It Is the Capitalist Clique Which Rules over the United States
Hojjat al-Islam Hashmi Rafsanjani
Former President of Islamic Republic of Iran
It Is the Capitalist Clique - and Not the People of the United States, Which Rules over the United States
If the American people had ruled over the United States, such hardships would not have existed in Africa and Asia. If the real votes of the European people and the European workers were taken into account, today so much adversity would not have existed all round the world. I do not know whether or not you have watched on television the film entitled "Domination". The world is captured by the capitalist clique and by multinational and international companies. Even the Americans and Europeans themselves are captured by them. Other countries are also suffering because of these countries. It is the duty of the Islamic Revolution to get rid of this perilous trap.
Normally, when the revolutions of the world are disconnected from them, these fall into the trap of the Soviets who are worse than them. I have mentioned that, if one wants to compare Afghan rulers with, say, the Egyptian rulers, the latter are better because they did not go to such an extent to get massacred their own people through one hundred thousand Russian soldiers. If one wants to compare Numayri with Karmal, the former is better. Numayri compelled the Sudanese Jews to escape from the area, but did not carry out such a massacre of his people. The problem besetting the world revolutions is that these fall into another trap immediately after these are released from one hazardous trap. A free and serious revolution can stand on its own feet and come to fruition, if it is not captured by the communists, when it releases itself from the yoke of the capitalists. This requires a great deal of subtlety, care and ferment.
Our country has this ferment. The reason why our revolution was not affected by it, is that our revolution has this principal ferment. Over and above all these factors, we have Islam. We have the best teachings with regard to this particular discussion which deals with "pious rulers". We rely on our people as pious human beings. We have set taqwa as the criterion. We must use it as a criterion for competent individuals. If we want to appoint a deputy, minister, or head of a factory, we must first see whether he has taqwa or not. We must weigh his cultural and technical qualifications, as well as his devotion and commitment. If we safeguard this criterion, i.e., taqwa, we would suffer no loss even if one day a competent rich man, who observes all the criteria, is found in our system. The same hadith which I cited says: (i.e., when your rich men are generous and magnanimous, and not greedy or avaricious), that is to say, we accept the principle of richness but richness devoid of greed, avarice, monopoly, exploitation, and subjecting the people to misery. If we maintain this principle which includes taqwa, commitment, and spiritual competence (as we have been able to safeguard it in the past five or six years, by the grace of Allah (SWT), to the extent of our ability) and if we observe this principle, we would bar the infiltration of that cancerous arrogant trend. If we move along this path, they cannot make any infiltration through those irreligious materialistic subversive people because they are not in possession of the real competence, neither can they do so through profit-seeking individuals who would commit an overtly violent act on trivial motives and who would betray their people for a monopolized trade with a Western company. They can do so neither through this way nor through that. The ways are all closed for colonialism.
Allah (SWT) willing, in forthcoming khutab I will, to some extent, draw a picture for you of the situation of Europe and the United States with respect to the same matter, so as to shatter the image occupying the minds of some of our inexperienced youths who regard Europe and the United States as the cradle of freedom and democracy and so as to open up the way for truly popular governments in our own country and to check the entry of domination-seeking hirelings, selfish and profit-loving people.
Absolute (Unconditional and Unrestrained) Sovereignty of the Capitalists in the United States
Today, I am going to mention a little about the situation in the heart of the Western world. I believe this will be among my historical khutab (sermons). I am mostly addressing the youths, especially those inspired by the West who think that true democracy is ruling over the West.
In America, the capitalists who form the minority have, for tens of years, abominably ruled over the majority of the people. They have so tied the people to the warp and woof of especial regulations and very complicated mechanisms that there is no possibility, under normal expectations, that a truly popular rule be established in the United States (unless, like Iran, a revolution takes place there). And ironically they call this a democracy.
Now many people regard the United States as the centre of world democracy. Of course, "demo" stands for people and "cracy" for rule. Then democracy is the rule of the people. Now see to what extent the people rule in the United States. And see what sufferings the captivated nations by America are undergoing.
