One of the main crises in Iran, caused by the mullahs’ underdeveloped culture, is the social crisis. On the evening of Tuesday, June 8, the second debate of the 2021 presidential election was held on cultural, social, and political issues. But what was marginalized in this debate, and the candidates were content with a few general statements about it, was the social sphere.
In the second debate, the 2021 presidential candidates referred to the problems of people with disabilities, women head of households, and addicts, and the need to maintain social capital, but did not explain to the audience what their plans were to solve these problems.
Although Iran’s social experts warned continuously that one of the most important areas is the country’s suffering society, hurt with poverty, social harms and the lack of social justice, security and at least life expectancy, but it has always been neglected purposely and only during an election is used by the candidates as a slogan spices to heat up the election oven.
The candidates’ speeches showed that this time it seems that the social sphere is not considered in the election process too.
Hassan Mousavi Chalac, the President of the Iranian Association of Social Workers, about Iran’s social sphere in an interview with IRNA said:
“Our society has acute and minor social issues, and in a situation where everyone says that the social sphere is not good, unfortunately, the social debate of the presidential candidates was not good either. In the second debate, some social issues such as the problems of the disabled, addicts, marriage of young people, women and the poor were discussed in general without being in the form of a plan and the candidates to say how they want to solve the problems in this area.
“We did not see any plans and the talks were just a few recommendations. This is at a time when candidates must have a plan for the future of the country. It is not enough to talk about what has happened so far and whether it has been done well or not. It is expected that the presidential candidate will have a plan knowing the current situation.”
Then he warned the government about a social collapse and said: “In this area, the judiciary, the parliament and the whole government are involved. The whole government must make a serious decision for the social sphere, otherwise the social sphere of the country will face a serious crisis.”
Then pointing to the government’s loss of social capital, he added: “In the last few years, many incidents, even the occurrence of tragic events due to the increase in gasoline prices, are due to the decrease in social capital. It is true that everyone considers livelihood and economic problems as the first problem of the country, but if the social capital in the country is not high, you cannot manage crises or run a resistance economy.”
“If there is no social capital, we cannot make a decision today that will have the desired result for all people in the next 10 years. Trust is important because it provides a platform for participation. Two capitals are the factor of development of any country: One is human capital, and the other is social capital. The current situation also creates social harms and provides the ground for the spread of social harms.”
About the government’s defeat in the social sphere over the last 40 years, he added: “The next government must put a few measures on its agenda. The first is the implementation of a multi-layered social system to identify people in need and provide social assistance, social support and their connection to social insurance. This may take two decades to implement. We have not been able to implement this system for 40 years, but the only solution is to follow this path.
“The command of the social sphere has not been in the hands of social managers for 42 years, and part of the current problems is the result of this issue. People are not at their proper positions in the social sphere, and unfortunately this has continued for the last 40 years.”
Then about the reason of this situation, he said: “The government should believe in social affairs as an important area and consider it without a political-security approach. The political-security approach in the social sphere deepens the problems.”