be to a senseof relative On maybe due deprivation. thepositive side,the moral motivefor supporting revolution the may resultfromthe acceptance the modernmyth revolution a redemptive of of as collective act.Finally, classinterest actas a motive supporting revolution can for the iftheeconomic interests a class(so defined virtue their of by of position in themodeor system production) protected furthered of are or thereby. With this schema,let us examinethe motivesthatcan plausibly be attributed thesocialgroups to who supported revolution the the against Shah. Political and moralmotives closely are intertwined theattitude in of Shi'itehierocracy. primary The of material interest theclerical leaders was to regainthe prerogatives functions and theyhad lostas a result of the centralization modernization the state.This was trueof and of the leadingclericalmilitants who came fromtraditional urban backgrounds, were in theirforties fifties the timeof the revolution, or at and had a keenawareness thedispossessions theShi'itehierocracy of of The younger militant who wereprimarily by thePahlavistate. clerics, drawnfrom humbler rural small-town saw and backgrounds, all avenues of upwardsocialmobility peoplein their for blockedunder profession thePahlavis.62 an to Theyexpected Islamicgovernment guarantee them rapidsocialascentand fullincorporation thepolitical into system. Boththe clerical leadersand themilitant seminarians were morally at and indignant thespreadof immorality, libertinism, an alien culture underthe Pahlavi regime. a significant In statement, Khomeini'sson identified conservative the members theShi'itehierocracy of who supthe the was ported revolution against Shahas persons whosemotivation moral.63 exclusively The political and moralmotives also entwined the intensely are for and politicized Islamicactivists. lay These first-generation provincial lower middle-class students and graduates, university mostlyin the and saw from Wesappliedsciences engineering, themselves barred the ternized of and upperechelons society highgovernment positions. They,
(Cambridge: Harvard Disputeto Revolution Michael M.J.Fischer,Iran: FromReligious University Press, i980). 63 Quoted in Ervand Abrahamian,"Structural Middle Causes of the Iranian Revolution," Project87 (May i980), 26. East Research and Information
62

402

WORLD POLITICS

too, were motivated the desireto removethesebarriers their by to upwardsocialmobility. wouldbe absurd attribute classinterest It to any to thisyoung"petty bourgeois" groupotherthan the desireto gain into the politicalsystem, move up on the social power and entry to ladder,and to put an end to a cultural climatetheyfoundalien and resented deeply. and moral. The motives thenew middleclasswerebothpolitical of the mobilizedmiddle-class Many of its members-including recently women who figured in prominently the anti-Shah demonstrationswantedinclusion the political in society. They considered Pahlavi the regimetyrannical unjust, and It and accepted myth revolution. the of should be noted,however, thatthe potency the politicalmythof of revolution caused the new middleclass,especially women,to join the theIslamicrevolutionary their classinterests-indeed movement against The traditional of bourgeoisie-themerchants thebazaar,the petty bourgeoisie distributive of of trades,and the craftsmen the bazaar for guilds-was theonesocialgroup which classinterest theprimary was for motive overthrowing Shah. These groupsfelt the threatened the by economic of developmental policies thestate which, amongother things, excluded themfrom also feared encroachthe easyaccessto credit; they mentofthemodern of in sector theeconomy their on territory theform of competing of machine-made goods and new distributive networks and To class interest was supermarkets chain stores. thismotivating added a senseof relative deprivation caused by the tremendous gains made by court-connected as moral industrialists, well as considerable indignation causedbythedisregard Islamand traditional of valuesunder cultural influence. foreign
II.
A. MORAL THE TELEOLOGY OF THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION AUTHENTICITY

suicidally.64

RIGORISM

AND THE SEARCH FOR CULTURAL

The factthat integrative are to social movements reactions social dislocation normative and disorder the of search explains salience their forcultural and moralrigorism. authenticity their
64 It was neither the first nor the last time thata social class participated a revolution in which did not further interests. BarringtonMoore has pointed out, peasants have its As oftenbeen the principalvictims modernization of brought about bycommunist governments they helped create by their participation revolutionary in movements.See Moore, Social Origins Dictatorship Democracy: of and Lord and Peasantin theMating of theModern World (Boston: BeaconPress,1966), 428-29; also see Zimmermann(fn. 2), 339-41, 356. Similarly, the outcome of the French Revolutionwas not especiallyfavorableto thepetitebourgeoisie, thesans-culottes, who most vigorously participated it. Ibid., 387, 407. in

