The Theocracy and Pro-Western Youth of Iran

The following is my contest submission through the Pulitzer Center on the question, "How can US foreign policy be improved by the paradox that Iran is often viewed as America's most serious threat even though its youthful population is among the most pro-western Muslim countries?" Enjoy!

Despite the pro-western sentiments of Iran's youthful population, the fact remains that the ruling theocracy of Iran differs fundamentally on its opinion of those countries deemed "Western," particularly the United States. As has been vocalized by its current administration, America's policy concerning diplomatic relations with Iran, or the lack thereof, has been largely based upon the existence of a rigid theocracy that neither fosters the growth of democracy nor encourages voices of dissent within its strict interpretation of Islamic religious law, or Sharia. While a government based upon democratic ideals may very well be the desire for the average Iranian citizen, the increasingly stringent and religiously intolerant rule of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will certainly exert opposition to this growing trend, however popular it may prove to be.

Sound and compassionate foreign policy begins at home, and in many ways, is dictated by current, majority perceptions surrounding the countries in question, however erroneous those perceptions may be. The unfortunate truth regarding the average American's outlook on Iran today is that it is largely based upon the controversial statements of Iran's president in regards to Israel and the Holocaust, and upon the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, an act that remains burned into the collective consciousness of the United States. However, the statements of Ahmadinejad and the storming of the American embassy in Tehran three decades ago do not accurately mirror the opinions and actions of the current majority within Iran; a majority that largely espouses Western notions of personal freedom and that continues to grow restless under the unswervingly rigid authority of its conservative government.

This paradox then, is at the heart of the problem facing America's current foreign policy on Iran; a policy that, although speaking a clear message to Iran's ruling theocracy, generates little optimism for those Iranian citizens hoping for change.

At the core of the solution to this problem, I believe, is a gradual shifting of public perceptions concerning exactly what Iran is. It is no great surprise that the American media has contributed to the current, negative outlook on Iran held by the average American, and that it is indeed largely the media which possesses the ability to change this outlook. For many Americans, Islam carries with it a negative stigma, as nightly news reports and headlines continually bombard the American public with images of Middle East violence. While these images certainly do reflect a horrific reality for several regions within the Arab world, they also carry with them the underlying message that there is something drastically wrong with that world, a message that far too many Americans are taking to heart.

Iran & the Youth of Iran

While America's foreign policy will likely not change while Ahmadinejad and Khamenei are in power, the American public can and should do all in its ability to contribute to lasting change in Iran. American support for the personal and religious freedom of the Iranian people can speak volumes to those Iranians displeased with the existing power structure of their country, and as is so often the case with successful and lasting reforms throughout history, that support should begin with education. It should come as no surprise to anyone subjected to current media patterns that the Middle East is at the forefront of worldwide attention, and for good reason. American involvement in Iraq, Iran's nuclear program and the enduring Arab-Israeli conflict are just some of the many distressing events troubling the Arab world today. But behind the headlines there lies another face to the Middle East, one of cultural vibrancy, intellectual influence, and hope for the future. While this side of the Middle East may not hold the interest of a human race strangely fascinated by violence, it will nevertheless be a positive step in the right direction towards bridging two very different worlds, and towards the beginning of a new cultural understanding between East and West.

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Comments 59 comments

Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

You're too kind to the american media. Their role in America's ignorance on this whole Iran situation has been that of a hysterical, war-monger in my opinion. Everytime I turn on the news either somebody is dead in Iraq, or Iran is threatening the US in some way that implies we need to go into there and deal with them.

I liked how you talked about how the media is impressing upon the American public that there is something inherantly wrong with the way people in the middle east are arranging their governmental affairs. I was just talking to my mom the other day about how democracy isn't going to work in the middle east because they're just going to elect religious dictators anyway. She pretty much told me that those voters are wrong, and we need to help them elect democratic leaders while we occupy their country. I'm sure we all can see how that would negate their democratic system. But my point is you're right, people do see their systems as wrong, and they're not wrong; they're just different, and they have the right to be different and find a way make it work for them. Unfortunately, they haven't done that, but I don't feel like our occupation is making it any easier for them.

