One of the prevalent issues in studies on cultic relations of MKO is to determine to what extent the group acknowledges application of ethics in its internal as well as external relations. A review of the manifesto and publications of the organization and their ontological viewpoints indicate that MKO tend to equate ethics with their political feelings and ambitions. On the other hand, for MKO ethical standards are defined as whatever they relatively accept as the right and essential to the ultimate ends. It may give us a better understanding of the correspondence between MKO ethical standards and that of Machiavellianism as well as Marxism that incorporate a belief of “ends justify means”. In Machiavellian viewpoints, the application of levers including pressure, deception, breach of promise, betrayal, fabrication and all possible means for achieving and preserving political power is legitimate. Furthermore, in contrast to some contemporary thinkers who make an attempt to interpret ethics as a relative issue by means of complicated and equivocal philosophical discussions and theories, Machiavelli and his followers are outspoken in disregarding ethical principles.
However, the ideology and methodology of Mojahedin is based on the former policy. They managed to integrate philosophy and science to find a way of expressing their Machiavellian ideas in a novel form. As Machiavelli justifies using all means for achieving and maintaining political power, Mojahedin grab at ontological issues and the ultimate goal of creation. They feel much attachment to philosophical terms like dispensing of existence and absolute truth by which they try to justify their philosophical, political, social, and historical dogmatism. Here, the main viewpoints of Mojahedin on ethics as reflected in their pamphlets and organizational principles are to be reviewed.
Mojahedin distinguish between good and evil with regard to the factor of achieving objectives. In other words, they do not believe in substantive status of ethical values rather define them based on the extent to which they succeed to make the ground for attaining objectives. According to theoretical principles and doctrine of Mojahedin “Good and evil are always determined with regard to the objective”. 1
But what is the objective meant by Mojahedin? As it was mentioned before, Mojahedin believe in absolute good and absolute evil in their worldview yet on the other hand, recognize the legitimacy of using all possible means for achieving that absolute truth. In addition, they maintain the universality of material world and consider evolution as a general law governing all phenomena including man and the society. Consequently, all activities aiming at achieving absolute truth are considered an ethical issue and in contrast, all activities hindering the attainment of that absolute truth are regarded unethical. They define absolute truth and ethical values as follows:
The process that moves the society toward retaining the most dominant humanistic features, (unlimited to a certain time and place), is known as the absolute truth. Absolute good is those actions done for the achievement of absolute truth in any circumstance. 2
Therefore, according to Mojahedin, absolute truth and its opposite are two sides of a coin and there is no third option:
Non-truth is all actions done against truth as a barrier in its way unlimited to a certain time and place. 3
Also, absolute evil has been defined in the theoretical sources of Mojahedin as:
Absolute evil are all actions correspondent to non-truth unlimited to any certain form, time and place. 4
From this viewpoint, ethical standards have no value in themselves and it is only social and political conditions that determine their values. Consequently, in such a context individuals follow their own demands which may make them recoil from doing what is right and thus, they are frequently deviated from what is ethical. As a result, the concept of truth is metamorphosized into a relative issue, too, and is defined according to predetermined objectives as posed by Mojahedin. According to Mojahedin:
Based on circumstances, truth takes various forms. In other words, it is likely that a procedure in a certain time and place is considered as truth because of its furthering us in achieving our objective, yet in other circumstances it is considered false since it fails to help us and rather hinders the achievement of our objectives. 5
Undoubtedly, the terms “good” and “evil” have their roots in all acts that are accordingly evaluated and defined. It has to be pointed out that the terms objective, evolution, and truth are used as equivalence and complementary whenever needed. Mojahedin have elaborated on the integration of these concepts and their function, stating:
Truth is a practice moving parallel to evolution and all actions carried out in this regard are good. Non-truth is a practice done in opposite direction that is in the direction of decadency hence all actions done in the way of untruth are considered evil. 6
Coming to political power is the first step of achieving the stated objective, evolution, and truth. From this viewpoint, all actions are evaluated based on the extent to which they lead to getting the objective, evolution or truth:
All actions needed for achieving the final objective are evidently essential and necessary. 7
In a nutshell, positive ethical concepts like honesty, sincerity, … in contrast to negative ones like crime, absolutism, dishonesty, and betrayal cannot be evaluated and defined separate from conditions and their relation to the intended objectives rather they are defined according to external issues.
1. Evolution, Second book of ideology. Theoretical sources of MKO, Mojahed publication, Tehran, 1979, p.97.
2. ibid, p.93
7. ibid, p.96.