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

403

"Fascismwas a revolution, one whichthought itself cultural, but of in noteconomic terms."65 sameis true theIslamicRevolution, The of which emphatically itself theseterms-evenwhennotexplicitly as saw in so, in the "Islamiccultural revolution" againstWesternism (Eastern) and in atheistic of communism inaugurated withtheclosing theuniversities Aprili980. Sincetherevolution, Iran'ssecular judiciary sytem been has for systematically Islamicized, Shi'iteSacredLaw has beencodified the thefirst timein history, Islamicmorals and and coverage womenare of strictly enforced an especially by created official vigilante corps. Disoriented and dislocatedindividuals and groupscannotbe sucor cessfully integrated a societalcommunity into without creation the "revitalization" a moralorder.66 of Walzeremphasizes thatPuritanism was primarily "response the disorder the transition a to of period."67 Ranulfhas correctly underscored moral rigorism Nazism and the of of comparedit to Puritanism.68 intense The and repressive moralism in theIslamicrevolutionaries reaction themorallaxity to and disorder to of PahlaviIran finds strict in a parallelin Puritan moralism reaction themorallaxity and sensuality theRenaissance of culture, in Nazi and in to of moralism reaction thedecadence theWeimarperiod.Furtherof is more,the parochial rejection cosmopolitanism a commonfeature of the IslamicRevolution and Nazism,and especially EasternEuof ofrevitalized in finds counterpart a Christianity Rumaniaand Hungary
in Khomeini's more systematic to and successful determination extirpate Western cultural pollution by establishingan Islamic moral order.
B. THE REVOLUTIONARY IDEOLOGY AND ITS ADOPTION BY LATECOMERS

The in ropean fascism.69 vehementre'jection culturalWesternism favor of

The revolutions earlymodernEurope were made bymen forwhom of restoration was the key word, and who "were obsessed by renovationby the desire to returnto an old orderof society."The confusedteleology of these revolutionswas marked by an absence of ideologyand by a "which was mainlythe preserve corporateor national constitutionalism of the dominant social and vocational groups."7oIn the English Revo65

George L. Mosse, "The Genesis of Fascism,"Journal Contemporary of Historyi (No.
22.

i,

66 AnthonyF.C. Wallace, "RevitalizationMovements:Some Theoretical Considerations fortheirComparative Study,"American Anthropologist (April 1956). 58 67 Walzer (fn. 56), 313' 31568 Svend Ranulf,Moral Indignation and Middle Class Psychology (New York: Schocken,

I 966),

69Eugen Weber, "Rumania," in Hans Rogger and Eugen Weber, eds., The European Right:A HistoricalProfile(Berkeley: University California Press, I965); Istvan Deak, of "Hungary," ibid., 394; Barbu (fn. 57). 70 JohnElliott, "Revolution and Continuity in Early Modern Europe," Past and Present
42 (I969), 42-44, 48.

I964 [1938]).

404

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lution, "withthenature, source, and grounds political of legitimacy all up forgrabs,therewas almostinevitably greateffusion claimsto a of legitimacy all sortsof grounds, and new."7'Nevertheless, on old two elements predominate theteleology theEnglishRevolution: in of parliamentarianism, Puritanism itsoffshoots. and and If theFrenchRevolution instituted thing all subsequent one for revolutions, is the presence ideology. gave birthto Jacobinism it of It as the classicformof modernrevolutionary ideology. The ideas of constitutional representation national and were sovereignty coupledat the As beginning. the revolution progressed, the however, sourceof legitimacydrifted fromthe representation estatesto the symbolic of embodiment the will of the people.The claim to embodythe will of of thenationas a singlehomogeneous couldonlybe made through entity the manipulation the maximalist of languageof consensus. Presumed embodiments the will of the peoplebecamethe sole and sufficient of basis of legitimacy. During the periodof Jacobin revoluascendancy, tionary legitimacy triumphed; withitstriumph, and revolutionary ideology"filled entire the of sphere power"and "becamecoextensive with government itself."72 distillation theJacobin The of was experiment the modernpolitical of myth revolution. Revolutionary became legitimacy an autonomous and self-sufficient category. In the i9th century, revolutions became"milestones humanity's in inexorable marchtowardtruefreedom and trueuniversality."73 Leninismcombined conception revolution this of withtheJacobin it myth; has becomethejustification theseizureof powerby revolutionaries for who proclaim themselves charge realizing nextstageof socioin of the historical With development.74 theconsolidation Marxism-Leninism of in Russia,Leninistrevolutionary ideology "obtainedcontrol over the interpretationworldhistory."75is thiscontrol of It thatis challenged by thefascist theIslamicrevolutionaries whilethey upholding, and even are like theBolsheviks, myth revolution an actof redemption the of as and liberation oppressed of massesand nations. Bothfascism theIslamicrevolutionary and movement latecomers are tothemodern international political scene. such, As sharea number they of essential features. The foremost theseis theappropriation the of of
72 the Revolution, trans.by Elborg Forster(Cambridge: Franqois Furet,Interpreting French Cambridge University Press, i98i), esp. 29, 48-49, 70-74. 73Eugen Kamenka, "The Concept of Political Revolution,"in Carl J. Friedrich,ed., Revolution: Nomos VIII (New York: Atherton, I966), i26. 74Dunn (fn. 13), 8-I I. 75 JulesMonnerot, Sociology and Psychology Communism in (Boston: Beacon Press, 1960

