The Third Generation of Iran’s Revolution
July 5, 2006
Revolutions have their own peculiarities and oddities, but they have one common feature, that is their propensity to destroy every thing on their way to reach the promises they are never capable to achieve. Freedom, equality, justice, democracy… are among the most precious pledges that are indeed hard to attain unless the destructive forces of the revolution are channeled to construction and nation-building. Iran’s revolution is no exception to this general rule. Almost three decades since its advent, we are now facing the third generation of the revolution emerging from the 1979 socio-political upheaval, which seems to have lost identity and is still much confused as to where to go and how to proceed in order to get on the right track to development and progress.
The first generation of intellectuals and educated people, which is still blamed for igniting the revolutionary fervor in masses, considers itself neither accountable nor has the capacity, power and time to redress its misdeeds. This generation only expresses deep regrets and feels deceived from what happened without explaining the rationale behind their turning back to the old regime. The next generation was caught by dual traps: a foreign war that raised the nationalistic fervor on the one hand, and the revolutionary zeal of the masses on the other.
Iran owes much to the people of this generation who bravely sacrificed their lives for the defense of the country from the horrible aggression of a cruel enemy. There is no doubt that this generation should be compensated for its hardship and endurance during the eight year war. But, among this generation there are those who carelessly embarked on benefiting from the tumultuous war situation and robbed as much as they could from the pockets needy and poor people.
Curiously, a new generation emerged from the core of this latter group with special characteristic and experiences inherited and accumulated from the previous ones. The members of this generation are scattered in all sectors of the society including: the military, academics, bureaucrats, diplomats, politicians, and various layers of public at large. They possess a number of particularities which distinct them from their parents in the following sense:
They are extremely opportunist with no scruple and have a tendency to trespass ethical boundaries when their interests are at stake. They are hypocrites par excellence and believing that means justify ends, don’t hesitate to perform any thing in order to achieve their goals. They are the product of a mediocre academic environment outside or inside the country, but are very pompous and pretentious about their shallow knowledge. High positions in office no longer satisfy their ambitions and greed, thus they are always in the process of conspiring against each other all to the detriment of the country.
The members of this new generation have no intellectual insight; they don’t bother to do in-depth studies about current problems of the society but are much ostentatious hanging on banal theories and theoreticians while manipulating facts to fit them into their favorite concepts. They have been told that knowledge, devotion and hard work are no longer suitable criteria for promotion and progress and therefore look for unconventional ways to get the backing of influential people for the fulfillment of their objectives.
They are malicious planners with wicked intentions about their rivals and do not hesitate to cause them harm whenever possible. To them ethics and morality are things of the past; nonetheless they pretend to be ethical merely by making their appearance alike people of good mores. They leave their beard grows to look similar to devoted revolutionaries and religious men, simply for deceiving others.
In one word, this rather young and ambitious generation has all the vices of their elders but none of their virtues. Indeed, it is extremely difficult to count on this skewed generation for the future of the country. Soon they will push the whole nation to the verge of moral and material bankruptcy.
The world and the international community have already many unsettled problems with us on multiple issues, including the nuclear project, human rights, support of trouble makers around the globe. The third generation of the revolution are themselves parts of the problems rather than solutions to them. They seems careless of the imminent dangers threatening our nation. Let us pray the almighty God that another conflict and armed entanglement will not be imposed upon our country due to misunderstanding or miscalculation. Since the nation can not count on the conscience and zeal of this emerging generation.
Ali-Asghar kazemi is professor of law and International Relations at the IAU, Science and Research Branch, Tehran- Iran