On the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, a British scholar and political expert, Professor Rodney Shakespeare wrote an exclusive note for Qods News Agency.
The full text of the note is as below:
Have a think – you are politically, religiously and culturally oppressed by a brutal regime; your economic resources are being ripped off to benefit foreigners; and, beyond your country, there is only a Godless communism (with lots of nasty prisons) or rampant imperialism.
Then you hear a Voice of Hope. It tells of political independence; of religious independence, of cultural independence, and (believe it or not!) it says that your country’s resources are your country’s resources and not anybody else’s.
Great, then, is your joy at learning that Imam Khomeini is returning from Paris. You are, of course, aware that joy is not enough (Savak, the Shah’s secret police, always wants the opportunity to electrocute you or chop off part of your body) but others, elsewhere, are taking action and so you go out onto the streets.
However, you are soon met by brutality because the essence of the Revolution was that the Iranian people were daring to assert independence – and the West was enraged.
How dare they! HOW DARE THEY! Quick! Send in tons of weapons and ammunition to Saddam Hussein! In particular, make sure that he can spray poison gas on those rotten Iranians!
Moreover, the West had noticed something else and that something explains the West’s vicious hostility for the next forty-two years. The West essentially ruled ALL of the Middle East (yes, the Middle East, not West Asia – the difference is significant) by making deals with local, medieval, authoritarian elites. The deal was that the elite would protect the economic interests of the West and, in exchange, the West would provide military protection for the elite against all democrats in the area.
Yes, the West, (like the Roman and British empires of the past) was intent on suppressing democracy. In short, by exposing what was really happening in West Asia, the Iranian Revolution was blowing open, and revealing to the world, the West’s astounding (and continuing) hypocrisy.
On top of all that (as if it is possible for there to be more!) the Revolution was upholding the rights of the Palestinians. Palestinians have, of course, lived in Palestine for two thousand years, but Imam Khomeini did something of crucial importance he pointed out that the rights of the Palestinians are a religious issue and therefore that the fight for those rights will continue beyond the lives of those alive today. In short, military aggressors may have victory now but God’s time goes beyond the present to the future and evermore.
And on top of all that (yes, there’s even more!), Imam Khomeini was pointing to a Third Way (neither communism nor capitalism) not just for the Islamic but for the whole world. That Third Way is of monumental significance because it simply challenges all the false assumptions of Western capitalism. There are fifty-nine false assumptions but you only need to know about one or two to realize why a Third Way is such a challenge to the West. For example, monstrous accumulations of wealth are supposed to ‘trickle down’ to the bulk of the populace. But the wealth does not trickle down – the very rich cannot possibly spend all their wealth, even if they want to, which they do not.
Another false assumption is that debt (with compound interest attached) is an excellent idea – you might try telling that to an impoverished country which, having repaid its debt five or ten times over, has to go on paying compound interest for evermore.
So, you may ask, what progress is being made on the Third Way? Well, political, cultural, and religious independence are being asserted and; at a time when American’s political and moral leadership has collapsed and will not revive, Iran leads by example.
However, there is something else and it is starting to germinate in Iran’s universities, political bodies, religious institutions, and in every person of faith or, simply, of good faith. In a sentence, it is a new paradigm, or new understanding of reality, which opens up a new vista in which there are new plants and animals i.e., major new policy options for solving the world’s economic and environmental problems. You see, the economy and politics of the West are the cause of the world’s major problems and not their solution.
Keep an eye on Iran: it gives hope for the future.