They lied to you about Iran

Andre Vltchek

Have you ever considered the possibility that almost everything that you have been told about the world by the Western mass media is a lie and fabrication?

I am sure you have, at least lately, when the insanity of Western propaganda is becoming very clear and obvious. But what about the extent of indoctrination you were subjected to?

If you live in Europe or North America, how poisoned are you by the lies about Cuba and Venezuela, Russia and China, North Korea and yes – about Iran? Are you beyond recovery? If you see the truth, if you were confronted by reality, would you still be able to recognize it, or would you perceive it as propaganda and lies?

I have just left Tehran, a city with a tremendous history and culture, overflowing with museums, theatres, wonderfully kept parks dotted with modern art sculptures. It is a city with modern and fully subsidized public transportation, consisting of high-tech metro, ecological bus ways, as well as suburban trains. A city of tall trees, and quiet squares, of elegant cafes, and extremely educated and kind people.

A city that could easily be part of the ‘top ten’ cities on Earth, were it not be the capital of a country that the West is trying to ruin, first with unjust and draconian sanctions, and then, who knows, even by a militarily invasion.

What do most Westerners know about Iran; what were they told? I think the image the mass media outlets want to project is of “Iran – a radical Muslim country, some sort of Shia Saudi Arabia”, or perhaps worse. Much worse, as Saudi Arabia, the closest Arab ally of London and Washington, cannot be touched in the West, no matter what barbarity and terror it spreads all around the world.

Those who know both Jeddah and Teheran would laugh at such a comparison. Saudi Arabia, and its semi-colony Bahrain, despite their wealth from oil, are some of the most compassionless societies on the planet, misery rubbing shoulders with repulsively vulgar and extreme showing off of wealth.

Iran is in its essence a socialist country. It is internationalist, in full solidarity with many oppressed and struggling nations on our planet. No, I am not talking about Syria, Yemen or Palestine only; I am talking about Cuba and Venezuela, among many others. You did not know? It is not surprising: you are not supposed to know!

You are also expected to remain ignorant about Iran’s social system, clearly socialist. Free education and medical care, greatly subsidized public transportation and culture, huge public spaces and to some extent, strong government and at least partially, central planning.

Despite those absolutely unjust, terrible sanctions imposed, with some interruptions, from Washington and its allies, Iran is standing tall, trying as much as it can to take care of its people. And despite the terrible ordeal Iranian people are being put through, they do not cheat and do not steal. The exchange rate collapsed after Washington imposed another round of bizarre sanctions, triggering frustration, even protests. But the majority of Iranians understands who the real culprit is. And it is no secret that the so-called opposition is often financed from the West.

Most visitors do not understand anything about the local currency or exchange rates. I am no exception. I simply give taxi drivers or waiters my wallet, and they only take what is due. I checked with my Iranian colleagues: and the amount that is being taken is always fair.

Iranians do not display ‘arrogant pride’; they only show the determined, decent and patriotic pride of a nation with thousands of years of great culture which knows perfectly well that it is on the right side of history.

You were told ‘how religious Iran is’; I am sure you were. But unlike in Saudi Arabia or Indonesia, religion is not ‘being thrown into your face’ here; it is not waved as a flag. In Iran, religion is something internal, deep, which is expressed humbly and without noise. While the mosques of Jakarta broadcast, for hours a day and using powerful loudspeakers, entire sermons, while people are now being thrown into jail for even criticizing this brutal imposition of religion on the general public, in Tehran I could hardly even detect Adhan (call for prayer). Most of the local female Teheran city-dwellers only cover their hair symbolically – one third or even just a quarter, keeping most of their hair exposed.

But the West would never inflict sanctions on Indonesia or antagonize it in any other way, no matter how brutal it is to its own people: Washington, London and Canberra already ruined its socialist direction after the US-orchestrated coup of 1965. Jakarta is now an obedient, turbo capitalist, anti-Communist, West-junk-food-and-crap-entertainment-loving society. It has nothing public left. The elites have fully robbed the country on behalf of the West. Religions in Indonesia are used to uphold the pro-Western fascist regime.

Iran is totally the opposite: its interpretation of religion is ‘traditional’, as it used to be before the West managed to derail its essence in so many parts of the world. It is socialist, compassionate, spiritual and yes – internationalist.

Unlike in places like Jeddah or Jakarta, where going out to eat is now the height of cultural life (and often the only option of how to ‘enjoy the city’), Tehran offers high quality art cinemas (Iranian films are some of the greatest and most intellectual in the world), world-class museums and galleries, vast public spaces, as well as a great number of sport and amusement public facilities, including beautifully maintained parks.

