Beginning of History
Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.
When Fukuyama was toying with the Hegelian notion of the end of history - end of intellectual evolution and a victory for Western liberal and democratic ideals - he probably did not foresee that in a little over a decade this quote would receive so much attention. (E.g. here). This is a very seductive notion to many in the West who have become tired of the depressing news from around the world (Darfur, East Timor, Indonesia, Iraq) and are sick of the constant 'save the world' drives. Coupled with a distrust of the current world leadership (Bush, Blair), it could seem that many people think that Ahmadinejad makes a lot of sense. Strip away some of the religous language and you have a worthy successor to the Communist Manifesto (or at least an introduction to it). And in indeed, it is hard to argue that the "liberal democratic systems" only work for about 25% of the world's population leaving the rest of the world behind. Most proselytizing efforts on behalf of democracy around the world have so far failed - instituting industrialized shells around political systems that are far removed from what might be considered 'liberal democratic' ideals. (As defined through the various charters of Western countries or the Western-influenced UN.) However, there has been little discussion (at least as far as I could see) of the paragraph immediately following the one most often quoted:
We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point â that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: âDo you not want to join them?â?
Is this the alternative that we need to institute to counteract the undoubted global failures of 'liberal democracy'? Most certainly not. Not because of the Islamophobia statements like these seem to foster, but because over the centuries proselytizing efforts of major religions have suffered as much failure as those of 'liberal democracy' (probably more given that they had a sizeable head start).
The problem is 'ideology' of any sort must discard awareness parts of reality to maintain an illusion of consistency. (And if the reality won't stay shut out, it is worth it to suppress it through any means available.) The problem of 'liberal democracy' around the world is not that it couldn't succeed but that it is applied as zealously as any other religion with a political dimension (and are there any other?). The convertites are required to comply with all often contradictory minutiae of the doctrine which the initiates often only pay lip service to or ignore their domestic context (IMF, Worldbank, UN Security Council, EU). A nice case study of this are the requirements leveled against the EU accession states.
Here is the problem with the essentially religious doctrine of liberal democracy (again as defined [similarly to major religions] by the various charters): It is not a description of how the paragons of liberal democracy actually function but a distillation of the ideals the stereotypical democracies aspire to. They are as unrealistic as the communist dreams of heaven-on-earth society, and just like them, they are killing people around the world as we speak.
So, if we are sympathetic to Ahmandinejad's analysis of the state of the world and timorous of the path he wishes to set the world on, what can we offer as an alternative solution. Probably not just the pragmatist 'realpolitik' that is so admired by many. The problem there is that the realism of this approach always derives from the reality as perceived by some interest group with enough clout to impose it on the decision makers. In the past, I have proposed a secular communism (rule by those who believe in the communist ideals but are not imposing their dogma on the government - just like the Biblical commandments are only loosely applied in most Western countries), but, in fact, any secularist ideology will do. These are represented by faith and conviction in doing good (according to any belief system, including liberal democracy) coupled with a strict separation of this belief from government. The result will be muddy and confused but that is the only way I can think of that can avoid the disastrous suppression and remolding of reality byÂ fundamentalist proponents of any of these belief systems that the last two millenia or more have been a witness to.
Here's the full text of the final section of the eight-page (4000 word) letter:
Full Text : The President of Iran's Letter To President Bush
...History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted
The fate of man to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own
devices. Many things have happened contrary to the wishes and plans of governments. These
tell us that there is a higher power at work and all events are determined by Him.
Can one deny the signs of change in the world today?
Is this situation of the world today comparable to that of ten years ago? Changes happen fast
and come at a furious pace.
The people of the world are not happy with the status quo and pay little heed to the promises
and comments made by a number of influential world leaders. Many people around the wolrd
feel insecure and oppose the spreading of insecurity and war and do not approve of and accept
The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and the rich
and poor countries.
The people are disgusted with increasing corruption.
The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the
disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion.
The people of the world have no faith in international organisations, because their rights are
not advocated by these organisations.
Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of
humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the
sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic
We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point â
that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the
prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: âDo you not want to
join them?â? ...