Are Iranians really Aryans?
That's not important. We should find common grounds based
on respect, understanding, and finally, freedom -- not race
March 31, 2005
Every country and every
way or another, is bound to be defined as a united group. And in
order to prosper and strengthen, it needs to have a
definition, some fundamentals to unite the citizens
or members. The lack of such a unity would render a
country, or supposed nation, either unsustainable or
properly unworkable. There is ample evidence to
support this like the Soviet union or the former
Historically, because of a lack of
competition, empires could survive primarily based on
the strength and ability of the emperor. There were
few educated people the very few of them scattered
around could rule and manipulate the rest quite
easily. There were rather few empires and they often
had reasonable stability.
The period of stability I
referring to goes back to the great times for Egypt,
Persia, Babylon, Greece, and of course the Roman
empire. Later smaller and smaller states sprang up
competition got stiffer. None of the later states
survived for long without a popular support because
there were always huge threats looming from the
Democracy became irrefutable as
competition grew greater and greater, especially
technology allowed more and more people to be more
educated through an abundance of publications. The
of huge unpopular states was nearing a definite end
the West at aroung the beginning of the 20th
Germany, Japan and a few others made some attempts to disregard the inevitability
of popular rule, or democracy, and they ended in utter humiliation and defeat.
Unfortunately, as the Middle East stayed backward,
the same thing did not happen to the mainly Muslim populations
of this area. Governments still ruled without
a real need for national identity or popular legitimacy. Interestingly
the Middle East up to about 80 to 50 years ago (Afghanistan up
to now) did not even
many quite old Western notions about nationality or ethnicity.
in the Middles East had their own languages and traditions but
discerned very little
about their differences, boundaries and so on. The very low level of
education often led to a very ambiguous sense of unity in tribalism,
which could very
easily be defined simply because almost everyone in the tribe knew each
this, ethnic groups knew very little for instance about the boundaries
of the ethnicity they belonged to. This was an unnecessary and
useless notion for
However the greatest uniting factor, as was the case
for Europe a few centuries earlier, was the fear of God. This was
way to manipulate mass populations
in the Middle East, at least at the beginning of the creation of a
order to exercise real clout.
Times changed as governments, often unwittingly,
educated their own populations. Although they also tried to put a
huge amount of propaganda and manipulative subjects in to the educational
didn't, and couldn't possibly, get it right all the time.
was that the unity
the governments were trying to create through the controlled media
and the educational system, in many cases became actually the
main pillar for disunity,
as it unveiled
many flaws in the existing systems. There are so many cases but Iran
is a very close one to our own understanding.
As the Qajar were
terminated forever, Reza
Shah tried to do his best to modernise a very backward country, which
was about to disappear, leaving only a name in the history books
about what was known
to be Persia.
What he thought, as many other Western (e.g. Germany)
and also Eastern
(e.g. Turkey) leaders, seemingly successfully, had already accomplished,
was to create and foster nationalism through mass education and
he did, i.e. the result of his efforts, are still prevalent in Iranian
society and the prejudices of a great number of Iranians.
shah got many things
right in the very explicit and iron-handed execution of his plans but
he actually got
the whole idea wrong in what he thought possible; to build an Iran
based on nationalism.
And what sort of nationalism was that?
The nationalism he, and his
his dismal end, propagated was based on two main areas, the Aryan
origin of the Iranians, and the glorious past of the Persian empire.
former was rather
true as a general matter of fact. Persia was indeed a past glorious
were Iranians really Aryans anyway? Or was the old Persia really
representative of the present Iran (Reza shah had even changed
the international name
of Iran, from Persia to Iran in order to show to the northern
Hitler, that Iranians were their old relatives)?
Old Persia was an
empire, often based
on simple use of military strength in order to suppress as large
a land as possible. That is a fine thing for Persians as a matter
of history but is it
for the entire Iran at its present stage?
The fact is that, even
official statistics show (which are by a great probability irrelevant)
who speak Farsi, and who are most probable to be the descendants
of the ancient Persians, are less than half of the whole population
of Iran. But the whole
national identity was supposed to be based on the Aryan origins
rather than Persia. Is that a real case?
Iran has many ethnic groups
which scientifically and historically have little link to what
we may call either
or the Aryans. I am sure that many will say that what I am saying
is not good for Iran. I strongly disagree. Iran can be a prosperous
very strong country
but first it should solve and settle the dilemma of identity.
should forget about the old prejudices of Aryan pride, get on
with the present
and try to find common grounds based on respect, understanding,
and finally, freedom.
As long as a country tries to stand on prejudices, lies, and
unpopular beliefs, the only chance to make it last as long as possible
be to keep the people
as uninformed and uneducated as possible. This would not work
in today's world of the Internet and free