I cannot but admire him
for the fact that he is standing so solemnly in face of dictatorship
July 23, 2005
Dear Mr. Siamack,
Sorry ... yo dude,
I am writing to you because, surprise-surprise,
it happens that I like your writing style. But I have to disagree
on Ganji. Your article "Give
it up comrade" contains quite many
snippets that alone by themselves are to the point and are, as expected
you, written with an
unusual wit. Nonetheless, you are wrong on Ganji - looking
it above and entirely.
Yes ... your analysis strikes
a hammer right on the nail about the recent trend in Iran - especially
among youth. You are right
that Iran’s youth culture is shifted from 60s revolutionary
quest for utopian society to an unprecedented individualism. Something
that you seem to subtly embrace as evolutionary progress and good.
The merit in which, in contrast to you, I question.
of individualism in Iran among our youth is, I think, very unhealthy
and stems from an immature copycatting of Western
pop cultures. Acquired with little homegrown substance, this petty
individualism is doomed to a bankrupt social fad. It is a failure
because it is not naturally evolved from enlightenment at grandeur
level of Iranian social web. My understanding is that this trend
among our youth is empty of the fundamental of cultural aspects
that go naturally with its Western counterparts. In a way, you
have pointed out that too. Although, you seem take this trend
as something “cool” to be cherished.
Ganji’s - the mechanic of his letter [English/Persian],
its size and contents, you have some valid points, which I am
with you although half-heartily and with dismay I am afraid. Half-heartily
because deep inside I cannot but admire him for the fact that
he is standing so solemnly in face of dictatorship.
efforts are unique and heroic because he is hopeful at times when
our society is not. By far, Iranians have not recovered
yet from the failure of the 1979 revolution. A radical call for
social change is a hard-sell for them these days. This apolitical
in Iran, which is handicapping two generations but in different
forms now, reflects that sense of loss and emptiness resulting
from a grand failure in Iran’s current history which
conformed into years of revolutionary fever and a devastating
Amidst this dismal hopelessness and political
setbacks, a man like Ganji is standing tall and calling us back
the basics rights that are so rooted now within our last 150 years
of constitutional history. To finalize the democracy and rule
of law in our country, it takes colossal scarifications and yes
lots of luck and historical will and struggle. Nothing comes free.
Freedom is not given but taken. There is no easy escape from it
- not even the cheerful embracing of new-age and rap music among
youth (although that too I question its magnitude) and the forgiving
of ruling elites of such deviations are much for us to be hopeful.
For these changes are cosmetic at best.
The youth will age and
ads die soon and even the ruling party may change its mind
- should it sees a need to roll back
to impose strict social code if that would prolong their rule.
In this context, Ganji’s thought is indeed a revolutionary
response to a circumstance that threatens our country’s
historical aspiration for democracy and freedom. His call is essentially
a fundamental and philosophical outcry against problems
that are rooted within current political structure.
In this context,
Ganji’s letter cannot be seriously questioned
on solely on taste and method of delivering his message.
His long letter - more fitting perhaps as few chapters of a
classic text on the subject of democracy and human rights, was
written under an unusual circumstance and should be granted every
Still, only to be fair to that letter, it contains
many fundamental issues and hurdles in path of democratic future
Iran in which
Ganji had so heroically put his life to highlight. Therefore,
I call his act as a joyful and courageous move that will be
credited to the future of human rights and democracy in our country.