Free Thoughts on Iran
Front Page | About FToI | Authors | Archives | Comment Policy | Disclaimer

bra.gif Hijab as City Walls | Main | Social Freedoms: "Please sir, may I have some more?" ket.gif

November 26, 2003

Can new-conservativism save Iran?
Hossein Derakhshan  [info|posts]

larijani.jpg My idealist part had previously suggested Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, as the best presidential candidate next term. Now here is what my realistic part has to say.

Having read Spiegel's story on young generation of Iranian conservatives, I am fairly convinced that Javad Larijani (Laridjani), is going to run for president next term. Personally, I guess he has the highest chance of being elected among other possible conservative and new-conservative candidates such as Ataollah Mohajerani (former minister of culture), Hassan Rohani (head of National Security Council), Ali Akbar Velayati (former minister of foreign affairs), and his own brother, Ali Larijani (head of Iranain TV and Radio).

He is not only well-educated, open minded, experienced, and moderate but also very much trusted by the top leaders of the regime. Although because of his frank (or say, British) style of criticism, he is not popular enough among average Iranians—mainly because Iranians traditionally embrace irony and ambiguity. But since he is running one of Iran's most fruitful scientific research institute, The Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics or IPM in the north of Tehran, he has become very popular among a large number of graduate students and professors from the best universities in Iran.

He is a man of controversies and conflicts. It was Javad Larijani who actually permitted the first Internet connections in his institute and handed it to major universities in Iran. In fact, most of us, who became familiar with the Net in the mid-'90s, first saw the Internet through text browsers such as Lynx, connecting to the 2,400-kb/s modems of IPM. From a man who was raised in a traditional family and is one of the closest allies of Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, the supreme leader of Iran, importing the revolutionary technology of Internet is far beyond expectations.

I am fairly confident that he can steal young people's hearts and minds in case of a presidential candidacy, and he only has to convince the radical Islamists that he is the best choice. His conflicted personality, which is in part deeply rationalized and in part strongly traditional, can attract a wide range of supporters, both among voters and influential politicians. Based on what I've heard from his colleagues in IPM or journalists who have met him, he is even more liberal than most of the reformists in terms of social freedom. For example, my nephew once told me that he was shocked to see that Mr. Larijani's secretaries were not obeying the strict Islamic dress code, and Larijani didn't even care about it. Also I personally know many non-religious people who are happily working at IPM and have great and friendly relations with their boss.

As the question about the future in Iran shifts more and more to individual freedom and economic well-being instead of political freedom, I guess new-conservatives such as Larijani are more likely to become voters' favorites. They know that someone who is deeply trusted by the supreme leader and his close allies—not the current reformists—can bring the country out of its international isolation and change the current radical Islamic attitude of the government towards the people.

My personal understanding of Iranians' attitude towards the reformist camp is that they are neither perceived desirable nor capable of keeping their promises, even when they have enough power. The only thing they do best is to talk about the problems, not solving them. Consequently, someone like Javad Larijani has a great chance to bring major change into social and economic situation of Iran. He is socially and economically liberal, politically moderate and pragmatist. If he can only marginalize the radical Islamists who are around the supreme leader, he can more or less implement the model he had created in his scientific institute, where decisions are made based on rationality, and decision-makers are chosen by their knowledge and abilities.

Finally, Javad Larjinai, has talked about a Chinese model of political progress in his interview with the German magazine. Simply, it's a development model which favors economic growth and some degrees of social freedom over political development, in which people are not likely to expect too much from the government in terms of democracy and freedom of speech. However, in my opinion, despite all the new-conservatives' desires, the Chinese model cannot be successful in the long term in Iran, for numerous social and historical differences between Iran and China. But, in the short term, I believe it could be the least risky, and the most sustainable path towards an economically and internationally strong country, which, in a society like Iran, can eventually be translated to a democratic government, even if the conservatives don't want it.

Javad at November 26, 2003 12:35 PM [permalink]:

Dear Hossein,

I have been more or less following your political transformation. Let's just say that I read your angry letter to Khatami taking back your vote. How youthful, immature, and impatient of you! I understand your frustration, but I don't know what you would do in Khatami's shoes. I'm afraid there is no short-cut to a better Iran in the long run. Economic reform alone will eventually return us back to the square one: There will be widespread corruption among the “godfathers” when you let Big Brothers rule and people will reach the threshold of revolution. GO TO year 1357. I do however share your concern: What will happen to us after Khatami?

This of course remains to be seen.

Senior Google at November 26, 2003 12:53 PM [permalink]:

Sorry guys, I'm still stuck with Mehdi Yahyanejad's post(ing) about Hijab. Enjoy:

"Foreign investors require a day when a foreign female can walk the streets of Tehran or Isfahan and sit in a sidewalk cafe without the fear of harassment from bearded juveniles. But thankfully, your system is fundamentally and inherently incompatible with the creation of such conditions."

Hamed at November 26, 2003 01:54 PM [permalink]:

Let us look from this point, I know Larigani as the head of IPM.
The word “IPM” reminds me some consepts like science, rationality, quality, research , international collaboration and so on. These are missing from our society. If he can spread the idea - at list in educational system and universities- we will have some good results in long-long term. This may cover the long term problems.

TEST at November 26, 2003 01:55 PM [permalink]:


Senior Grad at November 26, 2003 02:27 PM [permalink]:

See, the point is the Soviet Union also had science and research, but the Russian people hated it under the communists and KGB. IMVHO, pure science is not among the important elements that is missing from our society. I am aware that many readers of this weblog are smart scientists and I hereby challenge them to offer an argument on why our country should fund research on, say, nanophysics! I can only think of two rationales:
Because *we* are doing it and funding it implies feeding us. The other rationale that I can think of would be national pride, if and when some of our young genii gets an internatinal recognition, say, wins a Nobel Prize in Physics or whatnot.

See, in order to improve science in our country, of course we don't need to have a democracy. A bunch of well-fed scientists would very well do the job. This would not solve the main problems of that country though. Just the problems of a few elites. Again, IMVHO, In order to *improve* that country, one needs to work on (liberal) education of the masses in a very broad sense, and hope that such deep-rooted education will gradually bring about a change that is conducive to democratic (and moral) values of tolerance, human rights, freedom of thought and expression, and finally economic and scientific development.

In other words, IMVHO, it's not going to work the other way around in the long run. Focussing on such cosmetic changes is an instance of losing the hole of prayer (stupid literal translation of a Persian proverb) and blowing in the trumpet from the wrong side (ditto, though not so stupid).

