Please discuss!

by Parham

People, I'm just putting in this entry to start a discussion. I'd REALLY like your feedback on this subject. Please contribute, as it's a subject that has bogged my mind for quite a long time. Thanks!

I'll make it quick:

It's been said, and it's a well-known fact, that the Shah and a foreign guest of his (I forget who) were one day discussing politics, when the guest asks the Shah why he won't allow a democratic government to take shape in Iran. The Shah turns around and says something in the order of: "Are you kidding? You would like me to give democracy to these people? You think these people can take a democracy?"

What do you think of what the Shah said? Was he right? Was he wrong? Please reply by putting aside your partisanship --whether you loved the Shah or you're a communist or an IR supporter-- as much as you can and try to be objective in your response. I want to know what you really think about his statement. Remember, the Shah could have been wrong in his thinking too, sometimes. In any case, the focus of the intended discussion is not him, but what he said. Were/are the people of Iran ready/worthy of a democracy?

Thank you in advance.


more from Parham

Dear "Parham",

by MiNeum71 on

Iran´s society is improving anyway. More and more women can read and write, that makes the society less religious and makes birth control possible, Iran´s birthrate was 1.689 (2008), the infant mortality is falling, from 44,17 (2003) to 35.78 (2009 est.); this is a great reality.

Iran is already a secular country, only the leading elite still hasn´t noticed it (demographic data are much more evident than any political rhetoric).

I see the step-by-step solution. The circumstances are becoming better, then many exil Iranians will return (specially from Europe), and they and the contacts with Iranians can help the society to change into a democratic governance. And as in Europe the women are the key to success.



can't have democracy?

by Anonymously on

"let them eat cake"...


And back again...

by Parham on

Hajminator - It seemed to me from your first message that you perceived the secular force among out population as being superior to the pro-IR one, so that's why I thought I'd mix-up the 50% fact in the discussion. Thanks for your feedback. Of course, that could be the explanation.

MiNeum7 - So you're saying it can't because of how the people are. And how could the people change?

capt_ahyab- So what about the constitutional revolution of 1905? Would you say the United Kingdom, Denmark or Belgium are dictatorships then?

Farah Rusta - My definition of democracy is the same as everybody else's. FYI, I consider the constitution of Iran as established in 1905, a democracy.

Dear Ali P. - As much as I try not to fall into a discussion about the merits of the Shah and Reza Shah, our conversation seems to go that way. Just as a point of reference though, I think I have a different interpretation/understanding and knowledge of the historic events of those days, which would require another discussion. The important thing for me to know about your opinion is that you think we don't have it for a democracy, but you think we'll eventually get there one day.

Artificial Intelligence - Your point of view, at least to me, is very interesting in fact. Masoud Behnoud, in what is known as the 2 Khordad era now, wrote an article in Neshat newspaper saying that oil was in fact a curse to our nation, for if it wasn't there, the democratic process would have developed much quicker/easier -- bringing all sorts of arguments in favor of his theory of course. I've always wondered about that and was hoping someone would bring this one to the table, except I hoped it would get developed more!

Ari - I'm all for an exercise in democracy. What I am really worried about is this wouldn't be the time and place -- whether we already have what needs to be there for a democratic system and what we're witnessing is actually not a big risk while the world has gone astray in more than one way, while there is a question of nuclear energy/weaponry (doesn't matter which, really), and while our time and resources are being wasted in drastic proportions. That should give you my state of mind a bit as to why I came up with this topic and why the subject was bothering me.

Maziar058 - I think my 2 cents comes out of what I've been replying left and right, isn't it? If not, please look, for example, at my reply to Ari above. Thanks!

