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Class Struggle in Post-Revolutionary Iran

  • Mansoor Moaddel (a1)
Abstract

Classes are objective positions defined by the social relations of production. These positions broadly determine, among other things, the occupants' political and ideological orientations and their potential to participate in revolutionary movements. The conflict between and the contradictory nature of these positions are the underlying mechanisms for the generation and reproduction of class struggle. Nevertheless, a simple structural analysis is insufficient for analyzing the role of classes in a revolutionary movement. Classes are not static entities fixed once and for all, nor are they completely determined by “objective” economic “facts” such as the social relations of production.1 To understand the success of the dominated classes in a revolutionary movement, one must analyze their level of class formation—namely, the capacity of the members of a class to realize their interests. Class capacity is contingent, among other things, on the level of organization and mobilization of the members of the class. Rather than deriving automatically from the structural positions, class capacity is “rooted in traditional culture and communities.”2 Class boundaries, interests, and mobilization are always shifting: interests change, coalitions are formed and break up, positions in the economy are created or destroyed, and demobilization occurs.3 Classes are continually organized, disorganized, and reorganized.4 The methodological strategy adopted in this article to demonstrate the importance of class in shaping the economic policy of the Islamic Republic is based on the analysis of the significant and controversial issues that appeared in the post-revolutionary period. It will be argued that these issues were a manifestation of class struggle and that the way they were finally resolved reflected the balance of class forces.5

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Larry J. Griffin , Michael E. Wallace , and Beth A. Rubin , “Capitalist Resistance to the Organization of Labor Force before the New Deal: Why? How? Success?American Sociological Review, 51 (1986), pp. 147–48

Adam Przeworski , “Proletariat into a Class: The Process of Class Formation from Karl Kautsky's ‘The Class Struggle’ to Recent Controversies,” Politics and Society, 7 (1977), pp. 373401.

M. H. Pesaran , “The System of Dependent Capitalism in Pre- and Post-Revolutionary Iran,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 14 (1982), pp. 501–22.

Ahmad Ashraf , “Bazaar-Mosque Alliance: The Social Basis of Revolts and Revolutions,” Politics, Culture, and Society, 1, 4 (Summer, 1988), pp. 538–67

Shahrzad Azad , “Workers' and Peasants' Councils in Iran,” Monthly Review, 32, 5 (October, 1980), p. 17.

Farhad Kazemi and Ervand Abrahamian , “The Non-Revolutionary Peasantry of Modern Īrãn,” Iranian Studies, 11 (1978), pp. 259304.

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International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
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