Some modesty wouldn't hurt
Arrogance has cost us Iranians dear and it is still doing so
March 6, 2007
One of the most favourite subjects of discussion among most Iranians is history. That is where the sensitivity of Iranians lies. It is interesting though to look at the relatively recent history of Iran and see how things have evolved. Prior to the British and other Western countries' scientific researches about Iran's past in detail, Iranians usually had little or no idea about their own distant history. Most of the history Iranians pride themselves were lost by Iranians themselves and then discovered by Western scientists. This also goes for Persepolis, the ancient capital of the pre-Islamic Persia, which lied in ruins under tons of sand before being excavated by Western scientists. It is not being rude to the Iranians, but a simple fact, which also goes for other Middle Eastern civilisations. Most of the rest of Iran's distant history has been preserved thanks to the Greek historians who cared to write also about their so-called Barbarian adversaries, nonetheless from their own point of view.
Later in the early 20th century, nationalism, also copied from the past, flourished in Iran and some native Iranian men of science got interested in studying history. Some of them, especially those who had studied in Europe, did objective scientific work while others failed to do so, due to the weak foundations of a shaky local academia.
Problems appeared and still seem to persist just from that point of historical acknowledgment. This apparently glorious history of Iran that was discovered by the West came just as a curse, which is still upon the Iranian nation. The history made a backward illiterate Muslim country of the Middle East into a backward illiterate arrogant Muslim country of the Middle East. That arrogance has cost us Iranians dear and it is still doing so. Turkey did a better job in cutting the relationship between modern Turkey and the Ottoman Empire (Osmanli Turkleri). Turkish politicians even spread rumours that the Ottomans were Iranians! Iran however went as far as it could and claimed most the history of the Middle East for itself. That was, and still is, quite a burden. Iran is still being crushed under that burden.
Why was, and is, it necessary to have a grand past? The Iran of today is nothing but a spot on the map having its most important relevance on the world scene due to the oil reserves that are themselves valuable solely because of the West offering cash for it. The Iran of today is nothing but a weak country whose only significance on the world stage is because of the mineral reserves and no more! The mineral reserves of Iran, and other countries similar to Iran, became valuable simply because Western countries excavated them and offered to pay for them. Before that Iranians didn't know they had oil, and if they did, they didn't know what to do with it. The same goes for every other single natural resource Iran holds, except for agriculture, which is not so great or aplenty.
So why does Iran need to show that it is anything but what it really is? Iran is indeed nothing but an oil deposit. It has no science, no industry of its own, no extraordinary social, political or economic system, and the list can go on. Why does this country need to show that it is anything more than what it is? This is where the history often does come in. This is where the same glorious history creates problems for an Iran which should have been much more modest, sitting where it belongs to, acting like a small and weak country that still has a lot to learn and a lot to do to catch up.
This also goes for Iran's nuclear ambitions. Iran is boasting its old rusted Russian army equipment to act against possible US hostilities, while showing great desire for modern nuclear technology. I agree. Iran needs technology. But why do Mr Ahmadinejad and others boast about Iran's achievements in nuclear technology while none of them are Iranian creations? Which inch of that technology has been discovered by Iranian scientists? Iranian politicians always shout about the proud and glorious nation of Iran while the audience gets excited. Iran's pride and glory are the two words that have actually been the verbal means of applying the history curse on Iran. And there has been no Western conspiracy but a simple Iranian ignorance behind this curse.
My reckoning is that Iran's true place in the world stage is somewhere slightly above Congo and far below South Africa. I am not so sure about the comparison itself but I am quite intent on doing some nerve-wrecking of the typical Iranian arrogance. Some modesty wouldn't hurt. Let's lay low while we catch up. Let's learn, study, grow up a little bit and find out what we have done wrong and poorly. And let's just forget about history for a while. The moon is hundreds of millions of years old. It has a far older history than Iran. What use if it is empty? Iran is also nothing but a relatively empty historical land. Let's try to make ourselves, Iranians, higher in knowledge, human value, and also material prosperity, so we can earn some true worldly respect from those we have pretenses, and then maybe we can do some scientific and historical work of our own and fill that historical land with something. Comment