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Iran: The War of the Persian Succession (cont.)

December 13th, 2010 - 4:18 pm

So Foreign Minister Mottaki has been fired while on an official trip to Senegal.  Meanwhile, executions go on apace within the prisons of the country, and several political prisoners prefer to starve themselves to death rather than await the hangman.

This state of affairs is what Thomas Hobbes called “the state of nature,” and his description in his masterpiece Leviathan seems to me as up to date as tomorrow in Tehran:

Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.

Don’t try to decipher the “meaning” of any one of the melodramatic events in Iran today or tomorrow;  just remember that the leaders of the regime are fighting for survival, knowing that the Iranian people hate them, and suspecting each other of betrayal.

Which, under the circumstances, is probably correct.

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