7 Hexter (fn. 31), 178.

[1949]),

12.

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

405

boastedof The of myth revolution. Italianfascists political legitimatory revtheir and intransigence," theNazis contrasted "revolutionary their revoluof the olution, revolution theGermanvolk,to the "subhuman take Iran'srevolutionaries greatpridein the tion"of 1789.76 Similarly, of mission theIslamicRevolution. historic considerfascist "Economicswas indeedone of the leastimportant (Khomeini,reThe same is trueof the IslamicRevolution. ations."77 once remarked, of aboutthestate theeconomy, to sponding complaints so "we did notmake theIslamicRevolution thePersianmelonwould the theEuropean like fascists, Islamicmilitants be cheap.")Furthermore, intoa national class, the all including working aim at integrating classes, for "nation" "class"and developed substituted The community. fascists was Class conflict thusreplaced nations." of theconcept "theproletarian rich againstpoor. With the Islamic between the conflict nations, by of in transposition thetheme revolutionaries Iran,we havean identical of intotheexploitation the"disof of exploitation one classbyanother ones.78 by inherited" (mustaz'af)nations theimperialist writes Linz, "helpsto explain, is thatfascism a latecomer," "The fact and appeal." Furof anti-character its ideology in part,the essential therewas also an "it thatforeach,rejection thermore, is paradoxical the Like fascism, of of incorporation elements what theyrejected."79 of a has offered new synthesis the movement Islamic revolutionary the And,likethefascists, Islamic attacked. it creeds hasviolently political democracy liberal consider militants against are becausethey democracy of avenuesforfreeexpression alien ina foreign model thatprovides the however, Islamicmilitants and fluences ideas.(Also likethefascists, Similarly, acceptthelabelof "antidemocratic.")8o would notnecessarily cosmopolitan the resenting international bothgroupsare antibourgeois, are of orientation thenewmiddleclass.Bothmovements anti-Marxistthe appropriating ideasand and i.e.,anticommunist antisocialist-while the certainly slogansof social justiceand equality.The Islamic revohowoverfascism, advantage movement theconsiderable has lutionary Here traditionalism. of this with ever, combining "anti-character" strong
76 Ernst Nolte, ThreeFaces of Fascism (New York: New American Library, 1969), 281; Baechler (fn. 3), IO, n. 15. 77Mosse (fn. 65), 21. 78 Linz (fn.45), i6. Once theattempt export to theIslamicRevolution, checked temporarily one may expect further by the setback in the Iran-Iraq war, is resumed fully, resonances of the Italian fascistideas of "an imperialismof the poor" and "proletarianimperialism." Zeev-Sternhell,"Fascist Ideology," in Laqueur (fn.4i), 334-35; JosephBaglieri, "Italian Fascism and the Crisis of Liberal Hegemony: i9oi-I922," in Larsen (fn. 42), 322-23. 79Linz (fn. 45), 58o Ibid.,

.2-:2 i.

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leadersof of we can see theconsequence thefactthatthedispossessed a homogeneous but were not a heterogenous the Islamic Revolution one solidary groupand, furthermore, thatguardedtheShi'itereligious (and to the of to tradition. contrast theNazi "Revolution Nihilism" In in tradition the to lack of reference Japan'sown intellectual striking of New OrderMovement the late of writings theleadersof thefascist the of combines rejection otheralien I930s),8"the IslamicRevolution of affirmation theIslamicreligious witha vigorous ideologies political it characterized as "revolutionary I tradition.havetherefore and cultural
82 traditionalism."