Ari Siletz

Parham, some thoughts

by Ari Siletz on

I think Iranians have been on a long term path to upgrading their political decision making process since around 1905. Democracy is one possible outcome, or we may end up inventing a social order custom-made for our culture, history, and the specific issues we face geopolitically. The Pahlavis grafted some fruits of Western democracies (public education, technology, women's rights, minority participation, social safety nets, workers unions, etc.) onto an outdated political mindset. Their efforts was partially successful. For example, we now have superb university curricula in technical fields. There is also some infrastructure for artistic expression (galleries, publications, a film industry, fine arts conservatories, etc). They also set up expectations for any post-Pahlavi order to address basic needs in the areas of health, communication, transportation and defense. Despite the setbacks of the IRI, the mock democracy that we now have in Iran is quite useful to our future. As a not-too-metaphorical example, consider the student governments in American high schools. The students have no real power as to how the school is run. But in the limited area of bake sales, proms, and sports rallies, they school themselves in the art of democracy. A mock president is elected, but the political competition is real. Coalitions are built on compromises, debate and persuasion by politicking takes place. This experience trains the new generation of democratic leaders in the real world. In a similar way The IRI's mock democracy will prepare the average Iranian in ways that will ultimately constrain that system's autocratic ways to whatever extent the nation decides. Despite appearances, Iran's society is still has its eyes set on some version of our 1905 goals.



by MAZIAR058 (not verified) on


khaleh mosheh

Persumably we are talking about Mohmmad Reza Shah

by khaleh mosheh on

Is this an excuse for an authritarian rule? If he thought people were not ready he should have put in plan/strategy for them to become ready rather than continue his authoritarian rule with Savak etc. 

In any case, being Shah and all presumably he would have known some Iraninan history- Even Mozzafar Iddin Shah gave in to peoples demand for reform during Iranian Constitutional revolution at the turn of the 20th century. 

People not ready? Poppycock. 

Artificial Intelligence

My 2 Cents...The Shah was Right that Iran Can not be a Democray

by Artificial Intelligence on

I don't know if the Shah's reasoning was right but below is my reasoning:

1. Cultural

Our culture is simply not democratic. This has partly to do with Islam (not that Christianity/or Judaism are democratic) and its strong hold and control on the way we behave as a society.  

2. Oil

Every political group in power, like the IRI, wants to control the oil. They will kill and murder to control this because its the easiest source  to power and wealth and its is so corrupting that no one wants to give it away.That is why the concept for an "Iraqi Democracy" is so stupi. I don't think it will be successful but time may prove me wrong.  

Iran's best hope is to have a system like Turkey does. A strong secular military that always watches over the government and steps in to insure that the government remains secular.... All good democracies have a strong secular element in them, without secularism, democracies are weak and fragile. I think a good example of this is the democracy in Israel- There is a constant fight to keeps the government secular. There are no guarantees that the Israeli government can do so as demonstrated by the strong power the religious parties have over matters such as marriage, conversions, burials, driving on the sabbath... if the religious were in power in Israel, It would look a lot like Iran to me today....

I do not mean to put down Iranians as I don't think the West was democratic either or that Westerners were any better. Westerners simply had better circumstances that allowed their democratic societies to flourish. The West was able to form its democratic society only after many wars, 100 million or more dead, lack of freedom and multiple murderous periods. However, and for example, the framers of the American constitution wanted to runaway from the unfair European systems at the time. That is why they had such an easy time creating a democratic system. They saw everything that was wrong with Europe and they created a system of checks and balances. The other advantage they had is that even though they were all Christians, they were Christians from many different sects and knew that they needed to minimize the power that the government had on religious matters.  These are non existent in Middle Eastern countries/Iran.  The concept of mixing religion and state was not an issue for Iranians as Bazargan gave it away to Khomeini and Iranians had no problem voting YES for an "Islamic Republic".

Now look at India for example. They had a very easy time in establishing a Democracy. I believe this is due to the fact that the Indians are generally tolerant people (notwithstanding the issues they have with Muslims), many different languages and dialect (800), their religions are not oppressive (as Christianity, Islam and Judaism can be) no single religion and no single corrupting wealth factor such as oil...

I may be wrong but this is how I see it....



Ali P.