Yaghoob Yazid at November 26, 2003 02:41 PM [permalink]:
Sir: Your comments are very informative but of no consequence. You have failed to mention from what the new-conservatives should save Iran! From themselves?!!! Besides, if you hope for a strong Iran, a strong Iran can be achieved in the most fascist way without requiring one to hope that one day Iran would be "democratic". I am most astonished by your talk of new-conservatives. Who are these new-conservatives? Who are they??????? Are they again a new regrouping of the butchers of 1979 and 1989 and their respective accomplices? A sustainable path towards an economically and internationally strong Iran? How many more years or generations should Iran wait until this Arabic Camel of the Islamic Republic reaches the end of a “sustainable path? Another 25 years? Or should Iran wait for some type of modern Teimour Lang to come and finish this forever corrupting clumsy and most idiotic historical re-imagination of the Emarat of Sarbedaran of Khorasan? (I am just trying to be funny, I do not believe that the Pahlavi regime can be equated with Mongols, in fact the Islamic Republic’s performance has convinced me that the Mongols should now be ranked as having formed one of the most rational ancient states in Iran thanks to the always present educated Persian Aristocrats)? I also believe the fear-mongers who warn Iranians that: Be ware of the repetition of 1979! and warn Iranians that “don’t repeat your mistakes” are simply appeasers of worst kind! They are just the opposite side of a spectrum at whose other end are absolutist Monarchist and the most farcical “Artesheh Azadibaksh” (the one that is currently under the incarceration of the Imperial Forces of the USA). Even worse, the same fear mongers warn Iranian that if anyone starts an outright revolution it is possible that Iran falls apart into pieces and Azeris or Kurds or this and that secede! Really?!! I think the Shah was doing the same fear mongering when he was about to leave, or maybe after that, and what happened? Nothing!! The Iranian borders are the same! So in the eyes of the appeaser revolution is bad because the country becomes weak or falls apart and the innocent will be killed! Wow, let us engage in counter-factual thinking: being saved by Zahak Maar Doosh! (who was yet another Arab!) If in what I have said I have suggested that the present ruling elite and “any one” who actively supports them is not Iranian, you are correct! I do not consider them Iranian and I am ready to defend that point! This regime has already exhausted all the possibilities for it to be reformed and it is doing its best to retain the worst possible crap quality Russian nuclear technology to sustain itself! What an example of leadership! Leading Iran towards a sustainable path! You, by means of implication, have achieved the most horrendous conclusion: There is hope that the haphazard pattern of development and management of this “regime” will be the way through which Iran will become strong! Sir, this regime is a Monster (because a regime is systematic political arrangement and this IR thing is just the worst possible orderly form of Leviathan that Hobbes envisioned it his wildest dreams) and like any other organic based political species is sucking the blood of a country and its nation. How do you expect a Monstrous Mafia can find a way of reforming itself?????? Do you suggest genetic modification? Is that what constitute ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Senior Grad at November 26, 2003 03:35 PM [permalink]:


I truly enjoyed your fluent English, your wit and your sense of dark Hedayatian humor and last but not least your all-too-familair self-assured self-righteous tone in your anti-semitic (Arabs are Semites too!) speech. I'm sure if deliver such emotionally charged sermons among like-minded Iranians, they'd applaud you by clapping, saying hooray, or at least, somebody would say: TAKBIR! I'm just relating to you my exact sentiments, Sir. (Thanks, Ali Mahani!)

Your historical knowledge is impressive, but your discourse, I'm afraid to say, lacks substance and is pure rhetoric. Your perspective is biased and your arguments, if they can be called so, are flawed. :-) You mock everything and everybody and offer neither an analysis nor a solution. Hence and therefore, Sir, your comments, too, are very informative but of no consequence, whatsoever, thank you very much.

Potentially Accused of Being a Fear Monger,
Senior Grad, 2 Shawwal 2003

Philology 101 at November 26, 2003 03:43 PM [permalink]:

Bebinam, did somebody say Fars? Or was it Farce? Hmmm.

Yaghoub Yazid at November 26, 2003 03:47 PM [permalink]:

Agha/Kahnoom Seniro Grad:

Damet garm! I am a coward too and my English sucks!

Ezat Ziyad!

YYNA + Khiyaboon Molavi Background

yaser at November 26, 2003 04:00 PM [permalink]:

There is nothing as Neo-Conservatism in Iran. The current conflict in Iran is on "Democracy" which people such as Larijani simply don't believe or practice it. If Larijani becomes a president it is absolute setback to before May 23 time and would delay democracy in Iran for a decade at least. I just hope it won't happen.

Senior Grad at November 26, 2003 04:16 PM [permalink]:

Question for Yaser: Was M.-J. Larijani able to collect enough votes in Tehran to be able to enter Majles? End of question. I too have been wondering about who is at the same time as good as Khatami AND acceptable by the un-elected bodies of the regime whose names I don't even care to remember (a bunch of assemblies and committees and councils) who could pass through their filters. See, people like Mohajerani and Sazagara seem fairly good candidates, but they won't pass the requirements of the high-ranked mullahs of the regime, while those who have a chance of getting through the filters are not so good for people and the country, or at least I can't recall any. Sounds like everything boils down to a KESHMAKESH[=conflict, literally: pull, don't pull] between people on one hand and their un-elected self-appointed leaders on the other.

Senior Grad at November 26, 2003 04:37 PM [permalink]:

Question for everyone: What can we possibly do to affect maximally, albeit marginally, the outcome of the upcoming presidential election? Something must be done!

M.S. at November 26, 2003 05:46 PM [permalink]:

M.J. Larijani always reminds me of two words:
Machiavellism, Schizophrenia.
I guess Iranian society suffers the same diseases at least in recent history. So may be he, as president matches the society.

Word Association of America at November 26, 2003 06:02 PM [permalink]:

Machiavelli, Mafia, Internet, Hunger for Power, Hypocrisy, Rascal, Kissinger Wannabe, English-speaking Mullah, Berkeley, Niavaran, Etc.

Yaghoob Yazid at November 26, 2003 06:02 PM [permalink]:

Agha/Kanoom Senior Grad:

Since you have mentioned that I am an anti-Semite (well it is ironic that the most ardent anti-Semites today are Arabs themselves and I leave it at that), allow me to present you with the following from the person who was really anti-Semite to enrich the discussion on Rhetoric:

"The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force."
Adolf Hitler

But Daash or Abji, what have the reformists and the neo-conservatives, Khomeini and Khomeinists have offered to Iranians during the past 27 years but rhetoric?

Iranian Intellectuals too, however substantive their arguments, have been the main contributors to the rhetoric, unless they remained in Iran and took the brunt of persecution while opposing the regime outright.

It is amazing that by mentioning the Takbir you are insinuating the crowd over here will not be amazed by my comments.

Certainly! I never expected so! Nor did I have any such intentions! After all, the crowd in this virtual Free Thoughts is of the intellectual blood that one day will lead us all and its response to rhetoric is backfiring with same amount of fire (substantially speaking). And if there are appeasers WHO help reinforce this vicious circle, I think it is justifiable; in our Mahaleh we say: Javabeh Haay Hooyeh! (We say it a bit differently though, but I put the equivalent because of the Sharteh Adab)

I will stick to my informative rhetoric of no consequence, and suffice to launch rebukes as opposed to rebottles in our own Iranian era of appeasement.

Khakeh zeereh paa,

YYND + Khyaboon Molavi background

PS By the way I liked your reformist method of putting the date down: 22 Shawwal 2003! Ei val!

