Many years ago when I was noting the immense technological
changes that were taking place before our eyes, a friend of mine asked me what
I thought about the status of countries like
So when looking at the phenomena of the global technological changes, we can see some third world countries that have made good strides forward, countries like Singapore and Taiwan, and some others that have never gotten on the train. And in many of underdeveloped countries, the political factor *is* the main obstacle in front of these developments, because lack of freedom certainly hampers post-industrial development.
If the industrial society needed *education* as a requirement of its kind of production, the new technologies *require* freedom to progress. Let’s remember that in pre-industrial societies, education existed, but it was *not* a requirement of the production. Whereas education was a requirement for industrial production, and this is why educational system became a public need, and was standardized, and institutionalized in the industrial society and this is how public school system was formed in every industrial country. The situation is the same with regards to *freedom* and the post-industrial society.
Freedom was an important ideal in pre-industrial and industrial societies and the declaration of human rights and other similar documents in history were the results of endeavors of humanity for a dignified social life for all. But only in post-industrial society, freedom is a requirement for production, and it is being institutionalized in legal form, to protect freedom of invention, and the intellectual property rights, software copyright, etc. It is not hard to see the lack of copy right laws in backward countries.
Institutionalizing freedom is a necessity for the
development of the core technologies of the post-industrial development and
futurist authors like Tofflers have been noting this
factor in their works [for example, see Toffler’s book entitled “Power
Shift”]. Some new technologies can
partially be developed in closed societies like
Now this is the background from which we should evaluate
developments of third world countries.
We know advancements of some countries like
I recently saw the following article which showed some
developments in the area of fiber optics backbone in
I think one of the things we should pay attention to, is that building a post-industrial economy cannot be done by ideologies of nationalism, protectionism or isolationism. In fact, such state ideologies can compromise the real independence of a country, rather than helping the cause of independence. Nationalism is as obsolete as Communism in this day and age. We do not live in an era where imperialist powers were willing to capitalize in third world countries for cheap materials, cheap labor, and markets. More and more the real mine of the new world is a universities like the MIT which develop the materials that are made to order for any industry in its Applied Material Science research labs, for example the material with ductility and durability that is needed by an auto industry manufacturer for its car production. Here is a good article by Daniel Bell on this change in the world production:
The above means that attracting capital in such projects to any country can happen if the skilled labor is viewed to exist in that country.
The West is spearheading all these developments worldwide
and the attitude of the politicians of any third world country in dealing with
the West is very critical to their success in producing for the global
market. The example of
The example of hostage-taking ordeal in the aftermath of the
Iranian 1979 Revolution and the support of many Iranian political groups of
this savage act has been a strong reason of isolation of
One thing that in this era is critical for any individual to ask the leaders of different political and state organizations is their programs for the future, i.e. their economic and political plans. We ask a lot from our politicians, but we fail to discuss their *programs*, which is really the main thing we should ask them about, as their program for Iran is what they are supposed to implement as a political leader, when they get to power? I once wrote an article about how we Iranians treat our leaders and I think this issue is especially very significant in our future in this era of global change. Here is what I had written:
I think we have a choice to become a
In short, I think Iran should aim for a business direction
like Japan where the only focus of the manufacturers is to serve the customers
and even if the government helps the industries, it is not by protecting them
to sell junk to the consumers deprived of other choices from foreign producers,
but it is by helping them to produce at the highest world quality
standards. A successful business is the
one that can sell in the global markets and can serve the customers the best,
and not like many sellers in
Progressive Iranians should oppose import and export policies that are based on any protection of local industries, rather than protecting the consumers. If the local industries cannot develop the price, features, and quality that Iranian consumers desire, they should not be helped by import/export policies. They should be assisted by technical and scientific programs to help them get on par with the leading-edge industries worldwide.
Moreover the progressive parties and individuals should support programs to develop the
post-industrial enterprises and to fade away the smoke stack industries of the
past. Promote the technologies of
computers, communications, genetics, and satellite communications to make the
infrastructure necessary for post-industrial development of
And I would like to close this article by emphasizing the
main point that until any business, industry, and seller in
Finally I have described my thoughts on the political and other aspects of this change and the proper program to achieve such change in my proposal for the platform of the Iranian Futurist Party, which is at the following URL.
Certainly the conflict between all the traditional political and social forces of Iran with this new reality is inevitable and the loss of the progressive forces to obsolete Islamist forces in 1979 has not helped the post-industrial development in Iran but at the same time, Iran is the best example of how a backward political and social program can cause a constant frustration for a whole nation, a nation which understands the 21st Century and will not be held away from this rapid train of progress for long. The struggle for Progressiveness in the Present Epoch in Iran has just started:
Hoping for a Secular, Democratic, Federal, and Future_Oriented Republic of Iran.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
January 6, 2002
* The above article was first
posted on Jebhe BB and Mehdis