Dear Parham

by Ali P. on

By no means am I a historian, or an expert in Iranian history. What I state here is based on what I have read from others, whose opinions I respect.

I think as far as Reza Shah was concerned, democracy was a western concept, a luxury, enjoyed by Westerners. He never lived abroad before his exile and we know he was not an intellectual, or an academic. A concept foreign to us, and somewhat contrary to our way of life!

And I don't think he was alone in his approach. At the time, the average Iranian on the street wanted security and prosperity. The 'freedom of press' was meaningless to a population, where the rate of literacy in less than 10%.

Even his idea of a republic was shortlived, amid protests from everywhere." A republic? Hell no!! We are Iranians! We pick Kings, until we get sick of him, or he is overthrown by another King!", they told him.

There have been two periods where Iranians came close to what we may consider a somewhat democratic system. One was the 12 years before the Reza Shah's coup . The Constitutional Revolution had been victorious , the King's powers were limited and the Majles was in charge. Sadly nothing was getting done. In August 1299, Iranians welcomed Reza Shah. They gained  security and prospirity and progress, and gave up democracy.

For many, it was a good deal.

In a democracy one does not dictate women what to wear, but he didn't think we could afford to wait for the education to sink in, and eventually get women involved in the building of the country. He ordered kashfeh-hejaab


The second Pahlavi was always suspicious of Western democracies. As far as he was concerned, he had tried it during his first 12 years as King, and all it had brought Iran was chaos, instability, and the danger of communism (again, as far as he was concerned). He, too, thought democracy was a luxury, afforded only by those who were decades ahead of us. If we want to catch up, we need to put up with a good dictatorship, he told himself.

*                           *                   *                      *

When I say often the society shapes the ruler, I look at Beshar Asad. Here is a young, British educated optometrist, who was not supposed to take any leadership positions. His brother and his father die within a short period of time, and he becomes Syria's President! Could this one man change the Syrian establishment, or he has to submit to it, no matter what he thinks of it.


Again, my apologies to everyone who read my comment. I am at work, and do not have the time - a luxury- to organize my thoughts.

Beh bozorgee eh khodetoon bebakhsheed.


Ali P.

P.S. I may not get a chance to write again. If you address me, and do not get a response, please do not take it personally.



by Fred on

Before saying my adieu and putting on my usual hat let me toss in one more well known  factor for your consideration, self-loathing.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy when a nation is on a strict diet of perpetual mourning and celebrations of  temporal occasions are frowned at. Momentums require spirits running on high octane, perpetual mourning runs on bottom of the barrel barely combustible fuel sapping the spirit. 

 I am quite heatened by the fact that despite all the obstacles the number of Iranians and not just the urbanites who are running on higher grade fuel is shooting up exponentially. Many thanks for the blog.


With all due respect, shah

by TheMrs on

With all due respect, shah kheily ghalateh ziadi kard az in harfa zad. All I can say about the Pahlavis, the moarchs before them and the IRI is that they can all collectively kiss the Iranian ass. As they each have or will eventually do, one by one.

The assumption that a population is not ready for democracy demonstrates the lack of understanding such people have of the democratic process. Any ruler who thinks this way is not ready for democracy and is afraid of his people.

If Shah had created an environement that encouraged the democratic process, then his opinion would be worth considering. He did not. So he is where he belongs.

Farah Rusta

What is your understanding of democracy

by Farah Rusta on

 Parham, can you share with us your definition of democracy (unless you have already done it here and I have missed it) and then we can continue ... 

I can see that different people have different reading of democracy. 




by capt_ayhab on

Democracy is defined as:

1 a: government by the people; especially rule of the majority

b:a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of
representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

2. a political unit that has a democratic government.

3. the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority.

4. the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.


With all due respect if we notice the definition #4 we can easily see the motive behind Shah's statement. Mere fact of accepting and acknowledging [democracy] would have de-throned him.
With the same token, neither IR, nor Reza 1/2Pahlavi will qualify for a democratic form of government. IR for the mere fact of having Velayate Safieeh[Safieeh in Turkish means Ahmagh ;-) ] and Reza for his hereditary status.


