Identifying Principles to Combat Tyranny

The Afghan Constitutional Movement was the first major effort to create a government based on accepted social contracts. Despite facing strong opposition, the movement only grew in popularity. Afghanistan‘s history is full of successful attempts to establish a democratic system and elect a legitimate administration. Currently, the main debate is about the methods of achieving legitimacy. Supporters of the Constitutional Movement advocate for social contracts and are popular among the people, while reactionary forces prefer to use force, Sharia law, and terror to gain legitimacy, which has consistently proven to be unsuccessful. The Taliban and their allies are currently in power, but they are demonstrating the worst aspects of their viewpoint to the public, thus confirming the correctness of the opposition‘s stance. Over the past two decades, there have been numerous shortcomings, corruption, and betrayals, which led to the Taliban‘s rise to power. However, we cannot ignore the importance of the era, which was characterized by dialogue, the constitution, and attempts to agree on social contracts. We began the 21st century by agreeing on social contracts that were in line with basic human rights and codifying them into law. These laws were not perfect, some being outdated, some irrelevant, and some ambiguous, but at least they were not sacred and could be discussed and replaced later.

We disagree with the Taliban‘s system of governance, not how it should be run. We must not forget our main goal and set aside less important topics or tactical moves. Efforts to reopen schools, secure work rights, freedom of travel, freedom of entertainment, and freedom of speech should be secondary to the main struggle, not the main goal. Even if the Taliban agree to reopen schools and allow art and music, our resistance will not end, as we disagree with the method they used to take power, which was based on the use of force rather than social contracts. An inclusive government, reform of the Taliban, or any other regime (even one recognized by the United Nations) that ascends to power using force or means other than acceptable social contracts cannot bring peace, will face resistance, and will ultimately drag Afghanistan into another civil conflict. The temporary history of our country is proof that tyranny will not be tolerated, and if a legitimate government is not established, new conflicts and more suffering will follow. No regime can earn legitimacy through jirgas, compromise, or the support of another country, and peace will not return unless decrees are replaced by law. The mission of patriots is not to be hostile to the Taliban, but to stand up and build a popular yet democratic system that has laws which guarantee sustainable peace and ensure the welfare and freedom of citizens. Any group that opposes this basic right will be challenged and will have enemies throughout Afghanistan.