My father once quoted Bertrand Russell about the different stages of political stance of man: “ In his 20s man is revolutionary and seeks radical changes, in his 30s he is more moderate and seeks reform, in his 40s he is skeptical and centrist and eventually in his 50s he is conservative”. Through this process of neutralization he and perhaps many other political activists of his generation could justify their conformation to the social and political frameworks.; To those positions which would secure their conventional superiority in the world which would soon overtake them.
In my absolute surprise this formula has proved to be awfully wrong about me. As I am approaching 30, I have found myself becoming ever more radical. Growing up in Iran that is a oppressive country in all subjective fields (social, cultural, economical, etc), I was pushed to either identify with the hegemonic moulds the discourse offered to me or to remain shut up. I chose the second option as I thought that silence would secure a tiny corner for resistance. But in fact that was an illusion that my generation – shattered under the pressure of revolution and war with Iraq – had. We the children of revolution turned to be the most conservatives as the only gift of our time was the psychological, economical and cultural damage. I like many others sought a tiny corner to be able to have minimum of facilities without fear.
I was a modest centrist when the reform broke out in 1996. I didn’t come to the streets to demonstrate for abolishment of death penalty, equal rights for women or freedom of press. I was fascinated with all the new ideas, the challenge and the newness but I wasn’t sure I really wanted any change. When I got up one morning to find out twelve newspapers were closed the night before, I was pushed to face my fear again. I thought of retreating into silence, busying myself with pleasures of literature (as I was studying it) but instead I was attracted to critical theory. The desire to know why we have stuck in this strange political, social and cultural dead end, why we encircle historical loops over and over again drew me to the modern tradition of critique where new horizons of thoughts and ideas devoured my former being. I as a critical theory graduate tried to understand and analyse everything around me but still in silence, still in closed groups of co-believers. Lacan has beautifully explained the reason: “For centuries knowledge has been persued as a defence against truth”. So I stopped behind the last stage, the stage of getting into real action.
So we are here in Didaar which in Farsi means to meet a loved one and also the face. It took us a long time to appear here. We passed many gaps and hesitancies to arrive at this blog. We are here because we feel the danger, that our belief and our faith might smash and disappear under the social, cultural and economical pressure of the monstrously growing Islamic capitalism, under the rule of unelected government, under the dominance of modern sexism, under the unstoppable passage of time. My father and other political activists were not able to be entirely faithful to the revolution they participated. Yes, they say trial show is just a show and everyone knows what goes on the back stage. But for us the representation is important. The face we keep is important. The back stage is an imaginary. The trial show has put an end to the reformist experience in this country and we shall look for the reasons and seek new ways of resistance.
Here, on this blog, we gather all the narrations we hear, all the ideas that are brought up in everyday encounter and offer it as the pronoun “I”, Because we want to violate the limited, imaginary and market-orientated understanding of Liberal individualism. We want to construct our common experience of living in this specific time and place. We want to shape our new horizons. We want to understand what is happening to us. We want to discuss resistance. We want to avoid passivism. We want to defend the revolution. We want to revive our “lost causes”. Meet us here if you have the same cause. Send us your comments and ideas. Help us in creating a new representation of revolution. We impatiently desire to Didaar you.
*this entry was written in 2009