By Mohsen Rezaei
(Mohsen Rezaei is the current Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council)
Coronavirus will eventually leave us, but the scars of coronavirus and its aftermaths will remain on the body of the world, since the world’s present power structure is not powerful enough to heal this wound and make up for its huge consequences; this structure will naturally change and a new order will emerge.
Hence, there will rise an opportunity to soothe the deeply-rooted pains of humanity. But, will this chance be taken properly, or we will once again miss this opportunity and history will repeat itself?
In future, the West, i.e. Europe and the US will grow weak on one hand, and Asia and China will grow stronger than the past, on the other. As a result, a huge part of the West’s economic power and superiority will move to the East. But the question is whether Asia and China will be able to first be as coherent as the West in the second half of the 20th century, and the rift between India and China will not widen. And second if they will be able to develop a philosophical and epistemological backup different from humanism and liberalism to rely on?
Will they be able to bring lost spirituality back to the human society alongside advances in artificial intelligence and quantum-based computers and 5G? Will they be able to develop an international economic system? Will the 21st century be witness to the superiority of the Asian and Eastern civilization? What opportunities and threats are there for the Iranian nation, establishment and Islamic Revolution, and what role can our nation and establishment play? These are important questions that require a state-level discussion. Meantime, there are crucial points that can be addressed in such a discussion:
1-More dangerous than “coronavirus”
Corona is a dangerous virus that infects lungs, troubles breathing and at times ends up in death, and as studies suggest, it will trigger a human tragedy as it will infect millions of people by June 2020.
This means that on one hand, there will be a health and medical tragedy, a great material loss that will squeeze the heart of humanity, requiring us to rush to aid our compatriots and, if possible, other people across the world in every possible way from prayers to national and international cooperation.
US imperialism more dangerous than coronavirus for international community: Iran presidentIran
Corona, on the other hand, has unveiled another disease i.e. an “intrinsic, ideological and intellectual illness” of the present human civilization. “Western capitalism and liberalism” have tainted and darkened the conscience, spirit, mind and soul of the governments, societies and parties as well as human, social and political relations of the Western and Westernized societies, growing and expanding in clandestine and covert ways for years. There have been individuals, groups and movements who have stood up to the origins of this very illness and saved themselves, but not many, considering the size of the population afflicted.
This disease even spread to Islamic societies, including Iran. In Iran, it first opened up its way by means of military repression and hard power around a hundred years ago, and by means of beliefs and soft power in pursuing years to strongly influence the whole set of thoughts, notions, beliefs, lifestyle, and social bonds in such institutions as family and urban development.
But at the regional scale, since they believed hegemonic domination and soft power were not enough, they resorted to military force, built dozens of military bases, established the Quds occupying regime and developed vast influence in the political and administrative structure of the states to kill all options but Westernization, hence, blocked all roads to salvation.
This intrinsic ideological disease which is more dangerous than corona has more or less infiltrated most human societies in the last two or three centuries. Unfortunately, it has penetrated into Islamic countries, in the worst way possible. But the glamour of technology and advertisement has concealed this disease which is worse than corona. The symptoms of this disease come in abundant aspects, from the debt crisis and the indebtedness of future generations to war crimes, terror and unprecedented violence (which continues to be rampant in the world in these difficult times), to the collapse of morality and divine spirituality in Western and Westernized societies.
Today, people in the streets of Europe and the United States are crying out for help, but see no help. More than 60 percent of the people in industrialized and economically developed countries are distrustful of their governments’ actions. Why? People are helpless in the face of coronavirus because of man’s separation from God, atomization of societies and social disunity on one hand, and arrogance and tyranny of politicians and governments and the disappearance of human dignity on the other hand; all this has come to fruit “human loneliness.”
Without God and without spiritual bonds with others and with the presence of selfish and arrogant politicians, man has become a physical body void of any reality and identity, who just runs to make a living all day long. Unveiling and energizing this intrinsic disease in the West’s ego, coronavirus has now triggered deeply-rooted events in the Western world whose aspects might go increasingly vast in future.
2- Human tragedy
One of the most important symptoms of the intrinsic and ideological disease of the Western and Westernized societies is human loneliness. These days, when all the people across the world are staying home, they come to notice this loneliness and its bitterness, developing self-awareness about this hidden disease; the social distancing necessitated for campaign against the coronavirus has pushed the world people to see another type of wide rift among themselves in their societies. In fact, coronavirus says stop complaining about me and do complain about the corona of a civilization that has atomized societies, broken up family foundations and separated you from your spirituality and truth.
