In recent past, I have read a few posts on IC bemoaning what is going on in Iran, while glorifying our past Empiredom, as though the past is a viable option today. While I found some interesting points in these posts, I found myself in disagreement with their tone and tenor. My problem is that these writings are mostly nostalgic, escapist and quixotic. I do not disagree that “what happens and is happening now begets anger and a response.”* It’s the type of “anger” and “response” I read that disappoints me.
To begin with, we should stop deluding ourselves. The train that left the station fourteen hundred years ago will not return any time soon. It was a different era and a different geopolitical circumstance. Then, Iran was one of the two or three centers of innovative gravity in the world. That center has since shifted to the Islamic Word (7th – 14th century AD), to Europe (15th – 19th century AD), and now to the New World.
What has happened in Iran since the fall of the Sassanid dynasty is a collection of failed and half-successful attempts to gain a resemblance of sovereignty and independence from external powers. These attempts amount to what we call ‘ghaach-e zin’, not the ‘assb savaari’ that some among us – the ones I call kids-in-the–candy-store – kick and scream for. Both Safavids’ shari’ah-based rule and Pahlavis’ pseudo-secular government are the examples of these attempts. The same – I dare say – applies to the quasi-Islamic regime we have now.
So, what am I saying about us – the Iranian Diaspora? In the first place, you and I, who left Iran some time about or after the revolution, have already voted with our feet. We announced – at least to ourselves, if not publicly – that we did not want to be ruled by the newcomers. Accordingly, we also forsook our right to be active participants in materializing Iranians’ historical aspiration for resurgence. Let’s face it; we could not afford the price.
What that leaves us with? Well, we can be armchair generals, commanding those in the streets of Iranian cities to do as we say, while hiding our own identity behind pen names, and ski-goggle-type glasses. We can sell our services - as Iranian experts - to foreign governments and propaganda agencies. We can also engage in rumormongering, name-calling and mud slinging, amongst ourselves. Or alternatively, we can be decent, humble and caring members of our community that while passionate about the growing-pain we are all experiencing, will never lose the sight of our collective identity.
*from a comment by VPK.
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