We're Not Ready

First we need to defeat that little dictator within


We're Not Ready
by Aryo Barzan

I believe every single person posting their opinions in this and other similar sites, wants democracy for Iran. None of us unless not in the right state of mind would ever prefer dictatorship over democracy. However to achieve any goal there is a right way and a wrong way and this is where our paths part.

In my humble opinion the path to democracy is a long slow process and not an overnight revolutionary shortcut.

NONE and I mean NONE, of the major revolutions in the world have ever led directly to democracy by itself. As a few good examples I can mention, Iran, Cuba, Russia and China, all of which lead to dictatorships and tyranny by the likes of Khomeini, Mao, Castro and Stalin that made the people of those countries so miserable that overtime they developed a nostalgic longing for the previous dictator. Even in case of the French, after the revolution the country ended up in the hands of one Napoleon Bonaparte and we all know about how democratic he was. If we could bring ourselves to have a logical look at all these scenarios, we can then see that this could only be natural outcome.

You see, this is in the nature of revolutions. They are illogical impulsive and almost always born out of frustration and that is the recipe for disaster. You see, to have a democratic system one first needs to understand what a democracy is and more importantly understand his/her responsibly toward society and how to behave in a democratic manner.

This is why even in case of France revolution it did not end in democracy until the French people started to behave in a democratic manner and went through that slow painstaking process of evolution. On the other hand in the UK there was no revolution in that sense, but the people and the establishment felt the need to change and went through the same processes and got the same result or may be even a better one, by keeping their heritage intact. Although these are two different types of democracy, they are democratic in nature and that is how it should be. Democracy is not one size fits all. Every democracy has to be a refraction of the cultures and people of that society.

The path to democracy is a long process of evolution and not an overnight revolution. It is very easy to create scapegoats and blame all the problems on one individual or even one party. But the bottom line is that in no society will democracy be achievable unless by every member of that society starting to act responsibly and respecting each others point of view. Otherwise we could be in the long hall of going through the same vicious cycle of replacing one dictator with another.

Even today, although I absolutely HATE the Islamic Republic and everything it stands for, especially its leader, I am not sure if another revolution is the answer. Not because I think the IRI is up to the job but because I believe that we as a nation are not yet ready for democracy.

Now! I know this statement makes a lot of people furious but to make you see my logic I set you with a humble test.

As far as I know democracy means freedom of opposition and YES that means sometimes people whom you do not like and might have been fighting with all your life might be voted into office.

So think about this! What if tomorrow in a free and fair election the people of Iran decided to bring back the constitutional monarchy and make Reza Pahlavi the new ceremonial king? Just like the UK and Norway. What if they decided to have a democratic republic select him or Mousavi or Rajavi, or even the leader of communist party, as their president? What if they even decided to keep and reform the Islamic Republic by reforming the constitution and just punishing those who committed crimes against people? Then what? Will you still respect the will of the masses and let democracy follow its course? Now, you do not need to answer me just be honest to yourself.

I can confidently claim that there are still many little dictators amongst us who can not even stand those who think differently. Dictators who can not even bear the thought of anyone selecting the son of the Shah, the person whom they fought 30 years ago, as their leader. Not because they have any constructive criticism and legitimate questions but because they are still fighting the battle of decades ago.

Today they resort to baseless accusations and personal insults and tomorrow when they are in power they will resort to torture, rape and forced TV confessions. That is why I believe that the Shah was not responsible for all problems, the same way I believe that Khamenei is not and can not be responsible for all problems today.

It is true that the Supreme Leader is a brutal dictator with no respect for human rights or even life. But remember that it is not him in the prisons who tortures, rapes and kills his own countrymen. It is not him in the streets who beats and shoots the very people he took an oath to protect. But it is the other Iranians who through their own free will and just because they can not bear any voice of opposition questioning their beliefs or challenging their interests and authority, are committing those heinous crimes in his name.

No matter how much we hate Khamenei or the Shah or Khomeini, the crimes of their police and secret services can not be entirely be blamed on them. This is simply because those who carried out these crimes, did it on their own free will and for whatever reason chose to do it.