With these in mind, some of the ladies and gentlemen mistake the Democratic form of governance with cultural value[good or bad] of the nation.
Mr./Ms. MiNeum71 describes the differences very nicely.

For those who claim Shah's statement was justified for the mere fact of high illiteracy rate of the time, they need to know that the earliest recorded democracy was the island of Arwad, settled in the early 2nd millennium BC by the Phoenicians, has been cited
as one of the first known examples of a democracy in the world. In
Arwad, the people, rather than a monarch, are described as sovereign
In Greek, Arwad was known as Arado or Arados. Another possible example of primitive democracy may have been the early Sumerian city-states


Democracy is not earned[although is fought for] and is not given out by a monarch, for a monarch is by its nature in the opposite spectrum of democracy. The power is within the people,  the opportunity for it must be ceased and ceased it shall be.

Yeki az dostan jaleb farmodand, Shah GHALAT kard. ;-)



Dear "Parham",

by MiNeum71 on

Democracy is the best way of living together, everybody should live in such political system. But this is not the matter of should, but the matter of could.

As mentioned before, Iran has one of most embarrissing performances in treatment of woman, children, animals, criminals and minorities. This is sad. This is very sad. Stoning women is not an evidence of respect. How can those people respect all opinions, if they can´t respect lives? In Europe the winner of an election tries to be the leader of all citizens, in Iran (and also some other countries) the leaders try to eliminate the opposition (I don´t know if any Iranian ruler didn´t do that in the past). This is so sad. The majority of Iranians are so bad people.

I don´t like bashing a culture or country. As long as Iranians do Lajh-bazee, Ghar-kardan and Hagh-dashtan, no democracy is possible.



Parham jan,

by Hajminator on

I expressed my opinion in regard to your first question, do Iranians aspire for democracy? by giving examples of what I consider relevant to the topic. Your second question is a bit tricky. I don’t really understand what 50% of Iranians going to polls in IRI has to do with the topic :)

To answer to your second question, in my opinion there are some explanations of why. Mullahs love to show that they have the support of people. Voters in IRI get their shenasnameh stamped for the occasion; civil servants are especially checked for these stamps. So there are some people who vote in order to ease their lives.

Otherwise, when Khatami became president it was a total surprise for the regime which expected that its candidate Nateqeh Nouri will succeed at the elections. So at that time, people expressed their desire to change by sending a real signal to mullahs. I think that such messages are more corrosive to the regime than n manifestations or bombings.



by Parham on

Dear MiNeum71 - So based on what you've stated, are you saying we should, or we should not have democracy? Say, back then, the Shah went into a corner and decided to reign and not rule, left everything to free elections, as the constitution said (remember, the constitution did envisage a democracy). Are you saying we couldn't have had a democracy in reality because the uncivilized people were a majority? How about now? Would you say we've achieved that "civilized" majority to have one?

Ari- No real "project" in mind as I'd like to keep it as informal as possible without falling into mud-slinging! As to your response, I'd say the aim is "to explore the issue of democracy in Iran, using the Shah's statement as a starting point," but if discussing the qualifications of the Shah helps the argument, then why not? Btw, I appreciate that you've chosen to participate.

Fred - Okay, one for momentum as the most important factor. But what else? Or what would have helped keep the momentum?

Farah Rusta - So are you saying if the Shah had in fact left the power alone ("to reign and not to rule"), and had held free elections as required by the constitution, the democracy would have gone astray because Iranians hadn't achieved it, therefore it's a good thing that he didn't?

Dear Ali P. - Are you sure Reza khan had no idea what democracy was? More, are you sure that, for example, when the Shah had the opportunity to work according to the constitution, we were the ones (or the people then) were the ones that pushed him towards not doing so? Again, this is not about the Shah, but the idea of Iranians and democracy and whether the two go together. Thank you!


