Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Imagining a New Political Majority in Iran

The change that has come to Iran since the end of the Iran-Iraq War is more or less in line with the kind of change that has come to much of the rest of the world (though each nation's change is of course inflected with its own peculiar material and cultural conditions before the beginning of the neoliberal regime of accumulation): a package that combines economic liberalization, cultural liberalization, and political liberalization.

That is not a desirable package, from the point of view of historical materialism, though liberals are happy with it and social democrats adjust themselves to it.

In theory, it should not be impossible to construct a new political majority in Iran taking supporters from both the Ahmadinejad/Khamenei camp and the Rafsanjani/Mousavi/Khatami camp, under a program that puts premium on resistance to economic liberalization, creates space for "rooted cosmopolitan" culture, and develops a strategy to deepen democracy, empowering directly elected leaders (the presidency and the parliament) to eclipse indirectly elected leaders (the Leader and the Guardian Council) as well as promoting democratic participation and political education of the popular classes. But I have yet to see any social force in Iran proposing anything like that.

No comments: