April 5, 2008


The Iranian Model, Mexico and Kangaroo (Amir Taheri, 4/04/08, Asharq Alawasat)

The model has several key features.

First, it promotes a myth of revolutionary legitimacy. It claims to be heir to a popular movement against foreign, especially American, domination and a domestic despotic regime.

Next, it insists that only those with a revolutionary pedigree have the right to claim a share of political power.

Thirdly, it sees itself as a coalition of the poor and lower middle classes, backed by the military and blessed by the church.

The Mexican model created the famous Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that ruled the country for decades.

The PRI created its own opposition party.

And it is here that the word "kangaroo" is useful. The official opposition party resembled the baby kangaroo, secure in its place on the belly of PRI, the mother-kangaroo.

The Leninists had invented the concept of a one-party state. The Mexican PRI came up with the concept of a one-and-a-half party state, a system in which one party always governs while the other, much smaller one, always acts as loyal opposition.

With the final shape of the next Islamic Consultative Majlis (parliament) now clear, the resemblance between the Iranian and the old Mexican systems is striking.

Like in Mexico under PRI, the Islamic Republic divides society between revolutionaries and non-revolutionaries, and denies the latter the right to govern even if they have the support of a majority of the people.

...is that whereas the Mexico model lasted most of a century, the Iranian won't make it half of one. And if the US and the Reformers co-ordinate a turnout effort for the presidential, the end will begin before three decades have passed.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 5, 2008 6:34 AM

So the real coal of the so-called Iranian Revolution is to have all the people behind your local fast food counter speak Persian?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 5, 2008 9:57 AM

The Supremo will allow "reform" in only one direction.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 5, 2008 9:51 PM

Thus far that's been rapid liberalization from the Khomeini era.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2008 11:22 PM