People across the globe now are informed of the news on the corona crisis and find out more about themselves; fighting over a pack of toilet paper in the stores of one of the most industrialized countries, fighting for several onions packets at a market in one of the most prosperous countries, leaving the elderly patients unaccompanied in the hallways of hospitals, separating elderly patients from artificial ventilators and banning the operation of the life-saving device for the elderly at the hospitals of some countries, leaving the dead without a funeral procession, unknown graves and burials without any rituals display man’s loneliness more than anything else today.
World economy ‘may face double recession’ amid coronavirus pandemicAs the world economy is expected to suffer its worst year in 2020 since the Great Depression of the 1930s, another “possibly much worse downturn” is likely to follow.
People ask themselves why their governments have given up on them and will soon realize that they have been sacrificed for the values and beliefs of liberalism. Is freedom for human beings or human beings for freedom? Is economy for the people or people for economy?
World people will feel loneliness more than ever and may come to the conclusion that they need to take action and do something for themselves, and this could well be the beginning of social protests in industrialized countries and advanced economies.
Coronavirus will eventually come under control, but the rattling repercussions of this intrinsic disease will go out of control for the West. Some of the repercussions could be harnessed, but some others, including the human tragedy, will remain there to stain the Western governments’ faces in ways worse than the aftermaths of World War II.
3- Governments’ reaction:
Over the past two decades, the Americans have sought to push the United States to the peak as the world’s dominant power on the back of such developments as the suspected bombing of the twin towers and military invasion of West Asia, creation of ISIS terrorism and the raid by the West-trained insurgents on Iraq and Syria and incitement of Saudi Arabia to wage war on Yemen, but they failed to materialize this objective due to the resistance of the nations of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon with the Iranian nation standing atop.
The current president of the United States of America took office with his slogan “Make America First Again,” but today he is faced with the biggest crisis in the history of the United States so desperately that he has left tens of thousands of coronavirus-infected people and intends to invade Iraq in order to derail public attention.
Why Trump cut funding for World Health OrganizationTrump views all international organizations like the WHO with suspicion and he does all what he can to withhold funding or support, an American political analyst says.
Corona has challenged not only the American and European power, but also the notion of liberalism and the capitalist culture and American values, American freedom and democracy, and it will undermine their economy, security, and international relations.
No matter whether it is man-made or the product of natural mutation, coronavirus onslaught has reminded man that:
– Man does not own the Earth. Human problems concern all humanity, and being rich or industrialized does not mean that a country stays immune to the dangers existing on the planet.
-The phone calls by the president of such a great power as the United States to other presidents to supply masks, gloves, etc., show that even the great powers cannot live alone.
– Man cannot live alone; father, mother, child, sister, brother and friend partner in his/her life.
– Man would arrive at this conclusion that he cannot establish a durable and truthful relationship with him/herself and others without God.
The development of such an understanding and apprehension and new living environment by mankind requires a change in values, institutions, and political and economic order, or in one word “new world orders” and “recognition of new values”, but this would be impossible to happen without an “International Social movement.” Now the question is if the West has the capability to launch and lead such an international social movement?
The failed Occupy Wall Street movement and the anti-capitalist movement of the Yellow Vests in France displayed that the West has no capacity to launch a revolution similar to the French Revolution. Besides, would the evil hands that led the great developments after the First and Second World Wars in the West allow such an evolution in Western societies? What is the duty of the Iranian nation and establishment, specially Islamic Revolution forces, in this new context?
4- Political streams and solutions
Undoubtedly, coronavirus will soon step back, and humans will once again take the rule, but some conceptual holes in human societies and activated social faults, especially the fault of human loneliness and human justice and dignity which appeared with the outbreak of the coronavirus and need to be dealt with seriously, will remain in place. Now the question is how to replace the capitalist system with a just and humane system to soothe man’s genuine and acute pains?
Modern thinkers, who are concerned about the beginning of a new and different age of humanity, can be classified in three groups. But unfortunately, all three are trying to prevent a global evolution and the return of man to his inner truth:
– The first group seeks to suppress this more dangerous disease than coronavirus by prescribing some painkillers and sedatives; therefore, they only refer to the political and economic impacts of corona, and knowingly or unknowingly conceal the depth of the catastrophic human and social impact of the industrial and modern world on the soul, spirit and the truth of man.
