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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; piasa; Valin; nuconvert; seamole; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; ...
(( A very good article, A Must read one ))- Pilot

"Communist Democracy" in Iran

It has been over 30 years since the success of Communists in Vietnam and despite all the sacrifices of people's democratic movement inside Vietnam and elsewhere in the world in the years before 1973, what the Vietnamese people achieved in 1973, was another dictatorship worse that what they had in the past. Today the national firewall of Internet by the Vietnamese Communist regime blocking the political websites has set the precedent for other despotic regimes such as Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) to follow.

Five years after the Vietnamese, in 1979, Iranian people, despite all the sacrifices of the democratic movement, achieved a reactionary Islamist despotic regime of IRI. No Vietnamese has any illusion of "Communist Democracy" just as no Iranian has any illusion of "Islamic Democracy" seeing it as Islamist fascism in disguise. Nonetheless most of the Iranian intellectuals are still believers in the "Communist Democracy" and they all like to refer to the European social-democratic and socialist governments as examples of such a dream.

Why socialist and communist parties in Europe were able to form states of so-called "socialist or communist democracy" in Europe is not because of their program being much different from the same parties in former Soviet Union and Eastern Block, China, Vietnam, Cuba and North Korea. Even Communist Parties just like the Social-Democratic Parties were able to lead *democratic* states in Europe, although they had the same statism and state economy in their program like the Russian Communist party, platforms that were responsible for the despotic nature of Soviet and Eastern Block states. The difference in the Western Europe, is that the institutions of judgment by the people are strong in the West, thanks to a long history of Renaissance and Reformation, and thus the socialist and communist parties cannot rule like they do in China or Vietnam. Please read my following articles where I explain the issue of institutions of judgment by the people in details:

The above is also true about democratic monarchies like UKand Sweden and the rule of so-called religious democratic politics of the likes of Christian Democrats in Germany. These oxymorons of politics are not harbingers of dictatorial regimes in Europe because they all have to abide by institutions of judgment by the people which control Europe and are rooted in Europe. The only statist party that tried to eliminate the institutions of judgment by the people in Europe was Nazi Party and the Western societies eliminated it within ten years, which again shows how the institutions of judgment by the people are the determining factor in the Western Europe.

In contrast, all the oxymorons like "Islamic Democracy" or "Communist Democracy" utopias for a country like Iran where the institutions of judgment by the people are extremely weak, mean the despotism of Islamism and Communism at the end. If the Communist version of this has not been experienced by the Iranian people, it has been experienced by the Vietnamese who would laugh at such oxymoron because they know communist statism means the Communist bosses will rule the country in name of the state sitting at the top of the state economy where they pay the people and not taxpayers paying them and when there are no strong institutions of judgment by the people in the country to be able to challenge the state. Iran and Vietnam are not like Western Europe to have so many social institutions doing checks and balances of the state regardless of Communists ruling or Christians or Monarchs.

In fact, in countries like Iran, at the beginning of a new change, it is important to have parties like the original U.S. Democratic Party of Jefferson, to lead the nation, parties that in their platform not only recognize human rights and democratic development but more importantly oppose state ownership. The state ownership is the foundation of despotism in these countries and even the media will be subordinate to state under state economy and this is why people end up listening to foreign media to hear the true news because the internal news is none but the state's news.

It is so unfortunate that 24 years after the success of Islamism in Iran, the majority of opposition political organizations of Iran are still leftist. Even the papers like Iran Emrooz that pretend to be liberal democratic are actually leftist and censor the views that fundamentally challenge the left and Communism. All the records of despotism in Soviet Union is now out and they still do not say a word about how Communism was despotism for over half of the world and keep misleading people with stories of social democracy of Europe the same way the monarchists tell people stories of democratic monarchies of Europe like Sweden.

Instead they have a facade of a new oxymoron called "Communist Democracy" and are busy defending the current ongoing oxymoron of "Islamic Democracy" of Khatami which has meant nothing but Islamist fascism and all the murders and reactionary retrogression in Iran has been the same during their rule and when the likes of Khalkhali are considered by Khatami as the reformists sitting next to him.

Why after 24 years the Iranian intellectuals are not able to cut off from over a half century of siding with the left which has been a mistake. The leftists were lucky they did not come to power in 1979, or else the wrath of Iranians would not be for Islamists today, but for the leftists. Actually Islamists have been driving the programs of the left, and they had the support of the left in important junctures like at the time of hostage-taking, although at the same time the left itself was murdered by IRI. If in Iran, the left had won power like in Vietnam or Cambodia, the people would never even touch a leftist group with a ten foot stick.