This is the very same principle held in the trial of Hitler’s concentration camp guards in Nuremberg, where defence lawyers argued that they were just following orders. However the judges did not accept this and stated that every individual is responsible for his own choices and actions.

The same argument was risen when Mao argued that the person who controls the guns controls the power, but and an American philosopher challenged him stating unless one has the consent of those behind the guns, power is only an illusion and this is the hearth of our argument. Personal responsibility and having the courage to say NO to evil.

Only a few days ago the world witnessed how the Egyptian army had the courage to say no to oppression and massacre. They simply realised that the government of Egypt and its army are there to serve the people and not the other way round. Unfortunately however our armed forces have not so far come to that enlightenment.

It is very easy to scapegoat Khamenei or the Shah and get rid of them. Or even bring down the Islamic Republic, just like we did with the monarchy. But until we defeat that little dictator within ourselves and start respecting opposition, noting will fundamentally change. We might be able to change the face of dictatorship but its nature will stay the same

This does not mean we should avoid questioning and scrutanizing the opposition their purpose, plans and vision or even their motivation. But this should only be done is a civilised manner without resorting to insult accusation or ridicule.

This brings me to the old logical arguments that we had in high school which was called

shart-e laazem va kafee, or the necessary and adequate conditions. Some conditions although necessary, they are not solely adequate for achieving a goal and this logic applies very much to our argument here. Another revolution and a swift end to the reign of the IRI might be necessary for establishment of democracy in our country but unless each and every one of us start taking our responsibilities seriously and give respect to the opposition, it would never be enough.


Right on Brother, Right on....

by Maast o Deevaane on

Evolution, not revolution...but...don't want to wait forever either...I have only this one life...thanks to the resent global communication revolution, evolution happens much, much faster than in the past...so there is hope..perhaps even during my life time :)


True dat homeboy?

by kaspien on

Everything you say is logically sound, if all things were to remain equal.  Life is not an economics formula.  Ceteris Parabis does not apply to people's livelihood.  There needs to be a system of checks and balances put in place that affords people the ability to oust the sons of bitches who think that being heads of a nation gives them absolute power.  

We may not be ready for democracy, but need to be given the chance again and again and again and again and again and again and again...and I will not stop here.

Maryam Hojjat

I agree with all who disagreed

by Maryam Hojjat on

with your view.  Even in all democratic countries like US where I am living there are many little dictators in the many people but they are still all enjoying freedom and Democracy.

B.S. Your article is well wrtten but it can not full smart Iranians that you are a supporter of IRR/IRI.


Yes the road to democracy

by TheMrs on

Yes the road to democracy is long. And one of those steps is allowing people the freedom to choose their destiny. Just like one of the egyptian protesters said: I don't care who leads egypt as long as I can vote him out of office every 4 years.

So PUHLEEZ, these are old arguments that belong to the dino age.



Vildemose, exactly...

by Cost-of-Progress on

You're right on friend.

The religious right who, thanks to Reagan, gained power and prominence in Amercan politics during his presidency would want nothing less than the list you noted below. Once the Right gains unquestionable power, the following will aslo apply:

- The confedaret flag will be flown in  front of all government buildings south of the Mason-Dixon line, and north of it if they can.

- What little laws there are for Gun ownership will be repealed.

- The banks and financial institutions will have zero regulations and can do whatever they want.

- The EPA will be the first agency to go. The pollution "permit" will be reinstated and the air and waterways in the US will resemble that of Russia, Eastern Europe and China.

- Tatoos will be mandatory for all school children.   :-)





If it were up to teabaggers,

by vildemose on

If it were up to teabaggers, women will not be able to vote or go to work. Women have to stay home and homeschool their children. All books about Evolution would be burned and replaced with "creationist" book in the public schools. Interracial marriages would be outlawed. All the labor laws that protect the workers will be revoked....etc.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Well spoken. This thing about "not ready" is used regularly by dictators and their intellectuals. They said the same about segregation in USA; about a block President. They don't want to devolve. The want devolution. 

