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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another Iranian revolution?

Sweet tea and biscuits, Iran is going through another revolution. Perhaps if they adopt democracy, the revolution would not be so bloody and violent.

Here's my thoughts on the matter. For starters, Iran is ripe for democracy. Socially speaking, they are not hard line Islamo-fascists--albeit Ahmedi-Nejad portrays this- and their society does not have that long line history of Arab/anti-west and Judaism sentiment that the rest of the middle east carries; including Jordan and Saudi-Arabia.

The first revolution, to be fair, was not about religious revolution, but against the Shah of Iran at the time. Many people confuse the first revolution to that being towards a theocracy and that being the impetus. Fact of the matter is, as in many societies- including the western societies- religion and religious leaders, tend to be galvanizing forces that have the will and the courage to stand up against the establishment. With that, they are, by all intents and purposes, harder to assail than that of any other form of revolutionary agents.

The only two other revolutions which did not have even a hint of religiousity behind them, was the Russian communist revolution and the French revolution. Both were initiated by the proletariat at the time and the workers, who were tired of an autocratic leadership.

With the Russian revolution, the economic reforms stopped short at communism and the religious establishment, were silenced. With the French, the religious right were not exterminated as they were in Russia, but it remained visible due to their close relations with other western European countries who observed the Catholic church.

Even to this extent, France endured many years of economic adjustments and never maintained a system of pervasive autocratic inertia. On the other hand with Russia, they had entrenched a communist monopoly that fed itself to corruption and hence the miserable effort of the communist experiment.

Compared to what we have on the face of it in Iran, the religious leaders took their opportunity to allow them to believe that the revolution was all about religion. In fact, this was not the case and hence, this is why we see fissures within the personalities that once, all at the same time, represented the revolution in the late 70's.

Mousavi has capitalized on this sentiment and the hard economic times of Iran and has caused a consciousness to awaken in Iran, behind the premise that economic reform and adjustment must be taken serious. Something Ahmedi-Nejad has taken into account, but only from the standpoint of redistribution to the poor.

This is obviously not enough, as we have now playing out, a not so hard core Islamic anti-Western and Jewish culture in Iran, who have benefited from oil revenue in the past, who are not benefiting from it at this present time, to now, fissures within the revolutionary personalities of the 70's on the issue of increasing economic reform.

I think the lesson here is economic reform is continual. Gradual in some cases. But, economic reform must not stay stagnant and distribution, must go with liberalisation on the other hand.
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