Dear "Fred",

by MiNeum71 on

I guess that many of the men who are writing and commenting here are educated, we can read and write, we can express ourselves and communicate, but we are not the mirror image of the whole society. The Iranian culture will not improve when we sit here doing self-adulation.

What do you want me to write? Iran is great because of Hafez? We are the best because of Darius? We deserve democracy because of the oppurtunities in 1905? These are lies. Our history is our history, past and gone; we learnt a bit but not all the lessons. It´s over.

In the end we only can change for the better if we take to heart: Self-knowledge is the first step toward self-improvement.




by Fred on

My apologies & thank you.


Dear "Fred",

by MiNeum71 on

I don´t know which part of the word qualified majority you don´t understand; I don´t understand why I should be interested in Sa´adi´s words when the subject is the social culture, as already quoted (and be sure, most of the Iranians haven´t read one single sentence of Sa´adi´s poems).

And the general idea of a history doesn´t matter to me, I see the present way of communication and respect. 

Besides, this is sooo typical Iranian, sooo typical Iranian, always blaming other people. This Islamist blight? They are Iranians, pure Iranians, and they represent the main part of the Iranian society.


Ali P.

Dear Parham

by Ali P. on

My comment was more of an observation than anything.

 I believe democracy is inevidable and we, or our children, or our grandchildren will get to enjoy it some day in Iran.

 I don't believe one man, or one woman, can bring democracy to a society. If the society is not ready, the society forces the man to be undemocratic, in order to survive.

 Our leaders have always been Iranian. They came from us. Reza Shah was one of us. He didn't know anything about democracy, and neither did any Iranian of the time. Read the papers of the time: Everyone wanted a powerful leader. They all welcomed him and his autoritarian rule. We cheered  his iron fist.

 Mohammad Reza Shah was one of us. Everyone liked him when he took over for his father. A perfect harmless, powerless, ceremonial, constitutional monarch. Again, look at the newspapers of the time: No one says a bad word about him, and this is way before SAVAK was born. Then in 1949, someone tries to kill him at the Tehran University!

 We turned the Shah, the way he turned out.

  All I am saying, is democracy is a collaborative process between the people, and the leaders, who want it, and who are ready for it. I just think most of us- ordinary people and leaders we produce- may say we want democracy, but nothing in our behavior as a people projects that desire or readiness.

Great topic. Sorry for  goreez beh sahraayeh karbalaa.



Ali P. 

Farah Rusta

Meaningless question results in meaningless answer

by Farah Rusta on

With due respect to the author and a number of decent commentators on this blog, the very basis of the question, allegedly posed to the Shah, was flawed, hence all the ensuing answers would be, and will continue to be, flawed.

To ask if a nation is ready for democracy is as meaningless as to ask if one is ready for greatness. Democarcy, whatever you mean by it, is to be earned not given or being ready for. The same is true about greatness. If it is not earned, it can be taken away with the same ease that it was handed over. The examples are plenty. The people of Afghanistan were given democracy but they cannot handle it because they have not earned it. They still yearn for an Islamic theocracy, not necessarily of the Taliban type, but a theocracy nonetheless. The same is true about the people of Pakistan as well as the people of Gaza who voted Hamas into the seat of power, quite democratically! 




by Fred on

To my mind not the only reason but lack of time for built up of “momentum” as far as longevity of man made based civil code is concerned is a major factor.

The cyclic cataclysmic events in Iran have always short circuited the life span of rule of law preventing it from becoming ingrained in the national psyche. This in turn has perpetuated the national adulation of law-averse strong leaders, even inside family nucleus.

Not going too far back, we have Zand period when rule of law, as it was, made the ruler the people’s lawyer and then was short circuited by the events. We had Amirkabir, again short circuited. We had Constitutional revolution, short circuited to the degree that both Pahlavi kings ruled as nearly absolute monarchs. We had Mossadegh who tried to resuscitate the rule of law, separation of powers, short circuited courtesy of our current host.

