Blog or Not?
A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.
Friday, July 11, 2003
An open letter to theocrats, the mullahs ruling Iran, etc:
In the past few days the Blogosphere has concentrated on your opponents, the pro-democracy protestors in Iran. Now, since you mullahs have been sending your money out of the country, you know the end is near. For the moment I'm going to assume the best about your intentions--that you have ruled Iran the way you have in order to stop immorality, not as a show of personal power. So you all must be pretty panicked right about now, worrying that in a few years Teheran will be one massive orgy. I'm here to tell you one thing: It's not going to happen.
Oh, sure, once the restrictions are lifted, there'll be a few years of relative debauchery. But in a few years, people will long for stability again--and they will become moral from the inside out. Outward shows of piety will actually mean devotion to religion and not just conformity to the expectations of a regime. Individuals will have to make their own moral choices--and in the process become morally stronger.
Think about a corset. When worn, it supports the back and stomach muscles. Yet if a corset is worn too long, the back and stomach muscles atrophy, and the corset is needed just to keep the spine erect. Would it not be better for the condition of the back and stomach muscles to exercise these muscles and forego the corset? The effect will perhaps not be as dramatic, but it will be truer and have more meaning. When Iran's governmental corset is removed, many will admit openly that your reign alienated them from Islam. Many naturally pious people will complain that their piety was aped by everyone in the struggle for survival.
Or it could be that you're just in it for the power. I can understand that--everyone is aroused, titillated, piqued, fascinated by... power. Grrrr.
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