You want to hang from a rope and fly over a valley, near one of the tallest TV towers on Earth – you can do it easily in Teheran. You want to see a series of the latest Chinese art films –you can, at the magnificent palace called the Cinema Museum. Or maybe Chekhov or a Tennessee Williams theatre play, if you understand some Farsi? Why not?

Of course you can sit in a horrendous traffic jam, if you are in love with your car, as you would in Riyadh or Jakarta, but you can also zip through the city in comfort and cheaply, on board the super modern metro system. You can walk on beautiful sidewalks, under tall trees, some of which grow from the clean creaks that separate driveways from pedestrian areas.

What else were you told; that you cannot look into a woman’s eyes or you will be stoned to death? Couples are holding hands everywhere in Tehran, and annoyed girls are slapping the faces of their men, teasingly and sometimes even seriously.

But would you believe it, if you saw it? Or is it too late; have you reached the point of no return?

One day, a driver who was taking me from my hotel to the Press TV television studio, exclaimed in desperation:

Europeans who come here, even for the first time: they don’t want to learn. Even if they come to Iran for the first time, they land at the airport, get into my car, and begin preaching; teaching me about my own country! They all come with the same story, with the same criticism of Iran. There is no diversity! How can they call themselves democratic countries, if they are all thinking the same way?”

In Teheran, the diversity of thought is absolutely striking. With my colleagues and comrades, we discuss everything from the war in Yugoslavia, to Latin America and of course, Iran itself. They want to know about Russia and China. I love what I see and what I hear – when people are curious and respectful of other cultures, it is always a great start!

Iran is bleeding, suffering, but it is strong. Not everyone agrees with government policies here (although most of them do support their government), but everybody is determined to fight and defend his or her country, if it is attacked militarily or by other means.

Whenever I come here, I have this impolite urge – I want to shout at my readers: Come here and learn something! Iran is not perfect, but this is real – here, life is real and so are the people. Thanks to their culture and history, they somehow know how to separate precious stones from junk, pure thoughts from propaganda, cheap and deadly capitalism from the great strive for a much better world. If you don’t believe me, just watch their films; one masterpiece after another.

Perhaps that is why the West wants to first ruin, and then to totally destroy this country. For the West, Iran is ‘dangerous’. Iran is dangerous, even deadly, for the imperialist arrangement of the world, as China is dangerous, as Russia is, as Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Bolivia are.

To ruin Iran will not be easy, I would even say: it could prove impossible. Its people are too smart and determined and strong. Iran is not alone; it has many friends and comrades. And even Iran’s neighbors – Turkey and Pakistan – are now quickly changing direction, away from the West.

Don’t take my word for all this. Just come and see. But do no preach: ask questions, and then, please sit, listen and learn! This country has more than 7,000 years of tremendous history. Instead of bombing it, read its poets, watch its films, and learn from its internationalist stand! And then, only then, decide, whether Iran is really your enemy, or a dear comrade and friend.

First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
True12th,Imam
Reader
Shahrokh
Reader
Shahrokh

Dear Mr. Vltchek, Have you ever heared about human rights? Do you know that, the state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been criticized both by Iranians and international human right activists, writers, and NGOs. The United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission have condemned prior and ongoing abuses in Iran in published critiques and several resolutions. The government of Iran is criticized both for restrictions and punishments that follow the Islamic Republic’s constitution and law, and for actions by state actors that do not, such as the torture, rape, and killing of political… Read more »

ttshasta
Reader
ttshasta

I may change dentists to follow my former hygienist, a wonderful, warm, caring , compassionate, educated, liberated woman from Iran.
https://pulptastic.com/17-reasons-never-visit-iran/

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

ttshasta Thank you. Your link has whetted my appetite to go there even more! Coincidentally (pardon the pun!) I have recently moved to a different area, in North Wales, and had cause to visit my new GP surgery 10 days ago for what was to be a routine 10 minute consultation. The practice is understaffed with three long-serving GPs covering two local practices between them and I was lucky to get a cancellation appointment at very short notice; other waiting patients told me you would normally have to wait at least a fortnight for a routine appointment. The GP was… Read more »

Joe
Reader
Joe

How do I know that you’re not lying to me about Iran?

Silas
Reader
Silas

Go there yourself and stop bitching.

TheSociologicalMail
Reader

I would love to visit Iran!