Does anyone seriously thing "AB" is being honest. Dos anyone think he wants what is good for Iran? I bet you anything this is yet another attempt by IRR to justify themselves. AB: yeh right you really hate the IRR; specially the pay checks.


do you think the teabaggers

by vildemose on

do you think the teabaggers are ready for democracy or the messianic christian funadamentalists ready for democracy? Do you think if there was refereandum in Oklahoma or Albama, to deport all foreigners and blacks and bring back segregation, getting rid of affirmative action and bring back the prohibition laws, I would guaranteed you it would pass with flying colors. There are always people who are scared of change and afraid of losing power and control.

Legislative laws have the power to expedite the "evolution" of the unevolved.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I would add this one:

The last thing a starving person needs is being told they are not ready. Not ready for food!


Nice Academic

by Raoul1955 on

Discussion about cultural 'evolution' and such, however, when some folks are hungry for a change, philosophical issues cannot prevent them from bringing about a revolutionary social change.  When one is starving s/he needs food to satiate her/his need now, not later. The last thing a starving person needs is instructions on how to till the soil, add compost to fertilize the soil, sow seeds at the proper time,...etc. 

Kaveh V

Absolutely no ambiguity !!

by Kaveh V on

"No matter how much we hate Khamenei or the Shah or Khomeini, the crimes of their police and secret services can not be entirely be blamed on them. This is simply because those who carried out these crimes, did it on their own free will and for whatever reason chose to do it. "

Just so I have left NO ambiguity for IRI criminals to justify their crimes, the above text is absolutely FALSE in regards to Khomeini and Khamenei gang. As the spiritual representatives of the hate and violence cult of Islam, they were the perpetrators of murder and violence against "non-believers" (read anyone they don't like). From their hate filled speeches calling for demise and murder of groups and individuals (with ample documentation) to Khomeini's written documents ordering the murder of "non-believers" and other prisoners in '88. From top to bottom, they are all guilty of murder, conspiracy to commit genocide and countless other crimes. The sick and the psychotic animals like Assadollah Lajevardi and countless more were just the icing on the Islamic cake, so to speak.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


You are not fooling anyone. You don't hate the IR; if you did you would not be arguing for them. Please we are not that dumb to fall for this. I know the IR leaders are pulling out all stops. 

How about this: The IR leaders thank the devil for the time they have had. They pack up and go now. In return people will go easy on them. But I fear they will go the hard way ...

Regarding: Sharte Lazem and Sharte Kafi. How about you go learn Persian? I tell you want the Sharts are: The required condition for Mullahs to go is brute force. It may be supplied by people or by any other agency. That is the necessary condition; and some chains to lock them up; I am saying this because I am generous. Others are not quite as forgiving as I.


Mash Ghasem

AB, perhaps you're not ready, don't generalize your incompetence

by Mash Ghasem on

for the entire nation. The whole process is very dialectical as they say, it simply means relational, and interconnected: which means this ,

by fighting the dictators outside of yourself, like Ahmaghinaejad, and his ilke,: (your pay masters), one prepares the ground for fighting the dick ( short of dictator) within.

Not all persons necessarily suffer from the deficiencies that you and others like you suffer. So, once again DO NOT GENERALIZE YOUR  PERSONAL FAILURE FOR THE ENTIR NATION. Keep in mind unless you are a freedom fighter, and have social comittments, you can not, and  will not have any personal freedoms, as simple as that.

P.S. RG is correct, all of this is just a thinly covered  futile propaganda  by IR agents.

Hafez for Beginners

Brilliant: Couldn't Agree More

by Hafez for Beginners on

I couldn't agree more. Change starts from within. How many Iranians do you know who could stomach sitting in the company of someone they vehemently disagree with? 1 or 2? That's more than I know!

In the summer of 2009, here in Washington, DC - the Iranian-American community decided to hold a vigil for the fallen youth on the streets of Tehran. Word got around, and many gathered. BUT - to our surprise, or perhaps, not to our surprise,  the same evening, ended up being made up of 4 different locations, in this tiny town. 4 different venues, each walking distance from each other - because the Iranians in this city couldn't come together, even to mourn!

