20 year-old Iranians are taking to the streets demanding a return of freedoms that were taken away almost 40 years ago, long before they were born.
How did they know? Who told them?
Meanwhile, many of America’s best and brightest, and most affluent 21-year-olds have been taking to the streets to demand those same freedoms be suppressed for all but the most elite of Americans.
Who told them? And why are they getting away with it?
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn reported in The Gulag Archipelago that not only was it a crime to speak against Stalin’s state, but a crime to overhear it and not report it. The punishments were equal in severity. It was the same under the Nazis in Germany, both patrolled by a secret police apparatus that seemed to be everywhere.
So in Iran, “totalitarian” is the better description than Nazism, Communism or Theocracy.
We knew in 2009 when the Green Revolution failed in Iran, in part because Barack Obama refused to even offer the freedom fighters moral support (the first American president to ever deny public support for a popular uprising against a totalitarian regime) that the uprising was more than just an anti-Ahmadinejad revolt. It had deeper roots.
It was an attempt to regain a memory, a memory none of those children had ever personally known.
There are lessons to be learned.
That 2009 uprising was 30 years after the rise of the Ayatollahs’ regime in Iran, (1977) and this one is 40 years after, both times the streets filled with young people carrying flames they did not learn in school, but rather behind closed doors, and in hushed whispers. These children probably were not even initiated to these secrets of freedom and the Iran that once was when the Pahlavi Shah was king. For years mothers, now in their 50s-through 80s, would show their daughters the clothes they once were allowed to to wear, hidden away in boxes in the closets. Perhaps they would even play dress-up from time to time.
But those demonstrators would be in their mid-to-late teens before they could be initiated into the secret rites of Iran’s former freedom; not the loftiness of Jefferson’s “pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness” but the very real recent memory of it; the freedom to come and go as they pleased, to vote for whomever they pleased, to wear colorful clothes, and show off their hair, their shoes, and their waistlines….and never have to worry that they would be arrested if they skipped a midday prayer.
Two years ago I wrote about the American theology and the transcendence of liberty. but only as it pertains to things uniquely American. Today, Iran, and several of the old Soviet eastern empire, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, prove that freedom, once found, cannot be killed off in a single generation. They found that transcendent bug, and like a precious jewel, they know how to protect it and pass it on. It will take three generations to lose it so I am certain that the Iranian people will reclaim their freedom eventually, and that the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians will not relinquish theirs to the smothering authority of the European Union.
They know how to keep their secrets and pass them on.
ButAmerica has never had to cross that river before.
And since anti-liberty is such a fashionable subject with most of America’s universities these days, we need to consider how the Liberty Clock is ticking in America.
Yes, I know we just elected Donald Trump. But we seem to be expecting a top-down solution from him and his successors that will solve our “liberty” problems, while, as Iran proves, none of that will matter if we cannot pass on the simple secrets of freedom to our children, parent-to-child.
You see, we passed that duty off to our public schools in the 60s-70s, and for the past 40 years or so, they’ve lied to us.
The Left’s hole card has always been our kids and our grandkids. They’ve almost buried the Greatest Generation, 98% anti-Left, and believe that when My Generation, the Boomers, 75% anti-Left, and the bulk of Trump’s base, passes on, two-thirds of the remaining Liberty-memory will pass with us. They are confident that what we are witnessing in Iran today will never happen here, because they have cut that chord of passing the liberty secret to our children.
They may be right.
That our children and grandchildren will take to the streets based on shared family secrets is unthinkable in the Left’s mind because in most public schools they know 3rd graders would rat out their parents to Teacher in a heartbeat for a hundred infractions. In many school districts we can’t even prevent schools from recruiting our children to homosexuality, transgenerism, or even Islam.
And college is worse. As far as our university system goes, we may as well live under the ayatollahs.
In Iran they had to lose it before they knew what it was they had lost. In Poland they had to regain in 1991 to know what they had lost in 1939, so know never to lose it again.
Must America go through that as well? After passing it on for 236 years?