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 Islamic 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 here.
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 could not have learned in school, but rather behind closed doors, and in hushed whispers.
These youngsters were not initiated to these secrets of freedom and the Iran that once was when the Pahlavi Shah was king, when they were children. Children are loose with their tongues, and all the walls have ears.
For years mothers from the 70s, now in their 50s-through 80s, would show their daughters the clothes they once were allowed to to wear, hidden away in boxes in closets. Perhaps they would even play dress-up from time to time.
But those modern demonstrators would be in their mid-to-late teens before they could be initiated into the secret rites of Iran’s former freedom; only not the loftiness of Jefferson’s “pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness” for a peoples who had never really enjoyed it, but the very real memory of once having had it; the freedom to come and go as one pleased, to vote for whomever one 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 easily. Each have found that transcendent germ, 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 before that time, and that the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians will not relinquish their reclaimed freedoms to the smothering authority of the European Union.
They know how to keep their secrets and pass them on.
But America 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. Almost all the anti-Left sentiment remains with the Gen Xers, now in their forties, who, with the recently rediscovered working classes, make up barely 50% of the total adult population…well you can see our problem.
So the Left is 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 today would rat out their parents to Teacher in a heartbeat over dozens of politically correct social and cultural infractions. In many school districts parents can’t even prevent schools from recruiting their children to homosexuality, transgenerism, or even Islam. Blowback is spotty at best, and nowhere is there an organized national movement afoot designed to throw down the public ayatollahs of education, and re-missionize the millenials into the blueprint of personal freedom.
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. While in America, if our children lose their freedoms, will they even know it?
After passing it on for 236 years, must America go through such a loss as well? And what kind of Orwellian world will they see when they come out on the other side?
Publications: Famous Common People I Have Known and Other Essays
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