Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iranian Election Oddities

At some point after its institution theocracy damn near guarantees stupid results. Because in recent history theocracies have been established as a reaction to bad government, there may be an intellectual component to them, a reaction by the curious and self-actuated to repression. That component may for awhile ensure a level of good decision making and somewhat blunt the effects of religious rigidity. When religion is the ruling component of thought a certain ossification of thought occurs, the answers to all situations are contained within the relevant holy book which seriously undermines creative thought turning it to the aim of sophistry.

The idea that a holy book contains all the answers to a society's issues is based on the belief that the words are divinely inspired and that divinity will have foreseen all possible developments. Most of these holy books are many centuries old and have been previously mutilated by the political concerns of other power structures and their own power structures. I will not argue about belief system's moral structures, these are matters of faith to their adherents and not subject to such but that holds the seeds of their governmental failure. There is a rigidity of thought involved in the blind adherence to ancient thought.

Problem solving starts with the assumption that something new and out of the ordinary has occurred, a thing not covered by the previous systems for dealing with issues. If the systems existed there would be no problem, it would have been dealt with. This means the solution lies in modifying, restructuring, or abandoning previous models - creativity. Thinking "outside the box" is not encouraged by the religious establishment, the box is the definition of a religious establishment.

Iran's social and economic and diplomatic situation has been changing ever since the 1979 Revolution. The situations that pertained in 1979 do not exist or have modified radically and yet the same thought runs the show. Decision and the decision process continues to operate on the basis of old information and is proving to be incapable of dealing with changed situations. Iran is not longer threatened by Iraq or the United States, its economy is in tatters, and its society is showing dissatisfaction with its narrow structure. The regime is forced to attempt to maintain the status quo by increasingly transparent subterfuges which only inflame the proponents of improvement. This collision means that reason as solution will be less and less likely requiring violence from both sides. This is bad for all participants.

I have no crystal ball or deep insight into Iranian society or leadership and no way of predicting the levels of violence or outcomes. Societies are bound together by general agreement about their foundations and when those agreements are broken or violated the divisions are broadened. If the divisions are sufficient a point is reached where there is no chance of reconciliation and someone has to go. I don't know if the outcome of the Iranian election represents one of those points or not, but it is clearly a symptom of failure.


Micgar said...

Chuck-I don't have any idea about what'll happen in Iran either. I hope change can come over there before it's too late.
Back when the students took over in '79 I had thought that although they took our people as hostages, and I didnt want these people to be hurt, they had done so because of all the s&%% that had been foisted on them by our CIA-the Shah, the coup. Then I believe, the Ayatollahs took over and made the country a theocracy.
I feel that a government that is secular is best for the country, or at least not a strict theocracy, but I don't know how that can come about. I also, don't want our country to meddle in the affairs of Iran or to decide upon military action against the country. I do think that internally there will be violence as proponents of democracy will collide with those who want theocracy.

Jeff Goob said...

The first three paragraphs are such a perfect summation of the problem. It goes beyond theocracy to any ideology that doesn't allow for unexpected situations. Can we come up with a fundamentalism where one of the fundamentals is "try something you haven't tried before?" I have more to say but tonight's barbecue inclued a few bourbon and gingers so that's all for now.