Tuesday, June 23, 2009

David MacGregor: Iran, Freedom & Revolution

David McGregor is the head of Sovereign Life and the author of what is still the most popular post here at NOT PC (Google global+economic+financial+crisis+causes++solutions and you’ll see what I mean).  Here are his thoughts on the tinderbox in Iran:

NoSurrender The protests in Iran are dominating the news online and off - and rightly so.

Although I have no proof, it would appear that significant voting irregularities have occurred, and been a catalyst for people disenchanted with the way things are to get out on to the street and protest.

What’s amazing though, is the way people from all over the world have warmed to the Iranian cause - and perhaps for the first time seen Iranians as human individuals like the rest of us, rather than simply robotic extensions of a theocratic system.

Hopes are high. The cry for freedom is universal and watching those brave young people stand up and defy their rulers is something to celebrate for sure. However, it is at times like this that clarification of purpose and reading between the lines is required.

While many people are quick to use the words “democracy” and “freedom” in the same phrase, as if they were identical, I would caution against treating them with equal reverence.

What the Iranians, and all of us, want and need is freedom - not democracy. Democracy is fraudulent freedom - something we already have far too much of in the “free” world. I would urge Iranians to demand the real thing - true individual freedom.

How do you define freedom? I would define it simply as this: freedom is that state of being where you are fully in control of your own life and property. And a free society is one in which such freedom is enjoyed by everyone - equally. No “ifs” and no “buts.”

By that definition no country on earth is fully free - being ruled by an elite political class representing the “state”, and under a system in which control over one’s own life and property is systematically undermined, negated and wilfully abolished.

Of course, some countries are freer than others. But as long as democracy casts a veneer of respectability over an otherwise totalitarian impulse, one needs to take care in distinguishing between nationalist illusions and facts on the ground.

Believe me, no matter what country you live in, you are nowhere as free as you think you are. And if you don’t believe me - consider just how many ways rightful control of your own life and property is violated by the state, as a result of “fair” and democratic elections!

6a00d83451c45669e201157140b4f5970b-500wiThere are two likely outcomes to this crisis. One is that the theocratic state will do what states always do - and bring out the guns, big time.

Another is that calmer heads will prevail and a vote recount will be allowed - thereby acting as an escape valve for seething emotions. Either way, the theocratic system is unlikely to disappear any time soon - so perhaps the best Iranians can hope for is to have the noose around their necks loosened a little. And I do not denigrate such loosening, as it is an essential first step to demanding and acquiring even more freedom.

Whether Iranian, American, Brit, German, Australian or a citizen of any country, people need to understand that under the present rules of the game (democracy) true freedom can never arrive. Why? Because the nature of democracy (morality by numbers) allows voters to use the power of the state to undermine and abolish the freedom of others - to legislate away the right of individuals to 100% control of their own person and property.

475945531But there’s more to this Iranian street “revolution” than meets the eye. At its base, it’s a challenge to the existing order. The Iranian state has switched off text messaging, blocked websites and expelled foreign journalists - yet it still cannot stop powerful stories and emotive images from appearing around the world. Such stories and images are the “gift” of freedom- enhancing modern communications technology - technology created by free people, not tyrants.

Twitter, Facebook, mobile phones and cameras are being mobilised by individuals to get the news and images out - even in the face of what appears to be insurmountable odds. This is good news indeed. And while the political leaders of various countries feel compelled to reflect their own citizens’ enthusiasm for such assertions of freedom - and praise the Iranian protestors for their actions - surely, deep in their totalitarian hearts they must be trembling.

To see the state’s powers of censorship, violence, intimidation and control openly challenged in this way is an inspiration to freedom lovers everywhere - and will surely have repercussions down the track.

The events in Iran are opening a window into the soul and essence of totalitarianism - whether of the theocratic, democratic, fascist, communist, socialist or militarist variety - and revealing the nature of the beast for all to see. The contrast between self-appointed mullahs and their armed guards and those hopeful, enthusiastic, life-affirming individuals swarming through Tehran’s streets, stands as a testament to the power of ideas. And mark my words, the idea of freedom is much more compelling than the idea of slavery.

Viva the revolution!

Yours in freedom
David MacGregor

UPDATE: The ObaMessiah has made what newspapers are calling “his strongest comments to date” on the street revolution in Iran, urging the Iranian government "to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people." Hardly the resounding clarion of freedom that desperate people yearning to breathe free want as fuel!  Lindsay Perigo writes the speech that should be loaded up on Obama’s teleprompter:

My Fellow-Americans
    As I speak to you tonight, there is hope that the most evil regime on the face of this earth is about to collapse.
    The theocratic dictatorship that rules the Islamic Republic of Iran is a regime that has actively sought to discredit and destroy America since its inception thirty years ago. It calls America "The Great Satan," routinely calls for "Death to America" and openly despises the freedom and prosperity we take for granted. It seeks nuclear weapons. It seeks the destruction of Israel. It sponsors terrorist organizations. It fomented the insurgency that began after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It has supplied the wherewithal for the roadside bombs that have killed so many of our soldiers in Iraq. Within its borders, it stones women to death. It arrests and tortures women if their headscarves do not fully cover their hair or their clothes show their figures too clearly. It hangs gays for being gay. It forbids lovers to hold hands in the streets. It brutally suppresses dissent and non-conformity, and enforces adherence to the most savage tenets of its religion.
    But the spirit of man, it seems, is indomitable. Even in the face of such barbarism, Iranians, cheated of an honest election result, have spontaneously surged onto the streets, risking their lives for their rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Some, it's true, may be hoping for an even stricter theocracy; we have reason to think, however, the vast majority are young folk yearning to be free.
    Brave Iranians, go for it. America is behind you. We're all Iranians now. . .