Prior to U.S. independence, the capitalists had hatched up plans to be always at the helm of power. So far, they have been such. And it must be said that they made correct plans. For instance, in the name of elections and government of the people, they have managed the affairs in such a way that nothing is in the hands of the people. The people go to the ballot-boxes and cast their votes (you know that in "apparently true" or "really true" democracies, elections serve as a decisive factor).
They elect the president and their representatives. The government administration is also set up by those elected by the people. At any rate, elections are organized, but the people have no control over their own fate. These are all the indications that if these elections are not fake, if the people determine their own interests without being deceived and influenced by misleading campaigns, and if they willingly go to the ballot-boxes, such votes and such an election will put everything on the right track. If the people are good or bad, the government will also turn out either good or bad, respectively. Apparently, one believes that such an issue exists in Europe, in the United States, and in the Western countries. In the Eastern countries, they are ashamed even to claim such a thing.
In the United States, elections revolve round the axis of the capitalists and the rich. Principally, they are the ones who send representatives to the Congress and the Senate. Of course, it is possible that 5 % of the 600 representatives be people who obtain votes due to their own popularity, competence, etc. but the fact about the majority is otherwise. The overwhelming majority of them are brought to power by money. I will cite examples of this. Recently, a book entitled: "Who Runs the U. S. Congress ?" has been published in the United States.
The author of this book has revealed the nature of Western capitalism with documents. The issues which I will mention are mostly taken from this book. If otherwise, I will mention the source. This issue is not new also. Even in the past, the elections were conducted with the power of money.
Astronomical Expenses of Campaigns for Elections
For example, in the Lincoln era (120 years ago) U.S.$ 200 were allocated for elections of which, U.S.$199 were spent and one dollar was returned to the treasury. (By the way, the United States is the centre of statistics and everything revolves round the axis of statistics. Fortunately, everything can be proved by statistics).
In the last two or three decades, they made elections very expensive, so that the middle class could not compete with the rich. In last year's election campaigns the average expenses of a candidate were U. S. $ 1.1 million (for others, this figure was either a little more or a little less). You see, who could be a candidate - the one who spends such a huge sum of money and holds a four-year term as a representative? If this person has a monthly income of U. S. $ 10,000, he will receive about U.S.$ 500,000 during his entire tenure. Yet he has to spend twice as much as his income for the election campaign. Who can such a person be and who can meet such expenses? Some American figures have cautioned against this issue.
"Eisenhower" once remarked that the situation prevalent in the United States deprives all competent and poor people from taking part in the country's decision-making. A few years later, "Kennedy" also cautioned. Of course, he himself was from among the big and capitalist families. He remarked that the situation of his country indicates that from then on only the millionaires or those backed by the millionaires could find a way into U.S. Congress. The rest of the people have no hope to enter the arena. This is exactly the situation in the United States at present. It is astonishing that boxes are placed to collect money for the campaigns. This is the most overt issue in the United States. They can get money for elections from every source. Everyone can donate money into these boxes just as is done in a holy shrine.
As the said book mentions, there are now about 3500 committees for elections. These are called committees for political activities. They incur expenditures for elections and are affiliated to companies, trusts, cartels, and personalities.
The hot debate in the United States is as to why these acts are not called bribery?
"Jacob" is an American personality. He points out: "This act is surely bribery, and I will not take it." Later when he is asked why he does not forbid it if it is bribery, he says: "Because it is the responsibility of the Congress to define bribery. "It is the duty of the representatives to interpret bribery. This is something strange. Now the reason why they have increased such expenses is that, the rich people control the propaganda networks. They have control over the radio and the television. Publicity made through match boxes, milk packets, etc. are all in their hands. In the course of the previous elections, Vladimir Television charged U.S.$ 3,000 for broadcasting a half-a-minute advertisement for election campaign.