feaand anti-character otherincidental common to In addition their both have a movements and the Islamic revolutionary tures,fascism were core. constitutive Racismand anti-Semitism themostobdistinct but,as Mosse and othershave noxiousfeatures Europeanfascism, of core The constitutive of shown,not its core component. convincingly to and continues live in a thatgoes beyondEuropeanfascism fascism worldis the force thethird in as ideological of variety forms a vigorous As of and combination nationalism socialism. GeorgeValois put it in of The marriage nation+ socialism= fascism." 1925, "nationalism WorldWar 1.83This factby was in thecardsafter alismand socialism any stratum, of conditions anydispossessed fartranscends particular the Europe.It was arrived of matter, interwar or, that Europeancountry, for and Europeancountries, it has fascist leaders different in at bydifferent ideologuessince by been arrivedat independently manythird-world I945. on of has An enduring feature fascist ideology beenitsinsistence the of of reality the nationand the artificiality class. To the emotionally thinker unattractive of perpetual the classstruggle, Frenchfascist idea untainted to the MarcelDeat contrasts appealofbelonging a community "The total man in the total and fragmentation: by divisiveconflict The no withno clashes, prostration, anarchy."84 Arab nano society, to thinkers tionalist soughtto utilizethe appeal of belonging a comof The advocates Islamic classbynation. replacing munity similarly by to onlyneededto takeone stepfurther replacethe nationby ideology of the theumma, Muslimcommunity believers. has ideology been of Thus, the emergence an Islamicrevolutionary

8' William M. Fletcher,The Search and for a New Order:Intellectuals Fascismin Prewar Japan (Chapel Hill: University North Carolina Press, i982). of 82 Said A. Arjomand, "Traditionalismin Twentieth-Century Iran," in Arjomand,From to Nationalism Revolutionary Islam (London: Macmillan,and Albany: SUNY Press, i984). 83 Sternhell(fn. 78), 320-2I, 326, 335-3784 Quoted, ibid., 335, 347-

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

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in thecardssincethefascist It has beenin thecardsirrespective era. of the plightof the dispossessed Shi'iteclerical estatein Iran. The latter did have theadvantage institutional of autonomy of independence and in theexercise religious of authority, something SunniIslamicideothe logueslike Rashid Rida could onlydreamof. But it was exceedingly slow in creating consistent a in ideology orderto defenditself against thestate. fact, Islamicideology developed In the was elsewhere, pubby licists journalists Mawdudi(d. I979) in Indo-Pakistan Qutb and like and (d. i966) in Egypt.Its essenceconsisted presenting secularstate in the as an earthly claiming majesty idol the thatis God's alone.When Khomeinifinally rose againstthe Shah, he imported Islamicideology the from Pakistanand Egyptas a freegood. In I926, in a workthatanticipates mostof the ideological developmentsof the past two decades,the youthful Mawdudi had declared: "Islam is a revolutionary and a revolutionary which ideology practice, aims at destroying socialorderof theworldtotally the and rebuilding it from ... scratch andjihad (holywar)denotes revolutionary the strugthe worldas thearenaofthe"conflict gle." Mawdudiconceived modern between Islamand un-Islam," latter the beingequatedwithpre-Islamic Moderncreedsand political Ignorance (jahiliyya) polytheism. and phiwereequatedwithpolytheism Ignorance. Theirpredomand losophies inance necessitated revival Islam.A fewdecadeslater, Egyptian the of the Sayyid Qutb adopted the contrast betweenIslam and un-Islamconceived Ignorance-from as Mawdudiand made it the cornerstone of his revolutionary Islamicideology. accepting For secularstates, conMuslimsocieties brandedas societies Ignorance. are To temporary of from thesesocieties, Islamicgovernment to an has extirpate Ignorance be established and the Sacred Law applied. To establish Islamic an the government-that to establish ruleof God-Islamic revolution is, The distinctively clericalist Shi'iteidea of Islamicgovernment, be to realizedafter revolution I979, was not directly the of influenced the by in trend SunniIslam.It is bestunderstood thecontext thestruggle in of between Shi'itehierocracy thecentralizing the and discussed monarchy earlier. in Khomeini's idea of Islamic Thougha novelty Shi'itehistory, first in government, put forward i970, was statedin the traditional Shi'ite frameof reference and does not betray of any influence the
85 Abu'l-A'la' Mawdudi, Process of Islamic Revolution (Pathankot,Punjab: Makteb-e Jamaat-e Islami, 1947); Eran Lerman, "Mawdudi's Concept of Islam," Middle EasternStudies I7 (October i981), 500; Yvonne Y. Haddad, "The Qur'anic Justification Revolution: for The View of Sayyid Qutb," The MiddleEast Journal37 (No. i, i983).