PS again: I understand you use google a lot so just put the quote in the google box and push the button to get the source. Zendeh bashi

Nasser at November 26, 2003 07:23 PM [permalink]:

Let me analyse the current political situation of Iran legally in this manner.
1- According to Articles 56,57,58,110 of Constitution (if I can still remember) Country is run by supreme leather and the President has limited power mostly executive power. If you look at different Articles in Constitution, the Supreme leather has an absolute power, and shall supervise President, Parliament Speaker, and Head of the judiciary. According to Art 110 of Constitution, and recent inference of the Guardian Council Supreme leather has utmost power, and the power laid out in art 110 are examples, and they are bottom of the power rendered to the Supreme leather. Guardian Council is only legitimate authority in terms of the interpretation of the Constitution. Another interpretation of the Constitution with regard to art 57 is that Absolute Power(Velaayate Motlaghe) means that the Supreme Leather has this power to dissolute the Parliament or put a halt on the bills of it. An illustration of this article and interpretation is the Press Law. Guardian Council always rejects any law related to Press by means of the letter of supreme leather in 1380 in relation to the press law that ‘ I (supreme leather) believe that it is not necessary to have any change in the press law). To sum up, it is now evident that the legal structure of Iran has rendered the power to the Supreme leather and president is like a head of the executive power which jus should say YES to the statements of the Supreme leather. In Iran Supreme leather is like president of USA and president of Iran has the power of the Vice president in USA.
2- Reality in the current political situation confirms my claims. You can see that non-elected authorities or representatives of the Supreme Leather like Guardian Council, Majmae tashkhish maslehat have more power than elected authorities such as parliament or president.
3- The reason that reformists can not do anything is that obstruction is being occurred in the political structure of Iran. Every laws and bills passed by the parliament confront with the rejection of the Guardian Council represent Supreme Leather. Khatami administration has no power, and should always accept the Supreme leather’s comments on everything unless would face difficulties by the Supreme leather.
To conclude, I would like to say that it does not have any difference who is going to be the next president since Iran is run by supreme leather. The legal structure of Iran and Constitution of Iran is the most legally crap constitution in the world with lots of loopholes, and words that have no legal definition which open up the choices of divergent interpretation. So it is not important at all who is our next president because he is puppy more than a president.

Nasser at November 26, 2003 07:25 PM [permalink]:

I know it is Supreme leader, but he is a leather more than a leader!!!!

visitor at November 27, 2003 02:56 AM [permalink]:

i understand the frustration arising of current issues in Iran, but a defective, unbalanced and opportunist character like Larijani may never be appointed or elected as a president by the people. there is a chance, hoewever, that he nominate himself but its up to the people to stop him of getting into the office.

Senior Grad at November 27, 2003 03:12 PM [permalink]:

So I finally reached the end of the world according to Google and realized with a mixture of astonishment and disappointment, once again, the volume, if you will, of my ignorance and the smallness of the world that google offers. It's Thanksgiving Day folks, and I thought I'd take the day off. So I grabbed a book I had bought ages ago in a used-book store and while biting on my awful-tasting hamburger in a Fast Food store, browsed through the pages of my dog-eared book. There I read things that I were dying to share with you. Some of which contradicting some of my previous comments. For example, there *have* been Shi'ite rulers, contradicting the "Like father, like son" axiom:

"The tall, red-haired Aziz was the best of his race, but his liberal policy was scarcely calculated to please his Muslim subjects. Married to a Christian wife ... he raised several of her coreligionists to high office, and refused even to punish a Muslim who turned Christian. ... Dying in 996, at the age of forty-one, he left the throne to his son Hakim, then a boy of eleven, who has attained the unenviable notoreity as the Caligula or Nero os Islam. ... [Hakim] oppressed his people by crazy laws and tortured and slew all whom stood in his path. No business was to be done save at night; drinking and gambling were banned; dogs were to be killed wherever found, and women were forbidden to appear in the streets."

Reading through this work, it became clear to me once again what distinguishes a scholarly work from a rhetoric-ridden polemic. Granted, it is not *always* easy to distinguish a genuine unbiased scholarly work from a work authored with ulterior motives, but there *are* some criteria. For example, a scholarly work is very cool, looking at each phenomena from as many angles as available, and free from the agitated and agitating spirit of GHOWGHA-SALARI (Could somebody remind me the English euqivalent?).

In any case, I typed this all to "appease" our friend and comment-writer, YaYa, who has kindly addressed me in his latest comment.

Senior Grad at November 27, 2003 03:35 PM [permalink]:

Nasser offered an "analysis" of the "crappy" Iranian constitution to conclude: "So it is not important *at all* who is our next president because he is puppy [sic] more than a president." (Emphasis mine.) Well, nothing could be further from truth, Nasser. Just imagine where we'd be standing today, if Nategh-Nouri had become the president in Khordad 1376 (Iranian calendar). Of course, we'd been much worse off. So a "shrewd statesman" (to borrow a term I learned from my book) could've made all the difference. To be sure, Khatami, like any other human being, had his own limitations, but I believe he possessed the integrity, so rare in an atmosphere dominated by opportunism, and that he tried his best. His critics invariably failed to point out what else he could have done that he hadn't. I am not going by any means to make a hero out of him, but I'll be damned if I don't give due credit to people.

Yaghoob Yazid at November 27, 2003 04:34 PM [permalink]:
Agha/Khanoom Senior Grad: What Nasser has offered is pointing to a fundamental problem. Do you realize how much effort, energy, and time is being wasted as long as this fundamental problem is there? Are you following the news in Iran that Mr. Batebi has been being tossed back and forth between the Judiciary Intelligence, Sepah Intelligence, and the Evin prison? We know that he is not alone, and I do admire the man, and I know there are so many others that I do not know and I wish them all "nafaseh chagh" when it is most needed. I am sorry, I do not want to lend much credence to my rhetoric, because rhetoric is cool in its own right. But with reference to what I have just "rhetorised" (you will not find it in the Dic., do not look for it),I just think you do not want to or just would like to ignore the fact that my outburst has a human side to it as well! Daash/Abjim, if you want intellectualism your style, sure, please read Hannah Arentd and then we will discuss "the Banality of the Evil" that we Iranians are grappling with right now! What has made me most upset is that I just do not believe that Hussein believes in what he is saying or he wants to do! The situation in Iran is a bloody Roman style circus! It is both bloody and entertaining and in a very post-modern way it is a recreation of a similar drama! Do you say my rhetorical metaphor does not correspond to reality at all?!! Nero and Rafsajani do indeed share similar power-yearning psychological patterns, and I am not mentioning Changiz Khan because he was a Rascal of his own stature and I am not going to lower his rank to Rafsanjani's level!(although I admit that they could be related!!) I am not saying that it is time to take a ghameh and knife the crap out of the regime's ruling elite. For how long and how much can Iran's cause wait? For how long and how much we have to have our resources spent for others and not us? Why Iranians should be ruled by a regime that subsidizes Hezbollah's Health Care system in southern Lebanon, pays for their Martyr's families, and yet even refuses to cover, at least, the people who fought for the bloody unnecessarily protracted war!Subsidizing Russians' backward export technologies is an issue to be disccussed as well! You do not agree and call it a rhetoric, damet garm at least we can be free in expressing our thoughts in The "virtual" realm of Freethoughts" and I am thankful for that. Closer to the issue at hand, there are so many examples for my frustration, more than just being astonished by seeing that an intellectual Iranian has been pushed to the point to settle for "Dr. Agha Behroozeh Laalaajani". When will it be the time to address some fundamental problems right to the core? Am I being rhetorical?!! What you and others do not like is not my attacks, their format, tone, or on the way issues are addressed or the way I scorn their discussion, but the way I am upset!! For that I apolgise! But I beg to have more discussion about fundamental problems. Is it the time to start discussing the merits of a popular revolution of old and substantive Iranian style of Mashrooteh?! Or should we continue living in fear of: oh! Stop it! This guy is emotional; he wants us to fall into the hands of the Americans, or the Monarchists, or Chaos! Yes, I concede, I get most frustrated when I see these ivory tower criteria of debating coming down from the Divine altitudes of Academia. These of no consequence mutual appeasement cycles of t ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
blockhead at November 27, 2003 04:38 PM [permalink]:

I don't know who has suggested first the idea of using reformist/conservative and left/right terminology with such contrast for the movements in Iran, where some of the so-called reformists are as conservative as many conservative parties around the world, while the so-called conservatives aren't more liberal than a troll.

