Concerning the Advice of The Supreme Leader to “cowards”

By: Mehdi Jamshidi

Selling Fear, Pretending Rationality

  1. “Cognitive War” is more than anything else a “speech war”; That means, in this war, by using “linguistic games” and “verbal fallacies”, people’s cognitions and understandings about facts are changed, and people are involved in “distortion”. “Reality” does not have a “tongue” to speak in its context and describe itself, rather we are those who “narrate” it; and then people’s narration of reality sometimes matches with it and sometimes is against; And since many people do not have a direct perception and interpretation of the reality, they refer to broadcasted “narrations” and “analyses” to make them the basis for their “choices” and “decisions”. Here it becomes clear to what extent verbal narrations of reality can subject the society to “fundamental turns and transformations”.

An utterance may ruin a world

Or transform a dead fox to a lion

(Masnavi Ma’navi [by Rumi], book 1st, couplet no. 1597)

  1. Cognitive war has reached its highest level in the recent decade, especially in the realm of politics; as the technocrat officials in the elections of the 2012 (1392 SH) and 2016 (1396 SH), without any bargaining chip in the field of “action” and in the “objective” world, relied only upon “cognitive war” and “verbal game”, and made some parts of population trapped in “distorted” interpretations and narrations. All or most of their narrations in this political context were like this: “the main cause of the problems is related to the sanctions”; “sanctions will be removed within negotiation”; “in foreign policy, one should be realistic, not optimistic or pessimistic”; “the JCPOA was the greatest victory”; “as soon as the JCPOA is implemented, the sanctions will be lifted”; “resistance means adventure”; “people should choose between war and negotiation”; “people must choose between confrontation with the world or constructive interaction with the world”; “we need the removal of sanctions, even if we want to have water to drink”; “a requirement of rationality is to negotiate with the leader of the world [i.e. USA] “; and … .
  2. “wisdom” and “rationality” are words that have repeatedly been used during the recent decade as a tool for humiliating and discarding “revolutionary thought and culture”, and “revolutionaries”; as if the “revolution” and “revolutionism” does not correspond with “rationality”. Both the Eslahat (reform) movement and the E’tedal (moderate) movement, relying upon this concept, have always blamed every “Sincere and revolutionary dynamism and effort” and thus instilled in the people that rationality requires a different manner. In fact, what they call rationality equals “withdrawal”, “laxity”, “surrender” ,”fear”, and “avoidance”, but in order to justify themselves and put “acceptable titles” on their vices, they call them “rationality”. For example, “negotiation with USA” would be the result of a situation in which Iran is defeated and the economic pressures is reached to a peak, but they argue that such a situation has took place and it is reasonable to negotiate now, and a decision should be made based on national interests, and we should not give any pretext to the enemy. Or if the speaker of the parliament, contrary to the manner of other officials, goes among the people and visits corona patients, even following the instructions, he will be accused of being irrational; Because he has thrown himself into danger for no wisely reason! While this is the logic of fear, laxity and laziness, not the logic of wisdom! furthermore, it must be said that the great distance created by technocrat officials between themselves and people is not even a requirement of pure political wisdom, and political and electoral calculations do not prescribe such a separation from the people. Because of such manner, their acceptability and social base have decreased to an unprecedented extent.
  3. Therefore here, we are encountered with a kind of process infected with “distortion” and “inversion” that skillfully deceives public opinion and puts ” the wrong” instead of “the right” and sets “traitor” in the position of “hero”. These false titles have serious importance and are decisive. Hence, Ayatollah Khamenei openly criticized those who justify their “fear”, “escape”, “surrender” and “passivity” with the interpretation of “rationality”, and said these “cowards”, ought not hide their fear behind the word “rationality”. Of course, we should know we are dealing with a cognitive war and we should increase our “media literacy” and try not to be trapped in “tricky linguistic games”:

Imitative knowledge is created for sale

As soon as it finds its customer, it would be happy

(Masnavi Ma’navi [by Rumi], book 2nd, couplet no. 3265)