January 26, 2008

Matter and Mind

One of the most important barriers to the way of democracy (i.e. a kind of democracy developed by the society itself, not that kind of Instant Democracy claimed by US) in Iran is that several advocates of Civil Society & Democracy bear such a suffering background which not only makes a fair part of people (especially intelligentsia) suspicious of them, but also undermines efforts of sincere activist who honestly swear by Democracy.

Their suffering background might be classified in 3 important categories: Economic Corruption, Political Corruption, and Moral Corruption. Surely I'm not saying that corruption is the exclusive attribute of democratic movements in Iran, and do admit that all those three kinds of corruption might be found in other parts of the political movements/parties as well. But here I want to elaborate why some people have every right to think that Democracy is just a slogan exploited by some groups to fulfill their (possibly illegitimate) goals.

(I) Economic Corruption (both perceived and real)
In a society whose people suffer disastrous unemployment and growing inflation, and very often it happens that 'breadwinner' loses its very meaning since the worker does not earn enough to cover the interest of his debts leave alone bringing some bread to the household, Economic Corruption (not only real corruption, but also perceived one) is the most important determinant of shame. (Remember Confucius: "In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.")
Liberalization of Economy during Rafsanjani administration, followed by reformist Khatami who had a bunch of Right Wingers as the theorists of his economic strategy, led to a wider gap of poor-rich which made many people believe that "Some corrupt hands are exploiting our natural resources (most importantly, Oil Revenues)."
Many rumors about the wealth gathered by some officials, as well as evidences indicating unbelievable amount of money some others grabbed (such as luxury home of Karbaschi, former mayor of Tehran and a close buddy of Rafsanjani) set the scene for Ahmadinejad's election. Ahmadinejad, compared his house with that of Karbaschi in several occasions as well as his TV campaigns, telling the people that "I'm not that corrupt."
Note that though some exceptions do exist, most of the clergymen still live a simple and low-level life following the tradition of Grand Ayatollahs. For example, Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of Islamic Revolution, rented a house in Tehran in his return to Iran, and lived there till his death. This might be indicative of clergies' fair understanding of an issue directly associated with their popularity.

(II) Political Corruption
You claim something and your resume shows the opposite; isn’t it enough to believe that you are a liar?
Example: some of the prominent figures of democratic movement had been previously engaged in allegedly abusive activities related to Intelligence Ministry. Akbar Ganji, known to the world since going on hunger strike few years ago in an objection to his prison term, and a prominent democrat activist now touring Europe and America in a cheap political show, is a good example. He had been a high ranking official of the Ministry, and some say that reintroduction of some old methods of torture in hidden prisons is associated with this man.

(III) Moral Corruption
In the over-traditional society of Iran, having an affair with many mistresses has been enough to end the political life of some well-known figures and isolate them forever!

With regards to current democratic movement in Iran, let me say: "Those who matter don’t mind, those who mind do not matter."

Full Stop.

1 comment:

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