It is true that, just after we chuck away this Islamist blight, as a nation via the process of elimination we are heading to give democracy a spin. I’m just hoping it won’t be based on the type of failed laws that the crafty Islamists have been repackaging for sometimes now.  Their vision is to lock us in a set of laws that by its own definition is eternal, cannot be done away with or even modified in any meaningful way.
MINeum71, by your definition the Germans are all Nazis in disguise and the Japanese are biding their time for a chance at another round of raping and pillaging of their neighbors. I encourage you to know not only about 1905 but have a general idea of our history. And lastly, if you speak Persian you would be surprised how often you have been using Sa’di minted words and phrases which are part of our collective culture.  I think I’ve overspent my two cents.

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

The examples you cite I consider to be cases of national will. Specifically, I see the Constitutional Revolution as an admirable effort to build democratic institutions on very rough political terrain. Also, for clearer direction on your project, do you wish to discuss the qualifications of the Shah, ie. his depth of understanding about Iran? Or do you wish to explore the issue of democracy in Iran, using the Shah's statement as a starting point? 


Can we impose religiosity by

by Anonymous,.., (not verified) on

Can we impose religiosity by force as the IRI does? The IRI has and continues to do so.


Dear "Parham", Dear "Fred",

by MiNeum71 on

well, I´m sure Sa´adi was a humanist (like other poets), I don´t know anything about 1905, and what 1977-79 happened also isn´t relevant for today´s society (btw: history is much too complex to be analysed, at least people were burning to get Shah out of Iran).

Today Iran has a divided society: urban-educated and (rural-)uneducated (also contain the suburbs and people living in e.g. South Tehran). You can find educated and barbarian people in every country anyway. But the differences concern 1) the proportion, and 2) the basic social knowledge of the people. It´s always a matter of the qualified majority.

The more improved a culture is the merrier these social interactions work toward a civilized society; open-mindedness, tolerance and respect towards the right of others to their opinion and beliefs are the pillars of an improved society. In a civilized culture the qualified majority takes care of it´s women, minorities, criminals and animals.

Persepolis and Sa´adi are not Iranian culture, they are Iranian history. Culture is the the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group. It´s not possible to say We do this and that but this is not our culture. These this and that build up the culture.

Women abuse (dominated, beaten, marital raped), child abuse (mistreated), minority abuse (harrased), criminal abuse (lashed, stoned and killed), animal abuse (maltreaded and slayed) are the attitudes, values, goals and practices of the qualified majority of the Iranians (in and outside of Iran), and they characterize the Iranian institutions, organizations and groups. Sad but true: This is the Iranian culture, very old but not improved.

Iranian (social) culture is a joke and not able to live democracy 


Just for your information (1): Women abuse rates (2007, UN): 81% of Iranian wives have already faced domestic violence (slapped, beaten, choked, attacked with Knives) in the first year of marriage, 35% of them wanted to commit suicide, 9% of them tried it but failed, 38% of the Iranian women have faced sexual violence, 19,3% of pregnants were beaten.

Just for your information (2): Child abuse rates (2007, UN): USA 1,23% p.a., Scandinavia 0,32% p.a., Iran 16,75% p.a.

Just for your information (3): Death sentence rate (2007, AI): Iran 4,40 per million, USA 0,14 p.m., EU 0,00


I have a crush on Alex Trebek

by Parham on

Look at it this way: They were given the chance (supposedly/apparently) to say YES or NO to a republic they had no idea about and they (supposedly/apparently) overwhelmingly said YES, by 99% (which is, according to some, impossible statistically, but anyway). I think that would make the question somehow legitimate, wouldn't it?

I'll be back.

Maryam Hojjat

Shah was a nationalist BUT

by Maryam Hojjat on

a Dictator BIG time. 

Democracy means rule of LAW in a country under a democratic constitution. Iranians well deserved it.

Shah was very wrong not giving this chance to IRANIANS and as a result of his decision , IRAN & Iranians have been victemized in past 30 years & suffering. 