This group have been both theoreticians and practitioners. The US Congress, for example, approved a huge sum of $ 2 trillion aid package to harness aggravating unemployment and economic recession, while they themselves also believe that nothing can be done by the governments without public help.
Europe does not even have the needed resources to grant a similar loan, and is, hence, the first region to grapple with the post-coronavirus crisis strongly and deeply.
– The second group, who are accused of biological manipulation and the resulting coronavirus pandemic and are more closely linked to the Zionist camp are trying to survive through infiltrating the countries which claim victory against the coronavirus and developing a new order that will pursue the collapse of the present order in a move to prevent a real change in human life and establishment of a just and humane order in international relations.
They are the same group that brought Bush to power with the help of the neoconservatives, are accused of the Twin Towers attacks, and caused the military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, but failed to impose the new American-Zionist order the way they desired and failed that project. Today, they have been reactivated to take advantage of the opportunity that has arisen after the coronavirus outbreak in order to prevent man from contemplating about his/her underlying and genuine pains and their treatment, and rather establish their own desired order.
– The third group are those who are trying to get people out of loneliness through the creation of deceptive religions in a wide range, from moves that resemble worshiping the Samaritan calf to reinvigorating nationalist regression and false identities.
5-The new humane world or isolationism
The economic, human, and political consequences of the coronavirus and the triggered intrinsic ideological disease of the Western world will, in fact, be out of the control of the United States and Europe, and the international game will move to the East and Asia. The new world will be created by Asians. The new world will either be a repeat of history in a different way and then oppression and corruption will continue, or freedom and justice seekers will step onto the scene to build a new humane world through launching humane movements.
Asia has a much greater capacity for civilization than the West; the great Islamic, Chinese, Indian, and Iranian civilizations have been living in Asia for centuries. Yet, this alone will not lead to the birth of a world-reigning civilization. Meantime, Western civilization might cease to be the superior civilization, but will still continue to struggle to stay in balance with the East. There will, no doubt, emerge a new competitive environment and, accordingly, new opportunities and threats will rise in the world.
Undoubtedly, at such a crucial juncture in time, the honorable nation of Iran and its Revolutionary thinkers, intellectuals and scholars enjoy the capability to play an effective role in creating a new order and world. The historical background of our nation, both before and after Islam reflects this ability. Moreover, it is more than forty years now that our nation has raised the flag of a new order and ideology with the emblem of human values and culture, and has begun an age of enlightening and confrontation against Western thoughts, culture and civilization; on one hand, it has stood against the crimes of Zionism and American arrogance, posing serious problems for them in the West Asian region, and on the other hand, it has brought about progressive political, defense and security orders.
Why sanctions on Iran must endThe US has heaped new sanctions on Iran at a time the country is struggling to contain the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Although acknowledgment should be made here at this point that there are still some pro-West minds showing resistance to this new paradigm in our economy and culture, and we are not yet through with building up a strong Iranian Islamic economy in our society, it should be noted that those economic disruptors and saboteurs will soon lose their backup. Here of course, the Revolutionary faction is required to continue its campaign against them with more rigorous scientific backing and more powerful thoughts and ideas.
Thanks to the Islamic Revolution and its wise Revolutionary leader, our nation has continued its struggle at home and in the region and even on the world scene for over forty years, targeting the origin of this intrinsic disease of the Western and Westernized societies. Therefore, our nation and establishment can’t help stepping onto the scene under the present conditions and after the coronavirus crisis to heal the genuine pains of humanity.
6- Playing a world-class role in humanizing the new world
In essence, seeking a solution for the deep-rooted pains of modern man in the present age is impossible without the help of Almighty God and people. The frustration of the great powers in the face of the coronavirus outbreak revealed that human reason and advanced technology are not enough to ensure his worldly happiness and that human civilization needs divine guidance, salvation, spirituality, and identity on the one hand, and partnership of the people and social cohesion and integration on the other hand. Without a bond with God, one cannot develop a relationship with others and even with his own true self. The key to drag people out of loneliness lies in establishing an honest relationship with God Almighty alongside material and technological advances.
So, let’s rely on the civilizational background of our own country and Asian civilizations whose views on humanity and lonely man are not fixated on an instrumental use, and start a collective move. Iran, China and other Asian countries can launch this dialogue in 2020 over the following topics:
- Independence of West Asian region
- Pullout of the US army and dismantlement of its military facilities and bases, and expansion of collective security arrangements and peace by the regional states
- Asian strategic cooperation in areas of science, technology, environment and economy
- Introduction of cultural, social and civilizational commonalities.