Read on for the full text, and reflect that platitudes, smooth words, and timidity never won a true victory anywhere.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Ruth said...

We were talking about this last night with the US Consulate.

Do you have solid evidence as to what Moussavi's motivations are? If you are certain it is freedom and democracy then you know more than the US.

More has been done in the last week to destabilise the mullahs than was accomplished in the past thirty years, and all by the US staying out of the fray.

It strikes them (and me) as bizarre that persons like yourself - ie those who are known to hate the President - are suddenly willing to ascribe so much magical power to Obama's words. Has he developed new powers of persuasion from a week ago?

And BTW it was the Bush administration that spoke of Ahmedinejad as a moderate and supported his coming to power.

6/23/2009 12:30:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

You vastly underrate the power of persuasion and even inspiration of that office -- a power Reagan used to the utmost in helping topple the Berlin Wall.

6/23/2009 12:42:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

A bit different. Germany wasn't about Islamic values.

Moussavi and his followers have shrewdly taken up the mantles of Iranian nationalism and Islam.

Obama's end game is freedom and democracy - but there are many ways to skin a cat and he is a lot smarter than you give him credit for.

6/23/2009 01:17:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

And you haven't answered the Consulate's other questions.

Also how does your newfound admiration of Obama's persuasive words dovetail with your hateful criticism of his Cairo speech?

You certainly have the ability to influence Peter, but you have to sand-down the hyperbole and look at things objectively. Without the knee-jerk Obama hatred.

6/23/2009 03:52:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

"Do you have solid evidence as to what Moussavi's motivations are?"

I think at this stage it's largely irrelevant. Like Imre in Hungary's 1956 uprising, he's now a cypher behind which the yearning for freedom has coalesced.

It's that yearning that must be fed, not the Moussavi-ism.

"Also how does your newfound admiration of Obama's persuasive words dovetail with your hateful criticism of his Cairo speech?"

I've talked about the power of the office, not of the Messiah himself -- the office he so besmirched in Cairo.

6/23/2009 04:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Charles said...

Ruth, stop being self important. You had dinner with John Key last year which you bragged about, now you feel that you're on the inside, since you & others talked about it at the US consulate last night?

What you heard form the US consulate is not really inside information. WHY? Because a little old Ruth from NZ is not important for them to reveal in-depth detail of what the current US policies towards Iran are .They (US Consulate & staffs) will tell you pretty much anything that we see on the news. They're forbidden from giving classified info to average Jodine or Ruth public out there. Even if John Key was there, they wouldn't reveal that info either. The classified info will flow to the NZ government through appropriate official channel and not pub talk type during embassy/consulate drinks.

So, get off your high head and start talking about the implications & depths of what Peter & McGregor outlined on this post.

6/23/2009 04:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't think MacGregor is a limited government guy. Perhaps I may be wrong, but I would say he realizes that any and every government is incompatible with the principles of liberty. Let's accept Rand was wrong on more than just on the issue of homosexuality. It is a slap in the face of lady liberty to say that a limited or constitutional or republican or democratic government is required for the maximization of liberty. It is a contradiction in terms, there is no such thing as a necessary evil. Lets learn from the past and see that no constitution can ever protect liberty. By its very nature, politics will always serve to erode liberty even if a libertarian government was in power, Like Peter always says; those who are more consistent have the upper hand. The concept of Government is a collectivist concept and by extension Minarchism is a collectivist ideology. I don't mean to be harsh but its true, come to the Anarcho side, we have cookies...

6/23/2009 11:17:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Hello Ruth

Something you missed...

Your gracious dinner hosts would likely have promoted to you the idea that Ahmedinejad was a moderate, and that they supported his coming to power, had you been their guest during the time of the previous administration. Likely you would have been so full of self importance at being taken seriously by such important people that you would have agreed unquestioningly with that assessment.

Once it was clear to everyone that weird little creature in Iran was a danger, then the official line altered. Likely you would have been sold that different line by your hosts at the next dinner (assuming they invited you to return).

These days there is a different administration in power in Washington and things have developed further in Iran. Consequently your dinner guests are pushing a yet once more revised line- one that suits the interests of their masters and commanders in Washington. And, of course, you accepted it at face value.

Now there is nothing wrong with what they are doing. They are sdoing their jobs. What is the problem is your unquestioning acceptance... Use your head woman!

Ruth, consider how it was that Candidate Obama visited Europe and gave some important speaches about all the change he stood for and all that "new begining" wash. He obviously thought his words were important and influential enough to make the effort at the time.

And what about that Egyptian speach? The new President obviously thought that his words were important and influential enough to make the effort at the time.

Now, suddenly, he stays neutered in his kennel and misses some huge opportunities to speak up for freedom. Interesting. His near silence speaks volumes about where his values lie.

LGM

6/24/2009 11:19:00 am  

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