King Kong
Reader
King Kong

“Have you ever considered the possibility that almost everything that you have been told about the world by the Western mass media is a lie and fabrication?” The author is kidding me right ? Does he think we ar fooking stupid or something? I mean the lies spouted by the MSM are becoming so thick now, that you can use it as wall filler. Even my 10 year old daughter is skeptical of some of their claims, as she says ” this sounds fishy, dad” and I agree it does sound fishy. But reading what the public in the USUK… Read more »

TFS
Reader
TFS

Oh her bike in Iran

I wonder what her view of Iran will be?

Paul X
Reader
Paul X

Before 1953 Iran had been a British client stats where their oil company had a monopoly returning just 12% of profit to the Iranians. Ironically (or are they related?!) it was Christopher Steele a British diplomat in Washington who first suggested a coup d’etat to stop Iranian oil being Nationalised. The Americans weren’t keen! It was MI6 who were most active stirring opinion against the government and bribing religious elements to like wise turn against the secular democrats. It’s surprising – or not – that current comment largely ignores the British role but if you look at the detail they… Read more »

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Correct and useful Anglo-Iranian Oil Company expansion of the Amerika did it all story. However, the Americans provided most of the on the ground grunt for the Shah’s new recipe SAVAK. Stormin’ Norman, later of Iraq, was two of the boots on the ground in the American reformulation of the Shah’s security system.

Maggie
Reader
vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Maggie, Many thanks for your first link, reveals that Prescott Bush grandson was Head of Security for World Trade Center.

Pascal Ansell
Reader
Pascal Ansell

Wanted to visit Iran for years and then had the pleasure of meeting Iranians when teaching English. I really chimed with them — they were cheeky, fun, very bold and subversive. Although it’s a little unfair to assume that if you’ve not been somewhere, your view on the place is invalid, I have reservations about this article. Vitchek admitted that Iran “isn’t perfect”, but my feeling is this. It is both possible to point out weaknesses (or even serious issues) about Iran like hangings of homosexuals, compromised freedom of speech, while at the same time giving the place credit and… Read more »

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Pascall, you forgot to add “from cranes”. That’s like forgetting to add “barrell” before bombs in a thread “celebrating the good points” of Syria.

pascalansell
Reader

Bit obscure here but I guess you are referring to hanging homosexuals… I don’t get your point here, please enlighten me.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Pascal,
I think vexarb’s point is that if one chooses to believe propaganda then be sure to get the finer details correct.
J

pascalansell
Reader

Thanks JudyJ, still in the dark here… Did I need to mention where people are killed for my point to make sense? Does Vexarb want to clear this up instead?

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

Thank you so much for this article Andre .Iran is like what I hoped it would be like , and thank you for substantiating it.
I would love to visit this country before I leave this blue planet of ours.There are still good people in the world.I have read some of your works and you are a well traveled and knowledgeable man .
Too many have had their minds warped by our Western lying media.

Norman Pilon
Reader

America, which is the rankest capitalist nation on the planet, is also very beautiful, and the people are absolutely delightful. So I agree, there are still good people in the world. In fact, I’d wager that there are more good people everywhere than there are bad. But maybe you are American, or have already spent some time there, and so know exactly what I’m talking about. On the other hand, I, too, would chomp at the bit to visit Iran if I could muster the coin. I mean I know that as beautiful as they are, images never fairly capture… Read more »

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

Am Canadian Norman and as a matter of fact I have relatives by the last name of Pilon.But I stay away from the USA these days until they get their act together ,I will continue to do that .It is dangerous on many streets in the US ,but then again ,it is getting worse in Canada also .Hopefully not because of the people we accepted as refugees because we already have our share of deviants .I do appreciate your point of view from time to time.It is good that we share same as it builds a saner world.
Cheers.

HB
Reader
HB

Bravo!

Peter W
Reader
Peter W

What utter piffle. Have been to Iran 7 or 8 times. It is run by a revolting highly corrupt regime who despise women. Good public transport?? Has the writer really been over there. All the many Iranians I have met are wonderful hospitable people who would find this article deeply distressing due to the nonsense it spouts.

Silas
Reader
Silas

Why do you keep going?

mohandeer
Reader

@Peter W
The Ayatollah is currently backing the many people who have demanded an end to the corruption of Rouhani’s elected government. My question therefore is, do you condemn the electorate for being conned into voting for Rouhani or the Rouhani government, or the Ayatollah for backing the will of the majority?

