1968, I think, was the year when the world changed.
Ever since then has it been fashionable to criticise those who are open to criticism but ignore those who are not. Ever since then has it been considered brave by society to attack those who have many enemies. And ever since then do we find this weird alliance between the left and the religious fundamentalists, between those who believe they are questioning authority and those who insist that their authority must not be questioned.
Those two groups are actually very compatible. The left believes that authority must be questioned. Religious fundamentalists (and I don't mean church-going Christians who object to foul language on television) have no problem with that. Religious fundamentalists believe that their authority cannot be questioned because it comes from a god. For all practical purposes, in that religion, the "supreme leader" of Iran is their god.
If authority must be questioned and one authority cannot be questioned, one can easily find a way out: one can question everything else. Backed up by one's own god, one can not only question authority but downright prove it wrong. It's a left-winger's dream.
The Shah was an authority. And his authority could be questioned. He himself allowed it. And despite legends told by left-wingers about their extreme bravery, the Shah did not actually execute or otherwise punish people for having an opinion or for speaking it. The Shah was not a god and never claimed to be. He never claimed for himself the authority to be a god or speak on a god's behalf. He was a human who could err and his enemies took that and the clerics' claims of their own supernatural ultimate authority as proof that the Shah was wrong.
Many left-wingers today claim that the revolution in Iran was a good thing after all and that the communists just failed to take over during it. But that claim is a lie. The communists never even tried to organise the revolution themselves. They just followed Khomeini's lead.
And Khomeini himself was celebrated by the western media. Freedom was brought to Iran under the spiritual leadership of a 79-year old cleric. Every word was written to create the impression that Khomeini was a holy man and guide who would bring freedom and food to oppressed pesants rather than a vicious and brutal criminal from a social class who were seeing their wealth (land titles) distributed to peasants by the Shah and who were afraid of equal rights for women. The revolution, the press told us, happened on the initiative of the people, the wise cleric only added his blessing.
I have said it before, the left owes us a world. It owes us a stable and wealthy Iran.
We had one before that hateful revolution.