Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Apt cartoon in today's Spiegel:


It made me think of V.S. Naipaul's comment on the high hopes Iranian communists had of the Islamic revolution. Well, we all know better now:

These [communist] volunteers in quilted khaki jackets and pullovers were revolutionaries who, one year on, were still trying to live out the revolution, still anxious to direct traffic to show their solidarity with the police, now of the people, not of the Shah), still anxious to demonstrate the Islamic "union" that had brought them victory [....] Behzad had said in August [...], "This is no a religious occasion. It is a political occasion." The communist son of a persecuted communist father, Behzad had read Islamic union in his own way, had interpreted Shia triumph and misanthropy in his own way, had seen a revolution that could be pushed further to another revolution. And these Islamic revolutionaries, in their Che Guevara costume, did see themselves as late-twentieth-century revolutionaries [....] Injustice, the wickedness of men, the worthlessness of the world as it is, the revenge to come, the joy of "union": Behzad was a communist, but the Shia passion was like his. And in August Behzad, like a Shia, was collecting his own injustices: Khomeini's revolution had begun to turn against the men of the left.
V.S. Naipaul, Among the Believers (1981)

Beware of revolutionaries, even of the wannabe sort. And beware, you revolutionaries, even of the wannabe sort. The utopia you're dreaming up in your suburban "Jugendzimmer" might turn very, very nasty for you.

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