Jen
Reader
Jen

Dear Peter, Please tell us the last time you visited Iran. A relative of mine went there years ago, back in the 1990s. Her experience then may be relevant for travellers there 20 years ago but not necessarily for travellers there these days. Iran was a very different country then from what it is now: still recovering from a long war, much poorer, very corrupt under then President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani’s leadership, maybe also very paranoid and prejudiced against the West and any perceived Western influences that might suggest foreign infiltration. Countries can and do change, and may even improve… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

Sorry, the proper full name for Rafsanjani is Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Compared to what? And what is your evidence the regime despises women? Not like white US hates blacks? Amerindians? Brits hate foreigners? Etc
Modernization takes time and is not helped by hatespeak like you spout.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Peter, you have been there and found the public transport unsatisfactory; Andre has been there and found the opposite. But both of you found the Persians to be wonderful people. Could you two perhaps persuade some of your Iranian friends to join the discussion? Get the view from people who’ve not only “been there” but live there?

Kathy
Reader
Kathy

We are as always encouraged to see the enemy as being without. When invariably the enemy lies within. Here in the West it is discouraged to think beyond the superficial and to hold any depth of a deeper understanding or concept of mindfulness. The Western mind warpers! have endeavored over the years to kill any belief of the spiritual and encouraged vacuousness and self obsession in its place. Soul sucking dept and a shallow existence of consumerism and mindless entertainment are part of the spell binding and zombiefying. The idea of countries encouraging deeper and more meaningful debate or progression… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

There is always something new to learn . . .

On the assumption, of course, that Keith Jones has done his homework and crosschecked his references, a fascinating read: The struggle against imperialism and for workers’ power in Iran.

Recommended (perhaps even necessary?) reading for Andre and all those who sincerely believe in the socialist character of Iranian society and the thrust of its ‘popular upheavals’ since about the 1950s.

Maybe OffG might want to post the three part series? Readers in the know might then be able to point out any factual errors committed by Jones.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Norman, don’t you know that WSWS are a bunch of Trots and their articles are verbal diarhea? For a cure, take a daily dose of the 11 part series by Persian socialist Ramin Mazaheri in the Saker Vineyard.

Norman Pilon
Reader

Well, hey, they’re a bunch of Trots. I guess Keith Jones’ critique of Ramin Mazaheri is thereby dismantled, and given that it’s a longish read published in three parts, you’ve just saved a lot of people a lot of effort. And it’s all verbal diarhea, anyway, so why bother reading the piece, eh? Many thanks you for your thoughtful comments and analysis, vexarb. But what to make of this bit by Ramin Mazaheri? Quote begins: A broke government cannot afford to pay more salaries & pensions; thus, new structures were created to fuel employment and production, and to reduce the… Read more »

Nicolas Maroudas
Reader
Nicolas Maroudas

Norman, do you realise, Iran is fighting for its life? Like Syria? When a man is drowning one does not say to would-be rescuers, “Oh but see, he has a wart on his nose; and please to read this 3-part series on all his other blemishes”. Inequality of income and maldistribution of public services is are indeed serious blemishes on the Salus Populi; but it is up to the Persians to correct them. And it is up to men and women of good will to counter that bloodthirsty cry of “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” that has been broadcast non-stop for… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

Oh, I didn’t realize that at all. But now that you’ve pointed it out to me, it becomes very obvious to me — as obvious as it is that Iran is socialist and that Ramin Mazaheri has not clearly, like the seeming majority of so-called leftists, been infected by what Samir Amin has called the “Liberal Virus” — that I’ve been unwittingly arguing for the destruction of Iran by the U.S. I mean it’s not as if we should mindful of any and all truths at all times in so far as we can be, especially when one or another… Read more »

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

@ Norman Pilon. I am hoping your reply was satirical? Because it was sort of lost on me… Unless you meant: It has become very clear since 911 and before, that EVERY time a collection of neocons and hawks hitched their wagon to the cause of any of the people they propose are oppressed, especially the Syrian and Iranian people and their ‘ruling capitalist’ establishment, which just happens to be Socialist.. Then warning bells begin to toll throughout the world, which herald the onset of ‘another regime change’ which will ensure that the Corporations make the biggest ‘killing’ literally, to… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

@ Maggie, And by the way, only because you bring up, you seem to be as convinced of Syria as you are of Iran, that it just happens to be socialist. Here is a friendly challenge for you, assuming that you are open to the possibility that you may be mistaken about Syria, or that you perhaps don’t know as much about Syria as you fancy you do: read Raymond Hinnebusch’s Syria: from ‘authoritarian upgrading’ to revolution? — International Affairs 88: 1, 2012, and then come back and tell me a) that there was never a popular uprising in Syria… Read more »

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Norman, Extract 1: “The stategy was simple, clear, tried and tested…It was to run as follows: train proxies to launch armed provocations; label the state’s response to these provocations as genocide; intimidate the UN Security Council – or at least NATO – into agreeing that “something must be done”; incinerate the entire army and any other resistance with fragmentation bombs and Hellfire missiles; and finally install a weak, compliant government to sign off new contracts and alliances drawn up in London, Paris and Washington, while the country tears itself apart. Result: the heart torn out of the “axis of resistance”… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