Iranian intellectuals have already wasted enough time in the last one hundred years and especially in the last half a century with leftist ideologies. It is amazing that even the organizations like Jebhe Melli and Jebhe Demokratik are mostly driven by leftist platforms. It is as if the left's programs and on top of it state economy, statism, and anti-globalization have not shown their failures enough by those in power in Vietnamese Communism and Iranian Islamism, that these opposition forces are calling for the same platforms for future Iran, programs that are the underlying reason of despotism in Vietnam and Iran.

The Iranian intellectual papers are all siding with reactionary anti-globalization movements and they have made it the norm in the progressive circles to be anti-globalization. They are like Luddites attacking globalization. In the Iranian progressive circles, they all are siding with the anti-globalization movements rather than siding with political approaches of the likes of Singapore that are taking advantage of globalization for their own rapid growth.

"Communist Democracy" is an oxymoron Utopia worse than Communism, the same way "Islamic Democracy" is a worse Utopia than Islamism because they hide the harsh reality of Communism and Islamism. Stalinism and Khomeinism are what these statist platforms will bring for countries like Vietnam and Iran, and not a Swedish type socialism or an imaginary democratic American Islamism. Yes, those who really want to make an "Islamic Democracy", they should try to make the U.S. an Islamic state because in a country like the U.S., with all the powerful institutions of judgment by the people, an "Islamic democracy" can become a reality despite the statism and despotism of the Islamist ideology and the same is true for other statist and despotic systems like Communism or Monarchism.

Just as a Swedish democratic monarchy can be a reality for Sweden and not for Iran where the monarchy will be a despotic monarchy as I have discussed before, and the so-called "Communist Democracy" will be the same. I hope our intellectuals do not mislead people by selling Communism, Islamism, and Monarchism, giving the European examples as proof for these models to offer "democracy" for Iran. We suffered one time in 1979 by misleading people about the so-called "democratic" Islamism of Khomeini to be an exception, let's not make the same mistake again. Of course people should be free to have any opinion they want, but if the majority of intellectuals who are the opinion leaders push for Communism, Baathism, or Islamism, what can one expect of the end result?

Those who really want to have a democracy in Iran should go for a thoroughgoing democratic and futurist platform and should distance themselves from Leftism, Islamism, or monarchy. The reality is that most of the intellectuals who even supported Islamism were following the left and because they were leftist, they supported Islamism and today they are supporting some Baathist version of Islamism as "Islamic Democracy", the same way other leftists in Iraq and Syria before them, supported Baath coming to power in those countries, with the hope of Utopia of "Communist Democracy" to be achieved at the end.

I just hope that Iranian intellectuals to wake up from the long hold of leftism on Iranian intellectual mind and not wait for the next Baathist or Communist state to block all Internet political sites like the Vietnamese state, to wake up when it is too late, and I hope in the next two years not to see the majority of Iranian political groups to be leftist like it is today, in open or in disguise. The experience of Vietnamese and Syrian intellectuals who have run away from the Communist state and the Baathist states of Vietnam and Syria, and the role they played to create those states, should be a good lesson for Iranian intellectuals before Iran ends up in a similar Baathist /Communist state.

Hoping for a Futurist, Federal, Democratic, and Secular Republic in Iran,

Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
IRANSCOPE Portal Iranian Site of Iran News and Iranian Culture
Sept 17, 2003
16 posted on 09/18/2003 7:50:24 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Thursday, 18 September, 2003,

Iran: An Islamic experiment

By Jim Muir
BBC Tehran Correspondent

Iran's Islamic Republic is unique not only in the world - where there are few enough other Islamic republics, and none at all where the Shia branch of Islam prevails - but also in Iran itself.
Never before have the clergy held full political power in the country, though they have usually been one of several important political forces.

So it is a unique experiment, and one which is currently in a state of acute ferment, with the outcome highly uncertain.

Some analysts argue that from the outset, there was a stark contradiction built into the regime's foundations, crystallised in the two words of its very name: Islamic and Republic.

To many, the first concept implies some form of divine rule, of theocracy; and the second means democracy, rule by the people.

That perceived contradiction is at the heart of today's intensifying struggle between reformists and hard-liners within the Iranian Islamic system.

The Supreme Leader

The reformists, led by the massively-elected President Mohammad Khatami and with a big majority in the current parliament, argue that ultimate sovereignty lies with the people, and that the entire political establishment - including the Supreme Leadership - should be responsive, transparent and accountable to the electorate.