Pressure Groups and Their Influence on the U.S. Congress
Another U.S. figure who is a representative notes that the worst insult on U.S. representatives is the issue of providing the expenses for their election campaigns. Enduring this produces in their personality a more negative effect than any other insult. He himself interprets it in these terms: "If now a U.S. representative claims to have economic soundness and virtue, he is like a self-sold out woman who receives money from her customers but she claims to be chaste and virtuous." This is the claim they have made themselves. You might well say that when they received money and stepped into the Congress, there they would think independently. But it is not so, because when they go to the Congress, the `masters' will not leave them alone and will not let them be free. Committees of political activities pursue every proposed project or bill. In English, there is the term "lobby". At first, it stood for a corridor there is a group of people which tries to influence members of the Senate and Congress to direct the votes or the proposed legislation to their desired outcome. These are also called "pressure groups."
It has been said that in 1972, 200 influential figures engaged in such a deed, i.e., "lobbying". Now they claim that there are fifteen thousand lobbyists actively working to direct the representatives to their 'desired policies and goals. All top U.S. capitalists, cartels, and trusts have a political office in Washington. It is said that these have one thousand branches engaged in cheating the people. (Large companies in Washington serve as the country's political, rather than economic centre.) This is how the U.S. Congress and the representatives of the American people are.
You might hear that, say, 60 U. S. representatives have, in a letter, approved such and such a movement of the munafiqun (hypocrites) or supported the Al-Baha'is. These representatives are not like the representatives of Iran's Majlis (Islamic Consultative Assembly) who would not change their words or ideas even if the entire world is gifted to them. People who have entered into the U.S. Congress through such methods provide votes that are worthless, these may be sixty voters, or more. Even their signatures under a letter have no value for us to be taken into account. I will present real instances in this connection for you to see what is going on there. This is a very lengthy discussion and the value of the Friday Prayer khutab (sermons) is much more than discussing so much about the United States of America. But I am of the view that our people and especially those who are Westernized and are inspired by the West should know as to who is now governing the world and why so much crime is presently perpetrated around the globe. The majority of these crimes spring from the United States of America and no one dares even to breathe there.
During the last decade, the U.S.A. was faced with the "issue of milk and price of dairy products". The dairy guild had asked for financial help by proposing to raise the price of dairy products. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture vehemently opposed this increase in price, giving the reason that the dairy products constituted one-seventh of the food expenses in the United States of America and hence a 10% increase in the price of dairy products would lead to an irretrievable inflation in the United States of America.
Moreover, he said, manufacture of dairy products is a profitable business in this country. He delivered a heroic address opposing the increase in the price of milk. This dairy guild is one of the most powerful guilds whose committees for political activities give money to the majority of U.S. Congress representatives. As a result, all of a sudden they saw that a proposal for a 6 % increase in the price of dairy products, signed by 160 Congress representatives, reached the Congress. Also, 29 senators separately proposed for a rise in the price of milk. Representatives of the dairy guild also had a meeting with Nixon who himself was a member of this guild. Ten days later, they raised the price of milk by 6 % . At that time, this matter raised a hue and cry in the world. (The above-mentioned book mentions the number of representatives and the amount of money they received from this guild.). This is the type of voting by the U.S. Congress and this reflects the extent of influence of Congress representatives.
During the Presidency of Carter, a bill was proposed. Carter himself decided to levy heavy taxes on pharmaceutical incomes. The Congress strongly stood against the decision of Carter. Later on, it was found that of the 500 representatives taking lead in opposing this matter, 48 were those who had received money from the pharmacists' activity committee which had spent this amount as part of its publicity campaigns. The situation is like this that a U.S, representative overtly works against the interests of his nation for the sake of the money he receives.
Likewise, at a time, a controversial bill was proposed for not building a power station on Klanz River. Five big American organizations backed this bill. It was expeditiously considered in the Congress. Later, it was found that the majority of those supporting it were the representatives who had received their election campaign expenses from these organizations.
Once they introduced a progressive law to the effect that when the owners of second-hand cars wanted to sell their cars in exhibitions, they should fill in a form in which they should enumerate whatever was wrong with their automobiles. Again the lobbyists set to work and Congress opposed this worthwhile bill. For opposing this bill, the representatives had received money from the profits of automobile traders. In the United States, you can see a thousand instances like these so as to realize how bills are under the influence of such forces. There is a particular form given to any representative, whom they want to help, and who offers to receive money. One of the forms distributed among the representatives was in relation to the private school unions and those who have private schools in the United States. One of the questions on this form was: "What is your opinion about the privileges which the government should give to private schools?" One of the representatives jestingly said: "This was a question worth ten thousand dollars; that is, the entire form goes back to buying our votes." Such is the atmosphere of the United States of America and the U.S. democracy. And the outcome of it is what you are now seeing all over the world.
