In a Forest of Humans: The Urban Cartographies of Theory and Action in 1970s Iranian Revolutionary Socialism

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningfagfællebedømt

Historical analyses tend to agree that the Iranian Revolution was an overwhelmingly ‘urban’ revolution. But how did the revolutionaries themselves see ‘the urban’, i.e. the material, social and ideological phenomena entangled with the processes of urbanization?

In this chapter, I will explore how the arguably most prominent revolutionary Iranian socialist organization prior to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, The Organization of the Iranian People’s Fadâ‘i Guerillas (henceforth Fadâ‘i/s), saw and put to work ‘the urban’. I examine a diverse range of Fadâ‘i materials from the end of the 1960s to the end of the 1970s that reflect the organization’s theory and action through four analytical points related to “the urban,” namely 1) as central to the organization’s historical context and profile; 2) as elements in the organization’s theorization of and strategy for revolution; 3) as a setting for its armed action; and 4) as a site or resource for its attempted discovery of revolutionary potential.

I contend that the urban was used by the guerillas to work through the global, i.e. the universalistic pretentions of Marxist ideology and theory, towards an Iran-specific praxis. ‘The urban’ became an abstract and concrete link, I will argue, connecting a transnational space of ideas to a particular, localized struggle for national liberation and thus for anchoring theory in practice.
TitelGlobal '79: Itineraries of the Iranian Revolution
ForlagCambridge University Press
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2020

ID: 241958009