These latest elections saw some resistence to Iran’s authoritarian president – even though Ahmadinejad supposedly won the election by overwhelming majority. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/06/14/iran-election-fix-fury-protesters-clash-with-riot-police-after-hardliner-wins-115875-21438974/
According to the above article, only 2000 people turned up to protest. I don’t believe this is enough.
In fact, I think it is quite possible that Ahmadinejad does generally have popular support.
I’m not an expert in the region so I don’t know whether disent is growing or receeding overall in Iran. Hopefully it’s growing.
What about the govenrment? Are they becoming more or less willing to violate the people’s rights and force them into submission? – I don’t know.
But my guess is that a day or two of riot police will sort out the pesky little election protests.
I would say that for a nation to gain freedom:
1) You need an individualistic culture that values freedom. Ideally a majority of people who want a dramatic change in government.
2) You have to understand the real value of freedom and be prepared to fight.
3) If you want your freedom to last, you need a moral and logically consistent defense of freedom.
4) It helps if the current facist/socialist government starts losing it’s nerve in doing what it takes to force people into submission. This is probably only possilbe if #1 is satisfied.
I don’t think Iran satisfies any of the above criteria.
NB/ No country in the history of the human race has contained a majority of people that satisfy #3. Religious and non-objective ethical theories have always dominated human civilization. Even 99.9% of atheists in our world accept altruistic ethical theory for example.
NB/ Western world democracies are currently heading towards facism or socialism (which inevitably leads to facism by necessity). One step forward, two steps back.
While Australia is a freer (and better) place than Iran, we are still far from achieving a genuinely free country. Australia also requires steps 1-3.
Update: I have heard later reports that many more people have protested – 1 million at last report. This is very encouraging.
But the key point is that Iran will not shake their Islamic dictatorship any time soon.
Iranians may at least wish for a watered down version of the current system and while this isn’t revolutionary, it’s a good sign.