ABAN DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Building a New Iran (latest)
The program of ABAN for two conditions, the immediate situation and long-term development, will be designed and prepared for implementation in two stages. In the first stage, the goal is rapidly resolving the economic, political, environmental, cultural, governmental and international crises of the country. A rapid and tactful transition from out of this hazardous situation must be the priority of the transitional government. In the second stage, the comprehensive development of the country will be considered. This middle and long-term program revolves around axes that include: the development of the government and of civil society; economic development; political development; social development; cultural development; spatial development; and development of international relations. The aim of the development program at this stage is the building of a New Iran, wherein people will be joyous, the land will be well-cultivated and industriously developed, the society dynamic, the culture flowering, and the government legitimate. The country will have authoritative power and a relationship with the world that can be a source of pride.
ABAN’s development program for a New Iran shall be subsequently supplied. In this proclamation reference has only been made to generalities. The New Iran will be built on the basis of the idea of Nationism, which naturally conceives of the country as having five dimensions, namely the people, their land, cultural history, political state, and place in the world. In the New Iran:
- The people will be democratic and joyous.
- The land will be clean, cultivated, and industriously developed.
- The government will be law-abiding and disciplined.
- The culture and history flowering and a source of pride.
- The country will have retaken its rightfully distinguished and sublimely lofty place in the world.
By taking up the aforementioned principles and values of Nationism, the government and people must design and implement specific programs for the sake of the comprehensive and enduring development of each one of these dimensions of Iran. Toward the end of building a New Iran, Nationists must also take every opportunity to strive for international cooperation and peace between countries. A strong Iran has always been a stable and peace-loving Iran. Empowering Iran and increasing the nation’s ability to act authoritatively must be an ideal that is developmentally compatible with the sustainability of the country.
The building of a New Iran begins with the comprehensive development of its people, and the ultimate goal of this development must be making Iranians happy and democratic. The people of Iran are made up of three social classes: the lower-income and working class, the middle class and intellectuals, and professionals and capital-owning people. The poor and workers have their basic needs, especially work, housing, education, health, and recreation. They seek a just distribution of the country’s resources. The middle and intellectual class needs freedom and wants political development. The upper and professional class have a need for the accumulation of capital and provision of services. They want economic and political stability.
Other important social forces exist that have their own special needs. These include women, the youth, teachers, government workers, immigrants, religious minorities, disabled people, the clergy, and military men. Besides those needs that they have attendant to the social class that they belong to, these forces have other special needs and wants that must be met. For example, there is the problem of discrimination that faces women and minorities, and the problem that the disabled and the youth have with gaining access to resources and recreation. Even though satisfying class needs and wants is possible to accomplish through pre-fabricated economic and political frameworks, the needs and wants of special interest groups come with social, territorial, and cultural complexities.
The following program for the democratic development of the country and the happiness of the people is meant to be answerable to these diverse needs. In other words, the existence of these social classes makes it necessary that the country’s economic, social, political, and environmental development program have justice, democracy, growth, and nature as its axes. But democratizing the country demands democratizing its people, and to this end the development of education and political culture must be among the main pillars of the country’s constructive post-transition program. Spatial development must be understood to include preservation of its territorial integrity, national defense, building-up of the cities and towns, infrastructure, historical buildings and monuments, and preservation of the water, soil, forests, and natural resources of the country. The relationship between the development of the people and the cultivation of their land is mutual: a clean and industriously developed land will make the people happy and democratic, and a happy and democratic people will keep the land clean and industriously cultivated.
The role of the government and civil society is decisive in making people happy and securing everlasting life for the land. However, only a government and civil society oriented toward development can play this constructive role. A developmentally-oriented government is one that has come from the people, has legitimacy, is lawful, disciplined and Nationist. Only such a government will have sufficient authority to build a New Iran. A civil society oriented toward development must also have such characteristics. Unfortunately, in Iran, we have neither a government nor a civil society that is development-oriented. Consequently, the first step for the development of the country, orienting these two players toward the pursuit of development, begins with cultivation of the political community of the country and demarcation of the boundaries that define the latter as distinct from civil society. The political community is a social sphere defined by power and party politics, whereas civil society is organized for the sake of limiting that power and protecting its members from the government and political parties.
Making people happy and democratic, making the land clean and industriously cultivated, and orienting the government and civil society toward development, means being pledged to support the growth and revitalization of culture, including the political culture of the society, and revitalization of the historical achievements of the country. No country has undergone development under conditions of cultural collapse and when lacking a sense of its historical identity. Actually, countries that have fallen into such a state are doomed to annihilation. Education of thought, support for literature and the arts, revitalization of history and the restoration of ancient monuments and other landmark buildings, has the biggest role to play. The tourism industry can function as the driving motor of this culture and history. This in turn requires reasonable and sensible relations with the world within the framework of national interests. In other words, a developmentally-oriented foreign policy and diplomacy are among the other tools for producing the happiness of the people, the industrious cultivation of the land, and the flowering of the culture. The foreign policy of ABAN shall be firmly grounded on the principle that “Iran has no enemies in the world” and on striving for friendship with all nations and peace amongst them.
United Nationists will build the New Iran on the basis of political liberalism, social capitalism (following the example of Scandinavian countries), and global convergence. However, in implementing these concepts we will make use of the experience of recently developed countries.
Firstly, no developed country fully privatized its economy in the initial stages of development. On the contrary, all of these countries, including the latest examples of China, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and India, were able to undergo development only with their government manning the levers of the economy. However, all of these governments were disciplined and lawful, not servile, thievish, and lawless.
Second, by contrast with the development ideas of neo-liberal economists, these governments were oblivious to indicators from the free market. They designed their program and determined their policies on the basis of the present national interest of the country.
Third, development in these countries began by making use of internal resources and forces, and only resorted to foreign procurement in the face of the dearth of capital and technology.
Fourth, their entrance into the world market was in stages and began with the increase of the competitive strength of domestic producers. The role of government in the development of exports and the restriction of imports was also determinative.
Fifth, these precedents teach us that enduring development is impossible without industrialization of the economy and careful attention to the standard of living. Properly attending to this matter requires making work, production, and living standards the axes that orient economics.
Sixth, the taking shape of sound money markets, the independence of the central bank, and the expansion of domestic trade alongside balanced foreign trade, were all very important.
Seventh, effort must be expended for a quantitative and qualitative development of the workforce, employers, the capital and commodities market, technology, research and development, other institutions deserving of support, and the construction of sufficient infrastructure.
Eighth, creating these conditions for microeconomics in turn requires appropriate distributive, consumptive, financial, monetary, foreign exchange, trade, and industrial policies on the macroeconomic level. These policies must be developed in a mutually reinforcing relationship with each other and not in such a manner that they conflict with one another.
Ninth, the protection of private property, the encouragement of a culture of healthy competition, and a relentless struggle against monopoly and bribery must take their place as the top priority of a development-oriented government.
Tenth, as the final and most important condition, let us recall that the struggle against corruption, and popular assessment of the performance of governmental departments and authorities at all levels and in all fields must be conducted regularly, so that the government of national development takes shape in a disciplined and lawful manner.