Monday, April 21, 2008

Nasser Zarafshan

Nasser Zarafshan, shortly after five years of imprisonment on account of having delivered a speech indicting the intelligence services for murdering five intellectuals, published this essay in Aftab on 11 November 2007 and Roshangari on 25 November 2007: "The Third Side Also Exists: Regarding the Likely American Attack on Iran" (Trans. Yoshie Furuhashi).

The essay is Zarafshan's intervention counseling Iranians against looking to America to bring freedom and democracy to Iran. While a majority of Iranians are unlikely to be in need of this counsel, it cannot be denied that there exists a current of opinion in Iran -- held by a minority but magnified by the imperialist media -- that Zarafshan criticizes.

Here's an excerpt from the essay:

Aggression to eliminate the obstacles that stand in the way of spreading the neoliberal order and to remake the world according to it is employed in the name of democracy and human rights. However, freedom and democracy, essentially, can only result from the historical development of a social and economic order and the development of people that accompanies it. Freedom and democracy are not commodities that can be detached from a given social order and imported, let alone brought by force, from abroad. Those who are looking for a freedom "imported" by force have not understood anything about its essential meaning.

Read the rest at <> or <>.