Iranians inside are more Futurist
It is amazing that since I have been publishing Iranscope, although my portal and news site is primarily in English, more than half of my subscribers live inside Iran. It may sound very strange, but it is a reality, that Iranians who live inside the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) are more futurist than the Iranians who live in the most advanced Western democracies such as the United States.
Maybe it is all thanks to the retrogression of IRI that the people inside Iran do not take progress and development for granted, and being able to compare their everyday life to that of the advanced countries, whether by their own visits or those of relatives or through media such as satellite TV, they easily observe the difference between living in the past and going forward to the future, and it is on their mind everyday how to arrive at Futurist Iran.
This was the same way that Iranians inside Iran said no to Communism long before Iranian intellectuals because they knew about it from travelers and friends who visited Soviet Union and the Eastern Block. People have their own way of making decisions in the dictatorial countries and one would be amazed how ordinary people know about the grass on the other side of the fence, better than many intellectuals who think people do not know.
In contrast, the Iranians living abroad mostly live in the past. Many of those who have immigrated in 1979 and 1981, think of Iran as the Iran of pre-1979 and time has stopped for them. Some of the immigrants are monarchists and are dreaming of reviving the past monarchy, and some others being nationalist or leftist, basically spend all their energy fighting the monarchists. They are both like Don Quixote.
Iranians inside Iran want a secular republic but even that is not the end in itself for them. People want a republic that can make advancements in Iran beyond a South Korea or a Taiwan or Singapore. Their issue is that they are not happy with all the experiences of the Middle East from Turkey to Egypt and they want a republic that ushers in an open society. And they want to go beyond the success stories of the Far East. They want to be on par with the Western democracies both in terms of progress and in terms of democracy.
Even the topics of discussions are different inside and outside Iran. For people inside, it is already settled that they want a republic and their issue with IRI is that it is *not* a true republic, because it is not secular, as Islamism has created a monster by mixing religion and the state, a monster called IRI that easily rapes and murders Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian journalist, and later uses modern medicine on the body of the victim to nullify a post-burial autopsy, and forces her burial inside Iran despite all the world outcry.
Thus the end result of Islamism has made Iran an isolated country in the global economy, and contrary to Islamists and some of the anti-globalization Iranian leftists abroad, the people of Iran are futurists and like to be part of the global economy, .
To the visitors who go to Iran, it is amazing that George Bush has more support there, percentage-wise, than in the U.S. If Bush runs for presidency in Iran, he can easily win:) Is it because people want US invasion of Iran, like some monarchists claim? No. It simply means that people's ideal in Iran is a modern society and the days when the youth would look up to those like Fidel Castro or Abdol-Naser as their symbol is long gone.
The ones among the youth who are opinion leaders want to learn more about Bill Gates and how an entrepreneur like him was able to create the Microsoft empire. Even their asking for secularism is not because they care much for politics. In fact, the Iranians at the time of the Shah liked politics more, and would speak about it in a hush-hush, even though Shah's Savak would cut your tongue for talking politics. The famous expression that it is all the work of the British:) was common in the pre-1979 years.
For the youth today inside Iran, just because they see Islamism has blocked their futurist aspirations to move forward, they want the removal of IRI, and want replacing it with a democratic secular republic, and they care less what the British or French or American intentions are or were. Those topics are all left for a Don Quixote character called Dayi jAn Napoleon in a Persian play to laugh about:-) For the people the political desire to change to secularism is just to move forward with their modern aspirations in life and has nothing to do with any anti-imperialism or anti-whatever.
In contrast, from leftists to monarchists to nationalists abroad, they are all spending their time and energy, again and again to discuss what the role of British was in the 1953 CIA coup, and whether the US was deceived or was the maker of the action, trying to solve history questions, as if that answers about what Iran and Iranians need to deal with at this time and age.
It is so unfortunate that Iranians abroad are still arguing about 28-Mordad of 1332 (1953 CIA Coup), instead of discussing the real issues of Iran and Iranians. It is unfortunate that Prince Reza Pahlavi has not abdicated from the throne and this is the main reason these wars of Iranians outside Iran are continuing. And those who can use this sad reality to cover their own obsoleteness to provide solutions for Iran, as they keep arguing the 1953 CIA coup, show that they have nothing else to say about the current issues of Iran and the Middle East.
It is so unfortunate that I see so much Futurist literature available by a simple search of Iranscope that could be easily translated by the Iranians living abroad, to be used by the youth inside Iran, who are so enthusiastic about these topics, but the Iranians abroad are busy wasting their time on monarchy discussions, or are lobbying for IRI, rather than trying to work on issues of a Futurist Iran.
I have discussed this for over 20 years and it is amazing that the great majority of the ones who have cared about a futurist Iran have been the Iranians who live inside Iran, and the ones abroad, sometimes acknowledge the need, but they go back to their pre-1979 sandbox, some being its Shah and others being its opposition.
The good news is that Iranians inside Iran are learning English as an international language, more and more, and many of the Futurist sources of Iranscope have been translated by them to Persian. And many other young readers are reading the articles in English and learning from the experiences of the West, about the challenges and accomplishments of building the Post-industrial society in this 21st Century.
Well, Iranians are not the only immigrant group who think of their native country the same way it was when they left it. Some Russian immigrants who were dreaming of returning the so-called glory of the Tsars, while living in France, are well-known, and even to the time of the fall of Soviet Union, still some Romanov's descendents in Europe were busy king-making, when the Russians inside Russia looked at it as if watching the Disney's Anastasia, a fun movie, while they knew better than anybody else what Ivan the Terrible and other Romanovs meant for Russia.
Nobody in Russia even wasted time arguing that revival of Romanov monarchy was not an alternative for Russia, and were sure they had wasted enough of their life with monarchy and later Communism, and they did not see any reason why they cannot have a secular republic just like the Americans. Iranians inside Iran think the same way and this is why they also do not waste their time arguing against the return of monarchy . They are even going beyond old secular republics and are planning for a Futurist Iran on par with the latest advancements of Western democracies, and they do not think they are less than any other country to aim that high.
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
August 22, 2003