Iran protests. What does it mean

Sue wonders why I’m so fascinated by the Iran protests, given that Mousavi is no shining beacon of democracy and that protesters will soon be dragged out of their homes at 2am to be tortured and killed. Could part of it be – no offense to me she says – that the Irish in me likes a good fight? With protesters now chanting “death to the ayatollahs,” there’s no way the ruling class of Iran will take that, she continues. The repression will be swift and merciless. Do I really think there’s any chance of democracy happening there?

Currently, the protests have no real leaders and no focal point, something they badly need. Quickly. Else it will degenerate into street fighting mingled with the settling of old grudges. Yes, the ruling class there is fractured, and that’s driving some of the protest. But the people in the streets have gone way beyond marching against the rigged election. For that many people to explode into such massive anger (and reports are there are riots throughout Iran) then it must have been a powder keg for quite some time.

Part of my fascination is that such black swan events always enthrall me. Another is that Twitter and Facebook have become major tools for organizing, mobilizing, and reporting while much of the mainstream media struggles to keep up. Another black swan, perhaps. (Black swans aren’t necessarily bad, but rather epic events that no one saw coming and which change everything. Google was a black swan.)

In the comments here, Ten Bears fears riots like this could happen in the US too, especially given the unemployment rate and recession.

We won’t know for quite some time what the outcome is. While there’s a slim chance for real reform, the probable outcome will be blood in the streets. The surrounding countries do not want regime change in Iran and they sure don’t want their populace to be getting ideas for reform. Thus, the current events in Iran are destabilizing the entire region. Final destination: Unknown.


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