the myth of ‘western rationality’


the myth of ‘western rationality’
by Niloufar Parsi

it is clear that there is a major ideological barrier to real dialogue between iran and the west. mistranslations are common, misunderstanding is encouraged, and it is easy to get the feeling that there is a strategy in place to ensure confusion and animosity instead of goodwill. i tend to see more of this mischief emanating from the west, but that is probably related to the fact that i live here, and it is easier to catch the lies on this side. iran is probably just as guilty.

but there is this one specific western myth that is definitely a big part of the problem: the myth of western ‘rationality’ that presupposes many positive qualities associated with the west and negative ones associated with the east, including iran.

in a different context and time, it would be called racism, but i expect that definition will come later. a bit like how the slave trade was first totally ‘justified’ by religious, racial and other myths, and then later described as ‘racist’. at some point, many westerners believed that their genes or skin colour gave them some sort of spiritual and/or intellectual superiority to other ‘races’, and enslaving people or taking over their countries was more like a favour, a civilizing effect. they sugar-coated this kind of racist self-deception with terminology such as ‘the white man’s burden’, and a host of other ideological justifications. the act of plunder was described as some kind of civilizing mission.

remnants of this kind of mind game remain today in the western discourse on iran. the ordinary american is more likely to see iran and iranians as ‘irrational’ beings who cannot be trusted with a nuclear bomb. but they are a little more subtle than that. knowing full well the racist connotations in openly labeling other countries and cultures as ‘irrational’, they apply further sugar coating by going one step removed and using a term like ‘dangerous’ instead.

if we look out for the terms ‘danger’, ‘threat’ and ‘risk’ in any report or speech on iran by israeli and western media and politicians, it becomes quite clear that the agenda is for the conflict situation to persist – particularly, in the minds of their own citizens. the politicians themselves are fully aware of realities on the ground.

what is this reality? well, we all have our own perceptions, but mine is this:

iran is and has been acting far more rationally than her enemies would like to admit. her priorities have included
-          protecting iran and the regime
-          challenging the power of israel – a proven regional warmonger - and building alliances in the region to contain israel and her allies and arming them in order to create a buffer zone for iran
-          working against american interventionism and warmongering in the region. building a global alliance against american imperialism
-          growing her influence in iraq once saddam’s regime was removed, and preparing the ground to take over as the biggest foreign sponsor once the americans leave iraq,
-          same as above for afghanistan only with less success
-          building up her own armaments industry,
-          finding ways to defeat or weaken sanctions,
-          building up political capital among muslim nations,

-          developing nuclear capability mainly within internationally allowed rules, but remaining vigilant of the iaea and other un agencies as they often behave like tools of american imperialism, and
-          adopting, and speaking from a position of strength rather than servitude

nothing about iran’s regional policy is particularly ‘irrational’. iran could have been more strategic and effective, and could have taken a more conciliatory path. all that may have been possible if one allows for the remote possibility that her foes would have reacted differently. but khatami perhaps proved the opposite.

in any case, while the iranian approach might have been better, it has not been irrational. on the contrary, iran’s military expenditure as a percentage of gdp and her overall tendency to war is far more humane and rational than that of the us or israel. iran’s military architecture is designed and built for defensive purposes. the us military is designed for offence, so much so that they could not respond effectively to a natural disaster such as hurricane katrina at home.

in other words, the us military structure is designed for plunder and loot in the name of ‘rationality’, ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’. take your pick.

truth is, we are all equally irrational!


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more from Niloufar Parsi

What happened to Samsam, np,

by vildemose on

What happened to Samsam, np, and my post about NP's family members being in the Sepah. Why were they deleted?

David ET

White-Washing IR crimes

by David ET on

 This article is a good compliment to the discussion here:



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


where do you get these ideas anyway? I ban things!! I have been opposed to ban or flagging anyone. I have made it a point that I oppose any kind of banning. I got an an argument and a long one months ago when someone got banned. 

I am not the site owner. I don't get to ban anyone. I do get to have my own opinions. That dude sparowlake made a really obnoxious post. My position is what I said. I am not bending over to accommodate someone like sparowlake. If he don't like what he reads he is welcome to read something else. That is not the same as banning anyone. 

