Tuesday, January 16 2018 07:29 pm

Iran Election: Whole lotta hoaxin’ goin’ on.


Greetings, fellow Zen Twistians and whoever else might be out there reading… I’ve got something on my mind, and it has to do with all the hubbub surrounding the recent Iran elections.

Media coverage of the Iran elections is difficult, due to the fact that the Iranian government expelled all foreign journalists, so, major media outlets have been resorting to other sources for their coverage – Social networking sites, like Facebook or Twitter.

I got sucked in.  On Twitter, I’m greeted by many green faces, and if you’re curently on Twitter, you know what I mean, and if you don’t, you’re not following anyone on Twitter.  The “green revolution” of a different sort cropped up as an attempt to educate people about the plight of the progressive movement in Iran.  Sounds good, right?  I thought, “hell, if there’s some bullshit going on with the votes, then we need to spread the word!”

I even turned my avatar green with an auto-click service… Felt somewhat good doing it, and then… as Zen told me the other day, when discussing another topic, “Dig deeper, Gatekeeper!”  So I did.

Turns out (SURPRISE SURPRISE!!!) that Western media coverage is heavily slanted on this issue.  They sum it up as a struggle between the young, progressive, American-friendly Mousavi supporters (who surely couldn’t have been outnumbered since Iran’s largest voting bloc is under 30 years of age, right?) vs the Older, staunch religious, Anti-American conservative supporters of Ahmadinejad.  From the standpoint of American politics, this seems like it makes a lot of sense…

Guess what?  The real divide isn’t so much religious as it is about class – meaning the upper and middle class, and the poor, rural class, who vastly outnumber the former.  The upper and middle class are mostly centered in the urban areas, attend university, are pro-privatization of industry (namely the Iranian Oil industry, which Ahmadinejad is staunchly opposed to privatizing – and his opponent, Mousavi, is pushing for it).

Never mind that two independent American polls indicated that Ahmadinejad was leading by a 2-1 margin, right?  But it is interesting to note that the polls were split directly on said class lines, with the majority of rural Iranians favoring the incumbent, and the majority of urban Iranians favoring Mousavi.

Seems the election actually happened as expected, so what’s the deal?

The deal is, the upper and middle class Iranians (the minority), have access to computers, and hence, social networking sites, blogs, etc – while most rural Iranians DO NOT.  Get the picture, now?  This “pro-democracy” movement is perpetuated by technology, but does not take into account the class divide, so, unsuspecting Americans (like me) are easily sucked in to believe that the anti-Ahmadinejad movement is larger than it actually is.

Most of the media coverage, also, is centered in Tehran and other URBAN locales, where the Mousavi supporters do outnumber Ahmadinejad supporters.  It is not surprising, then, that when we turn on the news, we see these rallies for Mousavi, and most of us assume that what we’re being told is at least an approximation of what is actually going on.

What it boils down to is that the rural, poor constituency does not want to allow the privatization of the oil industry (and other industry), due to Ahmadinejad’s position on keeping oil nationalized, and his promise to increase shares of the oil profits with the citizens.  On the other hand, the exploitation and hand-over of their national resources would benefit the Urban sectors more (as the resulting jobs created would be filled by, you guessed it, the Urban Iranians), and would allow exploitation of rural lands, cut off Nationalized profit sharing, etc… With the vast differences in perspectives among the two major classes of Iranians, it isn’t that hard to understand why the election really does reflect the will of the majority of Iranians…  The more religious tend to look down on the exploitative practices of unchecked industry.

The American media is playing dumb, acting as though there’s only one side to this story, and that it is mostly about religious vs. progressive.  That is one tiny part of it, but again, it is much more because of the class divide rather than the religious divide.

The American media has a lot to gain from feeding into the instability, and calling foul over “corrupt election practices.”  They have nothing to gain from telling the truth of the situation – except for, you know, their integrity, but I don’t think that’s a major concern.

If you support democracy in Iran, dig into this a bit deeper and learn the intricacies instead of just accepting at face value what we’re being fed by the corporate news.




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