The current Iran has nothing to do with the Germany of the 30’s, except for what Ernst Bloch called the “non-contemporaneity” of Germany, a country which, unlike France and England, did not experience a bourgeois revolution before 1918. The contemporary Iran not only rejects the current moment, but also allows that its archaic ideas hamper its development. Today, the Iranian youngsters see their future blocked due to the impact of the revolution of 1979, which was a revolution and a counter-reform: against the progress and the principles of the Century of the Lights, against modern age, against the emancipation of women, against the liberalism of the emerging bourgeois class, in short, against most of the society whose habits, as just mentioned above, had developed in line with modernity.
Iran, however, after 27 years of setbacks during its development, has moved backwards. Rafsanyani’s government, arduously and with difficulty, had readjusted the economic structures of the country by privatizing part of the economy. Jatami’s government liberalized habits. But such policies failed to fill the gaps of Iran’s non-contemporaneity, because Iran is today a complex society where the toughest superstitions coexist, including the most unlikely messianic ideas, the fiercest mental independence, the most strictly egalitarian religion, behaviours which are almost “libertarian” and even sometimes openly libertine, that is, daring beliefs close to the most fantasizing trends of spirituality of the New Age. Today, despite the intransigence of the current policy, the Iranians have opened to the world and become interested in all events. Iran is a country of paradoxes where philosophy books are sold better than novels.
The air of changes blows due to the spirit of today’s trends and does not exclude anyone, so that for example, even the toughest radicals behave as liberals in the house of the Islamic Assembly. The heterogeneity emerging in a country where religion is considered total and totalitarian shows that the trends of changes that shake our world are stronger than the resistance of identity. As things are at the moment, nothing could stop them.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

L’incongruité de la situation iranienne″, by Daryush Shayegan, Le Figaro, January 2, 2006.