By Said Amir Arjomand
The Iranian revolution nonetheless baffles so much Western observers. Few thought of the increase of theocracy in a modernized country attainable, and less notion it may well end result from a well-liked revolution. stated Amir Arjomand's The Turban for the Crown offers a considerate, painstakingly researched, and intelligible account of the turmoil in Iran which unearths the significance of this singular occasion for our realizing of revolutions. delivering the most important historic heritage, Arjomand examines either the constitution of authority in Shi'ism (one of the 2 major branches of Islam) and the effect of the trendy kingdom on Iranian society, elements necessary to the comprehension of the revolution of 1979. He then describes the emergence of Khomeini; the infusion of petrodollars into the financial system; the blatant political corruption; and Khomeini's disposal of Bakhtiar, Bani-Sadr, and Bazargan, consolidation of non secular rule, and institution of a structure according to a brand new interpretation of Islamic rules.
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Extra info for The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran (Studies in Middle Eastern History)
It should also be pointed out that distribution of benefices was fully sanctioned by the ethos of patrimonialism. By bestowing such benefices, the ruler became the benefactor (vali-ne'mat, literally "the lord of benefit") and the recipient became bound to him for having "tasted his salt," obligated to be loyal to the ruler's house and to pray for its prosperity and everlasting rule (du'a-gu'i) ,76 Not only did the Qajar state enable the official class and their retinue to enrich themselves from tax collection, tax farming, subdelegation of offices, and grants of land as tuyul, it also distributed about one-quarter of its annual revenue in the royal household and among the notables as pensions and allowances.
Misgovernment, tyranny, and injustice may have been as chronic in earlier periods in the nineteenth century but they could not have been worse. We may therefore assume that the level of absolute deprivation in the political sphere remained constant. What the accompanying economic improvement, increasing international contacts, and political awareness did was to make the unchanging dismal political life intolerable and thus created a revolutionary situation. Against a background of recurrent bread riots, fresh instances of misgovernment in the provinces, and despotic rule of the new governor of Tehran,9 public discontent over the Shah's wasteful impending trip to Europe and the arrogant demeanor of the Belgian director of the Customs Administration, Monsieur Naus, set in motion a wave of agitation by merchants that activated an alliance between the hierocracy and civil society.
Both traveled constantly with him. He himself administered justice and supervised accounts. He "had no official private secretary, no minister of justice, no minister of court. He ran a highly personal administration and, finances aside, paper work was almost non-existent"32 The Qajar Government and the Social Structure of Iran in the Nineteenth Century In 1797, the year after his coronation, Aqa Mohammad Khan was assassinated. His nephew Baba Khan succeeded him as Path 'Ali Shah after eliminating the competing pretenders.