Benross you have an amazing ability to misread and misunderstand my posts. Anyway for the 1000th time: I am not asking to ban anyone.

Got it or do I need to be more clear than that? VPK



Only one subtle difference...

by eroonman on

You are a woman.

And remember that in Iran, this means you aren't seen or heard, never mind taken seriously. Blog away to your heart's content, even brag about Iran's political prowess, the IRI still can't hear you. You are that low in their eyes.

In fact, in Iran you are institutionally and formally classified as an amusing sub-male.

Which makes everything you so eloquently put, considered utterly moot.

This, what I just said, I am most positive, must no doubt irk you. While I do not think this, I assure you, the "geniuses" you defend in your piece, most certainly do.

And that is the biggest, and best, and most hurtful wrong thing about Iran that continually goes mostly unsaid.

Your right to be heard, seen and validated as a human being is what Iran boldly, and coldly and cruelly, denies you. Even though you live here. You're less.

That's the real difference between the West and the IRI. The rest of it is just pointless politics and temporary posturing for negotiating foreign currency exchange concessions.

marhoum Kharmagas

Chomsky, your article, and ET

by marhoum Kharmagas on

Niloufar, I am sure that you have already seen Chhoskey's interview, if not it is here (thanks to Ghormeh Sabzi and IC): 


While listening to that interview, remember David ET's statement:

"The problem that today the world has is not with Iran or Iranians but with the regime that rules it and that applies to the use of nuclear technology also."

BTW ET, khodeti!






by capt_ayhab on




منوچهر عزیز،


قبل از هر چیزی میخواستم بدونی که عقیدهٔ جنابعالی هر چی‌ که باشه، وجود عزیزتون برای ما کماکان و همیشه گرامی‌ و ارجمند میمونه. و دعا داریم که همیشه تنتون سالم و دلتون شاد باشه.

دوست گرامی‌، کدامین انسانی‌ میتونه باران سرب و آتش تیربارهای صدام و جوونهای قطعه قطعه شده و به خاک و خون افتادهٔ وطن رو فراموش کنه. و پس از آن، شیون و زاری مادران داغدار و در خود شکستگی ابدی پدران عزادار و یا اندوه و هراس مرگبار بیوه زنان را. شما خود بهتر میدونید که حتی پس از گذشت بیش از دو دهه، احساس سراسیمگی و وحشت و بغض ناشی‌ از آن دوران دست بردار روح و ذهن آدمی‌ نیست.

من شما رو به شرفتون سوگند میدم که در عقیدهٔ خود نسبت به رفتار حکومت فعلی تجدید نظر کنید. این دولت داره ما رو یک راست به سوی یک جنگ دیگه گسیل میده. آیا هنوز میدانهای مین و اجساد متلاشی شدهٔ رزمندگان وطن رو به یاد میارید؟ آیا در اون روزها ملاها ککشون برای جان جوانهای وطن میگزید؟ مگر نه این بود که با بی‌ پروایی هزاران جوان دیگر رو دستچین کرده و آنان رو هم حوالهٔ خمپاره‌ها و مینهای صدام کردند؟

شما از من بهتر میدونید که این غاصبین بی‌ شرف و بی‌ وجدان برای حفظ بقای پلید خود، امروز حتی برای یک لحظه هم درنگ نخواهند کرد که دهها هزار ایرانی دیگر رو این بار در مقابل تیربارهای تنفنگداران امریکایی قرار بدهند. چرا که جان آدمیزاد هیچگاه براشون ارزشی نداشته.

دوست گرامی‌، سرنوشت مملکت رو در گرو این دولتمردان بی‌ کفایت و بی‌ مسئولیت نگذار. اینها چهرهٔ واقعی‌ و درنده خؤی خود رو بارها و بارها افشا کرده‌اند. چگونه میتونه جای شکی‌ باقی‌ مونده باشه.

با درود به شرفت.





by benross on

The blog is about 'Western rationality'. And you ban Americans discussing here? First of all, anybody can discuss here. There are political, social and cultural issues that require being Iranian to understand the context of the issue. Western rationality is not one of them.


wow, why are the comments

by vildemose on

wow, why are the comments about NP's background is being deleted?