I couldn't agree more with this article. There's a little dictator in the heart of way too many of us. Change has to come from you. It's very powerful when it does.



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

All the IRR

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


supporters are lining up. Now Khebedin joins the "we are not ready" gang. That is what they used to say about South Africa also. Oh "they need the while rule"; "they are not ready for ...". The same ***.

The only ones not ready for democracy are Islamists. They will never be ready for it. Nor will they ever agree to it. Here is a solution: We get democracy in Iran; Islamists move to Syria. 


One sign of the absolute bakruptcy of the islamiust regime...

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Is that their supporters on internet have to use the name of a "pre_islamic Iranian national hero" as their user IDs, in order to attract some readership and avoid being ignored. In case of this blog, I simply stopped at the title!

I'm outa here for a breath of fresh air. 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


We're Not Ready

by Khebedin on

I think we need read this article several times and understand it. In my view Aryo Barzan is correct. The problem is ours not them, and until we realise this, things remain very much the same if not worst.

Those in power are our own creation, and we can not creat better than what we are. So let us listen to Aryo BArzan, read his article again, and start from ourselves.

Thanks Aryo, you have explained it well

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

More IRR excuses

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Yes sure we are not ready blah blah. I have heard it all. I have no doubt that other IRR supporters like "Kooshan" agree with AB. Well you should speak for yourself. If you don't want democracy move!

Iran will have democracy and you sir are welcome to go to Saudi. I am truly sick of people coming up with excuses to keep their masters in power. Now you want to scare us with MKO.

You set impossible preconditions then say we are not ready. Well the world is full of flawed humans. All democracies have your "little dictators"; it does not stop them. Take your nay saying and keep it.


Why do you Islamists always like to use pre Islamic names? Is it your way of insulting and minimizing real Iran. It won't work. I will expose you now and forever.


Kaveh V

  I tend to agree with

by Kaveh V on


I tend to agree with the previous commentor in the sense that you do not need to be completely ready for democracy, but given cultural and historical conditions, the country may be more at risk by demagogues, opportunists and other unsavory cults and ideologies. All social and political ills of a nation and the culture can be dealt with in a progressive way, in a democracy. But, setbacks and compromises are inevitable, given the average level of intelligence in the society.

Generally, the higher levels of ignorance and illiteracy, the higher the risk factor. As we saw in '79, Shii-eh-Islam criminals found themselves in the right position to murder their way into power, by taking advantage of the illiterate and ignorant masses. The result of which in 30 years, I would guess, is a much higher level of skepticism of any type of political system in a much wider segment of the population. This is the first line of defense against future demagogues, since now it will take more sophistication to unite and commit the majority to possibly another criminal enterprise.



why not

by afshinazad on

In every society there is a problem of logic and understanding of freedom. freedom is not one thing you could manufacture or copy, free and just society will be completed by working in progress, This Idea that one society or the country or the region is not ready for freedom is created and told by western countries like British or American to save their interest, because when we have a freedom and democracy in our country, our national interest will not be forgotten and foreign countries cannot be able to take and push us around as usual. societies grow and learn from each other just like a language, I lived in the city and the area that people were speaking three languages at same time and I have learned all three and plus Persian in school, so we could learn if we want to and it will take time and there is no rush in that, regarding governing if we have a responsible people to run the system and follow the law, rest of puzzle will be filled. If anyone who lived in Iran before 1979 and have seen the system was running like a Swiss watch and society was in peace and security for women and kid was beyond any American or European imagination, that kind of society is enough for freedom and democracy and if any one disagrees because of personal reason is not a good reason, look at France it took them century to be where they are now, look American and British or any other free countries, They were not ready either and took time and still they are not that free and democratic as you think they are.


I agree with AB's

by Kooshan on

I agree with AB's point.

But now, there are bigger brutal dictators who are trained in Ashraf and outside Iran and wants to get there by any means....in the process...the main victim is Justice!