Democracy or Power - choose one
Posted by aogMonday, 23 February 2004 at 17:12 TrackBack Ping URL

Concerning the recent elections in Iran, Orrin Judd notes that

The way they [the Iranian mullahocracy] mishandled the election cost the hard-liners much legitimacy. If they now try to reform slightly in order to win it back, they are likely to go the way of Gorbachev, having aided forces whose strength they don’t understand.

I think that actually, they do understand those forces and that’s why they handled the elections as they did. I noted in an earlier comment that if you use democratic legitimacy as the basis for your rule, you’ve already surrendered to the forces of liberal democracy, it’s simply a matter of when you’ll surrender. It seems the mullahs have figured this out and gave up democractic legitimacy in favor of retaining power. Sadly, if they’re willing to use open oppression, they may last for quite some time. What did in Gorbachev was not only his initiating of reform but his not using serious methods to retain power once things got out of hand. One need only look at Mao’s “Hundred Flowers” program to see what can be done in such a situation.