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

What is being

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I admit it is hard to figure out what is being discussed here. I am not sure what you are saying either!

But as long as people are happy why not.

Personally that American who posted here should mind his own business. No one here is obligated to please some American who ventures here. If they don't like reading this they don't have to. In fact if we don't lilke it we don't have to read it. 




by benross on

What exactly is being discussed here? 3000 visit and counting? There was a comment about the juvenility of this blog, I suspect from an American, that I couldn't find anymore, buried somewhere here. I was wondering if there was a response to that comment.

Juvenile or not, as you see, you should not underestimate the power of stupidity.


An Observation

by capt_ayhab on

jamshid notes[Ms. Niloufar, in my view, you are considered an accessory to IRI's crimes against the security of Iran and against the independence and sovereignity of the Iranian people's will.]

That is some pretty hefty charges to bring on a person just because you do not agree with them wouldn't you say ? 

Are there any tangible proof of such slander toward a person that you know nothing about?

Much like the charges you brought on my person when you were questioned on your strategic plans for over taking the regime and spearheading a revolution with a 100 man-strong force?




P/S it sovereignty and not sovereignity


Ms. Niloufar, in my view,

by vildemose on

Ms. Niloufar, in my view, you are considered an accessory to IRI's crimes against the security of Iran and against the independence and sovereignity of the Iranian people's will. In a free Iran, your likes should be tried and punished for their roles as accessories to treason.

I couldn't agree more...


Jamshid jan: Her greatest

by vildemose on

Jamshid jan: Her greatest punishment is being her. A true reactionary without an ounce of integrity.

Her ilk are a very dangerous and immoral kind. They feign being anti-war while secretly lusting for blooshed and slaughter of other people's children to fight the "good fight" against "imperialism".

How could any of these characters stand for anything politically decent at all, when they endorse fascists in such a cavalier manner, and display not just embarrassing levels of ignorance, but a thinly veiled inclination for a racist/bigotted perspective on things cultural and political. I wonder what kind of society they  have in mind for Iran after liberation. 

At any rate, they lost the chess game with the US and it serves them right for lusting for nuclear weapons. A nuclear-armed IRI or even a Japan-option equipped IRI will increase the presence of the US in the region exponentially.




Niloufar Parsi

by jamshid on

"you pander to the racist undertones of the us and israel by believing that iranians cannot be trusted with technology."

Again, you lie. I have said many times that "Iranians" are entitled to all kind of technologies and can be trusted with them too. It is the IRI and its irresponsible behavior that is undermining those rights and trust.

Your pitiful attempts to equate "Iranians" with the "IRI" is at best laughable and at worst a representation of your reliance on lies and falsehood to further your devious goals.

"why don't you condemn the repeated threats against iran by the us and israel?"

You don't want me to just condem the US or Israel's threat. You want me to condemn them ONLY, while the threats from BOTH sides must be condemned. The US/Israeli threats of war and the IRI's threats of wiping this or that out from the map.

The IRI does not represent the sovereign and independent will of the Iranian people. It represents only your clan's views, nothing more. A democratic govenment that respects the sovereignity, dignity and independence of its people would not only be able to obtain any technology it wants, but it will do so without threats of war.

"Are you an iranian, jamshid?"

Ask my friend, Manouchehr Avaznia, and he'll tell you if I am Iranian or not.

Ms. Niloufar, in my view, you are considered an accessory to IRI's crimes against the security of Iran and against the independence and sovereignity of the Iranian people's will. In a free Iran, your likes should be tried and punished for their roles as accessories to treason.

From Wikipedia: "An accessory is a person who assists in the commission of a crime, but who does not actually participate in the commission of the crime as a joint principal."

Read more about it:



Samsam, Videmose

by jamshid on

I concur with your points. Niloufar Parsi and company represent the raping and looting of our beloved country. Their shameless hypocrisy has no bound.

For one thing, I wish for Niloufar Parsi to be one day arrested by the very guards she defend and get the kind of treatment she deserves by her "beloved" guards. Nothing less than tasting her own medicine.


