They say pride will come before the fall. Excessive pride will blind you to the truth and stops you from advancing. Iranians have a long tradition of worshiping pride. National pride, in specific, although has helped us through some tough times in our history and in many ways ensured the survival of our country and identity, but it appears that we never learned when to stop being proud and start looking at the shortages. So in the hope of breaking this centuries old tradition, I have come up with a list of 10 things that I believe are wrong with the Iranian political and social psyche .Of course, that does not apply to all, and I believe we have come a long way in breaking with this tradition, but this is for those whom still have that excessive sense of pride:
1. We love conspiracy theories. This is a direct result of centuries of tyranny and oppression of people’s voice. Our people never got their voice heard, and decision makings usually happened behind close doors thus leaving no room for genera ass to view the process. That obviously raises rumors, and from those rumors, come conspiracy theories. A sad part of all this is we have applied that mentality to world politics also, especially when it comes to the U.S. That has prevented us at times to see the reality in front of us, and that has caused us some great harms. I have traveled to many countries and met many people, I can honestly say, I have not met any people like Iranians believing this much in conspiracy theories. A funny part of all this is that some Iranians consider being creative with conspiracy theories as a sign of intelligence, in reality though, sometimes, it’s a sign of madness! Even by reading some articles on this site, one can see that some of us spend loads of times analyzing, with a narrow mind, what the IAEA or Bush Or Hillary has said about Iran, or what the movie “300” was about, or what some dude in some think tank in Washington said for or against U.S policy in Iran, but we never, with an open mind, try to think what is the root of all these issues Iran has with the U.S and the world? Why do we think the world is out to get us? Where did all this start, and why, and when? Who initiated this animosity? If we can figure those out, then everything else will be clear.
2. We worship tradition. We are unable to understand that tradition and culture and way of life evolve. We are unable to accept that some aspects of our traditional culture are not in line with modern beliefs of human rights. Aspects such as women rights.
3. We are infected with an America love/hate disorder. One on hand, because of conspiracy beliefs, we have made up this ultra human image of U.S in our mind where it controls our destiny and it is involved in everything that happens not only in Iran, but around the world. By that, we have stripped responsibility from ourselves. America hosts close to 1 million Iranians. Many of them are ex communists or the next generation of them, who had clear anti U.S and anti capitalist beliefs and were highly active in promoting those ideas in Iran, but as soon as the revolution happened, they found refuge in the very same U.S. Now that they’re here, they bash it, and Israel along with it. They never were able to clearly state why they resent Israel so much. Historically, Israel never initiated any threat towards Iran. Most people around the world despise Israel’s action in Arab lands, but the level of hate some Islamic Marxist, leftist and Islamic apologist Iranians carry towards Israel has gone way behind that. We are unable to understand the experience of other countries such as India or Japan or South Korea, who were at times colonies or under occupation or defeated in war, but have left blind anti U.S hate aside and risen to become world powers, ironically, with the direct help of the U.S itself.
4. We think with our hearts, not with our brains. We are romantic, artistic, not necessarily industrious, like we used to be at a time. We mix romance with conspiracy theory which has proven to be very dangerous.
5. We have to take responsibility for our own actions. We have found it so easy to blame others.
6. Some of us, think “laat baazi” and thugness is cool. Those are usually the ones who are really into old Persian movies! The problem is though, however, we view the world political scene as a “meydaan” in “jonoob Tehran”, and countries as “kolah makhmali laats”! It has been so destructive to apply that concept into our political beliefs. Examples for that would be some IRI apologists always claim that the IRI “wants recognition”, and is “standing up to the U.S”…We are unable to explain how is it “standing up to the U.S”.
7. We use historical concepts to analyze current world events. From my observation, some Iran pupation, along with some Arabs and North Koreans, are one of the fewest people left in the world not to realize we don’t live in the colonial or cold war era anymore.
8. Sometimes, we get too jealous and envious of other nations achievements, then to comfort ourselves, we deny their achievements! This is very true when it comes to the U.S.
9. We love to work individually, not in units. The idea of community and social responsibility has not been rooted in our culture, yet.
10. We love to confuse and change definitions of complex political concepts! Even today, Iranians have their own unique definitions of imperialism, conservatism, liberalism, independence, and other things. For example, sometimes we cannot distinguish between keeping our independence and being isolated.
Word to all my fellow Iranians, please wake up and keep up with the world. We have suffered enough by not doing so.