And occupying Iran isn't going to help either. It looks to me like that's where we're headed at this point.


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Hey Jonno,

Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it. I realize I could be harder on the media, but in so many ways, they merely reflect the wishes of the American public. And the sad truth is, most Americans aren't all that concerned with stories on the middle east unless they have something to do with violence. I'm not sure why this is, perhaps it helps make our own world look less frightening, or it validates our own xenophobia. Probably it is directly related to our geography. America is so huge, so powerful, and has been isolated from so much of the world for so many years, is it any wonder most of us just don't care about what happens 10,000 miles away? For good of bad, our media happens to be the most powerful tool in garnering interest for the rest of the world, and as the planet continues to get smaller and smaller, I do believe this interest will increase. But the real question is, how will that interest manifest itself? The answer to that scares me.

I do believe that there is a genuine interest in democracy throughout much of the middle-east, but military involvement is hardly an appropriate answer to helping that desire. It's going to be interesting to watch Iran in the coming months and years. The situation right now is eerily similar to the situation prior to the the revolution of 1979. The population is an extremely young one, and if we can all avoid bombing each other, I think Iran may experience some positive changes in the future. I hope. yikes.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Great hub J. I especially liked the video. I, for one, LOVE to hear these kind of stories about the Middle East. That the youth of this country are so free and so defient of their elders' bullshit gives me so much hope. They're so much like we are, here. In the very near future they'll be running the Middle East... and, from what I could see, they want nothing to do with wars, repression and the all the old hateful ways.

I loved this hub!


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

You're right about a lot of things j. One thing I will contend, though: I think since the media does play such an influential role in the mass opinion, it is their responsibility to report accurate, relevant, and unbiased world news to the public. Media Corporations shouldn't have the choice to sell whatever news they feel relevant. As it stands, that system has turned our news stations into little more than news for entertainment. You don't play what the people want to hear, you play what they need to hear. That's how you keep an educated, well-informed population, which seems to be far from what any news corporations want, or so it appears.

Walker, you're so right. I never hear anything about Iran's population, just their crazy government, and it gives me so much hope to see a forward-thinking, vibrant youth emerging into adulthood. I hope they get some of those people into influential positions in the near future. Perhaps they can change the way the world views them.

You know what I really think? The Iranians just need a good marketing campaign man =)


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jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much for the intelligent comments guys.

Walker, I love that video too, the first time I watched it I got goose bumps, especially from the young woman who said such independent, potentially dangerous words. Maybe if we could all just play some paintball things could be better. Ahh, idealism.

Jonno, I like your thoughts on holding the media to a higher standard, and I agree. They are the single most powerful tool in changing American perceptions of the Middle East, and I would love to see more stories like the one in the viseo above. I'm seriously considering pursuing a career in journalism, hopefully I can considerably contribute to these issues in the future.


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funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

This is a fantastic look at the issues in Iran but I do not think it is reflective of the entire middle east. Even comparing Iran and Iraq is a stretch. Sadam was a complete dictator where as Ahmadinejad does not have the absolute power that Sadam possesed.

Years ago American Iranians would refer to theselves as Persians in an attempt to disassociate themselves from the stigma of Iran. I have been hearing about the progressive Iranian youth for at least a decade but they never seem to foster the change that everyone seems to wish for. This isn't an impliction of Iranian youth rather just a reality of youthful revolution idealism overall.

I understand the views in regards to the media but I also think that the middle east has been reluctant to accept western concepts just the same as the west hasn't embraced their contributions. It seems that for a region that is forever fighting themselves, they are quick to circle the wagons and throw up the Muslim flag at any opportunity.

I am no polysci expert but it does seem the the more democratic middle eastern countries tend to have less violence and international speculation. Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and in some cases Lebannon have all flourished by becoming more secular .

Nevertheless a great topic and exceptional writing. I wish you luck.