is necessary.85

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ideological innovations Mawdudiand Qutb. It simply of extended the as generaljudiciary authority the jurist(faqih), well as some of his of veryspecific rights gerency, includetheright rule.86 of to to in Mawdudiand Qutb werereadavidly, PersiantransNevertheless, lationand/or Arabic, Khomeini's in militant who by followers, adopted thefundamental revolutionary that idea obedience theimpious to secular state-in thiscase the Shah's-was tantamount idolatry. The cento of in trality this idea is unmistakable the revolutionary slogansand pamphleteering, notably theapplication theterm most in of taghut (ungodlyearthly power) to the Pahlavi political order.Its influence has becomemorepronounced sincetheelimination the moderates of and in Islamicmodernists i980-i98i, and is easily noticeable thespeeches in of the political eliteof the IslamicRepublic Iran. Furthermore, of AyatollahSafi has no difficulty in the whatsoever combining advantages of the ideologiesof Mawdudi and Qutb with the clericalist ideas of Khomeini. him, government thejurist behalf theHidden For the of on of Imam is the truegovernment God on Earth,vowed to the impleof mentation His Law. All otherpolitical of regimes ungodly are orders, and The Revolution continue will of regimes Ignorance oftaghut. Islamic untiltheoverthrow all theseregimes.87 of
C. THE OLD AND THE NEW IN REVOLUTIONARY THE TELEOLOGICAL IRRELEVANCE TRADITIONALISM, AND OF PROGRESS

The Islamic Revolution Iran shoulddraw our attention the in to of in neglected importance reactive and reactionary elements all revolutions. The ideology proletarian of as has revolution, Mannheim shown, of incorporated manyoftheelements theromantic, reactionary critique of the Enlightenment.88 the otherhand,Nazism, as bothits ideoOn haveinsisted, contained revloguesand itshistorians (notably Bracher) as elements.89 olutionary well as reactionary The Islamic Revolution a constitutes wrycomment the debate on as the amonghistorians to whether early modern Europeanrevolutions were conservative liberal,reactionary progressive. also demor or It onstrates revolutionaries that often in defense traditional act of values. is Baechler right whenhe notes, to and "contrary appearances accepted
86 Said A. Arjomand, "Ideological Revolutionin Shi'ism," in Arjomand, Authority and i987). Political Culturein Shi'ism(forthcoming, 87Lotfollah Safi, Nezam-e Emamat va Rahbari [Regime of Imamate and Leadership] i6-i8. (Tehran: Bonyad-e Be'that, i982/I36i), 88 Karl Mannheim,"Conservative (Lonand Psychology Thought," in Essayson Sociology don: Routledge & Kegan Paul, I953). 89 Karl D. Bracher,The German Dictatorship (New York: Praeger, I970), 7-I3; Carsten (fn. 45), 428.

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

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are less revolutions supported by the elitethanby conservative belief, in elements teleological some Not thepeople."90 surprisingly, important such as Carlismand the Cristero led the clerically popularuprisings in in Revolution Iran:repudiation find resonance theIslamic movement' opand influences values,and vehement and cosmopolitan of foreign including, governments, of modernizing to policies position anticlerical idea thattheFrenchrevolutionaries atheism. Marx'sfamous of course, had notyetdevelopeda becausethey parodiedtheRomanrepublicans be own shouldnotautomatically generalized. of language their political can imagery varygreatly who The revolutionaries draw on traditional The with identification tradition. of in their knowledge and professional and custodians theShi'itetradition knew of weretheofficial Ayatollahs they In of theirmethodology Shi'itejurisprudence. the past six years, efforts IslamicizeIran'sjudiciary to sustained haveprovedthisbytheir for functions theFriday substantial political by system, institutionalizing of enforcement Islamic overthestrict and by presiding leaders, prayer morals. trappings. does traditionalism have itsmodern Islamicrevolutionary of The Constitution the IslamicRepublicpays lip serviceto equality of freedom the press, and it guarantees to and especially socialjustice, and of gatherings groupsof opinion, political oftheexpression political of to needlessto say,thattheyare not contrary the interests provided, than a Islam. Finally,thereis anothermodernelementthatis more of The the trapping: Majlis,or parliament. constitutionalismtheearlyand was the idealizationof practice, modern European revolutions In local linked theaimofpreserving liberties. Iran,eventhough to closely as entered an imported panaceain I905-i906, themulconstitutionalism the whenopposing Shah. Conlahs used the constitutionalist ideology of feature the Islamicregime.Its is the sequently, MaJlis an enduring of is by supervised the clericaljurists however, rigorously legislation, and the boththe rulingclerics theCouncil of Guardians.In addition, in have a keen interest techof lay Islamicsecondstratum the regime and beingtelevised, beinginterviewed They love broadcasting, nology. and and seminars congresses using loveorganizing and bythepress, they bureaus." suchas "political-ideological modern-sounding phrases were as are of and Whenthenotions revolution progress linked, they and as theystillare today,a line can clearlybe in the i9th century offered The and revolution counterrevolution. evidence drawnbetween to in thispapermakesitimpossible drawsucha line.It has beenpointed
90Baechler (fn. 3), io8.
91 Hennessy (fn. 41),

258.

