[Marxism] Iran's Upcoming Municipal Elections

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Dec 9 13:26:28 MST 2006


Counterpunch December 9 / 10, 2006
Iran's Upcoming Municipal Elections
The Donkey and the Date

By BEHROOZ GHAMARI

On December 15 Iranians will cast their ballots for municipal 
elections. Reformist candidates across the country, particularly in 
Tehran, have a credible opportunity to win, if their constituents 
emerge from their hibernation and actively participate in these 
elections. The government has hindered the domestic media's attempt 
to generate a celebratory environment for the electorates to exercise 
their constitutional right. Iranian media around the world need to 
realize that a dampened down election will only perpetuate the status 
quo and will reinforce a growing messianic belief that Iranians need 
to be rescued.

The famous American sociologist Harold Garfinkel observed that people 
become conscious of the order of things around them only when that 
order is disrupted. The taken-for-granted thus exists invisibly until 
its existence is breached.

Since his election in 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,'s administration has 
ceaselessly restricted civil liberties and political rights. Numerous 
opposition parties and personalities rightfully publicize these 
violations, and emphasize the importance of legal and political 
protection of civil liberties as the foundation for any future 
transformation of the Iranian society. But many of these same groups 
have been relentlessly denying the existence of these liberties in 
the Islamic Republic in the first place. If the Ahmadinejad 
administration has banned the publication and the reprint of numerous 
books, if they have reinstituted secret prisons, if they refuse 
permits for demonstrations, if they close newspapers indefinitely 
without a court order, if government officials have refused to be 
accountable for their actions to the Majlis, if all of these changes 
are indeed happening don't they suggest that there had been a 
different political configuration in place before they were effected? 
Could it be that the Khatami presidency accomplished things that are 
now being disrupted? We become more aware of the achievements of 
Khatami when we witness their disappearance.

full: http://www.counterpunch.com/ghamari12092006.html





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