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek


by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

1. This is a great blog idea.

2. So this question is about Iranians THEN or NOW? I mean, Iranians have changed. The world has changed. People have different views of what democracy is or should be.....if you're talking about elections/freedom of expression variety of democracy, then yes. Goes without saying. But back then, asking that about Iranians saying "are they ready" is the stupidest, most insulting thing to say about any group. Almost like Rush Limbaugh saying South Africa was better off with apartheid because it was orderly. 

I also wonder if you could ask the same about SLAVES or Reconstruction Era blacks in the US - were they ready for "freedoms"? Did they deserve freedom? 

I also wonder why you want the feedback of a bunch of lousy, smelly (cologned and otherwise), annoying, stubborn, SIDETRACKED, arrogant, angry Iranians? Be ma che? If we want democracy, we immigrate! Voila we are here in USADemocracy. 


Before we get side-tracked here...

by Parham on

I'll bring a few points of my own by replying case by case, let's see where the convy will go from there.

Ali P. - I followed your logic till the end, but then right there in the end you seemed to get to a conclusion that was against everything you stated -- or am I completely out of my bowl today and I don't know? Could you delve a bit? You say we're this and that (seemingly not being able to "act" democratic, ever), but then you say we deserve democracy and you hope we can get there. I think you skipped a step in your reasoning. Or again, maybe there is something I didn't get.

Ari - So what would you say the constitutional revolution, or what happened on 30 tir, 25 Mordad (notice I'm not saying 28), or even the 78 revolution was? Were those not our "political meadows"?

Omidvar - Sale noye shoma ham mobarak. Chashm ma dore Oroopa migardim, shoma ham begardid, shayad yek vaght hamdigar ra didim o do ta aks az ham jeloye borje Eiffel gereftim. Hala berim sare asle matlab...:-)

A little too late - Are you sure they didn't ask for democracy and freedom? I thought it was the complete opposite! I mean, as far as these two eyes saw and these two ears heard...

Iranzamin8000 - Obviously the Shah knew something about democracy. Going by your logic, he must have heard something about it when he was studying in Switzerland, or traveling to this and that country. But the question is, he thought he shouldn't give the nation the gift of democracy because his nation wouldn't be able to handle it, not knowing what it was -- and probably never being able to find out.
All I'm asking is, was he right or wrong.

MiNeum71 - So would you say the constitutional revolution of 1905 was brought by the urban-educated people?
And again, in your later reply to Fred -- Are you sure people were burning to get the clergy as rulers in 1978-9?

Fred - Could you delve on this statement of yours: "The problem we’ve been having in Iran is for the rule of law getting some traction."
Are you saying the only reason why the democracies we have achieved this far in our recent history didn't last because they didn't achieve the needed momentum?

I have a crush on Alex Trebek - I thought what I was asking was clear. How did you ever get to what you're asking me is a bit strange! :-)
All I'm asking is, was the Shah right or wrong in assuming that Iranians weren't made for democracy, or if you wish, democracy is not for Iranians.

Hajminator- If it is so, how come there is (an at least) 50% vote every time there's a presidential election in the Islamic Republic? Wouldn't that mean that still more than half of the people are for this system of rulership?


For MINeum71

by Fred on

The part you’ve quoted refers to the Constitutional revolution and not the one heisted at the last moment by the Islamists. As for our Sa’di, I invite you to delve into his complete works, not snippets, and be amazed by his humanity, love and respect for all living things including animals.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

How does anyone deserve or "handle" democracy?

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

This question is ridiculous just as the shah was ridiculous. Asking a king why he doesn't allow democracy?! Are you kidding me? The shah wasn't even equipped to answer this question, and Reza his chubby son is only indulging it because the US is in charge of delivering democracy in 30 minutes or less. Do Americans deserve democracy? They kill each other over 10 bucks! They sell their kids! Or pictures of them! They buy and buy and buy until their economy explodes in their faces! They vote Republican, then they blame Dirty Mexicans for taking their jobs.