The 21st Century’s First Authentic Revolution

The violent confrontations at yesterday’s Ashura demonstrations, which resulted from widespread resistance to the brutality of the regime’s various security forces, have shifted the balance of the struggle towards the people. The question is no longer whether this corrupt regime will be overthrown, but rather when it will go, and how. It is clear that this struggle, which began as a simple protest against the rigged presidential election, can no longer be defined as a movement for either state reform or civil rights. Yesterday’s demonstrations, occurring throughout the country and from Tehran to the smallest towns, cannot be defined by any term other than revolution.

Dictatorships always maintain a fragile balance between fear and anger, which they either inflict on or produce for the people they rule. As long as the fear of the regime’s power outweighs anger at its effects, its position is relatively secure. But if this balance tips with changes in conditions either at home or abroad, and if feelings of anger begin to supersede those of fear, then given opportunity and circumstances it is safe to assume that a regime’s days are numbered. Yesterday, in defiant resistance against thousands of security forces and carrying with them in demonstrations the experiences of more than a century of struggle for democracy, Iranians demonstrated to themselves and to the world that this is truer than ever of the Iranian regime. The balance has tipped from fear to anger, and the…

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