Satisfactory Essays
Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century is a monograph written by Christian Caryl, a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine and a senior fellow of the Center for International Studies at MIT, which attempts to theorize the emergence of using revolutionary twin forces-religion and markets in 1979 and their radical alteration of the international economy in the 21st century. Caryl’s study covers five case studies from the root of 1979 and how strange rebels served as counterrevolutionary protagonist leaders by using old ideas and making them new and rebellious. Deng Xiaoping initiated the reforms that favored a pragmatic economic development in China; Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan after its Communist allies faced resistance from local “freedom fighters”; Pope John Paul II used Christian faith as the basis for a moral crusade against the Soviet Union; Margaret Thatcher overturned Labor government in Great Britain; and Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian revolutionaries overthrew the shah. By linking these five incidents, Caryl says, "It was in 1979 that the twin forces of markets and religion, discounted for so long, came back with a vengeance” (p. xii). These incidents deflected the course of history in a radically in new way. As the title indicates, 1979 birthed the 21st century because, “The decisions of these leaders decisively defined the world in which we live...we live in the shadow of the 1979”(p.xv). The forces unleashed in 1979 of free market capitalism and politicized religion have dominated global landscape.

The resurgence of using revolutionary twin forces-religion and markets in 1979 altered the international economy of the 21st century . In the case of Iran, the politicized religious forc...

... middle of paper ...

...o the Islamic republic as a, “Volatile legacy of institutionalized instability, tension between elections and despotism, brutal factional rivalry, and rigid centralized control”(p.295). Furthermore, Khomeini wanted to spread the idea of Islamic revolution in Lebanon and Palestine. He focuses on these to places and changes the Marxist revolutionaries and makes it a religious war. Caryl says, after the collapse of Soviet Union , “Islam remained essentially the only universalists ideology that could pose a serious competition to the American and European ideals of liberal democracy in the Middle East”(p.299). despite the fact that protesters during the Green Movement yearn for authentic Islamic values of tolerance and social justice, it is clear that Khomeini proved political Islam viable in Iran and its success will lead to other Muslim nations following its lead.
Get Access