Sunday, June 16, 2013

Moderate Cannibalism

The reports indicate that Rohani, a supposedly "moderate" candidate has won the post of the president of the Islamic Republic, a secondary, maybe even a tertiary, executive position in Iran. The primary position is occupied by Khamenei, for life, as the supreme leader. Rohani seems to have won by millions of votes. He was supported by Khatami, a previous "moderate" president and also by Rafsanjani another supposedly "moderate" leader of the Islamic Republic, head of one of the councils of the ruling religious oligarchy.

Hopes have soared and many are taking this as a victory for a more tolerant and gentler Islamic Republic. Hope for a gentler plunder of women's dignities, that it will shutdown the newspapers with a smile. Hope that when it imprisons writers and journalists in Evin prison, the gates are shut gently after welcoming them! Can it do otherwise, and did it do anything else during Khatami, the "moderate" par excellence. Many intellectuals do not realize that the whole Islamic Republic is illegitimate no matter how many millions of votes it garners and its elections are not a representation of democracy but a sham to create a façade of validation. Our stage of humanity needs to abhor and reject outright any government based on any religion. The election of Rohani with the support of Khatami and Rafsanjani is just to help redress this barbaric regime. There can be no moderate cannibalism.

To dislodge this regime is not as easy as stamping out cannibalism in the South Pacific cultures but the principles are the same. We are dealing with an inhumanly outdated system that should be intolerable on the international scale. The cracks in this regime, which compel it to conduct a sham election, to a great extent are the result of the international pressure and the isolation it is experiencing. The Iranian intelligentsia need to understand the importance of creating and participating in an international alliance to defeat this religious oligarchy. As I said in an earlier post, the Iranian intelligentsia does not have any, not an iota of, mutual interest, "national" interest with this religious oligarchy. On the contrary it has enormous interest with the West, not just with its peoples but it has direct interest with their governments, the United States and all the European States, to put an end to the folly of 1979 counter revolution.

The birth of this religious oligarchy in 1979 is a counter revolution and this birth is almost entirely due to the misreading of the past century and the misunderstanding of democracy by the Iranian intelligentsia. We almost always only scratched the surface of knowledge, the developments of the world events and our place in it. We constantly tried to negotiate with our past, a burden that pulled us back.

Should we sympathize with the plight of the opposition in Iran and their attempts to create an opening for themselves? We certainly should and we should encourage them, but the principles that need to guide us do not change. The alliance should talk with this oligarchy whenever it is necessary but we should never compromise on the principles or let go of the pressure at the international level. We should always be willing to talk with them, gently, without vengeance and show them the exit but we cannot negotiate about stepping back from our human principles. We cannot let the cannibals have a leg or an arm for good "behavior". They have to cede their religious control of the state. The international alliance should demand it and work toward its enforcement.

I know when I talk about the international alliance and alliance with governments of the United States and Europe among them the British government, the pre-wired antennas of almost all Iranian intellectuals go up with warning signs: "Danger, Danger!" I understand how you (and myself included until a few years ago) have been soaked and marinated in the anti-imperialist propagandas of the last 100 years and that is what this regime has its hooks into. Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, said that: even if you do not believe in the Islamic Republic, you need to vote for the sake of the nation and its protection.

It is interesting that at this juncture and since 1979 Iranian intellectuals have been trying to find some room to negotiate with the religious oligarchy. Is this not similar to their position vis-a-vis the conservative clergy in the constitutional revolution of early 1900s? How did we almost after a century find ourselves in this position with the added disadvantage that they have won all the control and formed their own oligarchy? It is as if America after its 1776 revolution would have gone through the civil war of 1861 and today slavery would be the norm throughout the United States. What a tragedy and what a victory for the counter revolution it would have been. In hindsight it would have been a tragedy of human and historic proportions. Islamic counter revolution fortunately does not have such proportion. And yet it is a disaster for our generation of intellectuals, a disaster which has its roots with a continuity that goes several generations back. The Iranian uprising of 1979 was a counter revolution to the constitutional revolution of 1905 and all its aftermath. More in the next post …

No comments: