All are not equal
In the practical world, creating an "aghazadeh"
is a human social behavior
By Abdol Hamid Sheybani
January 30, 2001
The Iranian of 26 October 2001 published an article by Naghmeh
royal lowness". Sohrabi having in mind His Majesty Reza Pahlavi,
seems to have been preoccupied by several questions under an illusion of
Islam and revolution. Being under a torrent of political feedings of the
Cold War, aiming at the monopolization of economical resources by the powerful
nations, these same questions may have passed through the minds of our younger
generation who have less experience of the cut- throat real world of politics.
The fact that lies, deceit and illusion of facts are the reason for the
miserable state of our country and the majority of our young are inexperienced
I thought it would be of help to raise these questions and answer them.
1- Question: Why should we go from one aghazadeh (hereditary) system
Answer - Had she asked this question from a social psychologist, she
would have been referred to several chapters on how a society and its leadership
takes shape. She could also be given long lectures on the Platonic dream
world which, by the way, is the tool used by politicians who want to get
The shortest answer would be that it is a fact that human beings have
a tendency to consider themselves as equal to everybody else and desire
to be treated like everybody else. Lawmakers have accepted the principal
of equality in the court of law. In the practical world when work is to
be done by more than one person, even in a play situation by children who
start the play as equals, after a while, the formation of leadership and
followers is noticeable. A more elaborate form of this is the hierarchy
of large administrations with the division of labor and authority. The largest
form of this is a society.
Leadership in a society takes shape through the presentation and execution
of ideas regarding common welfare of the people and the credit accumulated
through successful social behavior. This credit accumulation appears in
the form of respect and is transferred to the next generation to safeguard
the stability of the culture. In other words, creating an "aghazadeh"
is a human social behavior. Take a look at the U.S., a democratic society.
"Kennedy aghazadeh" follows a Kennedy. "Bush aghazadeh"
follows a Bush. The U.S. statistics show that once a family comes to power
it stays powerful.
In our country, a diverse multi-ethnic society of people of many different
languages, religions, customs and traditions, our forefathers realized that
to coexist harmoniously, the leader (the Shahanshah) has to be above all
religious and ethnic leaders. Furthermore, they realized that in the same
way that children follow their parents, the society follows its leader.
Therefore to create a proper common purpose for the people, they have to
present the leader to the diverse followers in distant areas. This is how
symbolization of leadership began.
Under normal conditions, culture shapes according to human characteristics
such as desire for freedom, equality, respect, safety, secure health and
means of living and success in overcoming the natural forces. In this direction,
symbolization of leadership (Shahanshah) (aghazadeh) with Ahura's characteristics
has been the result of cumulative thoughts of thousands of the elite of
our country during centuries, aiming at creating a society based on truth
and justice. However influenced by superstition, a culture can also take
up all kinds of bogus beliefs that cannot be verified scientifically.
To summarize the answer, the reason we have to go from one "aghazadeh"
to another is that creating "aghazadeh" is a human social behavior.
Individuals have the choice of being their own "aghazadeh" which
means creating a sub-culture, or select the "aghazadeh" they want
to follow: an "aghazadeh" with a crown, inspiring pride, dignity
and motives to turn this world into paradise (our national culture) or an
"aghazadeh" having an "amameh" (turban) inspiring "ria
va tazvir" (deceit) through "safsateh" (sophistry) and "avaamfaribi"
(deceiving the masses), beliefs that cannot be tested scientifically, and
motives to live in tombs (Semitic culture).
At this point it should be remembered that insulting an "aghazadeh"
who is a symbol of a culture, by phrases such as "His royal lowness"
is not a socially acceptable manner and is not expected from an educated
person. In fact her article continues in this manner. (Editor's
2- Question - He (His majesty Reza Pahlavi) looked so ordinary, why so
many people began crying the minute he opened his mouth.
Answer - One should take a mirror and look at oneself. All one would
see is a head, body, hands and legs, which looks so ordinary. But behind
this facade there are several personalities, one's real personality, the
personality one wants to present oneself as and the personality as others
Those who began crying when His Majesty appeared on the podium were visualizing
the personality of the heir to the throne representing their national culture
being dislocated by lies, deceit, betrayal and malevolent intention of those
greedy for power and those greedy for the natural resources of our country.
They were crying because they felt their own personality and dignity is
being crushed through betrayal and terrorism and they felt weakness in dealing
with this situation. They were crying for joy to see there is still a glimmer
of hope of getting back their national dignity.
3 - Question - Despite the fact that he (His Majesty) has come across
people as a balanced, democracy loving, educated and completely viable leader,
why alarmingly they consider him as an alternative to the current regime
Answer - Because the majority of the political groups who came forward
to contest the leadership of the Islamic republic were the same people who
had their hands in creating the mass hysteria which led to the overthrow
of the Shah. People do not enter their hand in a snake nest twice. As a
result, not many people found them credible enough to be followed. Those
who had some credibility were too conservative. They saw strong hands and
interests of the unprincipled foreigners in leading the revolution and found
themselves weak in dealing with such a problem unless they notice a change
of heart in foreigners and see a green light from them.
Social credibility does not fall from the sky. It does not come over
night. Therefore people find no alternative to leadership but the traditionally
accepted credibility of the heir to the throne. Unless people come to this
conclusion and follow him, they have to bend their head to the symbols of
the culture of terror of thought and belief. The real alarm is not to notice
this fact, follow the illusions and miss the opportunity of revitalizing
our national culture.
4 - Question - How could some people advocate return of the monarchy?
How anyone can believe in royalty, believe that someone's blood is bluer
than their own because they have a certain name. This question has come
to her mind because the Pahlavi dynasty do not have a long line of lineage
and their family's past does not look pretty to her. She thinks Reza Shah
the Great was a nobody who came to power through a coup d'etat led by himself
and the Shahanshah Ariamehr regained his power through a coup d'etat the
Americans led for him.
Answer - As far as human social behavior is concerned, the only thing
the 21st century could be offered would be the experience gained in the
20th century, where simple people were manipulated and their uprising resulted
in coming to power of the likes of Hitler and Stalin in underdeveloped countries
around us: coup d'etat after coup d'etat in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan,
culminating in life leadership in Iraq, Pakistan and Syria with the state
they are in which does not look pretty at all, not to mention the reign
of terror of thought and belief in our homeland.
That is why you hear that the bones of the last Russian Tsar was brought
back and deposited in the royal cemetery, with full honorary ceremony, after
80 years, King of the Cambodia went back and resumed his kingship, and King
of the Bulgaria was welcomed back.
As far as blue blood is concerned, no one in their right mind believes
that some people have blue blood. Royalty is the symbol of our culture and
its inspirations. The reason for raising these questions may be that what
she has been fed by the enemies of the Pahlavi dynasty and by the publicity
of the Cold War, she has accepted as facts without question and without
reference to the facts.
For example, she has accepted that Reza Shah the Great came to power
through a coup d'etat led by himself. A coup d'etat means the overthrow
of government by the use of force. When in 1301 the then Reza Khan the "Mir
Panj" came to Tehran, there was no change of government and no change
in the position of the Shah. He was assigned as the then head of Teheran
police. He took the line of promotion through merit, became minister and
prime minister under the same Shah and Majlis.
Four years later, "Majleseh Moasesan" appointed him as the
Shah. So why his appointment as head of Tehran Police in 1301 is called
coup d'etat, only God and the politicians who are the enemy of the Pahlavi
The belief that the Shahanshah Ariamehr regained his power through the
coup d'etat led by the Americans for him is based on hearsay and CIA publicity.
Had one studied the political situation of that period, one could recall
the fear of the public, the clergy and the army of the massacre following
an inevitable and eventual coup d'etat by the communists.
One could see that at a politically volatile period, when His Majesty
gave the people the choice to select between an unknown dangerous situation
and their traditional regime, the public, the clergy and the army rose to
safeguard their traditional regime. One should not spread rumors manufactured
by CIA, as a Cold War ploy to cause damage to the self-esteems of Iranian
government officials to become subordinate to foreigners.
As far as the Pahlavi Dynasty record of the past is concerned many books
have been written on the subject. The speech of Mr. Forughi on the occasion
of Reza Shah's coronation is recommended as good reading. To cut the subject
short, it could be said that was it not for removing the education and judiciary
from the hands of "Akhonds" and the vast educational and industrial
programs carried by the Pahlavi Dynasty, our situation today would not have
been any better than that of Afghanistan. Had one thought more deeply the
question asked would have been why all people do not advocate the return
of the Pahlavi Dynasty to safeguard our national culture.
At this point it should be remembered that the title "Ariamehr"
was suggested by UNESCO as appreciation of His Majesty's effort at the promotion
of education. The Iranian Parliament approved it later on.
5 - Question - Why when His Majesty presents his background, does he
not mention the reason for living in Egypt, Morocco and the U.S.? Is His
Majesty denying the revolution, its legitimacy or feels ashamed?
Answer - When the reason is obvious why should it be stated? His Majesty
never denied the revolution. If one cares to take a look at a Farsi dictionary,
the meaning for revolution (enghelab) is given as "fetneh va shuresh"
(sedition and mutiny). That is why His Majesty refers to it as a catastrophe.
Islam did not come to Iran with Khomeini. During the Pahlavi dynasty
all our laws were Islamic. Trade laws, marriage and divorce laws and inheritance
laws etc were all Islamic, foreign trade law was suggested by Moddarres
the prominent clergy of the time. Khomeini introduced a new "bedaat"
(innovation) to Islam religion that would have condemned him to death in
any Islamic court. If anyone is to be ashamed of mentioning the revolution
it is to be those who accepted the leadership of Khomeini without knowing
his intention and program.
6 - Question - Why His Majesty has not established a charity, foundation
Answer - Only political bias could be the reason to hide the existence
of the Pahlavi Foundation. It may be worth remembering that on one occasion
the Molla Nassreddin believed the false rumor that he himself had manufactured.
It seems that the people who manufactured a $10 billion wealth for the Pahlavi
Dynasty in foreign banks have believed it and are still looking to find
it to benefit from it despite the fact that by manufacturing this type of
rumors, they burnt their own homes.
7 - Question - How is it that his Majesty thinks that his country was
doing well but a catastrophe descended and reversed decades of progress
despite the fact that more has been done to create a civil society after
the revolution, a popular uprising.
Answer - His Majesty, like any sound mind bases his judgment on statistics
and economic indicators. Rate of growth of national income at constant prices
had reached 14%, the highest rate only reached by Japan. Thousands of new
projects were mushrooming around the country. The labor market absorbed
about one million foreign laborers. After the "fetneh" and "enghelaab"
the national income was halved and not only the foreign laborers lost their
job but about one million Iranian laborers lost their jobs too.
Calling the revolution a popular uprising shows that the author is not
familiar with mass movement and mass hysteria. Many books and papers have
been written about this subject. To make a sound judgment they should be
With regard to a move toward creation of a civil society it is not clear
what the Sohrabi means by civil society. Does the slashing of people for
enjoyment of dance and music mean a move towards a civil society? Does terror
of thought and belief mean a move toward a civil society? Does a life of
lies, cheat and pretence mean a move toward a civil society? You name it.
If by a move toward civil society is meant having free election, does
having the choice to elect between the candidates who have been vetted by
those who think the sky has a strong ceiling, or the sun moves around the
earth mean freedom of election? One should not be mislead by Cold War propaganda
and the suggestions that democracy is a prerequisite of a civil society.
Civility is a function of economic progress itself being a function of
economic information. If by a move toward civility is meant having political
parties one should know that political parties are based on economic schools
of thought. When there is only one school of economic thought, namely Islamic
economy, what could be meant by different political parties?
With regard to the election in the summer and the 20 million who did
vote, Mr. Khatami can thank his lucky star that the alternative candidates
were so unimaginably horrific (even to those Iranians who are used to living
in terror everyday) that such a large number of voters turned out to make
sure that the situation did not get any worst.
The concept of tactical voting seems to have eluded Sohrabi Sohrabi who
accuses the Shah of being condescending with regard to the 20 million voters,
then goes on to state that she "does not care" whether the Shah
can come back to power through a referendum or not! Well so much for Sohrabi's
respect for the views of the majority. This can only suggest one thing and
that is that she actually fears that if there is a referendum - one vote
for every man and woman in Iran - the Shah would win because people are
tired of living in Iran without freedom and dignity.
8 - Question - Why His Majesty exults to high heaven those same people
who ousted the Pahlavis?
Answer - Because His Majesty knows that the majority of Iranians are
honest, decent and kind. They are simple people and were cheated and misled
to a mass hysteria. They expressed regret about what happened. They are
pressurized through terror. They deserve to be treated with dignity like
a human being.
9 - Question - WHY His Majesty wants to lead the movement against the
Islamic Republic? Is it because of his name and lineage or it is based on
merit, achievement and qualifications.
Answer - Because people ask of His Majesty to do so. People ask of His
Majesty because traditionally he symbolizes Iranian national culture. Because
when they see His Majesty on television communicating with them they find
His Majesty a balanced, democracy loving, educated and completely viable
leader. They know that a large part of leadership qualification comes unconsciously
through the behavior of parents.
10 - Question - Why people don't look for alternative to the past?
Answer - A detailed answer to this question is given by social psychologists.
In brief, society brings us up in such a manner that we enjoy acting according
to what our culture requires of us, Culture is not changeable like clothing.
Change in the culture is mainly in the way people act, not in the main principals
and taboos. People prefer to continue with the system that is familiar to
The experience of the 20th century of those who were cheated by the Cold
War propaganda and in the hope of attaining democracy, human right, freedom,
... through risk taking without the basic prerequisite, were faced with
the likes of Hitler, Stalin, coup d'etat after coup d'etat in Iraq, Pakistan,
Afghanistan and even the changes in our own country. These people have learned
a bitter lesson. That is why they look forward to His Majesty's leadership,
aiming at attaining the full requirements of a civil society through our
Perhaps Sohrabi would like to suggest a viable alternative, and while
we wait for this, we can watch a new generation of Iranians growing up who
have seen nothing better than a bunch of "mollas" selling off
their country to the lowest bidders.
Editor's note: The choice of headline for "His
royal lowness" was mine, not Naghmeh Sohrabi's. Just like "All
about freedom" and "We
are awake" were not the choice of their authors. To top