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jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

No, funnebone, I don't believe it's reflective of the entire middle-east either, I hope it doesn't appear that that was what I was trying to imply. I will say though, that while ahmadinejad does not carry the amount of power that saddam did, supreme leader ayatollah Khamenei and the Guardian Council are responsible for numerous human rights abuses, and several journalists have found themselves imprisoned and severely beaten for criticizing Khamenei, which is against the law in Iran. in fact, Khamenei's brother himself was not exempt from this rule. I doubt that Iran's youth will merely follow the path of idealism without action, but who knows? I sincerely hope they do not. Thank you so much for your comments and compliments, they are very much appreciated.


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

Comparing Iraq and Iran to people that know about the two areas is definitely a stretch. I compare them from the eyes of our current president and associated oil companies. I think one could safely assume they don't draw the same distinctions.


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funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

Jr you didn't imply that, I was speaking more about the media I suppose. I am no war monger but I do hold the view that a hornets nest presents the same danger as a wasps nest. Iran did not become unstable because of Bush. I think Bush learned from previous encounters with volitle countires. Afganastan became a breeding ground for terrorism because the world turned its back on the atrocities the Taliban was commting. When a government fires bazookas at 2000 year old statues of Buddah it is a grim indication of things to come. The things that were happening in Afganistan were deplorable and diplomacy did nothing to stop it.

The same diplomacy was applied to Iraq and once again failed to change anything.

Iran presents an unequal problem as compared to North Korea or Lybia in that they don't want peace with the rest of the world. The radicals need to keep a fresh enemy whether it be the west or the sunnis or the jews.It is undeniable that they have a hand in Hezbolla and in the iraq insurgents. They are an unstable regime that even without the iraq war would have continued their provacation of the region. To think of them with atomic weapons or even wepons grade material is frightening.

Jon the oil companies make money off refining more than owning the oil. A limited supply hurts them more than helps them. Without keeping an eye on these oil producing countries and at times intervening on behalf of our own interests, we would be in much more serious trouble than we are in right now.


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Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Great article, brilliantly written.  Ahmadinejad says stupid crap and the media plays it and ignorance here at home runs with it like it's a decree.  That dude doesn't have a third of the popularity at home he wishes he does.  He just has the media savvy to know when to rattle his empty sabre on TV.  I keep hoping that the youth over there will eventually just say, as that one woman did at the go-kart track, "I am the power" and take their country out of the 11th century finally.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Funnebone's above comment is dead-on.  There are people still in power in this world who would love to see us brought down.  To believe otherwise is just naive.  Until these countries "grow out of it," that is, the new generation comes into power, we've got to be paranoid, and watchful.

Hey!  Funnebone finally put up a real picture! Now I know why he waited so long!  Sorry dude, you know I couldn't resist... I tried, I really did, for a second or two.  ;-)


funnebone profile image

funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

Constant I wanted you and DJ to have time to impress the women with your personalities. I knew once I posted my adonis like picture that all attention would be upon me. ( the dog pic will be back up soon, I just want to see if posting a real picture gets more hits)


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I'm LOL-ing... out loud!

Ha.

Ha.

Ha.


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jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Ah yes, funnebone, who could forget the comforting image of the taliban soldier firing rockets into buddah's face?  yikes. Shadesbreath, thanks for the kudos. And C Dub, props for throwing some levity into the mix, I didn't expect the comments on this page to ever make me laugh, but yep, you two did it.  To all, thanks for your ever insightful comments.


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

The only thing I don't see I guess, is if intervening in that area of the world secures our interests somehow, why are gas prices at record highs? While Shell and Exxon etc are getting no-bid contracts for oil fields they apparently controlled before Saddam took control of the country.

I'm not as well-informed as many of you appear to be, so please take my questions not as criticism of what you're saying, but as eagerness to hear what people who probably know more than I do have to say about matters I am very interested in.


