Full text of Foucault’s “The Mythical Leader of the Iranian Revolt” published in Corriere della Sera, November 26, 1978.
Tehran – Iran’s year-long period of unrest is coming to a head. On the watchface of politics, the hand has hardly moved. The semi-liberal September government was replaced in November by a half-military one. In fact, the whole country is engulfed by revolt: the cities, the countryside, the religious centres, the oil regions, the bazaars, the universities, the civil servants, and the intellectuals. The privileged rats are jumping ship. An entire century in Iran – one of economic development, foreign domination, modernization, and the dynasty, as well as its daily life and its moral system– is being put into question.
I cannot write the history of the future, and I am also rather clumsy at forecasting the past. However, I would like to try to grasp what is happening right now, because these days nothing is finished, and the dice is still being rolled. It is perhaps this that is the work of a journalist, but it is true that I am nothing but a neophyte.
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