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Jose Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez

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Alexa is a Denver-based contributor who covers all things lifestyle, wellness, travel, home, and beauty. When she's not writing, you can find her sweating it out at boxing or Pilates, planning her next travel adventure, or drinking red wine.

paranoia wine where to buy

After the phone call, things moved quickly, and the three young women soon took over the bookstore. Now the trio are continuing the tradition of selling books and wine, though with a new focus on feminist books.

When your body is thrown off kilter, it goes to work to get you back into balance. If you are perimenopausal or menopausal, your body can miss the mark when striving for balance. When you have a glass of wine, your body reads it as a sugar, which causes a spike in insulin to handle the increase in blood sugar, which disrupts other hormones including estrogen and progesterone. This means that in an attempt to reach equilibrium, your body can try too hard and overcompensate, which can cause hot flashes and night sweats.

Soothing scents such as lavender, vanilla, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, bergamot, and chamomile are known for their relaxing and calming effects. You can also dab some of these essential oils on your wrists to take the scent with you wherever you go.

This vocabulary treats Iranian politics as a puppet show in which foreign powers control the marionettes -- the local politicians -- by invisible strings. The message is that the intelligent observer should ignore appearances and focus instead on the hidden links; only then can one follow the plot, understand the hidden agendas, and identify the true villains. Needless to say, the picture assumes the puppets are devoid of all initiative; the puppeteers are not only omnipresent but also omniscient and omnipotent; and the playwright, whoever he may be, works to a grand scheme, knowing beforehand exactly where to start the story, how to develop it, and when to end it. Moreover, the plot, like any children's pantomime, is entertaining but contains no ambiguities, portraying the characters in absolute, good or evil terms.

The conspiratorial interpretation of politics is not, of course, unique to Iran. In fact, the title of this essay is borrowed from Richard Hofstadter's classic "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." Published nearly thirty years ago, that article described how throughout American history nativistic groups have claimed that Washington was being subverted by foreign conspirators -- at times by Freemasons, at other times by Roman Catholics, at yet other times by Jews, and, in more recent times, by International Communists, such as General Eisenhower and Chief Justice Earl Warren. Similarly, fearful politicians in Britain have been known to conjure up a variety of fantastic conspiracies -- all the way from the Luddite-Jacobin plot during the Napoleonic Wars, to the Zionist "manipulation" of the 1908 revolution in the Ottoman Empire, and, more recently, to the KGB's "control" of Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Such paranoia not only sees plots everywhere but views them as the main force of history. "According to this style history is a conspiracy," writes Hofstadter, "set in motion by demonic forces of almost transcendent power."

Observers -- from Victorian travelers to American social scientists -- have argued that Iranian politics is marked by a high degree of paranoia as well as mistrust, insecurity, and factionalism. Lord Curzon concluded his encyclopedic Persia and the Persian Question with the comment that the "natives are a suspicious people" who tend to "see a cloven hoof beneath the skirt of every robe." Professor Ann Lambton, in a much quoted work from the 1950s, remarked that "factionalism, in one form or another, has remained a feature of Persian life down to modern times." Herbert Vreeland, in his introduction to the famous Human Relations Area Files, asserted that "insecurity and distrust permeate Persian attitudes toward each other . . . the individual has a psychological wall out of which he reaches to play his game of life." Andrew Westwood, in explaining why the monarchy survived the turbulent 1950s, claimed that the "culture of distrust" not only fragmented the opposition but also predisposed the public to view politicians as "corrupt," "mendacious," and "foreign-connected." Similarly, Hooshang Amirahmadi, in discussing the Islamic Republic's economic failures, places responsibility on the country's "obsolete political culture," which is characterized by ideological dogmatism, political extremism, chauvinistic heroism, vulnerability to personality cult, subservience and fear of authority, cynicism, distrust, disunity, and individualism. . . . The paranoia associated with this conspiratorial view of politics is largely cross-class and cross-ideological. It is, however, widespread among Iranian political elites and intelligentsia who continue to use it as a weapon against political enemies or for manipulation of the followers.

Nevertheless, most observers would agree that political paranoia exists in modern Iran, as long as one keeps in mind Hofstadter's important caveat that the term means merely a political style and mode of expression, not a clinical and deep-seated psychological disorder. What is more, this style can be explained by history, especially Iran's experience of imperial domination: foreign powers -- first Russia and Britain, later the United States -- have, in fact, determined the principal formations in the country's political landscape over the last two hundred years.