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jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Great question Jonno, and one I'm not yet prepared to answer. Let me look into this and maybe I can come up with an educated answer. Until then, can anyone else enlighten us? I will say though, that the oft-repeated explanation for our involvement in Iraq (oil interests) seems to be a simplification. And as you pointed out, if that was the main motivation, it hasn't seemed to work too well.


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

Well, it has worked very well for those whose interests it serves, like oil companies with record profits since we went into Iraq. It's definitely not doing the american/iraqi public any good though, or the people over their fighting.


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Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Since when have those in power been concerned about serving the interests of the public?  C'mon, really.

I asked Jonno this question a couple weeks ago and he didn't have an answer, so now I'm going to throw it out there for all of you:  Why are the oil corporations, as thus far savvy and successful business men, making move after move, and decision after decision, which they KNOW will and IS driving away their bread and butter - namely their customers?

What kind of business plan is that?  Why would a very, very successful business deliberately drive (pun intended) away its customers?

I have a theory or two, but I want to hear from you guys first.


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

Ok, well I think I have close to an answer this time. (btw when did you ask that?)

I think one of two things.

1. There's not as much oil as we think there is, they're lying about supplies and going to gouge prices until it all runs out, making as much profit as they can before it's all gone.

2. They know they can get away with gouging prices because the current administration won't stop them, and the US is so reliant on our cars to get to work etc that most people don't have the option to be driven away by high prices.

Or the 3rd, highly-unlikely possibility is that they know they're products are causing global warming, so they're weening us off oil by gouging prices to the point that people just can't afford it anymore, at which point we'll have to go green. I don't think they care that much about environmental issues like that.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

1. Well, I'm pretty sure that Middle East oil hasn't even peaked. Ours peaked in the 70s. That might be a lie, but... I don't know.

2. Definitely likely.

3. This actually MIGHT be what's up... we know the oil corporations have no conscience, but they aren't actually running EVERYTHING - just our president. I'm pretty sure that there's a World Government (like the UN, only affective) who are making all the BIG global decisions.

Fact: The world needs to be weened off of its dependance of oil - and as quickly as possible, or shit is going to hit the fan far worse than it is now, weathe-wise. Most nations are doing this on their own... except for, you guessed it: Us.

While so many of us are trying, most cannot afford to give up their autos - not unless they're forced into it. Do you think America, and the world, are being FORCED to find alternatives to oil?


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

I think companies like Google offering $10 million to anyone that can come up with a green, for-profit car are going to be what FORCES the US and other countries to switch their mode of transportation. The prices are going to be so cheap that oil companies, and car companies making oil-running cars, just won't be able to compete with the cheap energy, not to mention the lure of sustainability.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I think you're right. We should get Science Guru on this. The dude's intellect is, like, dizzying.


funnebone profile image

funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

First understand how the oil business works: The oil companies do not own the oil, they mostly refine the oil. THey do not set the prices of a barrell of oil, this is done by the free market. THe US is not the free market rather the world is. India and China have added a huge demand for the already scarce resource. The fed and state government make more off oil than exxon does per gallon in taxes.

Crude oil is sold in barrels with 42 gallons per barrel. If a gallon of gas costs $4 that means one barrel is worth 168$ if it were all gasoline.

"One barrel of crude oil, when refined, produces about 20 gallons of finished motor gasoline, and 7 gallons of diesel, as well as other petroleum products. Most of the petroleum products are used to produce energy. For instance, many people across the United States use propane to heat their homes and fuel their cars. Other products made from petroleum include: ink, crayons, bubble gum, dishwashing liquids, deodorant, eyeglasses, records, tires, ammonia, and heart valves." http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/no...

So much more than gasoline comes from oil and this allows the refining companies to profit.

The demand for gas is what is driving the price up. Anytime there is a speculation of a reduction in the supply investors buy it for more.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Well, there you have. That makes perfect sense.

I had this bithcin World-Government-acts-on-behalf-of-the-greater-good scenario all worked out in my head and you came along with the facts and crushed it... like a bug. ;-(

But, thank God I finally have the answer to that question. Thank you!!

