Omid Memarian

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Mirage of Economic Improvement

Slowly, the Iranian leaders are shaking of their apparent confidence and warn the public of hard days ahead. The last one came by Hashemi Rafsanjani, the veteran politician and current head of the powerful State Expediency Council that monitors the life of all three branches of government in Iran. “Iran is vulnerable to foreign pressure because of domestic conditions, and national unity is the only way we can sail through future crises,” he warns.

Just a few months after president Ahmadinejad had promised during his elections campaigns that he would take oil money directly to the people’s house and table, his aides at the president’s office have gradually retracted those hopeful wishes of improving economic conditions for the masses. In fact, they never even dreamed that “improvement” would actually lead to economic curtailments and conservation.

Ahmadinejad of course never believed that he would need the elite, the educated, the middle class, the investors, and in general the cream of society as his supporters. So he focused on the lower groups and made all kinds of promises to them with the goal of touching their hearts. Today, he is very far from what he had promised them and through which he won their votes.
A quick glance at the events since last June, clearly shows how Ahmadinejad altered his focus from the improvement of the economic daily life of the man in the street, to Iran’s principal foreign policy issue, to the point of creating international crises over it. In the words of a reporter from UK’s Sunday Times, Iran’s president appears like a peasant who has come to town in a gray shirt. Western states had never portrayed an Iranian president through these words.

The president’s confrontational attitude has brought Iran to the point where no day passes in which some sort of threat or warning – war or sanctions - is not issued to Iran. With these preoccupations and atmosphere, any hope of an improvement in the economic conditions in Iran is drifting rapidly into oblivion. No foreign investments are taking place, and no domestic investors are willing to risk their capital. No serious production activities are forthcoming and no economic booms are in sight. Iran’s isolation and the hue and cry about a referral to the UN are not conducive to bright economic adventures.

But on the other hand, even winning the support of the millions in the nuclear issue does not seem to be the driving goal of the decision-makers. The idea of turning the nuclear issue into a national cause and calling it even more important than daily bread, has not succeeded in making people view things this way. The publicity and propaganda machinery are the only ones pursing this goal. All that has happened is that people have been driven around nuclear installations to act as human shields “in case”, or onto streets to condemn some foreign country. Still, one wonders whether any of those that have ridden on these busses have had their economic lot changed with the new administration in Tehran.

So the news about hard days ahead and the necessity of being prepared for them by a government that does not listen to its own citizens is interesting. During the recent months, any public word that is not in line with the government’s nuclear policies has been equated with supporting foreigners. So any real debate is impossible. Under these circumstances, there can be independent analysis of the issue for those that need it either. But what is clear is that people’s vote or views are irrelevant. Not over decisions that determine the future of their country, and not even when international adventurism replaces government promises of bringing oil money to their table.

It is in this light that Rafsanjani’s message demonstrates the uni-directional aspect of the people-government relations. The question that comes to mind then is: what is the government’s role in creating this national unity that he mentions? Can unity be brought about by threatening and suppressing the potentials of social groups and people and then hope that mere propaganda will create that unity? Or must such a goal be tested through the will of people and their ability and desire to pay the price? Is the nuclear goal even worth paying whatever price is in stake? And what are the benefits of all of this for the country? Is this simply following the wishes and interests of a powerful group, or true national interest? Does a government that calls for and needs the-mentioned national unity lay the groundwork for this to take place? These are only a few questions people who have been called in to stay united and support their government ask.
But even when they are allowed to engage in such a dialogue, it is still they who must make the decisions over such important national issues.

(PUblished at Roozonlinedaily)


