Iran, USA & Ayatoilets. Ferocious views of an Iranian commoner

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another justification why elections do not matter in the Islamic Republic of Iran

On Friday March 14th of 2008, another illusion of an elections is being orchestrated by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The international media will undoubtedly carry some news and images of the event, although I can assure you there will not be any serious questions asked, by the likes of CNN, BBC, Reuters, Associated Press and the rest of the circus pundits, since the answers are clear, the Islamic regime has been accepted by the world economic and political powers as a rational partner. Why would the Islamic ruling regime on purpose want to cook up its elections? Why must it so skillfully vet candidates and install its favorite proteges into official positions? Why does the Islamic government so brutally stifles the freedoms of the inhabitants of one of the most natural resource rich countries, in accordance with millennia old rotting Islamic thought? The clique running the government of Iran cannot possibly be entirely irrational! Here I will try to prove, in fact the Islamic Republic is acting rationally in entirety as a result of its economic and demographic realities.

In the world of economics, there is a concept called the "rentier effect", this idea explained, gives another reason why elections by governments as the Islamic Republic of Iran is democratically meaningless and redundant. Rentier in itself stands for: a rent receiving entity. The rentier effect finds a fundamental relationship between state run oil industries and barriers to democratization. In such countries a government relies to a large degree and sometimes almost completely on oil revenues for its budgetary needs, relying less on its citizens' taxes to run the government. One might say this can be a good thing: less pressure on people to meet the government budget with their hard earned money in form of taxes, but in such economies, democratizing elements of free trade diminish or disappear. There is less incentive for a "rentier state" to help its citizens increase efficiencies of trade through regulation or deregulation, and no urgent need to encourage an increase in personal wealth which would positively effects tax revenues. On the other hand this government has a huge incentive to increase its main source of oil income without attracting opposition from its citizens. Such governments kept unchecked, usurp the wealth of the people and would want to sell the future income from the same resources, as soon as possible. In general governments that hold absolute legal and sole property rights to the country's resources such as the government of the Islamic Republic and the likes such as Libya, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and etc. do not need their people except for defense or the day to day operations of the government, such as stifling dissent and preservation of status quo. Such countries might as well be empty spans of unpopulated deserts, decorated with pumps and pipelines which deliver crude oil to savvy foreign clients, as efficiently as possible. What is interesting is that the oil revenues collected by the government is calculated as part of the per capita GNP income by international organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank, while that money is being used mainly on the security apparatus to keep the same individual in check. In reality a "rentier state" acts very similar to a colonial occupier with every reason to weaken or eliminate its existential threats.

On the day after the Islamic Majles (Parliament) elections of March 14th, we may see a different make up of candidates win, perhaps more reformists, or we may be presented surrealistically but entirely possibly, with the exact same candidates as the previous term. The bottom line is that the policies of the Islamic regime ruling Iran, will be evolving along the lines of assuring the survival of the establishment that has been in place for almost thirty years, serving the same economic interests. This, I say is rational, they are not totally crazy.

Listed below are links related to the "rentier effect", some with very interesting Iran related comparative data. You judge for yourself whether we need fundamental and radical change in Iran. There is hope for the future but it depends on what we do today, so take action, and start by boycotting the Islamic Republic, and expose their evil existence for all to see.

2- Does Oil Hinder Democracy?
3- Rentier state
4- Dutch disease
5- Resource curse
6- Short from a blog
7- Oil and Democracy

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Iran's elections, reminds me of MTV's "all star Request hour". The top ten artists were all from the same stable ;-)

Why should there be appearance of having choice. Isn't it easer for the Iranian to throw their hands in the air and give in, "things are the way they are because we have no choice, why should we bother with election?” Were you ever in the position to pick your own punshiment? Did you pick the ruler stick or did you pick the belt?

We know that in American history the phrase, "no taxation without representation" became a revolutionary mantra. But do you know what they say about rentier states in the Middle East? "No representation without taxation.":)

It is true, Iran is a rentier state - much like the rest of the Middle East - which relieves them of the burden, i.e. accountability, of being an extractive state. There are also many other states in other regions that would likewise be considered rentier states.

The term is strictly economic, but this type of economy facilitates autocratic and authoritarian government; just as it did under the Shah. (I just want to throw that out there so we realize that this is a problem any potential Iranian government will have to deal with, not just the mullahs).

Anyways, the "rentier effect" refers to the tendency and effectiveness of regime's awash in windfall profits (from a single source like oil) to build webs of economic and power patronage that, in turn, become the pillars their own power. The clerics have done this decidedly better than the Shah, albeit at the population's expense.

One innovative way they have built and fortified these webs is through "revolutionary foundations" (bonyads) like bonyad-e Imam Reza, bonyad-e shaid, bonyad-e eqtesadi-e islami, bonyad-e resalat, bonyad-e maskan, sazeman-e tablighat-e islami, bonyad-e resalat, and others.

I refer you to an erudite book by Wilfred Buchta, entitled, "Who Rules Iran? The Structure of Power in the Islamic Republic."

He describes four concentric circles of power: the "Patriarchs" at the center; the "highest-ranking government functionaries and administrators" in the second ring; the "regime's power base" in the third; and "formerly influential individuals and groups" in the fourth. He describes these categories in detail.

OK, I'm rambling, so I'm just gonna stop writing. blah!

someone gonna explain why a barmakid livin in houston texas wants to have farts coming out his head and other parts spewing out garbage??? whats up with 'cheers' stuff, signing off?? nobody says that in the lone star!! Barmakiddo, u r just as anonymous as anyone man! no matter if u give urself a name.
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The elections in Iran are fake
Get off my nuts buddy. I can say what I wish, don't get mad because I scolded you and your ridiculously ignorant quote on the previous thread.

But I like how you follow my posts. I haven't mentioned that I'm from Texas (or Houston for that matter) in months and not even on this blog. So by all means, continue to read what I write, even though they may be tantamount to "farts and garbage" - it'll serve you well.

Yes, there are other countries in other regions that fall into this category, such as Norway, the difference is that the Norwegians have instituted measures to minimize the effect by creating funds to save the income for future generations and also invest in the human capital by funding education, that is why they have one of the most advanced societies in the democratic world. Also by the way Kuwait has a Future Generations Saving Fund but it is clear where they stand democratically, where more than half of their residents do not have citizenship rights. I wonder if their impediment is Islam or something else.
Relax!! The quote in other thread wasnt me bud, u've never admitted u r livin in TX man, u told me so! remember??? U R losin it. See ya soon in Houston or did ya say Richardson??? Drop me a line or 2 soon :0)
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It's really not that their impediment is Islam. Their impediment is tribalism, or elitism. They have aristocratic governments that don't allow robust resource allocation. They use it to perpetuate their own power, it has nothing to do with Islam.

In fact, Kuwait is the most democratic country in the region. Women vote and serve, and the government responds to the demands of the public, like redistricitng.



I decided to make a blog, I hope you get to check it out. (
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