AAA posted the following news item:


"And an editorial in the Islamic hardline daily, Qods, blamed the intelligence agency for talking too much in revealing its shortcomings, saying, ‘The Ministry of Information could have informed higher officials instead of informing the people.’ ”


The above statement of Qods shows, those who want to kill the slightest advancement of Iran towards an *open society*, in contrast to the ones, who support the minutest progress of Iran towards an *open society*.


This is the same Qods hardliner daily that has never missed time to ridicule the U.S, for the Monica Lewinsky affair. But if what Qods is suggesting above, was done in the U.S., there would never have been a Monica Lewinsky case, and everything would be hunky doory, thrown under the rug and U.S. presidency would look as "perfect".


As we all know, there have been many similar allegations like those of Monica Lewinsky against the Shah, Saddam Hussein and many other rulers in despotic states, and mostly the "Monica's" of those countries have either ended up dead somewhere in the dumps, or disappeared in a different way, and such individuals never have been able to cause any of those rulers to go thru anything like an impeachment or dethroning.


One may think that closed societies are the winners, as there is nothing ever to prove wrongdoings of their officials, whereas the open societies look as if real clowns are running their executive, judicial, and legislative bodies. But in reality, this "perfect" facade of despotic regimes is not hidden from the people and only the officials of closed societies are like the ostrich that have their head in the sand.


Democracies like the U.S., take pride not in the mistake of an individual president like Bill Clinton, but they take pride that someone like Monica Lewinsky can come forward, with something like this, without fear of her life, and not only *live*, but even benefit, and even cause the impeachment of president of the country.


I remember Karl Popper's book "Open Society and Its Enemies", which he wrote during the era of fasicism in Europe, in 1930s, where he talks about Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia as compared to Open Societies.


Systems like the Stalin's Soviet system that always claimed to be superior to the Western democracies, knew it well, both themselves and the people living under them, that they could never claim to be "open" societies and that all their "news" was bunch of lies.


The purges of 1938 in Soviet Union, showed that such system did not only attack liberals, like Bertrand Russell even outside Soviet Union in England, who condemned that system, but even its defenders and makers, like Bukharin, were not safe, and were shot behind close doors.


I hope one day we can take pride in Iran as an open society.  I admire what President Khatami has done in opening the case of murder of Foruhars, Mokhtari, Pouyandeh, and Sharifi,  to the people, rather than keeping it behind closed doors, which Qods is suggesting. I hope further opening of the case continues with an open trial, and I also hope the police force in Iran to go thru a reform as well. [Note 2002- Unfortunately President Khatami stopped short of any serious action in both areas.  Please see my following article in this respect].


I think views like the above are the voice of the ones, who are enemies of Open Society, even in its minutest degree, and their criticism of the West, is not because of their opposition to colonialism, but it is because of their opposition to an Open Society.


I think wanting Iran to be an Open Society or not, is a critical question to answer, whether one supports IRI or opposes it. Enemies of open society, even if they overthrow IRI, will create a more closed society rather than an open society.


We have seen in history that the excuse of being surrounded by imperialists has been used by all kinds of forces to justify keeping various countries as closed societies, and such excuse can be used by both opponents and supporters of IRI, the ones who do not care for an open society.


I think one should ask pro-IRI groups, such as Qods or the Participation Party, as well as the anti-IRI forces, such as MKO or the Monarchists, as to whether they are for an Open Society or they are its Enemy?


Sam Ghandchi

January 11, 1999







* The above article was first posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on January 11, 1999.


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