And, I did know that virtually EVERYTHING we use is either made from oil - in some form or another, or with oil-powered processes. Saw it in some documentary about US oil.


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

You're right Funnebone, the high price of gas is directly related to supply and demand, but when oil companies are still able to pull in record profits? That's capitalism gone awry. What are your thoughts on off-shore drilling? Or opening up regions in Alaska? Also, McCain is planning on greatly increasing our use of nuclear energy, which seems to me to be a wise move.


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Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

I think given the choice of funding countries that hate us or fueling ourselves, off shore drilling and Alaska makes sense while we transition to better energy.  Too bad the two sides of the issue can't work together on that. Instead of having Greenpeace running around calling that the sky is falling, and having Exon raping the land, have Greenpeace (or a more level headed but likeminded group) be assigned regulatory powers over Exon's foot print. :)

Nuclear (or Nukular lol) energy is a great idea too, but suffers even more horribly from the "not in my back yard" syndrome.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Nukular (love that) is supposed to be a reletively safe and very efficient energy source, except of course, for the waste. I heard a report recently about a guy who had a theory about how to recycle the waste back into the energy process. That would be ideal, eh?

Anybody know anything about that?


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

Ideally, funnebone, that's how the free market is supposed to work. I'm asserting that it's not working that way, and that the prices are being controlled in ways that should not be legal (where I said the oil companies know they can get away with it because the gov't won't step in), or specifically they are making up whatever price they want by providing inacurate supply/market speculation to drive up prices.

Another note I just thought of. How do we know what the supply is? Is it based on the ammount produced per day or something?

On the subject of more drilling: I think we should be moving away from that mindset altogether. If we're planning on living in an oil-free society (minus plastics and products that we need it for of course) we should be investing in green/renewable energy sources. We could power the whole world on solar power if we just built enough receptors. Not to mention geothermal, wind, ocean and many others. There's energy all over the world.

My big question is this: What if the earth needs that oil for lubrication like our cars need it. Is the earth going to overheat at some point? Or perhaps it uses it for some other reason we couldn't forsee because we have no idea what exactly is going on down there. I hope we're not ruining our planet right now. That would be kind of lame if we destroyed our only earth just to drive to jobs we hate everyday. Kind of a bummer to think about.

Oh and Walker, I don't know anything about that.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

I came across something somewhere, or someone was talking anyway, about the oil beneath the surface making the earth "slippery" and subsequently making fault lines more destructive. Not sure where I heard that though. It's probably tripe, but, was interesting.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Jonno, I think we're already doing that in ways we CAN and HAVE foreseen, and we're past the point of safe return.  As to how we're fucking up the planet in ways we can't yet foresee, I guess that will be for our grandchildren (or their children) to deal with.

Shadesbreath, I heard on a report which stated we're only capable of (at our current technology level) tapping about 1/4th of our oil deposits in the Earth. If that's true, then the question of "delubing" (I just made that up!:) the planet would be moot.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Very informative and good job.


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

There is definitely a lot of research going into alternative energies, but until those alternatives prove feasible, I believe, for the time being at least, that more drilling may be necessary (which I can't believe I just said since I've been opposed to that mentality for many years). As far as Jono's question on sucking the earth dry, well, another excellent contemplation! Who knows what wonderful surprises are in store for our grandchildren...

And yeah, C dub (can I call you that by the way?) I've read similar estimates on earth's oil deposits, I hope they're accurate, because if they are, we're set. Hurray! Thanks for the compliments SweetiePie!


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Excellent hub JR, and good commentary by everyone to date. It was a pleasure to read. Alternatives to CNN are available (and no, I don't mean Fox, which is an alternative to decency). BBC World is more even handed on Middle East affairs, as is Al Jazeera, though I think in US it is only available as www.aljazeera.net/english, since none of the redistribution companies will carry it. Enough said!

