With the People of Iran
Reader Comments (8)


alison

http://adirtymartini.typepad.com/

Thank GOD Almighty we have no First Amendment Michael, though I think you will find us reasonable enough right? But apart from that..awesome post. Sorry to have missed it.




Gin Sayers-King


I'm proud that you were there




Michael

Yeah, I deleted that First Amendment jab, then restored it. Think I'll re-delete it. Fair point, Alison. And thanks very much for chiming in. Hope you're back on your feet, and in the streets, soon.

And thanks, Mom. 8^)

Michael




Noel


These demonstrations are the proverbial tips of the iceberg. The Iranian revolution really ended in the late 1980's, but the past 20 years have shown a colossal shift in their civilization's demographics that will sweep the clerics from power.

Two statistics are most noteworthy. Literacy and birth rate. Iran since the late 1980’s has gone from a country with one of the highest birth rates to one of the lowest (at 1.2 percent) It’s literally dropped by 2/3rd’s in 20 years. Iran is the only country in the world with mandatory contraception classes for both men and women. The decline in birth rate is exceptionally important because lower birth rates are symbiotic with increased education levels and increased household wealth. Literacy has also roughly doubled since the 1980’s to approximately 84% in the 2000’s.

Literate, wealthy populations throughout history have always moved towards democracy where impoverished illiterate populations have been ruled by theocracies and demagogs. In Iran, and other dictatorships, the ruling oligarchs thrive on ignorant young populations who have no access to independent sources of information. Add to that the exploding personal wealth in cities because of increasingly aging and educated post-Baby Boomer population, and the ability of the oligarchs to tell their citizens to “trust the state” while not delivering becomes untenable. China and leftist Latin America as well faces this dilemma. Add to this the dilemma these societies face with Digital Age communications where the spread of information cannot be contained; information which brings independent analysis of the government’s actions and performance.

The Iranian’s have had a pluralistic society for 20 years (imperfect though it is). They are further along the democratic path than most people know, but the change may still require a generational shift that takes decades more.




Michael

Noel,

Nice. I actually went straight from the rally to my debate club, where our Noble Leader opined that the mullahs are finished. It may take awhile, but with the martydom of Neda, the clerics have lost all claim to moral authority, and the cracks in their edifice are, ultimately, fatal. I sure hope both he and you are right; and, stressing my ignorance, it seems to me you do have it right.

Since you mention digital comms, I'll post this here: according to AVAAZ, Iranians are dying for web proxies and anonymizers. You can kick in a couple of bucks to keep the information flowing freely and safely through their Break the Blackout campaign.

When I get a chance to research this more, I'll probably do a new dispatch on it. (Ideally, I'll be able to find a few options for the average netizen to help out the average Iranian . . .)

Thanks as always for an awesomely-well-informed contribution.




Noel


Here's a good follow up food for thought on the Iranian Elections from the NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/world/middleeast/
08clerics.html?ref=middleeast

It contains a quote from Moussavi that is worth repeating:
“If the large volume of cheating and vote rigging, which has set fire to the hay of people’s anger, is expressed as the evidence of fairness, the republican nature of the state will be killed and, in practice, the ideology that Islam and republicanism are incompatible will be proven,” wrote Mr. Moussavi in a letter calling for a new vote after the election.

And on a completely separate topic... WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP OF YOUR BLOG?!?!?!? Until I see you write "Fuck Progressive Insurance" on one of your posts, every word you have to say will be suspect, and you are summarily suspended from the legitimate artists roll call until then. It's one thing to take corporate money (I'll look the other way for a starving artist), it's another to support them. Let's see where you side. Bone up on your Bill Hicks if this is a nebulous moral area. :>




Michael

Fuck Progressive Insurance. Fuck anyone you like.

It's just Google AdSense. I'm not being 'sponsored' unless someone clicks on one of the ads, in which case I get about four cents. And Progressive Insurance - as well as anybody behind any ad that appears here - is as ignorant of my existence, never mind my opinions, as are the comets in very wide orbits. (Incidentally, I'm equally ignorant of them - I use Adblock Plus for Firefox.)

Fuck Progressive Insurance! Fuck 'em right in the ear!

Michael




Noel


Yeah Yeah! And Fuck Geico too!

You should still iTune Bill Hicks if you don't have all his stuff in your "must listen to" library. It's not all that comfortable a listen, but definitely influential.




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