National allegiance vs. pluralism [Archives:2008/1152/Opinion]

May 5 2008

Dr. Abduljabbar Al-Wa'eli
There are essential differences between one's allegiance to his/her homeland and partisan plurality, but one can realize that there is much talk about two concepts with a core difference in their meanings and terminology. Also, there is much confusion between being allegiant to one's homeland and suggesting any constitutional amendments until the extent of making the hearer have strong faith that both are two faces of the same coin, particularly when talks are given by veterans about the situation of and their being loyal with their own parties.

This kind of talks seems to be confined to the fact that the political party or organization is the main factor for deep-rooting allegiance to homeland in the hearts of citizens while the variety of programs and strategies, adopted by these organizations or parties to describe their structures, originates from allegiance to homeland.

In fact, the concept of allegiance to homeland is composed of religious and moral rules, legal and legislative principles and physiological tenets that are inherited from nation to nation while people have no differences over this concept despite difference of time and place. Such a concept can best be defined as follows:

Allegiance to homeland is the love for one's home soil and the desire to protect it and defend its sovereignty, geographic and political components, legislations, constitution, and shrines, as well as its heritage and components of its system of governance.

The definition also includes the strong will to maintain and conserve public property of one's homeland, resist any malicious rumors aimed at harming the national unity and dignity or underestimating the role of any great men, scholars, leaders and thinkers of the nation.

This is the concept of allegiance to homeland while concept of partisan plurality can be defined as: “The choice between the various alternatives to integrate into the political, social, economic and intellectual life and its practices through programs and strategies having their goals, components and implementation means that vary from one party to another.”

This matter is responsible for differences between people regarding choice or loyalty, or anything else relevant to the invisible or announced goals, as well as what is related with the implemented means and contents. As a result, we find that political parties and organizations in some countries number up to 60 and over, and their goals and programs range from moderation to extremism. Some of these parties or organizations are often managed from within by extremist theories and ideas that sometimes develop into the level of psychological disorders while others are run from within too, but the management, supervision and actual control of progress comes from outside.

Some political organizations develop malice and hatred while others adopt violence for the sake of achieving their sought-after objectives.

In short, allegiance to homeland, and its components and principles are all based on the true nature people are born with. And this nature is indispensable for the instinct of love and loyalty with ones' homeland, and defending its legislations, laws and regulations, which are agreed upon by all people, mainly the scholars and men of reason.

Allegiance amid modernization:

In the process of modernization, many politics encounter numerous issues and problems. One is the actual and cultural articulation of nationhood in the process of the creation of a “nation-state.” One policy is what was embraced by Adolf Hitler in Germany, Reza Mirpang Pahlavi in Iran, and Slobodan Milosevic in former Yugoslavia.

This requires the identification of only one group as the sole owner of a country and the elimination, marginalization, or subjugation (physical, cultural, etc) of all other groups. Hitler designated the Aryans, Reza Mirpang and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi the Persians, and Milosovic the Serbs as the sole owner of his “nation-state.”

Each then instituted harsh discrimination against the others. This method requires a brutal dictatorship not only to eliminate and oppress the other groups but also all those in the designated dominant group who are liberal, social democrat, and humanitarian who oppose genocide, ethnic cleansing and discrimination.

But what would Iranian democrats do to develop a modern polity? Is ethnic cleansing or genocide the only way to create a modern nation-state or is there a pluralistic and democratic way? In this essay, I intend to discuss some of the problems with the dictatorial ethnic policies in Iran since 1920s and suggest that we need a different approach if we are to have pluralism and democracy in the post-fundamentalist Iran.

Any political parties and organizations claiming to practice the real concept of national allegiance are required to cite the components of their natural instincts and then the components of their parties' programs and strategies, plus any visible and invisible objectives. Then, they have to establish an authentic comparison between such components and the above definition of the national allegiance concept.

So, all the Yemeni political parties and organizations are recommended to review their moves and positions regarding the organized events that claim lives of several innocent people and advocate secession, as well as help opportunists loot public and private property.

Source: Al-Thawra State-Run Daily