Alternatives to oil are also available, or are becoming so, but the bigger problem is that the fast growing middle classes worldwide all aspire to consume like Americans and Europeans - after all, what else have we been promoting this last century than gross consumption? I live in the Middle East and see this at work everywhere: manic construction, manic competition to consume. The World can maybe support one or two Dubais, but if the pattern spreads through India & China (as it will), something will have to give. The old Reagan/Thatcher model of trickle-down economics doesn't work. People starve on it. Sorry - I seem to have wandered off topic, but mainly because it was a nice place to write!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

I agree with Para (except the Al Jazeera thing) and reckon beyond that that we're forming up big fat global corporate monarchies, complete with a capitialist feudal hybrid thing going on. It's fine if you're on the right side of the poverty line, but, well, history proved how that always goes (Marx did too, but that's a dirty word so I won't say his name). The modern capitalist kings will eventually be overthrown when the proletariat has no cake to eat (and assorted other mixed historical metaphor) just as their predecessors were. I believe it's inevitable and the nature of the human animal at this evolutionary stage.


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for an excellent contribution to the topic ParaGlider, as well as for the compiiments. And yeah, Shadesbreath, one thing that we can all bet on is that the current systems in place will all eventually be removed, recycled, replaced, overthrown and/or forgotten. Some history scholars estimate that a new economic system will be in place around 2080. I suppose it's just as well that I'll be gone for that, the changeover could be quite tumultuous!


Jonno.Norton 8 years ago

jr, I've been wanting to call Walker "Texas" for a while now haha

As to the alternative fuel sources: I think they're feasible if we fund, research, and implement them. Drilling just seems so wrong to me. It's so intrusive.

I heard recently, from a senator that's trying to push Carbon Tax legislation through congress, that she knows of many many billion-dollar investors that are just waiting to jump on Green Technology bandwagons with all their money behind them, but there aren't any laws on the books to say exactly how those companies are supposed to operate within the bounds of the law as of yet. The investors can't invest in green companies until they know how all the laws are going to fall into place, for fear of investing in some aspect of their business which may be later considered illegal, essentially. Does this make sense?

For more information about her efforts and Carbon Tax go here:http://www.carbontax.org/


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Hmmm...very interesting. I'll have to look in to this in more detail. I think I'll have to tackle this subject in another hub, but don't hold your breath, it might take a while. Thanks for the link and info Jonno, this has proven to be a very enlightening commentary for and by everyone. I have to say I'm pretty glad I did this hub, I learned a lot.

Just an update, this article is now in the top ten at helium.com, and if it stays there until the end of June, I have a 1 in 10 chance of winning pultizer center's contest! Sweet! And a heads up, helium.com is another great place to showcase your writing talents, and has plenty of contests.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

But they own your writing, do they not? (other than market place, which still takes your stuff if the bidder doesn't buy).


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

dude, stop raining on my parade. (-;


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

As far as I can tell Shades, they don't. Writers own the copyrights to all their own material.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

The problem with Marxism (as written, not as enacted) is that whatever happens, it's always right, retrospectively! i.e. if the Capitalists remain in the ascendency, that is their 'inevitable' rise before the 'inevitable' proletarian revolution. But if they collapse, that's 'inevitable' too. Not that there's no truth in it. It's just that it is incapable of predicting WHEN such events will happen. As such, it's unfalsifiable and therefore non-scientific, as explained by Karl Popper in "The Open Society and its Enemies".


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Marx just pointed out that there was a cycle. He filled in a lot of details. Stalin destroyed Marx's reputation, which is too bad because he had some great Sh-t to say.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Yes, but that too was historicism - there have been cycles in the past therefore there must be cycles in the future. But there's no logic in that, any more than there is logic in induction. With good governance it should be possible to forestall revolution. Of course, good governance isn't always there for the asking...


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Congrats, Jr! Hope you win.

"C dub" is cool. "Texas" is not.

Ya, this is a great hub and the commentary has been fascinating, open and educational - so good to hear from a non-hateful resident of the Middle East.