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revolution within Shi'ism.92Furthermore,the Islamic Revolution has stimulatedconsiderablegrowthin the size of the stateand the number see of persons employed by it. One can legitimately these factorsas the continuationof a trendin modernization.It is, however,best treatedas with the past rather than as a universal trend making for continuity specificto the teleologyof this revolutionas distinctfromothers.
D. THE TELEOLOGICAL RELEVANCE OF RELIGION

The obelements. contain counterrevolutionary out thatall revolutions revolutionary must verseis also true:all counterrevolutions incorporate to consider be thetraditional in whatthey innovations orderto restore traditionalism the order.This is clearly case withIslamicrevolutionary about a it in Iran. As I have argued elsewhere, has in factbrought

Comparative evidence not only requiresthat we sever the conceptual link between revolutionand progress,but also suggests that we link revolutionand religion. Religion was an importantfactornot only in the Puritan Revolution,but in all early-modernEuropean revolutions Walzer is rightin consideringthe Puritan Marian except the Fronde.93 of the I550s to be forerunners modern revolutionaryideoof exiles But the same is trueof the clericsof the Catholic League thirty logues.94 In years later.95 i640, the Puritan preacherswere calling the House of for Commons God's chosen instrument rebuildingZion.96In the same year, their Catholic counterpartsin Catalonia were also engaged in revolutionaryactivity.Here is the commander of the Spanish king's forcesin Rossello complainingof the seditionand licentiousnessof the clergy: In the confessional the pulpittheyspend theirentiretime rousing and and the the people and offering rebelsencouragement advice,inducing will win them the kingdomof the ignorantto believethat rebellion heaven.97 There are strikingparallels between the Puritan Revolution and the Islamic Revolution. For Cromwell as Moses, we have Khomeini as Abraham and Moses in one; forthe PuritanSaints,we have the militant mullahs; and for the fast sermons of I642-I649,98we had, under the
93 Zagorin (fn. i8), I, p. 74I. 92Arjomand (fn. 86). 94Walzer (fn. 56), 92-II3. 95Roland Mousnier,Social Hierarchies, I450 to the Present, trans.by Peter Evans (New York: Schocken, I973), 50, 6i; Zagorin (fn. i8), II, chap. io. 96 Stone (fn. 20), 90. 97 John Elliott, The Revolt of the Catalans: A Studyin the Decline of Spain (1598-i640) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, i963), 487. 98 Hugh Trevor-Roper, "The Fast Sermonsof the Long Parliament,"in Trevor-Roper, Religion,theReformation Social Change,2d ed. (London: Macmillan, I972). and

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

411

Shah,thegatherings forty-day at intervals commemorate "marto the after revolution, havetheFriday tyrs"; the we sermons congregational at prayers. Important differences, however, affect teleologies these the of respective revolutions. Therewerestrong anarchic in elements Puritanism-especiallyIndependency, whichconsidered itself trueChurch the within corrupt the church. Suchanarchic innerworldly millenarian preceptsof the Independents militated of againsttheir acceptance a Prescouldalso lead in national church These precepts byterian government. thedirection theLevellers' of of conception man as a rational beingin theimageofGod, and henceto natural The solidarism rights. corporate of themilitant Shi'iteclergy contrasts strongly as withthefactionalism of the PuritanSaintsas methodologically grounded legalismcontrasts withtheSaints'millenarian ofChrist theLawgiver. idea as the Finally, Shi'iteclericalist revolutionary of theory thesovereignty thejuristis of in sharpcontrast theideaofcongregational to representation-especially in Presbyterianism.99 The situation different regard themodern is with to but revolutions; let us see how. De Tocquevilleknew thattheFrenchRevolution had It produceda new religion. aimedat
of nothing short a regeneration thewholehumanrace.... It developed of if intoa species religion, a singularly of imperfect sinceitwas without one, a God, without ritualor promise a future a of life.Nevertheless, this strange religion likeIslam,overrun wholeworldwithitsapostles, has, the militants martyrs.'00 and