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Six Steps to Success
Throughout the centuries history tells of men and women with the midas touch, who achieved greatness against what seemed insurmountable odds. To some their successes appeared to be the result of blind luck, to others the reward for hard work, but the truth about the successes of men such as Andrew Carnagie and Henry Ford is much more interesting.
Success is a state of mind to which all people should aspire. Like many others you can unlock te gate to achievement and the fulfilment of yor personal desires. With the six steps outlined below anyone can arrive at a set destination, with the added advantage of renewed self-confidence and secure in the knowledge that every goal is attainable.
Step 1. Desire
The key factor involved in the process of achieving any desire lies in the response of one's mind to the objective. If a complacent attitude is apparent then there will be a lack of enthusiasm leading to failure or only half-success.
If a goal is to be reached determination is needed to carry set plans through to a successful conclusion. This determination must have enough mental 'weight' behind it to propel you forward onto the road of achievement. This mental state can only be instilled by one thing - desire!
As can be easily seen, when we look around us, it is this desire-force that has launched mankind on his frenzied zest for ever-new knowledge and has enabled him to push back the boundaries of science to never dreamed of achievement.
It is this same desire-force that must be used in our business and personal affairs if the success we seek is to materialize. It is not very hard to develop this kind of desire for all you have to do is go after what you really want - its that simple. With this desire you will have all the persistence you need to accomplish your goal. There is a great saying "you never fail until you give up"!
Take heed of what Napoleon Bonaparte said "What we ardently and constantly desire, we always get".
Step 2. Goals
If success is to come your must realise what is expected to materialize. This statement may seem obvious at first but if careful thought is given its meaning takes on deeper significance.
Many people fail to gain satisfactory results from their endeavours because they did not know what they wanted to accomplish in the first place. Your objective must not be hazy or incomplete. Before you reach your goal you must be able to identify how your life will be different when you achieve it. You must know exactly what it is that you want to achieve. How will your life be better/different? How will you feel? What way will you look? What situations will you find yourself in? Will other people in your life be effected and if so how will they react? You need a clear definite picture in your mind of what the attainment of your goal will mean to you.
Step 3. Belief
Belief is the back-up system of desire. It keep the fires of enthusiasm burning and makes us continually strive to get nearer the goal attainment. Faith can truly move mountains; the mountains of fear, inferiority, worry and low self esteem - 'the success killers'!
Once a goal is firmly fixed in mind and our desire-force is hurtling us toward seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the firm belief that we can gain a favourable outcome can spur us on to victory. When the mind has been manipulated to reflect this state, wonderful physical results can ensue, producing symptoms of success in our lives in every area imaginable.
Although many can attest to the power of belief and to the wondrous accomplishments that were achieved through nothing else except faith, it still remains that many individuals find it hard to believe that a positive outcome will be forthcoming when they are faced with momentous opposition. Whether the opposition is mental or physical the fact that nothing seems to be going right and everything seems to be wrong is enough for even the strongest of us to 'throw in the towel'. But it is in these very situations that faith can conquer all. Faith in yourself, what you are doing and belief that that your objective will be reached.
There are some who bemoan "easier said than done". This is exactly the kind of mental attitude that sustains the problems that they are trying to eradicate. If your belief power is not apparent, take hope for it can be acquired.
Each morning and night recite your intentions from a written list of your goals. Voice your belief in your own abilities. Tell yourself that in due course you will be successful. As you go about your daily affairs reflect as often as possible on your goals and affirm that they are yours now. Fool your mind into believing it and you will see your world reflect it!
Step 4. Plan
Having decided upon your goal and being determined to build your faith you need to give your desire-force a 'vehicle' through which it may materialize. This 'vehicle' will take the form of a definite plan of action.
Do you need to acquire certain skills? Do you need to know certain people or be in certain places to help you achieve your goal? Make a plan that will help you get closer to your end objective. Research your desires and get clear on what you need to do. Then do it!
Ensure that your plan is workable and realistic for you. Although your plan should remain flexible so that changes can be made when appropriate only make changes after careful consideration. Trial and error will eventually show the way to a good plan although you should be open to intuition also.
However, I should point out that, it is very likely your goal will materialize in a most unexpected way. The fact that you have set a plan for its accomplishment tends to set things in motion and like a chain reaction (or the butterfly effect) subtle changes made by you may cause dramatic changes elsewhere and your goal may come before your plan is completed.
Step 5. Visualization
Visualization is the art of creating mental movies of your completed goal. This has many beneficial effects upon your consciousness. Without going into the deeper esoteric benefits of using this art let me just say that you are truly designing your life when you use it. It has one other major benefit - it strengthens your desire and persistence because you momentarily experience the thrill of having achieved your goal!
Just form a mental picture of having achieved your goal. See what you will see. Feel how wonderful it will be. See how it effects everyone around you. Hear people congratulate you. When this state is experienced nothing will stop you in your quest for your objective and thus your belief-power will also be reinforced.
Step 6. The Subconscious Mind
It is within the subconscious part of your mind that you hold all th positive and negative beliefs about yourself - your self-image. These beliefs are reflected back to you in the form of attitudes. Therefore it is from the subconscious mind that the thought of failure or success comes.
Attitudes are just mental programs and so is your self-image. They can easily be changed (yes I said 'easily'). Any attitude or belief can be changed by using the formula outlined in this article - by combining affirmations with visualization. Henry Ford used it, as did Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Arnold Swatzeneger. It is reported in some circles that a similar technique was employed by Bill Gates to build his global empire. Andrew Carnegie used it exactly as described to attain and give away multi-millions even though he was an unschooled manual worker when he started it. Carnegie's legacy can still be seen today when you freely borrow a book from any Carnegie library of which there are thousands.
If you use these six steps there is nothing you cannot achieve. Luckily we have the advantage of living in the Twentieth Century with all its new technology and innovations such as hypnosis and subliminal programming. Use these steps in conjunction with your favourite personal development system and you are assured success. lucid dream

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