Sunday, June 14, 2009

Little Boxes

"...they all were put in boxes, little boxes all the same"

Yesterday, Maryam Namazie posted an interview with Hamid Taqvaee, leader of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran:

Although I find his opinion about the widespread opposition against the regime is slightly exaggerated, I agree with his conviction that it is inaccurate to call the elections in Iran as a farce whilst in actuality there has not been any elections whatsoever. It differs from elections in standard capitalist-democracy both formally and functionally. In the formal sense, participation in elections is strictly restricted by the Guardian Council of the Constitution to prevent any possible discrepancy within the current political arrangement from the start. Functionally, since an "apathetic public consensus" (Badiou) has already been established in Western democracies as a result of numerous years of practice and capital-labor friction has been comparably softened with some grease acquired through the imperialist plunder, a typical elections in Western democracy functions as a sham, but a sincere sham in which every four of five years people come together in a carnivalesque fashion and pit their insignificant differences against another just to confirm the comfortable delusion that they possess democracy which guarantees difference of opinion among people. Eventually the triumphant side seals the victory with a blissful musical gathering. (For instance, I'm very disappointed with the outcome of the latest elections in the U.S for the sole reason that they seized our modest enjoyment of listening Pete Seeger. That is all). But because democracy itself is a shameless sham in Iran, as Hamid Taqvaee puts it, elections functions to ensure the continuity of the regime, not as a celebratory ritual about public consensus but as a disturbing symptom which compensates and masks the absence of it.

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