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Shahin & Sepehr

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

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    March 9, 1999

What is wrong with democracy

It appears to me that we are losing sight of what is right and what is wrong in our world. The Greeks and the Romans tried democracy and it did not work for them. Their sociopolitical life was full of intrigue, cliques, assassinations, terror, murder and bondage. Their people's lives was full of fear. Fear of slavery, fear of the Emperor, fear of the soldiers, fear of the tax collectors. In reality, it was not a form of government but an understanding among friends who referred to themselves by various names such as senators or legionnaire or even the Emperor.

They sat and talked, argued, drank wine, ate, fooled with their mistress' and when they would really get bored, they would go to the stadium to watch some of their slaves kill each other! They would bet on which one would survive the brutality and which one would lose his life. Their wagers? Aside from gold pieces, probably the teenage daughters and sons of their slaves. Not a very pretty picture of the olden days and what we fashion ourselves after.

What is even uglier is the fact that today's form of democracy is not even as much as a grain of sand better than it was then. It is still an understanding among friends (business tycoons), who decide who gets what part of the world and who gets the other. They stay in power because, as you would throw a dog a bone to keep him busy and out of your way, they busy the people with such inconsequential problems such as how much vitamin "C" there is in a vitamin "C" tablet!? All this while they have enslaved a whole ignorant society by shiny tinsel things obtained by credit.

If someone complains, he/she is accused of not being a team player. In fact what crimes they do not commit, how they force people to do even wrong deeds by using this idealic phrase to their own end. When an enlightened society such as in the U.S. can be so easily duped by such a simple and wonderful word as "democracy", why not export this to the rest of the world and harvest its fruit? This is what scares me when a U.S. senator laughs with glee as he explains that: "we have brought to an end the world's oldest monarchy!", referring to the "so called revolution" of 1978/79.

Of course they are happy. During the time of Shah we were selling our life blood, the oil, at as much as $40.00 a barrel. How much do we get for it now-a-days? About $11.00 a barrel, if that? Of course they are happy. During the last 10 years of the Shah's rule they could not dictate to us about our policies, internal or international. For the most part, we were a proud bunch of people. Today, we are belittled, looked down on, treated as second class people, and the worst thing I can think of about Persian democracy is the fact that any government in the world can buy enough votes to put their man in the office! To change the laws or bend them to benefit one country or another. To benefit all but the Persians. This is what scares me. Aren't you scared?

As I remember it, with all our problems and corruptions in the government, at least the Shah stood up for Iran's independence and greatness. He did not allow foreign interference in our lives. He did not bow to imperialist powers to lower the price of oil and for this he lost his throne and we lost a proud heritage. Who do we have now who would not put Iran on a platter and offer it to the highest bidder?

Fereidoon Eimen

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