(I like the word chosen for "troll" in the persian translation of Harry Potter: "ghooole ghaarneshin")

Nasser at November 27, 2003 07:29 PM [permalink]:

Dear senior grad

Thank you for your comment on my note. I would like to reply your comment here.
You have mentioned that “Just imagine where we'd be standing today, if Nategh-Nouri had become the president in Khordad 1376. We’d been much worse off”
I do not believe that we have been worse off. I am not going to deny the effect of the Khatami on the intellectual wakefulness of Iranians. Khatami spread out new dialogue amongst people in relation to the democracy, liberty,…. He has defiantly enhanced the cultural values of the people toward liberty, freedom, and so on and so forth. But he has also postponed the collapse of the regime. If Nategh had been selected, we would have seen the collapse of the Supreme leader earlier. Khatami has been like insurance for the regime that has acquired creditworthiness for the Molla’s regime in the world. The situation is worse than before khordad 76. 100 newpapers and magazines have been banned to be published. More than 50 reformist people are in the prison now. Students can no longer demonstrate even on the campus. I think all Iranian should now boycott the next election and any other elections in order to accelerate the collapse of khaameneyi, and the regime, and the Mollas. There would be no difference who is going to be our next president when the legal structure, and system of Iran is not compatible with the new ideas of democracy.

Yaghoob Yazid at November 27, 2003 07:37 PM [permalink]:

Agha Nasser, Ghorboonen oon shiri keh t-o ro khord (you know what I mean!) Ghorboon oon dahanet!

As the Anglophones say: HEAR! HEAR!

Daash YaYa

Senior Grad at November 28, 2003 02:05 PM [permalink]:


I wonder how so many intelligent people could fall for such a superficial reasoning. How could they ignore the fact that if it wasn't for the peaceful, but ground-breaking movement of 2nd of Khordad, there would NOT be so many publications to begin with?! Why they were shut down, and I agree this is most unfortunate, has more to do with other parts of the regime (a Mafia-esque judiciary system that better suits the time of Persian Kings of all varieties) that were not controlled by the president, but by behind-the-curtain forces. I can easily believe that Judge Mortazavi was nothing but a puppet, but Khatami? Far from him!

Khatami was also a man of vision, if you know what this word means. He was more familiar with modernity and appreciated it more than anybody that I can see on the horizon as the next Iranian president. I believe that he was closest to the right combination of intellectual and politician. I agree that the fact that the reform movement is now "stuck" like an ass in mud may have to do with his lack of initiative, but again, nobody else from the critical spectators watching him wrestle in the arena seemed to be able to offer a sound practical alternative.

So far as I know, it was Khatami who popularized the term Civil Society, although the concept remained un-explored and was later spoiled by being related with sophistry to MADINATONNABI. The idea of Dialogue among Civilizations was also grand, but I'm afraid it was too progressive for our nation/regime to materialize.

As for the "collapse" of the regime, let's be realistic here, preferably without sacrificing our ideals. The regime in Tehran is *not* going to collapse in foreseeable future. If we're sick of uprisings that will either result in bloodshed and more tightening of the grip of the current regime or else would take us back to suqare one and have our children curse us for not learning from the experience and betraying their future, and if we're not fond of finding ourselves in a mayhem like what we see in Iraq today, the only path is to go through a gradual change from within, and it's not something we can achieve overnight, or in the course of a few years.

It takes faithful cultural work that goes deeper than the prevalent "intellectual" pretenses that I see our youth afflicted with and a perseverence that unfortunately we Iranians are not well-known for. And of course, shrewd statesmen of vision who instead of appealing to HAAY O HOOY guide us through this most rugged transition.

As for the situation of political prisoners, at the risk of being accused of a cowad fearmonger, I should add that having these reformists alive in prison, where they can write down and send out their manifests, is far better than murdering them in the hands of the likes of Saeed Imami or attempting to kill a busload of them in their way to Armenia. This is indeed progress, although far from enough.

I also have some ideas about how to reconcile democracy with Iranian culture that I'll leave for later. :-)

Senior Grad at November 28, 2003 02:21 PM [permalink]:

Related to part of your last comment, but not in reponse to it in its entirety, I'd like to write:

I do not consider myself an intellectual, because nowadays there are so many fake intellectuals out there that I find the word nothing more than an insult. Being an intellectual, in the genuine sense of the word, is not simply about having read the likes of Hannah Arendt. You cannoy become an intellectual by reading books, dear.

You either have a critical outlook, or else you're bound to be, in the hope of becoming an intellectual, a pathetic imitator of them, with a pensive pose and a goatee for cameras, and a pipe you'd like to smoke and a few buzzwords to help rid us of all doubts that you are indeed one respectable intellectual.

You also raise some valid points in your comments that are unfortunately pretty much overshadowed and neutralized by your interesting style. :-)

Senior Grad at November 28, 2003 02:23 PM [permalink]:

My last comment was of course addressed to YaYa, but can be used for everybody's reading pleasure. :-)

Yaghoob Yazid at November 28, 2003 07:59 PM [permalink]:

Daash/Abji Senior Grad:

My style has overshadowed my valid points, alas!

Let’s do something about it and get some substantive rhetoric! From someone who dared using rhetoric in a much better way than I can, this is from Martin Luther King Junior:

"This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism."

Millions of Iranians do not have the chance, time, or resources of virtual free thinking, they are lucky though, as King Jr. has said, the tranquilizing drug of gradualism has already gotten into the blood of many of their intellectuals whose prefer course of action is "cooling off" and are thankful that no one can trivialize the much exagerated achievement of their reformist Mullah Nasrehdin President:

The regime's Islamist reformists are not getting killed, while people like Zahra Kazemi die in the hands of their fromer friends' torturers and god knows what is happening to Batebis, Muhammadis and others who are not members of the original 1979 gang right at this very moment!!

Ajoreh Deevarteem,

(Daash) YaYa!

Senior Grad at November 28, 2003 08:42 PM [permalink]:

All right, YaYa! What are we to do now? Where is our Martin Luther King to free us all from the oppression of mullahs? Care to shed a light?

Nasser at November 29, 2003 07:43 AM [permalink]:

Hi Senior Grad
Thanks for your comment.
My point is that when political structure of a country confront with an obstacle, and obstruction in its structure, there is no way but break that structure down. Participating in an election in Iran only legitimise the Molla's regime. We all believe that the current Ayatollah’s regime is not a legitimate regime; hence taking part in an election is not appropriate political reaction to this nonlegitimate regime. We should all boycott the elections in Iran in order that we can demonstrate to the world that nobody believes in Ayatollah’s government. This is my point that I am trying to take your attention into that.

Yaghoob Yazid at November 29, 2003 12:34 PM [permalink]:
Daash/Abji Senior Grad: As Daash Nasser has put it so concisely, my response to your challenge is simple, it is time that every one of us becomes and acts as a Martin Luther King. Why not? I believe we have to stop waiting for someone to lead us like a herd of sheep!! We had enough of it with Khomeini! It was enough of an experience!! We have to stop this process of being treated like goosfands, all of us, intellectual or rascal! Is it rhetoric or untrue if I painfully cry out that: We were promised reform and then what?!! We have been deceived, we have been betrayed, constantly, viciously, and treacherously!????? Is this ghogha-salaari, is this hayaa-hoo??!! Daash! How long more do we have to keep being violated????? For how long can we wait and see that our daashaa va abjeeaa are being deprived of their freedom and their countries resources? For how long????? I am being unequivocal in raising my voice! We are people too, like all of you guys who are highly educated! We have a way of expressing ourselves that many of the intellectuals have rejected because we do not adhere to "Etiquette"! I have not been impolite daasheh-man, but I have never bought into using the niceties and luxuries of comfortable highly-educated/educating elite, who often dream of guiding people like me without really liking us, either! We may be simple, we may be naive, but we are not less naive than anybody else. When the knife reaches the bone (kard bereseh beh ostkhoon) we are the one who cry first! I remind you of the fact that in the early days of Mashrooteh a Coppersmith, Mesgar, gave a speech about the benefits of the Parliamentary system (read Adamiiat and Homa Nateq, Hayaateh Yahya and others if you do not believe me). Those days everybody was a lootti revolutionary and informed sufficiently to rise to the cause! They did not know anything about Rousseau or John Stuart Mill! But they had a sense of justice! I remind you of the sacrifice of the people of the town Shahriar (Eslam Shahr) when they were the first to rise against social injustice! Three hundred casualties were the result of the regimes suppression with the Dushkaas! Don't make any mistake about it, I am not saying I am representing everybody in my social class!! But dash! Mashrooteh started from Paamenaar too, from chaaleh meydoon, from tekiyeh Maanochehrkhaani! Not to mention the lowest communities in Tabriz! Sataarkhan-o-Baqerkaan were the great lootties of the Iranian history who did not have much education! They were in fact betrayed by those who were educated (left or right, democrat or mosaavaatee)! The appeasers got rid of them, because they did not settle for the appeasers! I still have hope that Iranian students can pull it off! They have done that before, when the Shah’s guard made a habit of visiting Tehran University every couple of years in the 1960s and 1970s! They did not give up! They fought back! Because they realized the Shah’s regime did not want to reform itself! Listen! Look! This regime does not want to reform itself either!!!! My Daadaashaa va Abjihaayeh Student movement proved that we Iranians can kick start a viable civil disobedience resistance against the regime without requiring to be led like the sheep by some self-acclaimed coffee-shop methodologist!! Or a haramsaraa ideologue who sends others to get killed and raped for him so that he can be our Leader in waiting!! I believe the student movement proved that Iranians have the potentia ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Mazurka at November 29, 2003 01:35 PM [permalink]:

If there is anything to be "gained" from the likes of Larijani and further conform to the ongoing situation, is a tiny bit of experience that will not even live for the next generation.

Senior Grad at November 29, 2003 03:12 PM [permalink]:


Thanks for the clarification and getting to the point. I didn't have to think twice before voting for Khatami (which I did twice), but as for the next presidential election, I'll need to first see the list of candidates and *then* face the dilemma of to vote or not to vote. For example, I'd certainly vote for Abdullah Nouri or even Ataollah Mohajerani, but ...


I *may* provide a detailed reply later. For now, let me cry out loud: Where is Arash Jalali? Gone are the days when saoshyant and others would contribute to this forum. Forget about Martin Looti King. It's only the two of us here, dear. :-)

Senior Grad at November 29, 2003 11:00 PM [permalink]:
Dash YaYa, (I have been consciously avoiding the usage of your LOOTI discourse, but I guess calling you DASH would not harm anyone!) You make me re-discover the oft-neglected truth that language is such a miserable means of communication. It frustrates me not to be able to reach you by using words. You seem to be sitting in your own bubble, adamently sticking to your intellectual and psychological comfort zone. I have seen worse cases though, so don't worry. Without intending to patronize you, I'll try to use all my resources to spell it out for you. Thank god everybody's anonymous here and none of us have got anything to lose, just to gain. :-) ! Each one of us should become a Martin Luther King. Hmmm. This reminds me of the empty slogans we used to hear after some IRI politician was blown up in the bloody aftermath of the 1979 revolution: "AMRIKA DAR CHEH FEKRI E? IRAN POR AZ FOLANIEH." I'm sure you remember and you may have even laughed at the inaneness of such RAJAZ. (I have looked for, but not found, a good English equivalent for this Persian word.) The plain truth is, not only all of us cannot be Martin Luther Kings, but if even one person from among us gains his prominence and eloquence, in a society where democracy is not institutionalized, where the people are in the moral limbo -having been detached from their traditional faith-based morality and not yet having arrived at modern values of tolerance, equality, citizenship, etc.- he or she alone would not be of much help. In other words, in the absence of necessary cultural infrastructure, if you will, for sustaining democracy (which is a very delicate thing to protect as the experience of so many newly freed countries around the world proves), any attempt to erect political democracy (as opposed to what we might call "cultural democracy") will remain futile. I believe that if it wasn't for a deep-rooted democrartic culture enshrined in the American Dream, Martin Luther King would be a Khatami of sorts, his efforts getting black Americans no rights. @ We should not wait for a savior. We should stop acting sheepishly. I agree! It is easier said than done, however. Followership, if there is such a word in a dictionary, has, through centuries, become part of being Iranian. Our ancestral religion, Shiism, forcefully supports the idea of a savior. Our culture advises us to obey, or at least not to criticise. As a result, we have a hard time distinguishing criticism with anomisity... # We were promised reform and then what?!! We have been deceived, we have been betrayed, constantly, viciously, and treacherously!????? Too many question marks. One would do. :-) Even in this sentences of yours I see a sign of believing deep down that someone else has (necessarily?) been in charge. Who promised reform? Who deceived us? Who betrayed us? Who? $ Is this ghogha-salaari, is this hayaa-hoo??!! yes, it is indeed. % We are people too, like all of you guys who are highly educated! We have a way of expressing ourselves that many of the intellectuals have rejected because we do not adhere to "Etiquette"! I don't know about others, but as you can see from my struggling to find the right vocabulary to reach you it must be clear that I am not highly educated. Here's what I think: Now you're resorting to another technique! By calling us (who exactly?) "highly educated" (I even sense the un-translatable word SOOSOOL here!) you are simply trying to create an air of "martyrdom" for yourself. Y ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Yaghoob Yazid at November 30, 2003 01:49 AM [permalink]:
Haaj Senior Grad (from your way of writing you sound like a guy, so if you are an abji you still deserve to be called Daash because you have the gut): Damet garm, You just gave complete answer! I am not asking for martyrs, but when you fight oppression, people get killed! So I am sorry, some people have to sacrifice and those of us who will feel the brunt of sacrifice earlier than those who are studying some anishtan science in Yengeh Donia will never feel it, because they may not even come back to participate in our funerals! Yeah, I am suffering from inferiority complex towards you highly educated daashaa-o-abjeehaa and you guys don't feel any superiority yourself! Daash, just look at your response to me and almost all other responses of yourself in every other posting on this Free Thought, and see how much interested you are in getting the last word! Then, after some pensive self-reflection of your style, come and tell me what kind of complex I am diagnosed with! Iranians in Mashrooteh asked for Justice first and then the Parliament, if you do not know the history of the most eventful turning point in your country then don't accuse me of nostalgia! It is analogy that I am using to show patterns of mobilization, mass participation, and more than everything else, sacrifice that sets Mashrooteh apart! If such a unity had existed during Mussadeq era I would have mentioned that. Also during Mashrooteh people knew they wanted justice, peace and security; it was not like the agony of 1978 that a handful of Jafarkhaans who had come back from Farang were trying to tell people how to replace the Shah and his already old and haafhaafoo butchers, with schizophrenic slaughterers like Saadeq Khalkhaali and the band!! Should I mention they also brought to power the son of Teyehb Haj Rezai who was a rascal of no principle!! As well as Husseineh Gill who was another rascal of no principle!! And where did they put, in the Sepah to protect our Namoos, because these people could repent, but people like Jahaanbaani (a top gun pilot) could not and would not!! Come on Aghaayeh Doctor don't tell me that I don't know what kind of rascal Laat is looti and what kind is Naa-looti!! Daash tell me countries like Turkey have elections and Parliament, do they have the kind of cultural infrastructure that you have put as pre-requisite there? NO! What kind of cultural infrastructure are you talking about?? Stop philosophizing and abstracting for the people! India too is another example!! Do you think our people are culturally far more backward than Indians and Turks? We know that Iranians are not like Europeans, but countries like Italy still do not have a proper democratic culture, even Greece does not have one (the motherland of philosophy and democracy!)! Come on get real!! We deserve to be given a chance without having the opportunities hijacked every 20-25 years by some Mullah or some fokol-khaan, or as recently as this some Dr. Laalaajaani ReeshPashmoodin! And about the Eslaam Shahr massacre, I am very sorry for you to trivialize the quest of people for justice by your absolutely appeasement-apologist pragmatism! So are you saying if people are violated they do not have the right to demonstrate? They do not have the right to take the fuel that is their own by capturing the Fuel storage when the regime is not giving them the fuel and in fact is selling at the same time the oil-eh bee zaboon for 5 dollar a barrel to Syria and giving it for free ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Yaghoob Yazid at November 30, 2003 02:03 AM [permalink]:

Daash Senior Grad,

I also should add that when I say we can Luther King and/or Baqer Khan, or Sataar Khan, I am appealing to any type of principled conscientious objection.

If someone is going to organize to demonstrate and then the foofools of Basseej and chomaghadaaraayeh Baazaaree attack them they have every right to defend and even counter-attack.

If someone is against any violence, and they just want to do some "Tahasson" or go on hunger strike or just demonstrate, by all means!

The point that I am trying to make and appeaser and fear mongers hate it is this: Iranians were promised reform, and justice. In response none of that has been given to them.

The regime has completely lost our trust and has proven to be naa-looti!

It has violated the people and it is time to stand up!

Zoghaaleh Ghaliyuneteem

Daash YaaYaa

blockhead at November 30, 2003 03:16 AM [permalink]:

Hoessein Derakhshan:
> But since he is running ... IPM ... he
> has become very popular among a large number
> of graduate students and professors ...

Don't even think about it. Students and professors certainly are not that silly to make such a big mistake.

Once I said to a friend, that I prefer to hear that the Laridjani borthers are foreign spys than to know that they do such sabotages without any clever reason.

Hoessein, I don't know how you propose such a recipe for the Iranian people, while you live in a socially-developed, democratic country, and it's a pitty since as I know you are a nice and intelligent man.

IMO, by the time, Laridjani is good to remain the head of IPM because if someone else were at this position, the hardliners couldn't stand such a good environment.

hajir at November 30, 2003 06:29 AM [permalink]:

Hoder's post is disappointing. I don't know why he thinks he should introduce a candidate to iranian people. First he picked Shirin Ebadi and now Larijani and tomorrow god knows whom.
Are you trying to figure out how much influence you have got Hossein?
I assure you that iranians have made up their mind and they won't show up in the election day no matter who the hell is gonna happen afterwards. There is no difference between Larijani or Rezaee or Tawakkul, etc. So why should iranians bother to vote for equally "halqe be goosh" servants of the Mafia.

Untill then just stay quiet and 'khodeto zaaye nakon'.

Kilogram at November 30, 2003 10:57 AM [permalink]:

Point 1: Holding a PhD from Berkeley, pretending to tolerate women with make-up in office (what an impressive point!), and having got the first internet connection in Iran, does not make Larijani a suitable character for presidency. Larijani brought internet access to IPM because it was not possible to run IPM with no data connection to the rest of the world. Even universities in North Korea (one of the most isolated countries in the world) have internet access.

Larijani is probably the last ace remaining in the hands of the much-hated conservatives. It's arguably their only card which has not shown a corrupt face to the public, carries a 'well-educated' title, and may have some friends amongst the reform-seeking intellectuals; although the latter would not necessarily help. He is the conservatives' solution to make sure presidency will not fall into a 'real' reformist hand, and as Yaser mentioned, will just extend the life of the Mafia rule for a few more years.

Kilogram at November 30, 2003 10:59 AM [permalink]:

Point 2: Both Larijani brothers are amongst the darkest figures of today's Iran. I would compare them to Rashidian brothers, they are probably even worst because of their high level of education and experience (dozd ba cheraagh gozide-tar barad kaalaa). I wouldn't be surprised if later we figure out they were double agents - as Blockhead mentioned earlier. In the very first days of the revolution, Larijani invaded the office of the former queen with a group of Pasdars and has occupied it since then - converting it to IPM; the documents and archives inside the office of the former queen were all under his control, he decided which documents to publish and which documents to hide from the nosy revolutionists. Why would he - and who was he - to invade the office of the queen, and occupy it for 25 years?

His ally and brother - the head of the state's television company - is a well-known buddy of the Mafia, who runs a corrupt organisation, and wastes billions of rials by producing and broadcasting one of the worst television contents in the planet, with the co-operation of some evil figures such as Agha-Mohammadi etc.

Kilogram at November 30, 2003 11:02 AM [permalink]:

Point 3: I don't agree with Derakhshan's point that the question about the future in Iran shifts more and more to individual freedom and economic well-being instead of political freedom, this is exactly what the conservative camp has been promoting to put the real reforms down. It is impossible to achieve real individual freedom and true economic growth without a serious change in the way the country is being ruled, otherwise both of Derakhshan's points are against the interests and will of the dominant god fathers.

Also, the "China Development Model" is just a mouthfull way of fooling both the illiterate government authorities (by drawing and image of a politically strong Iran with a state-controlled economy and growth index), and also attracting the attention of rich Iranian merchants. The Chinese government is not democratic, not going to be democratic, and the Chinese government has not given any social and individual freedom to its people - apart from letting them play around with new electronic mobile phones, toys and cars, and providing the cheapest labour market for huge multinational companies (in order to make them even more competitive). All the major business and trade is predominantly controlled by the government or by people who have strong ties with the government. The difference between rich and poor is growing everyday, and in this regard there is nothing nice and fair about their development system.

Finally, I would like to ask people like Hajir to be more mature and avoid sentences such as "just stay quiet and khodeto zaaye nakon". If you don't like someone's ideas, don't read it, and stop using insulting words.

Yaghoob Yazid at November 30, 2003 11:55 AM [permalink]:

Daash/Abji Kilogram:

Ei val to your principles' reminder to Daash Hajir, although I should admit that when I read it I wanted to make a point on Lootigari.

One more thing about Dr. Pashmodin Laalaajani his even more Pashmodin brother is that these people are the exact equivalent of the Fokolkhans of the Shah time in the Islamic ChehlDozdeh (forty road robbers of) Baghdad Republic.

