Posted without comment; thanks James Sadri.
<rant> What I used to dislike about the Iranian elections is what I dislike about all national elections today: they’re all fake. There is a choice but it’s not a meaningful one. With the Iranian elections the argument would be: Ahmadinejad or Karroubi/Mousavi, it doesn’t matter, the real power is with Khamenei the Supreme Leader. So you can elect the Iranian President but you can’t elect the Supreme Leader. Well that’s the situation we’ve all got today, even in the US. There is a Supreme Leader casting a long shadow over every national ‘democratic’ process. You can vote for Obama/Romney, Cameron/Brown/Clegg – whoever – but those are all fake choices, where you’re always choosing between the lesser of two evils, never for the world you really want. You can’t vote to stop 20,000 kids dying today because of lack of access to clean water. You can’t vote to stop all war. You can’t vote for people to have the same freedom of movement regardless of where they’re born. You can’t vote to stop extreme disparities of wealth. You can’t vote to stop climate change. That’s because if you do any of these things at the national level you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Increase labour protection or environmental regulation and the factories and cash will go to our enemies. Increase foreign ‘aid’ and it means less for our struggling people. Try to cap carbon emissions and you’re killing business competitiveness. Our Supreme Leader is national competition. We sacrifice the societies we really want to build – peaceful, harmonious, more equal ones – for violent dysfunctional ones that are hopefully slightly richer than those across the map lines. Nobody seems to question the race to the bottom – we seem only to be focused on being the fastest zombies. The world has globalised yet our politics remains pitifully – pathetically – parochial. So while I’ll be hoping that Romney doesn’t win tomorrow, I’m going to remember that there’s a Supreme Leader out there who’s pissing on all your national elections. And he doesn’t have a beard. </rant>