Based on his theory of Post-Industrialism, Famous American sociologist, Daniel Bell claims : “Politicion should be a socialist in economics, a liberal in politics, and a conservative in culture.”
This claim was result of his belief in characters of the post-industrial society. Unlike the industrial society, he believes that in a post-industrial society there should be a unity and convergence between the aspects of economy, politics and culture.
But the political and social changes and events leading to 21st century showed inefficiency of this theory and its lack of inclusion; As Bell confirms that he has lost some of his optimistic views toward it.
More than anything the experiance of The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shows that there should be harmony between different dimensions of the society. One of the main reasons of the USSR’s collapse was the Liberal Reforms by Mikhail Gorbachev in politics (Glasnost) and economy (Perestroika).
If the Liberalization is considered as “removing the prior conservative limitations from the structure of the government”, then it would not be trumped up to review the procedure of liberalization in Iran and the governments after the Islamic Revolution. It is clear that the liberalization procedure should be monitored in the Iranian context and Islamic Republic’s system.
With a little discount, we can consider the 7th and 8th governments in which Seyed Muhammad Khatami was the president as the government for Liberalization of Politics. Efforts for implementing concepts like freedom of expression and media, developing the activity of political parties and NGOs, and trying to reform the constitution are examples of liberalising the politics in Khatami’s government.
Though the liberalizing of economy was started in the era of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as president, but for sure, the government of Mahmoud AhmadiNejad is the most liberal government in the matter of Economy. More freedom for foriegn trade and investment, attempts to interact with international economical organizations, privatization, and the most important Subsidy reform plan prove the idea.
Human experience specially in the last centurey proved that as the politics and economy are projected by governments, the culture is also like a function influenced by economics and politics. Eliminating the governmential economic aids leads to removal of the governmential supervision.
Not so fancy that reports by american thinktanks conclude that the biggest challenge US is facing in arabic countries, is not the governments but culture of the Arab people in the region.
They believe that by reforming the Arab governments politically and economically, the fundamentalist and islamist part of Arab culture will be removed. They emphasize that the plan of Religious Reform fails. Fareed Zakaria, one of CNN hosts says:”If you control politics and economy carefully, culture will also get along.”
There are reports about the political efforts for the next Iran’s presidential election that they have the perception of cultural pragmatism, rather than political reforms!
So, is the next government, one for cultrural liberalism?
✎ - The Article is written by Seyed Kamal Doaei who is a freelacer journalist from Mashhad, Iran. He has studied Pure Math in the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. He has featured articles in the field of politics and culture on Parsine, Asha and TalabeBlog. You can read the Farsi version of the article here .