What I have kept saying and it seems it does not sink in with some people around here is that when the Naa-lootis take over, due to people's boycotting the polls, there will inevitably be so much corruption and chaos and violation of our Naamoos and respect that there will be a clash with the regime HEAD-ON.

Now the reluctant fear monger appeasers, who thank to them this nightmare has been dragging on, will accuse people who will rise for justice and their freedoms for being irrational!

I did not want to say this but now I will say both in English and Persian in less than five years, Iranians will have to confront these traitors and tell them once and for all:

Tobeyeh Gorgeh Margeh (Wolf's repentation is his death!)

Noocheyeh Gowdetooneem

Daash YaaYaa

Senior Grad at November 30, 2003 12:34 PM [permalink]:

Just wanted to say that I am humbled by Kilogram's astute comments. :-)

Yaghoob Yazid at November 30, 2003 02:46 PM [permalink]:

Ei val to your looti-oriented and principled acknowledgment of humility, Daash Senior Grad, I am going to suggest that we initiate you to the Gowdeh (order of) Nasi Abad.

Daash YaaYaa

hajir at November 30, 2003 03:00 PM [permalink]:

Ya kilogram is right, my comment was insulting and I hope Hoder if reading these comments forgive me for it. I just want him to be more careful with his writings. He has the access to the public in an extraordinary way, so he is responsible ten times more than any of us for what he says. I suggest he consult with a few people before publishing his ideas.

Senior Grad at November 30, 2003 04:19 PM [permalink]:

Hajir makes a good point. One of my hobbies is reading the preface of books! It astonishes me to realize (or rather, that I realize that I have no idea about) how a book of non-fiction is produced. The author usually expresses his gratitude so many people for being influential and helpful throughout, and I believe it's not just a matter of empty TAAROF of the Iranian kind. (Although dedicating his book to his wife may be of that sort, or simply part of the inescapable wife-wooing in the age of the equality of the sexes.) In contrast, most Iranian authors write single-handedly. We simply do not have the tradition of asking for others' opinion about our work. This trend (to make extensive use of people's various opinions) must be encouraged.

Yaghoob Yazid at November 30, 2003 04:37 PM [permalink]:

Yet another show of recognition from the God of Methodology and Objective Seniority, and a resident of the Divine Heavens of Academia, SENIOR GRAD, descends to the slums of Free Thought to assure us all that Hajir's point was valid!!!

Hail to that!

Damesh Garm,

Malakheh Pankatooneem,

Daash Yaa Yaa

Senior Grad at November 30, 2003 05:11 PM [permalink]:


P.S. Sounds like we have been writing our last comments at the same time. I shall remain silent... :-|

Kilogram at November 30, 2003 06:40 PM [permalink]:


I don't see why you're criticising Hossein Derakhshan for publishing his own views. Unlike what Señor Grad mentioned in his example, non of the writers in this blog are publishing any sort of book or reference. I'm also sure that Hossein Derakhshan did not come to this conclusion about Larijani by sitting in his room alone and daydreaming; definitely many people have had influence on him. In this blog, we simply write about our own thoughts and beliefs (Remember: Free Thoughts on Iran!!!). We're free to think our own way and share it with others, and no one is in the position to devaluate others' ideas. The purpose is to initiate discussion on a topic, and then learn more through "Tazaarobe Aaraa".

Richard Bean at November 30, 2003 06:56 PM [permalink]:

A misunderstanding arose somewhere. Javad Larijani doesn't have a Ph.D. from Berkeley, or any other American university. He studied in California for eight years, but doesn't have a Ph.D. from there. Ask any Iranian mathematics professor. You can check this at any number of sites - the UMI dissertations site, the Berkeley library catalogue, or the Mathematics Genealogy project.

I agree that IPM is one of the best research institutes for mathematics in Iran. It is particularly strong for combinatorics. But neither it, nor IASBS or Sharif, can attract good foreign researchers at Iranian levels of pay.

Senior Grad at November 30, 2003 07:00 PM [permalink]:

Well, unlike Kilogram, ;-) I didn't think Hajir's comment was aimed at *silencing* HoDer, which seems to be 1000gram's concern! To me it just sounded like a good friendly advice. :-)

Yaghoob Yazid at November 30, 2003 07:07 PM [permalink]:

Daash Kilogram:

Could you please post your Free Thoughts Manifesto?!

If someone criticizes someone's views, is this devaluating others' views?

If you are one of the editors of this Free Thoughts, which it seems you are, let me tell you with absolute bluntness:

You cannot tell people how to value other peoples' views by asking them to buy into and apply your "TazaarobehAraa" framework.

Even the bravest and greatest Supreme Courts of Germany and the US cannot agree over what constitutes the limits of expressing ones' Free Thoughts.

And so, if a few of us think that we have the right to REACT AND RESPOND as long as we are not "naa-looti" and have been polite we have the righ to to express it "passionately" as well.

Hajir's previous sentence in Persian was not right in principle, but for the rest I totally disagree with you as to whether Hajir has to express his expectation from Hussein.

Moreover, Hussein is sharing his observations that also carry a lot of weight in terms of expectations (I would say Daash Senior Grad who is the Chief God of methodology would have described it as Teleological).

So if you think this is gonna happen and it will be good in the long run and etc and your language is prescriptive more than descriptive, sorry daash there are implications and consequences with EXPRESSING one's FREE THOUGHTS in the marketplace, chaleh Meydoon, or Chaar-soogheh, Ideas!!

Hussein, for all intents and purposes, is still free to go and become the Speaker of the next Majles, and if this happens I promise you I will buy him a (Stadium) Boogh, similar to the one that the great rascal of principle Mammad Boghee used to have, and send it for him to hang it next to his microphone for the goodness of a Sustainable Path of Development for Iran.

So while the case still remains open as to whether Hussein has been day dreaming or this is his best interpretation of his worst most recent nightmare, others may indeed devalue his observation according to their vision, which is equally valid and contestable.

Seeneeyeh Manghaletooneem

Daash YaaYaa

Kilogram at November 30, 2003 08:07 PM [permalink]:

Misunderstanding! What I mentioned about Hajir's point is that Hossein (or anyone) is free to express what he thinks, and no one can mock him "go consult some people before you talk". That's all.

Yaghoob Yazid at November 30, 2003 08:26 PM [permalink]:

Daash Kilogram:

Got the point,ei val, HOWEVER:

I appreciate if you can tell us there is a ration for MOCK in Free Thoughts,

What is your definition of "mock"?If you do not have one I will need to request for a reference to the German or the US supreme court ASAP.

God Senior Grad, I mean Daash Senior Grad, once accused me of mocking everything and everyone (hmmm I have not mocked God, Satan, angels and the prophets of god yet, will remember to do next time),

So since it seems I am using up my mock coupon too fast, would you also issue coupons for Mocking-Daash YaaYaa-style because I need to know if I can buy some to be able to speak at least the amount of my coupon (ghadeh coponemoon harf bezaneem, Farsi sheekareh beh molla), because suggesting people to go and seek advice is nowadays mocking as well and I am beginning to become worried.

Baabaa toro khodaa dast bardaareen, give it up man, what did the poor guy say? Go and consult more and then come back! Senior Gods of methodology can tell you better. (By the way I am going to call Senior Grad from this point Senior God, is this mocking too?)

