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Aug 19 2017.
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چهارشنبه, 27 ارديبهشت 1396 ساعت 02:55

Selectocracy or Democracy?

(An article about Iran’s selection)
Written by: Mohammad Gharagozloo.  Ph.D in international relations.
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Introduction!
Iran’s government is going to hold another “election” for selecting 12th president! I would like to explain why majority of people do not vote! According to official statistics over 52 percent of Tehran’s citizens (the biggest city in Iran) did not participate in the latest election.Why? I try to describe this phenomenon.
How do you reach democracy?
As you know the United States has two main political parties:
Republicans and Democrats.Other political parties exist,such as the Green party and the Libertarians. Few people,however vote to candidates of those”other”parties.This is because the US elections only reward what is known as”first past  the post.” The one who gets the most votes wins!In many other countries such as the United Kingdom,people do not vote to individuals.They vote for parties to sit in a parliament.The party that dominates the parliament gets to pick the prime minister.But even a non –dominant  party can get  enough votes. A party that gets 25 percent of the votes can get 25 percent of the seats.
In contrast,it does not matter if the presidential candidates for the Green party or the Libertarian party got 25 percent of the US votes.If the 25 percent is not the highest percentage of votes,their candidate can not  become president.
No one else from their party would automatically get a seat in Congress either!
Some people believe if you vote,you can not complain.you wanted a master and you got one!
For every person in the world one of this statements can be true:
I advocate the use of the force or threat of force,against innocent people,in order to make them comply with my opinions and preferences.
I advocate the society where people are free to voluntarily interact with another.
Some people believe that,participation in the system reinforces the idea that people can not live together without violent control. Another benefit in participation implies that the majority knows what is the best the individuals and everyone,or by voting,an individual literally advocates the use of force against peaceful people.Voting sends a false signal to the elected politicians that the voters approve  all their policies.Voters therefore encourage them.
Selectocracy in Iran. Bad Instead of Worse!
So,I wrote about election in the USA and England. What about Iran? As you know 38 years ago,Islamic National movement through compromise, agreement  and arrangement with Imperialism, attacked to Iran’s revolution, defeated it and took power! I remember the first things that Islamic Republic did, were discrimination against women and exploitation of workers. Women intended to be free and wore what they wanted, but Islamic Republic’s fans attacked them by acid. Workers wanted to form syndicates and unions but Islamic Republic did not allow.
Since 1979 Islamic Republic has performed over 38 elections.I would rather use election in quotation mark! Because it does not agree with democratic election like liberal election in the capitalistic world.
I have written more than twenty articles about these elections. I have also written a book to explain democracy in Iran.After many studies,research,teaching and writing,I have created new term for describing Iran’s election.It is called Selectocracy.Why and how I say selectocracy instead of Electocracy or Democracy?
Six theologists,who were selected Ayatollah Ali Khamenee and are called “Shouraye Negahban”( Guardian council constitution)
over 75 year olds decide who can be candidate for “presidential election”.For the coming election(May 2017) more than 600 persons had registered their name for participating in election as a candidate!
In Iran we have no parties and no opposing groups.Islamic republic has executed majority of left activists.Some of them has run away abroad. So this is a black joke that Ayattollah Raeesi ( one of the six candidates and Rouhani’s rival ) had been judge in that slaughters (happened in the 60 decade =1980-90) .He sentenced activists to execution after a short trial! 2 minutes!! According to Islamic’s rules,socialists,liberals and another activists like these can not become candidate. In new election six guys had been selected by six theologists-who are members of Shouray Negahban.These candidates are close to Iran’s leader.All of them  are recent or former politicians! People are forced to select one of them.That is why I have created Selectocracy term to describe  Iran’s election!
Why people vote !
In the latest election ( 2016) for selecting parliament representatives over 52 percent of voters did not participate. This is an important phenomenon, because they live in Tehran.
1.Some of the voters decided to participate in election although they could not find an appropriate candidates.They always like to vote and believe that voting is better than staying at home.
2.Some people said we were forced to choose between bad and worse.Maybe you know Iran’s governors have always made a devil and have sent him to scenes and have said to people if you do not participate, a devil (who is a worse candidate) can rise!Governors intend to increase votes and show their legitimacy to the world.
 As usual people think “bad is better than worse.” For example “Rouhani was not our candidate but we voted to him because Jalili(who had been supported by Khamenee) was a worse and if he won it could be a disaster.” They claimed:
“He (Jalili) wanted to spread nuclear energy for fighting against the United States and Europe.”
We can recognise a trend like this in the United states when some people said “Anybody but Bush”.
3.Some people at most 10 percent voted to a conservatism candidate who had been supported by Iran’s leader.
Absolutely they are minority but they really have powers such as army,money,judiciary,prisons,radio and televisions,etc.You should know in Iran politicians can make money through power.Despite in liberal democratic countries politicians can take power through money and welfare.That is why you can simply see minority of people who are so rich and they work in army (Sepah Pasdaran). In fact they are businessmen and have every thing,such as expensive cars,homes and invest money in famous banks.
Mr Ghalibaf (Tehran’s mayor ,who is an army man and is one of the candidate in new election) says 4 percent of people(who are governors)are  the richest and have everything,but 96 percent of people have nothing!!They live under poverty threshold.
This is a black joke if you know he himself is a member of 4 percent!!
Dualism in the selection!
Iran’s government has learned to organise people for selecting. They have always made a devil—like Nategh Nouri (1376/1997) Ahmadi nejad(1388/2009)Jalili(1392/2013) Ghalibaf-Raeesi (1396/2017)—and have said to people “if you do not vote these devils can increase and Iran goes to be a country like syria.” This phenomenon is called dualism”:you must make a choice between bad and the worse.Undoubtedly everybody would rather vote to bad instead the worse.Imagine you are prisoned in an awful jail and you have two prisoners. One of them opens the window and lets you breathe however another shuts the window and does not allow you to breathe.It is an ordinary logic and natural rule that you vote to the first prisoner (bad) in this situtation.But everybody likes to live in freedom.Nobody votes to prisoners.I have always heard that:”we would say if you hold an election between Mussolini and Hitler and decide Mussolini is awful but you would much rather have him than Hitler and vote to him. You are the part of the group that is making the world less unjust than is other wise would be.It is hard to see why that is really blameworthy.” But I would say if you had lived in Italy(1940) and if you had been in under control of Mussolini’s government,you would have voted to another governor.It is not a hard point to understand that a devil is a devil even he smiles and his face is luminous. Let me say supporting the lesser of two devils is still supporting devil!
Why I do not vote!
Absolutely I do not speak about Neo-conservatists or reformists groups.I have always supported those who do not share the ideology of the current political system.I have always liked to write for people who believe a left social democracy.I do not believe our current government (Islamic Republic) is by the people,for the people and of the people.Islamic republic is a government by the oligarchy, for the minority and of the corrupt persons! So I simply recommend not voting.If everyone refuses to vote, the message sent out to the politicians- who hold power- would be a clear:
we do not want you! Leave the power! It might be the best way for  a change! But no in Iran! In north Europe! Iran’s governors have proved that they do not listen to protesters! Green movement is the best evidence! More than 3 millions people ,after fraud in election came to streets on peaceful way and shouted:
“Give back my vote”,”Where is my vote”,”They stole our votes,they want to show off with our votes”.
They just wanted a simple point : reelection! But everybody knows that governors shot, killed and prisoned some of them!
In Iran we have an exclusive system.By voting you are subjugating yourself of the wisdom of some politicians who are international criminals .
I am pretty sure that Iranian have a desire to live in a free country. I know majority of voters do not agree with Islamic Republic. I understand these voters have no appropriate candidate and they are forced to choose bad instead of worse.But when they vote to bad in fact they vote to survival of system.In other words they say we would like to have a desire to be subjugated. Unfortunaetly they can not recognise that if voting made a better world,it would be illegal. This sentence could be right but Iran’s selection has proved another point too.In 1388 after the Green movement  had risen we got new phenomenon:
”voters decide nothing,government who count  the votes decide everything.”