The terms"secularreligion" and "political have aptlybeen religion" used to describecommunism and fascism.IoIModern revolutions do requirepoliticalreligions. The crucialissue is whether thereis any necessary incompatibility between and political religion religion. The BolshevikRevolution was militantly atheistic. But beforewe draw anyconclusions, us think itstotally let of imported ideology and of the exceedingly narrowsocialbase of its political elite.What about theFrenchRevolution? Tocquevilledid notsee anyincompatibility De between Christianity thepolitical and religion the revolution. of Anticlericalism thecampaign and againstreligion stemmed from identhe tification theChurchwiththeancien of re'gime, notfrom wideand any
Liu, Discordin Zion: The Puritan Divinesand thePuritanRevolution I640-I660 (The 50-5I, 94-97, I46-60; Zagorin (fn. i8), II, p. i66. too Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regimeand theFrenchRevolution, new trans.by Stuart Gilbert(New York: Doubleday Anchor, I955) I, I56. 1or Monnerot(fn.75); Eric Voegelin,Science, Politics and Gnosticism: Two Essays(Chicago: RegneryGateway, i968). It is interesting note that in I949 Monnerot described comto munism as "the twentieth-century Islam."

Hague: Nijhoff, I973),

99 Tai

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spreadanti-Christian sentiment.102 What about the fascist revolution? European fascismwas oftenassociatedwith anticlericalism, this but association neither is general norfundamental. Nazis glorified The the mythical pre-Christian Germantradition wereanti-religious. and The same is trueof otherfascist movements Western in and Northern Europe. At the otherend of the spectrum, however, Rumanian,the the Hungarian, Slovak,and theCroationfascist the movements were emChristianand aimed at establishing phatically Christiancorporatist and participation the Slovak RepublicestabClericalleadership in lishedbyFatherHlinka'sPeople'sParty overbyFatherTiso) (presided and in the Ustashamovement Croatiaoffer in interesting pointsfor withIran.104 themostilluminating But comparison parallelis between Shi'iterevolutionary traditionalism theRumanian and IronGuards,the Legion of Archangel Michael.Both movements characterized are by cults and Priests extraordinary ofsuffering, sacrifice, martydom. figured prominently the legionary in movement, by side withuniversity side servstudents. wereinvariably Legionary meetings preceded church by icons ices,and their demonstrations usually bypriests were led carrying of and religious flags.The integral Christianity the Legionariesdifferentiated themfromthe Nazis and the Italian Fascists.This they knew.As one oftheir "Fascismworships leadingintellectuals explained, strives not the state,Nazism the race and the nation.Our movement
It was "a spectacularbut transient phenomenon... in no sense basic to its program." Therefore,the antireligious featuresfaded as the true politicalteleologyof the revolution unfolded. De Tocqueville (fn. Ioo), 5-7. On the vitality religioussentiment of among the insurgent masses duringthe French Revolution, AlbertSoboul, "Sentimentreligieuxet see cultespopulairespendantla revolution: Saintespatriotes martyrs la liberte"[Religious et de sentiment and popular cults during the revolution:patriotic saintsand martyrs liberty], of i Archives sociologic religions (No. 2, I956). de des ?3 These variations become intelligible the lightof Linz's demonstration in thatthe extent of organized preemption the politicalspace by Christian-democratic Catholic-conserof or vative parties was a decisive factorin inhibiting the growthof fascism(as in Spain and Belgium). Where such partiesexistedand had carvedup electoralterritories themselves, for fascismfound a formidablerival. Fascism would also tend to be anticlericalin order to differentiate itselffromthe rival religiousparty(as were the Belgian Rex and the Nazis vis-a-visthe Zentrum party).See Linz (fn. 45), i6-28, 52, 84; Linz (fn. 57), I56; Hamilton (fn. 45), 37-4IMexican fascism, Sinarquismof the late I930s and early I940s, also fitsLinz's pattern. the The movementdeclined when its middle-classsupporters defectedto the Catholic Accion National. See Hennessy (fn. 41), 280-82. Linz's account of cases in which fascismwas not anticlerical but intensely Christianis unsatisfactory, however;see Linz (fn.45), i6, and Linz (fn.57), 164, 184, n. 5i. The reverseside of Linz's argumentis well put by Merkl: "There is ample evidence that religiousdecline and confrontations played a role in fascistdevela opment.. ., creating massivereservoir confusedquasi-religious of fearsand longingsopen to exploitationby fascist demagogues." Merkl (fn. 45), 757. 104YeshayahuJelinek,"Clergy and Fascism: The Hlinka Party in Slovakia and the Croatian Ustasha Movement,"in Larsen and others(fn. 42).
102