In Khomeini's works "colonial conspiracies" lurked everywhere. He blamed them for the age-old problems of the Middle East: the decline of Muslim civilization, the conservative "distortions" of Islam, and the divisions between nation-states, between Sunnis and Shiis, and between oppressors and oppressed. He argued that the colonial powers had for years sent Orientalists into the East to misinterpret Islam and the Koran and that the colonial powers had conspired to undermine Islam both with religious quietism and with secular ideologies, especially socialism, liberalism, monarchism, and nationalism (mellitgarayi).

During the Islamic Revolution, Khomeini found "plots," here, there, and everywhere. "The world," he proclaimed, "is against us." He even used the terms Left and Right to describe how the newly established republic was supposedly besieged by royalists as well as Marxists. "Satanic plots" lurked behind liberal Muslims favoring a lay, rather than a clerical, constitution; behind conservative Muslims opposed to his interpretation of velayat-e faqih; behind apolitical Muslims who preferred the seminaries to the hustle-and-bustle of politics; behind radical Muslims advocating root-and-branch social changes; behind lawyers critical of the harsh retribution laws; behind Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis, and Turkomans seeking regional autonomy; behind leftists organizing strikes and trade unions; and, of course, behind military officers sympathetic to the Pahlavis, the National Front, and even President Banisadr. He labeled the pro-Soviet Left as "Russian spies," the anti-Soviet Left as "American Marxists," and the conservative Muslims as "American Muslims."

The reader may be tempted to dismiss these conspiratorial notions as leftist, nationalist, and Khomeinist paranoia. The style, however, was no less prevalent among royalists, whom the American media generally referred to as "moderate," "realistic," and "down-to-earth." The shah's last memoir, Answer to History, reads like a long nightmare full of shadowy figures out to knife him. According to him, the British, because they liked to "meddle in everything," had "a hand" in the creation of the Tudeh party.

The shah's paranoia reaches its peak when discussing the 1979 revolution. He claims that his overthrow was brought about by a "strange amalgam" of not only the clergy, the Tudeh, and the oil companies but also the Western media and, of course, the Carter and Thatcher administrations. The joke going around royalist circles after the revolution was if you lifted Khomeini's beard you would find inscribed "Made in Britain."

The religious minorities are conspicuous in their absence from the shah's memoirs. This, however, does not mean that they did not figure in royalist paranoia. In 1957 the regime, probably with CIA help, published with much fanfare a propaganda book against the Tudeh implying that the Soviets found the Christian community in Iran fertile ground for recruiting spies and subversives. The shah himself, in a private conversation with an American human rights lawyer on the eve of the revolution, argued that the Western press was Jewish controlled and that was why it had taken him to task over SAVAK as soon as he had begun to side with the Palestinians. This would have been news to the Israelis, not to mention the Palestinians. Similarly, a royalist pamphlet published in 1979 argued that Khomeini, "who cannot even speak Persian properly," had been installed in power by a formidable international conspiracy. This conspiracy included not only the oil companies, the Communists, and the superpowers but also Freemasons, Western companies who did not want Iran to industrialize, and Zionists, who "control 70 percent of the world's investments in giant industries."

Royalist paranoia appears clearly in the 1988 television "confession" of General Hosayn Fardoust, the shah's childhood friend who for years headed the Imperial Inspectorate, a security agency second only to SAVAK. Even though this confession, like all television confessions, should be taken with a grain of salt, it does reflect the royalist mentality -- at least, features of that mentality which the new regime considered plausible for the general public. Besides dwelling on Mohammad Reza Shah's amorous adventures, Fardoust "revealed" the inner affairs of the royal palace. He claimed that Reza Shah had been a secret Bahai; Foroughi, the wartime premier, was a Freemason and therefore a British agent; and the royal palace was so full of British spies that even the shah could not speak freely there. Fardoust also claimed that over 30 percent of the leaders of the National Front were secret Tudehis; the British secretly favored Mosaddeq and his campaign to nationalize the oil company; the National Front was "linked" to the United States; the British arranged the young shah's marriage to and divorce from Princess Fawzieh of Egypt; Queen Elizabeth had personally ordered the shah to set up the Imperial Inspectorate; and Ernest Perron, another of the shah's childhood friends, had been placed by the British in Le Rosey School in Switzerland to establish ties with the future shah. Fardoust also claimed that MI6 rather than the CIA had saved the throne in 1953 and that the latter, left on its own, would have installed a military dictatorship. 041b061a72


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