Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What Should the Iranian People do now?

The Green Revolution in Iran may be losing its ability to communicate its message to the world. Harsh and cruel crackdowns that include beatings, decapitations and murder may have finally silenced the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom of speech and other personal freedoms. What can they do now? How can they advance their prospects for self-sufficiency and self-determination? I suggest a Green Revolution of Silence.

To the Iranian people, I’d like to suggest that you starve your government, go on strike, and slowly take from the government the very things it needs in order to oppress you. It may require some short-term suffering but certainly not as much suffering as you have been experiencing for decades. Here is how it can be done:

1. Stay in your homes and refuse to enjoy your free time until the government falls. If you have free time or vacation time available, take it. This keeps you out of trouble, reduces commerce and yet is a form of protest.
2. Hoard your money, hide it and do not put it in a bank; temporarily remove it from circulation. The government needs a working economy in order to pay for operations. If you save your money and refuse to buy anything, there will be fewer taxes to collect.
3. Reduce or stop your production if possible. The government can only collect taxes when surplus wealth is created. If there is no surplus wealth then the government will begin to suffer from budget deficits.
4. Keep silent and do only what you are told and nothing more. Volunteer no new ideas and play ignorant when you are asked for an opinion or idea.
5. If you can, do only enough to achieve bare subsistence. This should also be done by merchants and factory owners whose taxes feed the economy. If you can sabotage production without being caught, do so.
6. Do not start new businesses or borrow money for major purchases. This will slow the economy and start the process of economic decline that is necessary for the government to fall.
7. If you are a student, learn your lessons and get good grades, but take no position of leadership and show only the support of silence. The entire society should walk around in silence without smiles.
8. If you are an employee of the government or even a police officer, do everything you can to help the people without being noticed and, if you can, refuse to follow orders. Never ask a citizen to provide you with information. If you can get away with it provide false information to the government. This will be important because the new government, once it is formed, will need good people.
9. Whenever possible, grow your own food and make your own energy but do nothing to improve your standard of living until you are free.
10. If you trade with others, trade in such a way that it is out of sight of the government and without reporting. Barter, create your own private currencies and make only verbal agreements that are out of sight of the government. Trust each other and deal only with people who do not support the government.
11. If possible, take advantage of every benefit the government provides so it is spending money on you that it cannot spend on weapons and oppression. Only take a government job if you can sabotage the government without being noticed. Take but never give back.

With a protest of this kind, a silent protest, the government cannot last long and it will either have to capitulate or fall. Governments need money in order to function and if you can starve them of money, you can win.

After all, you are the highest value in your society; they are the parasites.

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