Iran out of balance: how the vote and the ensuing protests play out

The protests of what looks to be a rigged election in Iran harken back to the ’80s and the Chinese Pro-Democracy movement on the Mainland, and the People Power of the Philippines.  The outrage is heartening for fans of democracy in action.  Even in Iran’s religious culture, people reach a threshold, and then they take to the streets. An ayatollah’s repression is one thing, but the perception of a stolen election? No one wants a dictator in the 21st century.

Iran is out of balance. What happens next?

The crowds can pressure change, but only to a point. The Philippines overthrow of Marcos remains the gold standard of people power, giving hope that change can happen. But in the Philippines, the dictator was merely replaced by less ego-driven oligarchs. In the absence of real leadership, the country still struggles.

China, didn’t rid itself of the CP, but it did loosen up and evolve into a capitalistic hybrid. Look at how the 20th anniversary of Tienenman was remembered there and here.  Enriching the people and instilling in them a healthy economic self-interest has calmed down the fire for absolute democracy. It’s enabled China to find a balance that stifles protest and perpetuates the CP’s vision.

The crowds in Iran will produce a result in-between the Philippines and China. Iran’s religious leaders still hold the upper hand, but they remain beholden to  the current dictator, I mean president.  So it’s unlikely we will see change that makes a difference. We may see significant bloodshed before it’s calm again.

In the end, the answer for those who thirst democracy will be the same as for freedom loving Filipinos and Chinese.

They come to America.

They may continue their protests here. Or they may  just live their lives in quiet liberty.

But the destination doesn’t change.

The lucky are here, homesick, but free.