Hi Niloufar

by Mehrban on

You said- 

[you know, marx and engels were not working class at all! the iranian revolution was done in the name of the poor from the start.]

So we have established that this is not a class struggle or cnflict as you put it but at best it is an ideological one (I would venture to say that it is not even an ideological conflict but purely an ideological "front").  I will tell you why.

I see very little that convinces me that IR is working for the independant betterment of the poor, what I see is that Ir has created a welfare class where the poor has remained dependant on the ruling class or "Clan" and is deployed for the protection of the ruling class when needed.  

Dear Niloufar, Marx first and foremost was an economist.  Maxsist economic theory is aimed at the Labor's ownership of the means of production namely the industry, do you see any such thing in Iran of IR?   The industry is totally private in Iran and it is mostly in the hands of the clergy and the Sepaah.  I am sure you know that. 

I think you should post the data that indicated the acheivements of IR I will be happy to look at them.  In the meantime, if you look under MM's blogs you can see details of the astronomical balances in bank accounts of these guardians of the poor.  Generally these accounts are found in multiple countries and for the most part in the banks of the West.

Niloufar Parsi

Fouzul Bashi jan

by Niloufar Parsi on

thank you so much aziz. good to see you here. it always is :)

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

wow! thank you so much aziz. am speechless... :)

president, ha?! lol!

Fouzul Bashi

Niloufar jan

by Fouzul Bashi on

Just popped in to say salam.  You are a compassionate, intelligent and thoughtful lady ... and a fierce fighter ;)  You have my vote :)


i love you!

by Parsagarda on

niloufar jaan, you are so smart and articulate. also so correct in your analysis. i am so happy you are born to our clan. i enjoyed reading your perceptive views. it is nice to read the truth. u should run for president of usa or iran. both would be lucky to have you.


Jamshid jan: Just ignore

by vildemose on

Jamshid jan: Just ignore her. She is a waste of your precious time. Here is what I wrote on another blog about cretins like her:

NP's, MK's, Q's, or CASMII's  "thoughts" expressed on this blog or any other blog represent many things against which we should all  fight against if we don't want Iran to fall into their hands: reactionary narrow-mindedness, lack of fairness and balanced judgements, fatal incapacity to understand another person's perspective unless it's an identical copy of her own ideology, racism and bigotry lurcking hypocritically behind so-called a "critical stance", a basic lack of respect for peoples who are not of her exact IRI and Khomeinist make-up, an uncontrollable inclination towards fascist instincts expressed in the form of pseudo-intellectualism, cowardice to present her own points of view in a sincere and open manner, eagerness to undermine any other pov of  understandig of society and politics in the measure they manifest an irreverent desire for free thinking...etc., etc.,...

In short, she embodies, Hossein Shariati, the editor-in-chief of Kayhan, the chief propaganda arm of state mafia.

Ignore this one-eyed pirate of blogs.

She is  a hollow , empty head full of cliches that she parrots endlessly . It's an absolute waste of precious time to even read her militant tirades.



marhoum Kharmagas

Jamshid, more empty slogans!

by marhoum Kharmagas on

Jamshid, some young student in Iran might believe your empty slogans, I don't. Likes of you will replace the current bad situation with something much worse, a Karzai style government, an Iraqi like regime and an Iran which will subsequently be divided so that US/Israeli interests and domination are maintained.

BTW, your statement regarding your 100 men is not any different from what I said, you want to include women, fine, I never considered you a man in the first place. I was pointing to your hallow claims. I tell you again, I don't have your hatred for IRI,  if I had, I would go topple IRI instead of staying in comfort of west.



Jamshid, stop talking to "holocaust denier"

by SamSamIIII on


By holocaust I mean the Iranian "Qadessi holocaust" which this character has denied along with Iranian statehood & heritage prior to Qadesiyeh. Some one who denies this, is not Iranian. When they talk about "Iran" it smells like khaled mashaal. They refused for decades to acknowledge "Iran" yet now everywhere they talk about "Iran" this & that. The "Iran" they talk about is not true Iran but a satelite of pan ommah and thats why they hold it dear and call it "khak paak". The same Iran if not in the service of Pan-Ommah would be called "sarzamin mofsedan". So you see these ommaties loyalty is not to "Iran" but to their Pan-Arab ideology & ancestory. Iranian in birth certificate only. Cheers pal.


Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan // //

Niloufar Parsi

and i see

by Niloufar Parsi on

a peace deal coming. the terms of this deal are extremely important, and the current sanctions/war drive is designed to minimise iran's gains. but gains there will be as long as war does not break out. this is why israel is screaming for blood.

as for 'trust with power' and 'election fraud', those arguments are based on speculation and our own personal losses. what i saw was a power struggle last year, one that was lost by the greens for now. once there is a new deal with the americans, the advantage will turn toward the reformists. just my opinion.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Where people stand

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


is a very complex and politicized situation. I understand both sides of this argument:

  • Iran has a right to nuclear technology. Absolutely the NPT makes that clear and there is no question. The US is flat out wrong.
  • IRI cannot be trusted with any power. I understand this as well. IRI does not respect rights of Iranians and is undemocratic. It does not allow for election based popular changes. It forces AN onto people by cheating. It executes political opponents. Labels patriots "enemies of god".

It gets more complicated as people take sides. Some are willing to give the West benefit of doubt and hope they will somehow help free Iran. Others are suspicious of the West with good reason. After the past few centuries is is difficult to trust either the West or frankly any foriegn power. IRI meanwhile milks this mistrust to remain in power.

We are stuck. With no real prominent home grown leadership we are at the mercy of others. I don't know the solution but I do know that IRI just like the Shah does us a disservice. Instead of bowing out when they know they should they put themselves before Iran. A bunch of jerks. I see a very murky future for us.

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

i agree with you actually. nuclear technology is not safe. the technology debate here is not about this side of things though.

they claim that the technology i.e. bombs) would be used to attack iranians and other countries. that is what we are debating - at least the way i see it - as they claim iranian leaders are 'irrational' or 'violent' or something.

i have only ever seen one country use nuclear weapons in war.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Nuclear technology

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


specially the high grade stuff is dirty and useless. Not us not anyone with a brain should touch the filth. It is not safe in hands of US => three mile island; Russia => Chernobyl and thankfully we don't have a disaster on our hands YET. 

This is not racist. I don't want the Earth specially Iran radio activated. Heck if the Russians are stupid enough to take our nuclear waster let them have it. In fact I will trow in any other kind of waste they want for free!!

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

too easy: you pander to the racist undertones of the us and israel by believing that iranians cannot be trusted with technology. period.

now, why didn't you answer any of my questions? why don't you condemn the repeated threats against iran by the us and israel? are you an iranian, jamshid?


Niloufar Parsi, the rest of your answer

by jamshid on

You wrote:

"you mask you own aryan-supremacist racism and brutality with exaggerations about iranian brutalities."

To which I say, you lie through your teeth. Just like your IRI brethens you accuse without any proof. I am challenging you right here in public to go through my writings and find any indication whatsover that I may be a aryan-supremacist. A challenge that you will miserably fail to meet, richly proving something special about your own character.

"Exaggerations about Iranian brutalities..."

And what does that suppose to mean? Do or do you not admit that there were innocent people being executed by the IRI? Do you or do you not admit that there were incidents of rape? Do you or do you not admit that there were thousands imprsioned only recently and many thousands more in the past?

No Madam. You will not admit them. To you those executed were disposable traitors to begin with. The incidents of rape were just innocent "mistakes" made by a few guards. Those imprisoned deserve to be imprisoned. Am I reading you correctly, Niloufar?

It is not me exaggerating anything. It is rather you who is trying diligently to understate IRI's crimes against our people at every opportunity and by using various methods available at your disposal, Ms. Parsi.

You wrote: 

"you are just an apologist for murder, rape, incarceration and other brutalities committed by those who specialise in the act for decades on end."

To which I can only say, be sange paaye gahzvin migi zeki. You redefine and give new meanings and dimensions to the words "veghaahat" and "ebtezaal". You are a perfect example of what happens to a human mind when it is raised in the raw sewages of the IRI ideology.