I don’t know how “different” Dan Glazebrook’s characterization of the machinations of Empire is from anything that Hinnebusch contends, and I’m willing to bet that as pertains to the West’s meddling in Syria, both of these authors would largely be in agreement. But from I’m reading in the quotes you’ve provided, the content doesn’t really address or answer the questions — quite independently of any “regime change operations” fomented and directed from abroad — of whether there was a popular Syrian uprising or whether Syria can rightly be characterized as ‘socialist.’ Everything that Glazebrook contends may be true; and there… Read more »

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Norman, Thank you for your comments. I did skim through Hinnebusch’s paper before posting my earlier comments and it did strike me that in amongst all the fairly esoteric ‘political detail’ there were some details which didn’t sit comfortably with Glazebrook’s understanding of events. I must confess I didn’t want to make my post too turgid and off-putting by going into excessive detail but as you have raised the issue of their relative ‘take’ on events I shall take this opportunity to mention a couple of points where the difference is apparent. Unless I missed it, Hinnebusch omits to mention… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

P.S. That’s “duly noted” and not “dully noted.” 😉

Norman Pilon
Reader

Points dully noted. And I will read Glazebrook. You are correct that Hinnebusch does not go into the details or proximate timeline of the ‘revolt,’ nor does he speak to the maneuverings of the American-Zionist-Takfiri axis. This isn’t his focus, but rather the chain of broad historical events in Syria, reaching back to the 1963 coup that brought the Ba’ath Party to power, and on up to the initial stirrings of the 2011 “uprising.” If one examines that chain of events — on the assumption that Hinnebusch has accurately read and interpreted the history — then the argument that there… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

@ Maggie, If you read what you are reacting to against the backdrop of my other two comments in this particular thread, I think it should be obvious that, yes, I’m being tongue-in-cheek, and if you want to call it satirical, well who am I to say how it comes off to others. The upshot of my comment is merely this: acknowledging the righteousness of the burgeoning revolts of the Iranian working class is not a call for the destruction of Iran; it is to stand with that class in recognizing with it that it is an oppressed and exploited… Read more »

systemicfraud
Reader

In the US, the first time I remember hearing of Iran was at the start of the Hostage Crisis. The newspapers began counting the days and slapping the number at the top of every edition: Iran Hostage Crisis Day 12. On TV–the lead story was an update on the Hostage Crisis as well. Then ABC News began doing updates after the late news–this became “Nightline” with Ted Koppel. I recently tried to search for the early episodes–just to look back and analyze the reporting. I thought youtube would have the complete first episode–but, NOPE. Out of all the newspapers and… Read more »

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

@ SystemicFraud .I so resonate with what you posted as I am sure most of us reading this article.We have been so propagandized for so long and mostly because of the zionist cause .The blinders are coming off for many of us.
Much past information about the history of Iran cannot be found unless one reads books written by informed unbiased historians .Cheers!

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@SystemicFraud; “I think Pompeo even said the USA would be in Iran by 2019.”

That’s nothing! In 2001 the Bush regime’s Wolfo*itz sent a memo to his generals, We’re gonna take out Iran by 2006.

Gavin Wren
Reader

I’m planning an overland trip through Central Asia and want to visit Iran, yet I’m hearing mixed reports about the safety of visiting, with Foreign Office warning or arbitrary detentions. This contrasts with everyone I know who has visited and said it’s a fantastic country.

I’d love to hear other thoughts on visiting.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Gavin, an OffG reader posted recently that their son has returned from Iran with glowing reports. The FO are just doing their job, in between warning Syrian refugees not to go home for fear of barrel bombs dropping deadly Russian Novijoke.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

p.s. Gavin, on the assumption you’re not vegetarian you must try their Circassian chicken! An Iranian friend of the family got his mother to make it for us as her speciality when she was visiting this country and it was wonderful.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Gavin “arbitrary detentions” – pay no heed to this nonsense. You will no doubt be aware of the case of Nazanin Zagahri-Ratcliffe and this would be one of the “arbitrary detentions” referred to. She has been an out and out trouble maker in Iran over the past 10 years or so, encouraging anti-Government rebellion, and was wanted on various charges when she returned in 2017 (or 2016, can’t quite remember). It was no surprise to anyone who believes in justice when she was detained by the authorities there. There may be one or two others in a similar position who… Read more »