The result of all this is that people such as An-Numayri, King Husayn, Saudi heads, Persian Gulf Sheikhs are being backed and uprisings, such as those in Iran, Lebanon, and those pursued by other freedom-seeking nations of the world are being suppressed. The U. S. Congress very easily approves any budget allocated for the suppression of the nations. But if they want to take a positive step for the nations, it is not approved.
All indications reflect that Iran's Islamic Revolution is a public revolution. If there is a true democracy on the earth, it now exists in Iran. So far, what positive steps have the American democrats taken with regard to Iran? In the United States of America, they have formed two parties: the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party. When one views them from afar, one thinks they are really democrats. Of course, the Democratic Party is democratic to some extent, as it is somewhat related to the deprived, the workers, and the negroes. The Republicans are the official supporters of capitalism. Yet both are the same. The Democratic Party also knows that, if it does not compromise with the lobbyists and the committees for political activities, it will not win the elections, and will by no means be able to meet its campaign expenses. They themselves acknowledge that they accept these funds as a necessity. They cheat the people by this act of setting up two parties.
The result of this abuse of the power of capital is the adversity now befalling the human world. It is not so easily-possible to rescue the world from the perdition created by the white race under this name. This requires a great deal of effort, offering one's blood, sacrifice, and many more things. Before anything else, the European and American peoples should get awakened to see in what situation they are.
Twenty-three or thirty million American negroes, as well as 11 % Americans comprised of the Red Indians and the deprived, are barred from reaching the decision-making centres, unless they sell themselves. This is the condition of the world. The same holds good for other democratic governments.
In spite of all these problems, they regard people in the Islamic Republic of Iran as suffering from strangulation and violation of human rights, and deem themselves free and democratic people, even though they see how freely you cast your votes on anything that comes up; how willingly you have sent to the Majlis your representatives whom you trust; how these representatives talk to you, and speak on your behalf; how you have vested your representatives with the responsibility of running the country's affairs; how an overwhelming majority of you elects your president from among yourselves; and how you express confidence in him.
You are aware that Islam is fundamentally opposed to virtueless and oppressive issues. Even if all the people want to bring to power a person devoid of taqwa, Islam will not accept it. Islam regards taqwa and Islamic scientific competence as the main bases for such matters which are sublime. It stresses taqwa. It lays emphasis on what I mentioned in regard to my main discussion: "surely the most honourable among you before Allah (SWT) is the one among you who practises taqwa." As a consequence, it can justly be said that this issue is one of the reasons why we are subjected to so much pressure, and are faced with hostility, and why the East and the West have united to drown our voice, as Iran now enjoys a popular government, and makes a true revolution all over the world. It is because this system is not in accordance with the foundation of their working. Thus, my discussion today is a caution to our people to pay heed that in future too, the people be the basis of government, decision-making, and social life, even if we suppose that the rich are good people. This is because the rich approach others from a high perch, because they are not ready to invest capital in the interest of the deprived (apart from exceptions), and because they are ready to give something, provided that they hold the majority. If the majority of the people are poor, their leaders should be like them. If they form the middle-class, their leaders should be so as well. And if they all become rich, their leaders should also be rich.
Of course, if the rich come to power, it is possible that they may establish security and welfare at any cost, so as to safeguard their own interests and pleasures. But this is of no avail, and would turn out to resemble the Shah's era. In such a case, the majority of the people would become disappointed yet satisfied with their semi-bestial lives. And a group will turn out like that, and your culture does not accept this. We must, therefore, choose our own course and approach pious, competent, and religious people who are sympathetic and who are from among the masses. If someone does not possess that degree of sublime sacrifice, he should at least sympathize with the deprived.