states.103

IRAN'S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

413

people-we wantto fulfill to the of merely fulfill destiny theRumanian Codreanu goal The italongtheroadtosalvation." ultimate ofthenation, in was "resurrection Christ."105 emphasized, and others the BrazilianIntegralism, mostimportant we Finally, mustconsider Plinio Salgado, met in fascist movement Latin America.Its founder, on made a deep impression him,and Mussoliniin I930. The meeting political religion saw the between fascist he certainly no incompatibility Italianfascism. to and Catholicism. returned Brazilto "Catholicize" He associations, of network layreligious of Taking advantage an extensive by intoexistence CardinalLeme, he founded whichhad been brought a Actionwiththeaim of creating corporatist, the BrazilianIntegralist because appealedto Catholicintellectuals state.Integralism integralist State"which of and revolution" ofan Integral ofitspromise a "spiritual and acts Christ, goestoward comesfrom is in Christ, inspired Christ, for pagan tendency the criticized "dangerous Christ."Salgado accordingly and lamented lack of a Christian the basis in Nazi ideof Hitlerism" are Few wouldfindthestatement political that revolutions a modern was form millenarianism of objectionable. Russiancommunism thesecular millenarianism the Third Rome,and Nazism was the secular of millenarianism the Third Reich,"the ThousandYear Reichof naof and tionalfreedom socialjustice."107As was thecase withreligion and are millenarianism byno means and religion, political religious political exclusive. The religious element may predominate, chiliastic mutually whichaimed at establishing Heavenly the as in the Taiping Rebellion or role, subsidiary KingdomofGreatPeace;"'8 it mayplayan important in as in thePuritanRevolution Englandand theIslamicRevolution in Iran. of two we In thePuritan Revolution encounter forms millenarianism: diof millenarianism theIndependent moreinner-worldly the milder, activist of themenof theFifthMonone and thebetter known, vines,
and Shirts theOthers: '?5 E. Weber (fns.6o and 69); Nicholas M. Nagy-Talavera,The Green A Historyof Fascism in Hungaryand Rumania (Stanford,CA: Hoover InstitutionPress,
I970),

ology.106

Brazilian Review 9 (No.

io6Stanley Hilton, "Aca6 IntegralistaBrasileira: Fascism in Brazil, I932-I938,"
2, I972), i2;

247, 266-70-

typicalsearch for "a thirdway," Salgado also soughtto "Brazilianize" Italian fascism.He consideredthe two aspects of his project fullycompatible,and declared, "My nationalism
107 Monnerot(fn. 75), chap. 3; Nicholai A. Berdiaev,The RussianRevolution (Ann Arbor: A of University Michigan Press, i96i); JamesM. Rhodes, The Hitler Movement: Modern Press, i980), 79. CA: Hoover Institution (Stanford, MillenarianRevolution io8 Lewy (fn. 41), chap- 7-

Catholic Church," Hispanic American Historical Review 54 (No. 3, I974),

Lusoand the Brazilian MargaretT. Williams, "Integralism
436-40.

In this

is full of God." Ibid., 434-36.

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Therecan be no doubtthat archy. revolutionary political millenarianism of and playeda crucialrolein themotivation theIranianintelligentsia other But in addition, Shi'ite the groups. doctrine contains important an millenarian tenet: belief theappearance theTwelfth in Imam as the of the Mahdi to redeemthe world. This beliefwas as convenient for of Khomeini's as revolutionary purpose it had beenforthefounder the SafavidEmpirein I50I.109 Although Shi'ite millenarianismplayed an important role in the IslamicRevolution, did not have any of the it divisiveand anarchicconsequences Puritanmillenarianism because of theclerics werefirmly control itsinterpretation, in factpartly in of and derivedtheirlegal/juristic from it. authority
CONCLUSION

The successof the Islamicrevolutionary is ideology the novel and in teleologically distinct markof theIslamicRevolution Iran. The ideto ologyis a powerful response thecontemporary politicized quest for It the authenticity. has been constructed through unacknowledged appropriation all the technical of advantages the Western of ideological movements political the and religions, withtheadded-or rather, emof salvation. a sense,it In phatically retained-promise other-worldly has a considerable overNazism and communism, ideological advantage bothof whichclashedwithreligion. a Ratherthancreating new substitute religion, did the communists the Nazis, the Islamic for as and militants havefortified already an vigorous religion withtheideological armornecessary battlein the arena of mass politics. doing so, In for to theyhave made their distinct contribution worldhistory.
log Arjomand (fn. I7), 269-70.