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

@ Judy J Nazanin Zagahri-Ratcliffe? Isn’t she an MI5 agent? We the ‘people’ should stick together and refuse to be separated, and segregated by lies, from our fellow human beings. The more we visit one another’s lands as friends, the more we will learn the truth. Look at all the garbage propaganda prior to the Russian World Cup? Even the Bullingdon boy Dimbleby put his spoke in and it was embarrassing. We even had the false flag Novichok, but that didn’t wash with thousands of supporters from all corners of the world. And it was FANTASTIC. Not one ounce of… Read more »

Forever Young
Reader
Forever Young

Societies are complex and there’s never going to be one perspective that covers the entirety of a nation… But i’m celebrating what you have shared from your personal experience whilst visiting Teheran and communicating respectfully with some of the residents. We need as many perspectives from around the world, so as to shed insight into the fact that people who inhabit particular cities and countries are diverse in their ways, but essentially just want to get on with their lives and discover deeper meaning to be being human…. Eventually. This gets lost in the barrage of stereotypical bullshit which comes… Read more »

Nicolas Maroudas
Reader
Nicolas Maroudas

@F.Young. No need to deprive ourselves of “the rare treat of sitting around a log fire and sharing soulful music, storytelling and celebrating” — it’s the rest of us 10 Billion enjoying burning Iranian gas and petroleum that cause the trouble. Please tell us more about the Bahai. Their temple and garden are a valued tourist feature of Haifa, and they are very much into practical ecology through public recycling business. I deduced from my Bahai neighbour that they must be a variant of ancient Zoroastrian religion because she named her daughter Roxanne, same as the Afghan wife of Alexander… Read more »

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

All new religions are persecuted by the ones that are predominant at the time.Christianity was condemned and persecuted after the coming of Jesus the Christ .The prophet Muhammad was the founder of Islam and the persecutions and wars regarding religion in that historical period are well known .The Baha i faith is no different as it creates a new faith among the Muslim world. Having done some studies on different religions ,I have to say the Baha i faith is probably more evolved ,if that is the better wording , as it does stress the emancipation of womanhood and respects… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

The Baha’i religion grew out of a Shi’ite Islamic sect in Iran so it’s as much a variant of Zoroastrianism as, er, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are, in that they teach that there is a good God and an evil God, the two are always in eternal conflict and humanity’s role is to ensure that at least evil does not prevail over good.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@Jen. That’s my view too. I used to dislike Zarathustra’s view of Life as a Battle Between Good and Evil because it seemed to promote that self righteous judgmentalism which marks all 3 derivative religions which you mention — the so called Peoples of the Book. But now I begin to think St.Paul might be right after all: There is War in the Heavens.

Forever Young
Reader
Forever Young

From what you shared Nicolas, then it seems like you already have a reasonable insight into people from the Bahai tradition… I doubt that i can offer anything more as i don’t have any personal connections such as you do…. From what i’ve read about them, they come across as very compassionate in their ways.

I was just aware that they’ve been persecuted in a truly harsh manner…. Worth mentioning within the context of the article.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@Forever. Yes, the Bahai are commanded to plant a garden wherever they go. As for persecution, that’s an internal matter for the Persian nation to deal with. Wikipedia says that Bahais form the second largest religious group in Persia (which is 90% Muslim) so I guess there must be around 5 million Bahai living in their ancient land; as well as the diaspora community in Israel, Germany and the USA. I certainly do not defend persecution, torture and Cultural Genocide, but I do not believe we have a Right to Interfere in the internal matters of a sovereign country. For… Read more »

Forever Young
Reader
Forever Young

@ Vexarb… Thanks for expanding on the point. For sure, it’s always an internal affair for nations, and like the majority of people who check in with this column, i’m well aware of the persecution of particular groups of people within nation states around the world…. It’s a subhuman affliction no matter what identity flag it hides behind. i just felt to mention the plight of the Bahai’i people in amidst the dynamic of the Iranian nation, which we all know is under great threat and pressure from the Imperialist propaganda and military regime. I’m always making an attempt to… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

If Iran is socialist, then what does socialism have that would recommend it over capitalism? Quote begins: The moment he threw his hat into the ring for the presidency, Rouhani presented himself as heir to the legacy of Hashemi Rafsanjani and christened himself a moderate with neoliberal economic policies. In such a situation of moderation, nothing in fact remains moderate: in order to construct a moderate position, things must be done away with, voices silenced, and terms changed in advance. In an age that proclaims itself moderate, moderation in fact always goes to shambles. A number of Rouhani’s policies are… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Norm: if, as is stated in comment below, socialism now has a plurality of meanings, it is only because the possessing classes have re-defined and fixed meanings framed within their own hierarchical linguistic syntax of power. There is an emancipatory Telos to socialism only as a participatory democratic transitional and transformative state. Its socialist function is to gradually break down all sectarianisms and end all class and hierarchical dominance. In the process: the socialist state gradually absorbs itself by transitioning its representative power to its actual constituents and participators in their own (stateless) state of humanitarian autonomy and self-sovereignty. The… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