It's got it all, dude. Throw in a couple lap-dances and you'll probably take home a Nobel. too. ;-)


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Jr, I just joined Helium.com and was looking for your article - they don't make it easy, do they? Can you provide a link, please?


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Cdub, If you go to my profile on hubpages, there's a link to my profile on helium, and my articles are all listed there. Unfortunately, I just looked and I dropped 5 places! Arg!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Good governance is almost an oxymoron given the varied nature of human hearts and minds.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

J, that link is broken. I got an "unfortunately that page is unavailable" message.


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

that's strange, it works for me. Dabnabit. Well, if you go on helium's homepage and look for pulitzer center on the left hand side, it'll show you the 4 contest article topics on the right hand side. My topic is the second one, and you should be able to access it through that. I have the same user name on helium. Kind of a roundabout way to get there, but you're right, helium doesn't make it easy to locate articles or writers.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Ya, definitely not.  I looked last night for "jreuter" and came with zero, zip, zilch, nada.  They make it difficult for members to get the community-thing going.  Weird.

OK, I'll give it a shot.

OK, found it. Jason Reuter. ...Uh, interesting picture, dude. Are you one of three (possibly more?) triplets and you guys just like screwing with people?


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

'Interesting'? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN!?!? ARRG!!!

uh, sorry, I momentarily lost control of my usually cool demeanor. I've really got to work on that. So much rage inside. And no, it's just me out here in cyber space. No brothers at all...sniff sniff.


funnebone profile image

funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

Constant has triple vision....a condition brought on by huffing paint and cannonblling into shallow kiddie pools


Marina Rosa profile image

Marina Rosa 8 years ago from Southern California

I just quickly skimmed through your hub, but can see that it deserves a much more thorough read. So - I signed up as your fan, rated the hub "up" and will probably have more to say later after I digest what you have said here. Thanks!


jreuter profile image

jreuter 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Marina,

thank you, thank you, thank you.


Prophecy Teacher profile image

Prophecy Teacher 8 years ago from Dallas Texas

Thanks J - love this stuff.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol

An interesting hub on how ordinary Iranian's see themselves and their country, including it's relations with the outside world. Recently there have been several reports within the UK press talking about the Iranian upcoming Iranian elections and the chances for change.

It is interesting to note that a large proportion of the Iranian population are young. Also, unlike other countries such as Saudi Arabia which are backed by western governments, in Iran there is more freedom. For example, in Saudi Arabia women can't even drive cars, yet in Iran women outnumber men in higher education!

I definitely feel that the country of Iran has teh potential to have a great future, due to it's great natural resources (of which fossil fuels play a part) and the educational levels of the population. This hub reinforces this, as it shows that the young of the country are dynamic and want change.


Tigerbowy 6 years ago

Thank you all, a very interesting read... you answered a question that has been on my mind for some time.

I done a little search and found this great site :)

I was looking for a answer to:

does drilling for oil effect the earth's condition? (like delubing a machine)

you said there is information somewhere that we are only currently capable of 1/4 of the earth's oil deposits.

maybe that is far enough?

I generally believe that the earth's oil is part of a system that keeps it in working order. I am no scientist just a thinker.

renewable energy, self sustainable village's, protecting eco-systems (ex. forests) is the right direction for us to develop relevant technology and survive the future

new topic?


Z.Shams 5 years ago

Jreuter, Thank you so much for this. It is definitely refreshing to read about someone who is globally aware and conscious who does not simply follow the media and general misconception without first looking into his opinion. As an Arab I am constantly trying to break stereotypes and misconceptions of my culture and country of Kuwait I have even gone on a high school exchange program to the states last year for my junior year and have encountered many ignorant individuals who refused to open their minds to any other cultures or view points. I admit that even as a muslim living so close to Iran I am not as aware of it's culture, history and policies as I would have liked. That is why I have decided to visit Iran in two days. So thank you for inspiring me :)


jreuter profile image

jreuter 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks to you as well Z. Shams! I hope your visit to Iran furthers your cultural understanding and overall education, and am so glad I could inspire you. Be well.

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