Why I support of third way!
In all of my articles when I have written about the third way I meant difference from the theory that has been collected by Anthony Giddens. He has tried to “renewal social democracy”.But I am trying to say that the third way is a different way,a way against neo-conservatism and reformism.Let me explain.For example you can find two capms that are fighting in Syria.One camp is belong to Russia,Iran and Hezbollah plus Beshar Assad.Another camp is the USA,Turkey,Saudi Arabia and Qatar.So if you were forced to choose one of them what a decision would you make?If you ask me I say I prefer to choose the third way.What is a third way? I would like to tell you No Assad,No ISIS!
In Iran third way must be say No to neither reformist,nor conservatist.It might be Liberalism, Socialism or social democracy! Absolutely out of Islamic Republic.In the USA people who do vote to a third party will say that they are thinking like this way:”you are reinforcing the two-party system and I just do not think that is the case because a major party is anyway.People will claim “if enough number of us decrease and go to the other party we will give them a viable threat.If we are on the left leaning side,they will have to move a little leftward to keep us...We are preventing them for being moderate that is our problem”.In the USA people who intend to choose third party,it becomes irrelevant ineffect.Because you do not have to get the majority of votes.You just have to get the more votes.
You can not compare Iran’s selection and the USA or France.In the USA when you vote to Bobby Sanders in fact you vote to a policy which is against Trump’s policy and follows karl Polanyi’s program.But what about Iran’s selection? What is a difference between Rouhani and other candidates? Undoubtedly in details they are different but in the political and economic strategy they have no differences. In foreign  politics they have to do everything that Ayatollah Khamenee decide to happen.Iran’s  president can not choose at list four ministers.I would like to draw your attention to an important point.Why former presidents are banned to participate in election.You may know,Rafsanjani was not approved,Khatami’s picture can not be published in main stream,in new election Ahmadi Nejad has been confiscated by Shouray Negahban. In addition to these points the latest prime minister(Mir Hossein Mousavi) is prisoned after he protested to cheat in election. His crime was leadership of Green movement. Another phenomenon that the Green movement has revealed is that your votes are not counted exactly!!
I do not support of a dictatorship system, based on Islamic Republic. It is an inefficient and exploitative regime! People who are serious about government should go for the third way.If you want to keep a government full of corruptions ,injustice ,inequality ,discriminations, exploitations etc go to vote it! If you want to be a modern slave labour, go for it....
Anyway I support the third way because election (in fact selection) can not change my country.This is long time maybe 40 years that we struggle to build another society in Iran. Another society is possible and necessary. Since 1978 All events that have happened, have proved that we can just build another country through third way.

Tehran.Iran. 10.5.2017
Dr Mohammad Gharagozloo. ( A professor who has been fired of university)

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