Historical Perspective on Iran

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Democracy, or rather, our modern form of representative democracy, is a noble, worthy goal, but the road to get there is bumpy. Our Founding Fathers noted that throughout history, societies have swung between extremes of tyranny and anarchy, rarely ever staying in the happy medium for long.

Let’s consider for a moment the history of England. As you haven’t been taught in grade school, up until about 800 AD, the English were united under a set of immutable laws. This is the “Anglo-Saxon” society that predates the kings of England. Under these laws, everyone was equal, property rights were protected, and problems rarely arose that required more than the local village to get involved. For the occasional war, a military leader was appointed and then stripped of power once the war was done.

The kings arose partly because the system grew more and more corrupt over time, but mostly because of the influence of the Franks to the south across the channel. The endless invasions soon led to a loss, and the Franks installed their own puppet government over the English. Of course, over time that government became separate from the French, and soon turned on the French itself. But throughout history, the English have always felt a certain distance from their kings as foreign oppressors.

Before the American Revolution, there were several revolutions in England, each of them important and each of them a critical link in the history of the United States government and modern republics. The English Kings tried to exert their power in whatever sick and demented ways they could imagine, and then use that power to amass fortunes both from taxes and wars. Indeed, for a time, the English subjects believed that Christ himself anointed the kings as rulers over the English, and to overthrow the king is to reject Christ. This is comparable to the atmosphere in Iran today.

An interesting logical tactic was used against the king. The logic goes something like this. God Himself is just, merciful, and preserves the people. God appointed the King to rule over the English people. The King acts in the name of God and with his authority to do what God does. And since what the King says he will do something unjust, unmerciful, or that damages the people, the King must be playing some trick on us. Do you understand what we are saying, holy King?

Of course, when the King does understand what they are saying, and correctly interprets their logic as an outright rebellion against the authority of the King and his high and holy calling from Christ himself, and tries to lock them all up in prison to rot out in a forgotten cell. And the people realize what is happening and decide that they’d rather have a bunch of politicans rule over them than a king, and lift their swords against the King.

This is what is happening in Iran right now. See, the religion of Islam teaches one thing, but the government of Iran is doing another. Obviously, they are no rightful government since they are not Islamic, because Islam doesn’t teach oppression of fellow muslims! And so, let’s install our own Islamic ruler who happens to believe what we agree with—freedom, equality, and unalienable natural rights.

And like the King of England who tried to suppress such a rebellion, the leaders of Iran are discovering that their math was highly flawed. The people of Iran greatly outnumber the oppressors of Iran, and  that means something, even if the oppressors are highly trained in the art of oppression and shooting little girls in the chest and murdering unborn children on the streets.

If the revolutionaries in Iran do not want American interference, we should steer as far away from the problem as we can, cheering the revolutionaries from the sidelines. However, the moment they look to us for leadership or material support, we should instantly do what we can to help, the same way we, as individuals, are incapable of looking upon the suffering and refuse to offer a balm in our possession.

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