Why leftist opposition needs to be organized

In clerics’ Iran, children of the revolution seek escape

Repelled by theocratic rule, some youths turn to drugs or suicide, music or the mountains.

“When I was a youth, we were revolutionaries, and we were ready to pay the price,” said Hamid Reza Jalaipour, a 46-year-old sociologist and onetime student activist who now runs reformist newspapers. “These days the youth are not ready to pay. They prefer to depoliticize, and the conservatives are very happy about that. They are looking for passive masses.”

 “I think the government wants the youth to be on drugs so they keep quiet,” said Mansureh’s sister, a 17-year-old high school student who also gave only her first name, Mona. “They say it’s a problem, but they’re the ones importing it.”

Easy access to opium will certainly keep potential organizers stoned and passive instead, as will escape into mysticism or back-to-nature, etc. For the conservatives to be overthrown, battles must be fought, and those battles will be in the urban streets, not in mountain retreats and will not fought by the terminally stoned.

“Almost everybody supports the left, but they don’t have any power,” said another “When the left doesn’t do anything, people just forget about it. They put their heads down.”

An organized vocal opposition provides a rallying point, as well being able to build, create coalitions, mobilize, and gain political power. Not that such a thing would be easy to build in Iran, with its current repressive regime (which replaced another repressive, no doubt uglier, regime.) But such organizations can and have been built, often against huge odds. And often they win.

The coming year in the U.S. will be ugly. The right and the Bushites will be launching all manner of vile offensives, trying to gut Social Security, roll back Roe. v. Wade, increase monitoring and decrease freedom for us all with noxious Patriot Act laws, and of course, continuing their current lunatic wars while no doubt trying to start more of them.

The left here to be organized, to be vocal. Public opinion is swinging to our side. This is the time to increase the organizing and the pressure.