Taghcheyeh Otaaghetooneem,

Daash Yaa Yaa

Senior Grad at November 30, 2003 09:13 PM [permalink]:

I'm impressed by YaYa's unlimited energy. He's just so relentless and unforgiving these days. He's gonna knock us all out one by one. Ouch!First of all, there was, yours truly, the self-conceited and self-satisfied Senior Grad, who made the mistake of engaging with him, and now there is Kilogram. Who's next? DIGEH NAFASKESH NABOOD?

I believe it is true that "[e]ven the bravest and greatest Supreme Courts of Germany and the US cannot agree over what constitutes the limits of expressing ones' Free Thoughts." So I guess there is something missing here that I cannot really put in words, but my quote (under the next post) about invisible walls in America point to. There is an invisible consensus and there are unspoken rules of speech and behavior that govern the "free" exchange of thoughts among the Westerners that we Iranians lack. In other words, there is a "common sense" that is not so common to us, and I'm glad that this forum provided a chance for us to see an instance of it (at least one!) first-hand.

By the way, I'm learning new words! According to "teleological" means "exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature". What the f***?

Ordak D. Coward at November 30, 2003 10:22 PM [permalink]:

Daash Yaa Yaa,

Beekheeyaal daash, isn't what you preaching to kg, the same as what kg was preaching to hajir, and what I am preaching to you :) No quota of mockery and disrespect shall exist and I yet have to see it being enforced here -- the closest was the enforcement of 100 word limit --. So, I save my energy to quack quack when the free thoughts are not tolerated freely anymore.

However, I give you my rationale for deciding what shall be accepted in a moderated forum, and that is, 'thou shalt not disrespect the self of your fellow participant'. That is, you can make fun of his ideas, his beliefs, his religion but not himself. Why? Because insluting the selves of ourselves does not mean anything but insults. Their are not thoughts, daash, are they? Examples: 'You are an idiot' is not accepted to me. But, 'Your proposed solution of Iranian progress is the most idiotic thing I have ever read' is OK. See, I mean, we are here to wrestle the thoughts and not start a round of insults, or are we?

Insults are usually used to infuriate the listener and make him behave unrationally, or it comes out when we are so infuriated ourselves that we can not reason anymore and start insulting. So, what is the point of it here, anyway?

Yaghoob Yazid at December 1, 2003 12:41 AM [permalink]:
Ordak khan or Senior Grad or Senior God or whatever else that is your pseudonyme or name and you cannot successfully hide it!! First of all it is clear that you are not a true rascal and thus your initiation is put on hold: It is "Be-kheel Baa" not beekheeyaal; is it clear naashee khaan!!! Now I know that Kilogram is something in your proximity as well and it is good you are learning how to use the pseudonym thing more often! Talking of loneliness!!!! You are so lonely that you now keep talking to yourself!!(you really hate it when I put so many excalamation marks but don't worry that does not cause any wedding in my rear either!) I am sorry but I have decided you are not in philosophy and logic, you are in science and you do not know anything about methodology either, I retract THE PREVIOUS TITLE OF SENIOR GOD now, you are now SENIOR GAGOOL of methodology AND a pretendener of objectivity, and you are the Iranian who does not have any sense of justice as opposed to many others that you think lowly of. Now you will be presented with your lesson in methodology. First of all don't be so beesavaad please, webster dictionary is not a good source for serious issues hazrateh gagool khaan, I refer you to Britannica and if you are not subscribed you cannot open it up, but I know your great American university should be subscribed to that so log on through your electronic library and get some savaad please!! teleology Encyclopædia Britannica Article (from Greek telos, “end”; logos, “reason”), explanation by reference to some purpose or end; also described as final causality, in contrast with explanation by efficient causes only. Human conduct, insofar as it is rational, is generally explained with reference to ends pursued or alleged to be pursued; and human thought tends to explain the behaviour of other things in nature on this analogy, either as of themselves pursuing ends, or as designed to fulfill a purpose devised by a mind transcending nature. The most celebrated account of teleology was that given by Aristotle when he declared that a full explanation of anything must consider not only the material, the formal, and the efficient causes, but also the final cause—the purpose for which the thing exists or was produced. With the rise of modern science in the 16th and 17th centuries, interest was directed to mechanistic explanations of natural phenomena, which appeal only to efficient causes; if teleological explanations were used, they took the form not of saying (as in Aristotelian teleology) that things develop toward the realization of ends internal to their own natures but of viewing even biological organisms as machines ingeniously devised by an intelligent being. In the 18th century, William Paley, a Protestant apologist, gave classic expression to this kind of teleology. Immanuel Kant's Kritik der Urtheilskraft (1790; Critique of Judgment) dealt at length with teleology. While acknowledging—and indeed exulting in—the wondrous appointments of nature, Kant cautioned that teleology can be, for man's knowledge, only a regulative and not a constitutive principle; i.e., a guide to the conduct of inquiry rather than to the nature of reality. In the late 19th century, controversy centred on whether the phenomena of growth, regeneration, and reproduction characteristic of living organisms could be explained in purely mechanistic terms. The vitalism of Hans Driesch, a German biologist and philosopher, according to which ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Senior Grad at December 1, 2003 07:39 AM [permalink]:

[Hands in the pockets of his khaki pants, walking at leisure in his garden, wearing a wide self-satisfied grin, occasionally bending and closely examining the red TOROBCHEs, smiling some more, occasionally humming a Brahms Hungarian Dance tune, or whistling EY IRAN, so eloquently!]

Señor Græd at December 1, 2003 09:31 AM [permalink]:

Just wanted to see my new look in the mirror. :-)

Narcissus -- in Greek mythology, the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Leiriope; he was distinguished for his beauty. His mother was told that he would have a long life, provided he never looked upon his own features. His rejection, however, of the love of the nymph Echo or of his lover Ameinias drew upon him the vengeance of the gods. He fell in love with his own reflection in the waters of a spring and pined away (or killed himself); the flower that bears his name [NARGES] sprang up where he died. According to another source, Narcissus, to console himself for the death of his beloved twin sister, his exact counterpart, sat gazing into the spring to recall her features...

- Encyclopedia Britannica

An Iranian Student (AIS) at December 2, 2003 03:59 AM [permalink]:

Although I usually try to look at everything from a positive view *at first* to give any claim a fair chance to prove itself worthy...well, as far as I can, in this case I simply can not bring myself to do this. So instead I ask you, Mr Derakhshan sir, very plainly, WHAT PURPOSE DO YOU HAVE - REALLY - OF BRINGING FORTH SUCH REMARKS?!
I simply can't convince myslf that anyone could write something like this with honestly and good will,it is beyond the capacity of my imagination.
And calling such political filth as Larijani a 'neo-con', is this yet another dark joke we poor people have to bear along with all the others we are unfortunate enough to live through in our daily hell?
I can tell you this, it is not funny.

AIS at December 2, 2003 04:36 AM [permalink]:

I was reading the comments afterward, and man, Ya ya , I agree with most of your points. The problem is too much talk and analysis and no action. And yes, democracy and freedom belongs to the 'ordinary' people. Just look at the USA, the world's first democracy-not France which was a loud but pathetic imitation- it is the land of ordinary poeple, not of 'intellectuals' who try to teach others all the time. O, and I enjoy your sense of humor a lot... :)

There was also some mention of Saoshyant, maybe the article about Pakistan and discussions of Jenah ... sacred him off. (he was writing from Lahor I think)