I agree with the crux of your assertions: socialism is a transition, a process, and when it stops being that, it becomes dead and in essence no different from the process of stagnant exploitation that is capitalist reproduction. When I assert that a state is not socialist, I’m asserting that I believe, whether rightly or wrongly, on the basis of a necessarily limited perspective, that those who hold the reigns of political power are ideologically (and thus pragmatically) aligned, not with the aspirations of the propertyless many, but with the interests of the propertied few who collectively rule over, exploit,… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Norm: I’d love to shoot the theoretical breeze about socialist transition …but the pre-requisite to any transition is a reasonably healthy capitalism and the will of the people to transition. Global capitalism has entered a auto-cannibalistic end state which precludes any theories of an orderly transition. The Turkish lira crisis is a symptom of a broader emerging market crisis that does not impinge on the narrow political worldview: focussed as it is on capital accumulation. What crisis: there is no crisis? Yet even the man – Jerome Powell – who is pulling the levers recognises the risk to the EMEs… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

Here is the issue for me: if the will of the people is ever to orientate itself to transition, the people need to be able to tell the difference between capitalism and socialism, in terms of what they are embracing in their heads. In your opinion, how many of the people commenting here, who declare themselves either as socialists or as being in sympathy with it, really have a grasp on what that transition entails? What about, for example, Ramin Mazaheri, recommended as as an exponent of the uniquely Iranian brand of socialism, but who is in reality a neoliberal… Read more »

Big B
Reader
Big B

Socialism v capitalism: if the two are to generate any real linguistic – and therefore political – meaning: they have to be ‘oppositional binaries’. Too close in representational meaning and the range of values they can generate is (deliberately) limited (diminished to extreme centrism). Thus: if capitalism stands for imperialism; socialism must stand for anti-imperialism. If capitalism stands for de-regulation; socialism must stand for re-regulation. If capitalism stands for miltarisation; socialism must stand for de-militarisation. If capitalism stands for exceptionalism; socialism must stand for universalism. If capitalism stands for globalisation; socialism must stand for de-globalisation. I would contend that capitalism… Read more »

Kathy
Reader
Kathy

Big B I agree. The whole system as it stands is flawed.It insists on the people following a system that invariably keeps them under. There is no label to use for what could be. Once labeled as an ism it becomes another label to be corrupted and turned against the people. Misdirecting them away from a true and pure existence. Fear is induced. Keeping the population from expanding inner power and core judgements of their own abilities and that of others to live harmoniously in cooperation and self regulation and in peace. There should be no need for state or… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

. . . while I agree with your sentiment, you cannot have, as you put it, “a maturing of beliefs” collectively shared without articulating in language those beliefs and integrating them into a coherent linguistic worldview that would be at odds with the capitalist status quo and its linguistic modalities, that is to say, that you cannot get away from “sets of cohering beliefts” that you cannot “name as a whole,” and thereby christen as “-isms.” This is simply how culture works, how it is that people come to share “points of views,” all of which can be “designated” in… Read more »

Big B
Reader
Big B

Norm: what you, I and Kathy are aspiring toward, is that we need a language of our own …toward a new lexis of liberation? I go back to comment the other day: the modern proletariat have the syntax of dialectical materialism. If, in the dogma dialectics of the possessing classes, capitalism v socialism is a false and delimited binary: there is no use in neutering our own dialogue with pre-defined-away terminology …we need our own? Norm, you mention the supplemental meanings that are loaded into over a century of discourse: this amounts to a lexical tyranny over the radical redefinition… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Thank you auntiebuna: your encouraging comment just brought a little tear to my eye. ¡no pasarán!

BigB
Reader
BigB

“People already speak a lingo, and their lingo at some level expresses values to which they adhere.” True, only whose lingo do they speak? As you touched on in another comment: without introspection …is it necessarily our own? There are three main conclusions, so far, from modern cognitive science: Cognition is embodied Thought is mainly subconscious (rule of thumb: 95% subconscious – 5% conscious) Language is metaphoric From Lakoff and Johnson: “Metaphors We Live By” – I’ve picked a few ontological metaphors to illustrate why I do not think we can frame 21st century politics with redundant 17th century metaphoric… Read more »

auntiebuna
Reader

Big B: This article was inspiring to me as Andre Vltchek’s writing always is but I have to tell you that this comment stream has given me hope that there really are others out there who are ready to burst out of rusty old paradigms and work out solutions to the overwhelming problems in our global community. I continue to be astounded by the depth and kindness and international brotherhood demonstrated in many of the comments here. I really had thought we lost.

