November 29, 2000
No need for radicalism
I read the interesting analysis of Dr. Ali Akbar Mahdi ["Making
a hero"]. I agree that Nabavi's confessions are actually reasons
for his increased popularity than otherwise. I believe he thinks well,
and yes, living and writing should be preferred to becoming a martyr.
The only point with which I disagree is the underlying assumption of
the article that any social change necessarily involves violence and rejection
of social institutions. In other words, a prescription is implied that
more unrest and more radicalism, or otherwise "ghahr-e enghelabi"
are essential tools for any institutional change in Iran.
I believe advocating these types of radicalism are never constructive.
We can never reach democracy by overthrowing others. A dialogue for reform
and advocating structures supportive of such dialogues are more effective
ways of reaching democratic values. This is an important point on which
Dr. Mahdi's article does not elaborate.