The establishment’s determined crushing of dissent finds enemies at every turn, even among the youngest Iranians. Yet this complex stage of rule and protest, dissent and apathy, polarisation and dead language, offers two important lessons.
First, the areas where Iran’s future are still argued over with any semblance of genuine engagement – whether vast cyberspace or a simple shab-nameh – are mere tools without intrinsic value. There is nothing in these tools that can definitively vindicate one side or the other, nothing published there that will provide the final blow. Everything, now, is double-edged.
Second, three decades after the revolution, Iran has become the only country in the middle east where people don’t have the luxury of blaming an American-backed leadership for the tyranny, corruption, mismanagement, waste and daily hardship that blights their lives. If there is one larger political truth in Iran today it is that the children of the 1979 revolution, in their non-violent fight for civil rights, are demanding that we Iranians should hold ourselves accountable for our failures and successes.