Freitag, Mai 19, 2006

One small step...

Well, it seems that the Iranian government is taking its next step down the road to perdition.

One of the keys to demonizing a part of society is to clearly mark them in one way or another.

It turns out that this was something that the Germans didn't even invent: the use of markers to publicly identify Jews has a long history in the Middle East.

But the story isn't complete there: they are taking another leaf out of the plan book of the National Socialist movement: the German word is "Gleichschaltung", of removing differences between individual citizens, subjugating them to the dictates of the State. The Iranian parliament has decided that Iranians need to be wearing standardized Islamic garb.

Within fascism, citizens of the State are there to serve the State. There is no room for any alternative to the decisions of the State, any freedom is a grant of the State. People who think otherwise, who dare to question the State's decisions, are enemies of the State - per definitio - and their lives, the lives of their spouses and their children, are forfeit. The fascist state - duh - is totalitarian, brooking no alternatives to its power.

The Iranian people are entering an even darker period of their history. The Islamic revolution was, fundamentally, a revolt against modernism, against the destruction by the Shah of the special rights and priviledges of the clergy. To properly cover the history of Iran would take many, many posts for which I do not have the time, but suffice to say that the clergy in Iran enjoy enormous benefits and priviledges that have historical roots, yet have allowed them to have enormous economic and political power for which there is no democratic justification. Entry into the clergy is carefully controlled to ensur orthodoxy and control over the religious beliefs of the majority, controlled to ensure that there are no heretics, no future Luthers that could challenge the orthodoxy and the power of the clergy from within.

Key to the taking of power was radicalization and forcing people in Iran to take sides, of taking actions that made them commit to the Iranian revolution and break with their past. The taking of the US embassy served this purpose: it broke all diplomatic rules and gave those involved revolutionary legitimacy in the eyes of the clergy: remember that the revolution was not merely against the Shah, but also against the entire western world. This is the core of Iranian fascism, of that the revolutionaries are so radical that only the word of God has any meaning, the conventions of the west are irrelevant and must be ignored if it meets the needs of the Islamic Revolution.

The parallels, either deliberate or accidental, of the Islamic Revolution with the concepts and methodologies of National Socialism are too great to be ignored.

The problem is that neither Germans nor Italians (nor the Japanese) threw off their fascist form of government on their own, and indeed those who fought against it domestically failed and were executed with great prejudice (by hanging with piano wire to ensure great pain while slowly choking to death, since the victims were not dropped, breaking their necks, but rather simply raised from the ground by pulling on the wire, for instance).

The great danger (and the great seduction) of fascism is that once the State has been institutionalized, once the population is subjugated, once life becomes completely dominated by the whims of the fascists in charge, allowing on the one side people to lead a "normal" life, but ensuring that this normality is one determined by the State and controlled and enforced by the State. Neither the average German nor the average Italian nor the average Japanese realized how their freedoms, such as they were, were being taken away one after another: the method is to ensure that the average citizen isn't affected, but rather indeed benefits from the development, up to the point where they no longer make much in the way of any decision without first consulting the State.

So what can the Iranians do?

Good question. I'll be honest: I don't have an answer.

What will come next? We will see increasing arrests of dissidents and people who could oppose power: union members;ucators who might serve at universities as a source of dissension and as catalysts for student agitation; non-Islamic religious figures and members of those religions; homosexuals and "sexual deviates" will all start to disappear from Iranian society as the State starts to take over public life even more than it has. Expect a "Kristallnacht" where a minority is publically attacked by the thugs of the government and thereafter are exploited to further radicalize the public. Expect a crackdown on nonconformity with death sentences and disappearances; expect that the government will increasingly try to form a whole generation of children according to the precepts of the State, forming them to believe that the State is mother, father and family. The State will deliberately alienate portions of Iranian society from each other, but yet appear to be the only one who can reconcile the differing groups, ensuring that whatever problems the Iranian populace has, the State is not and cannot be part of the problem, but rather is benevolant and controlling.

It's a slow spiral to perdition. The real problem is that it took WW2 to thoroughly destroy fascism in Italy, Germany and Japan, and it took the dedication to insist not on some sort of peace process, but rather to fight so that fascism would be proven to the German, Italian and Japanese public of the time as to be a complete and total failure, a plague upon those lands.

That Iran must go through this process will destroy the country as we know it today. That's the great tragedy of Iran, the necessity of destroying the fascist nature of the Islamic Revolution in order to save the Iranians from their own worst natures. A tragedy is unfolding in slow, slow motion in front of us.

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