While the reformists accept in principle the concept of Velayet e Feghih (the Rule of the Supreme Jurisconsult) which is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime, many of them would prefer the role of the Supreme Leader (the Vali e Feghih) to be ethereal and advisory, almost papal, rather than political, intrusive, and engaged with the levers of temporal power, as it currently very much is.

By contrast, most conservatives, and certainly the hard-liners, believe that the Vali e Feghih has a kind of divinely-bestowed authority which makes his intervention, on any issue he chooses, decisive and unchallengeable.

For some of them, it is at the core of the regime, its power and authority, and the trappings of democracy are ultimately little more than window-dressing.

One of the most common slogans chanted by Hezbollahis, Basijis and other hard-line defenders of the regime in confrontation with student or other protestors is: "Death to the opponents of the Velayet e Feghih!"

Growing alienation

There is little doubt that the Islamic system was starting to drift badly out of touch with the people by 1997, when President Khatami suddenly burst on the scene with his surprise landslide victory.

Inefficiency, pervasive corruption and a general failure to move with the times were seen as the main factors behind a growing alienation.

Khatami and the reformists seemed to offer an answer to all that for the people - and for the regime, a new lease of life.

His idea of Islamic people's sovereignty held out the prospect of a system where the people's vote could make a difference and bring about change, where officials become servants not masters, where religion would imbue the country's values but not intrude oppressively as an imposed system.

He spoke directly to the vast new generation of young Iranians, and to women, and they responded massively.

"Iranians are traditionally very religious, but also open to new and open interpretations of religion," says Mahmoud Alinejad, an Iranian academic specialising in Islamic topics. "By voting for Khatami, they showed that they wanted change under an Islamic system, albeit a more liberal one."

It may also have reflected the fact that after two decades of revolutions and wars, many Iranians, irrespective of their Islamic commitment, have an almost innate conviction that abrupt change and upheavals take the country and their own prospects backwards.

So the vote for Khatami was also a vote for gradual change, for evolution, rather than another disruptive revolution.

Whether Khatami's liberal interpretation of Islamic democracy could have worked in objective conditions (if such a thing exists) may never be known.

But in the harsh world of real Iranian politics, it is generally deemed to have failed, not because of theoretical flaws, but because it was blocked by an entrenched minority of hard-liners determined to keep their grip on power.

Now the broad national mood is one of disillusion amounting to despair. This was reflected in the latest elections, in February, for city councils nationwide. In Tehran, where reformists swept the board in 1999, the turnout was a paltry 12%, allowing hard-liners to take over control by default.

Victory by default

The reformists now face a general election in February virtually empty-handed.

Practically all significant reformist legislation has been spiked by the Council of Guardians, a highly-conservative unelected body which has the right to vet and veto new bills.

Numerous reformists, liberals and student leaders have been put behind bars, with President Khatami and others powerless to do more than voice criticism.

Unless the conservatives judge that they cannot do without the popular support which the reformists might still be able to confer on the regime, and decide to give them some achievements to take to the polls, it is thought likely that there will be another large-scale abstention in the February elections.

The right-wing would be likely again to inherit the Majlis (parliament) and a year later the presidency, not because the pendulum of public favour had swung back their way, but by default and with minority support.

The most predictable result would be an even more disillusioned and bitter public alienation than that prevailing before Mr Khatami's advent in 1997 - unless the conservatives could somehow, and quickly, deliver some major achievements especially in the realms of economy and job-creation.

In that scenario, a narrowly-based right-wing Islamic regime might find its legitimacy under challenge more than ever before, from both within and outside the country.
17 posted on 09/18/2003 7:56:20 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
"Islamic Democracy", indeed!
29 posted on 09/18/2003 11:59:44 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: F14 Pilot
Indeed there is no democracy in communism.

Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is a case in point.

Per The Black Book of Communism, the price of the illusion has been 100 million murdered to date.

Russian Communism was Stalinism; Chinese, Maoism; each devolving through subsequent rulers--but never to the people.

The dictatorship of the proletariat always means a tiny clique of the most murderous.

In this there seems as much affinity between Iran's leftists and Islamists, as Eric Hoffer found between Nazis and Communists.

Current developments in Iraq may help assure Sam Ghandchi that he will live to see a "Futurist, Federal, Democratic, and Secular Republic in Iran".

39 posted on 09/18/2003 9:57:00 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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