Thursday, May 07, 2009

Iran: Election and Political Apathy

Iran: Elections and Political Apathy
Ali Asghar Kazemi
May 7, 2009


Aristotle described man as “political animal” on the ground that human being is compelled to live in collectivities within the boundaries of a political system. But, people are by no means equally concerned with political life. In other words, some people are indifferent and others are more concerned with political matters. Among this latter group, only a few get deeply and passionately involved in pursuit of power.
In open societies with developed democratic institutions and popular governments, opportunities for political participation of citizens are available and people are encouraged to get actively involved in formulating their demands through parties and interest groups. On the contrary, in oligarchic societies, citizens tend to choose apathetic approach to political realm and become relatively inactive in deciding their socio-political fate.
Political apathy is usually regarded as a social malaise in developed societies. In countries where civil society is still lagging behind traditional and fatalistic customs, apathy is a way of life to avoid hazards of political stratum. In this case, it is merely a cure manifested as conscious decision to cope with authoritarianism, demagoguery and repression in societies where expressing political opinions and criticisms are considered beyond the realm of citizen rights... More

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