Change means not to adapt Iran's economic activity and individual rights to the so-called cultural boundaries
Change: Revolution, Reform, or ...?
Persian version 
There has been many theories trying to sketch the 1979 Iranian Revolution, as a plot of foreign powers in Iran. There are theories trying to depict Iranian Reform Movement, as plots of the dark forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Others have tried to see variations of real people's movement in both the Revolution and the Reform.
What apparently is forgotten is that both Revolution and Reform meant that Iranians want *change* in Iran, and that the ones who led these events really did not think much different from the norm in Iran, although they were leading the movement for *change*.
Let me explain what I see here. I see a strong interest among Iranians for doing things different, as they see the old ways are not getting us anywhere. This is why many who left Iran for the West, found the drastic difference to be what they needed and they were able to become very successful.
I think Iranians have a strong interest not do things the way we have been doing for centuries, but the ones leading such aspirations, in Revolution or Reform, were not much different from the ones who wanted to keep the status quo, as they were both afraid to make a drastic break with the current Iranian reality.
The above is the real problem of the movements for change in Iran, whether for Revolution or for Reform, and this is why they are not resulting in anything much different from the status quo and in a way are even a step backward, than forward.
I think real change in Iran should start by thinking totally different. It really does not matter if one gives all the sacrifices for a Revolution or a Reform, when one is not ready to make a real break. I am not talking of personal change. That is not even happening in the West. I am referring to having a drastic change of the Iran in mind.
For example Singapore of the last 40 years has made such a drastic change whereas Bangladesh has not.
I think one reason the same Iranians succeed tremendously in Western countries, in contrast to Iran, is not just because of opportunities or facilities. It is because they are working in an environment which is drastically different.
I think Iranians need the courage of breaking away from the old traditional nonsense and should dare to say hell with it all. I think this is what countries like Singapore have done in contrast to countries like Bangladesh.
If we do not make a drastic break, the revolutionaries are as worthless as their opponents, the reformists are as useless as the conservatives, when they are both afraid to be called Westerner, if they come out with a development plan like Singapore.
We need to break away from the shackles of the past before we can make any real progress in Iran. I think this is what in practice happens to Iranians who have left Iran for the West, and have become successful in the West. They have entered a world which is a world apart from what Iran is, and this is the kindof environment that has proven to be conducive to success for Iranians.
True, the Iranians in the West, still have their Norouz and Persian Cuisine, but they do not look for ways to adapt their economic activity or their individual rights to their so-called cultural boundaries. They accept the Western model in its fullest, whether it is for their business or with regards to their individual rights. No compromises.
I think adapting modern economy and individual rights to the backward cultural conditions of Iran is the worst path for Iranians to take. Breaking away the shackles of so-called "needed" adaptation is the way to achieve the *change* that Iranians have been so enthusiastically aspiring to for a very very long time. I prefer to see Iran to be another Singapore than another Bangladesh.
Hoping for a Secular, Democratic, and Future_Oriented Republic of Iran.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
January 16, 2001
* The above article was first posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on Jan 16, 2001



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