Norman Pilon
Reader

People already speak a lingo, and their lingo at some level expresses values to which they adhere. What some people describe as ‘capitalism,’ is really closer to what people like Marx and Engels and other progressives in their tradition had in mind when they spoke of socialism; likewise, what some people describe as ‘socialism,’ is really closer to what people like Marx and Engels and other progressives in their tradition had in mind when they spoke of ‘capitalism.’ Is the problem, here, that we need a new terminology to describe what has already been described in depth by the rich… Read more »

TFS
Reader
TFS

Maybe you should do another feature on Iran. Pictures speak volumes…….

Here’s a starter for 10.

https://c90adventures.co.uk/malaysia-to-uk/iran/

Norman Pilon
Reader

Aye! Pictures do speak volumes, don’t they?
comment image

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

It looks absolutely wonderful. I don’t travel abroad these days for various reasons but one day…. My late father was a university lecturer in the 1970s/80s, teaching management skills to mature students from ‘developing countries’, mainly from Asia and Africa. Most of them were sponsored either by their own family businesses or by their Governments and sent to the UK to study because in those days the country had a reputation for its expertise. As they often didn’t know anyone in this country and were here for a year’s study my father was a personal mentor for them and most… Read more »

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

By way of contrast to Andres enlightening article we have this monstrous turd-burger from Natalie Nougayrède – surely the epitome of everything that is wrong with our media?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/21/dance-vladimir-putin-austria-foreign-minister#comments

I can’t be arsed to deconstruct it (no doubt someone like Kit will eviscerate it, if in the mood) – suffice to say the Guardian moderators do not understand concepts like balance, or right to reply, hell they don’t even seem to understand simple facts nowadays.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Harry – I glanced through it and would say it reveals more about Nougayrede’s personality and psyche than Putin’s. Wouldn’t have been much to write about if the truth was reported: Why did Putin attend this wedding and participate in the dancing? Because like anyone else he was grateful for the invitation and he thought he would have a good time. End of.
Anyone else spot the irony in the advert in the margin directing the reader to Simon Jenkin’s article entitled “If the novichok was planted by Russia where’s the evidence?”

A Benge
Reader
A Benge

I’ve always felt she’s been planted by some set up or other.

Jen
Reader
Jen

Nougat-head must still be dreaming of the day when she resumes leadership of Le Monde so she can exercise her, er, “Putinesque tendencies” again with all the peace of mind and the serenity she requires. The resignation of Natalie Nougayrede comes after most of the paper’s chief editors stepped down last week, angry at top management’s lack of communication as the paper struggles to chart its way into the digital era. Ms Nougayrede said in a letter that she no longer had the authority to do her job with the “peace of mind and serenity” necessary. “I cannot accept being… Read more »

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

More from Pepe Escobar’s Eurasian Hit Parade, from Asia Times online via Saker Vineyard: As EU companies leave sanctioned Iran, Chinese and Russian companies go in… As the US Congress slaps a nyet on Turkey buying F-35 fighter jets because Ankara is buying the Russian S-400 air-defense system, Boeing and Airbus in Iran are bound to lose market share to Russian jets… And Iran-Turkey trade gets a boost; Turkish Stream – the Russia-Turkey strategic energy partnership – is far from being derailed. Erdogan knows very well how Turkey is the quintessential East-meets-West strategic connector across Eurasia. And …he’s … buying… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Vex: where does the capital go from Ankara? A cut of it goes back to NY/Washington, London, and Zurich. Turkey may have cooled its enthusiasm for $$$$ and euros recently; but it had already run up the biggest emerging market debt (around $450bn total) even though it kicked out the financial terrorists of the IMF. About a third of it, much of it dollarised, becomes due next year. If they cannot pay, it will be rolled over as dollarised debt. The EMEs have opened themselves to currency imperialism and trade wars by their mistaken need for $$$$ capital. Much of… Read more »

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

BigB. I hear ye. You see the big picture and I cannot answer because I do not understand finance, having been educated only in real physical things like biology and technology. But there certainly is a global problem with money, what it is and where it goes; and I suspect you are more deeply into that problem than most. My own impression is of a tidal wave of surplus capital sloshing around the world and being creamed off into non productive investment, or even diverted into counter productive investment — my savings are a tiny part of that tidal wave.… Read more »