Barnesites on Iran

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Thu May 29 18:22:47 MDT 2003

Fred Feldman presses the writings of Ma'mud Shirvani on us, suggesting
that things in the Islamic republic of iran have basically been pretty
good for workers, women and the oppressed there since 1978.

The fact that Shirvani is in the United States and not Iran, in and of
itself casts some doubt over Shirvani's views (and credentials).  After
all, if things are basically pretty good for revolutionaries in Iran,
then what on earth is any Iranian revolutionary worth their salt doing
sitting on their arse in the United States?  If, as Feldman asserts,
women have made great leaps forward under the Islamic Republic and
things are pretty good for workers' organising as well, then how come
Shirvani isn't in Iran taking advantage of all these great leaps
forwards and political openings and building a revolutionary movement?

It's one thing for the Barnesite business operation to fly into Tehran
to attend a book fair, hawk their wares and then fly out again.  It's a
whole different world to actually be an Iranian worker, women,
homosexual, and any other member of the oppressed in Iran.

As for Cindy Jacquith's eyewitness accounts from the late 1970s, I
would've thought the Barnesites would be keeping quiet about their
cheer-leading for the mullahs and ayatollahs of that period.

Lastly, it is perfectly possible to defend Iran, as a Third World
country, from imperialist assault without fawning all over the
Islamicists and making out they're pretty good revolutionaries when
they're actually deadly enemies of the revolutionary left and have wiped
out a large chunk of the Iranian left.  The fact that Shirvani is in the
united States and not Iran speaks volumes on this score.

I look forward, however, to Fred Feldman meeting Tom O'Lincoln's request
for documentation to back up Fred's claim about how great life has been
for Iranian women over the past few decades.

Philip Ferguson

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