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Promise of Democracy: What to do?

In his recent analysis of the struggle for democracy in Iran over the last 110 years, Mr. Omid Montazeri suggests that ‘promise of democracy’ has become a part and parcel of the process of bringing the high ideal about. He reminds of that this is used, or better put, abused, by the regime to steer clear of politics and continue to rule, rather than govern on behalf of the nation, under the veil of pragmatism.

Mr. Rouhani’s new apolitical, technocratic administration is treading along the same path and thus cannot be singled out for criticism. To justify his position, Mr. Montazeri quotes the deceased French philosopher Jacque Derrida’s idea that “the image of promised democracy is ingrained in the picture of democracy” and continues that while distrusting the establishment, Iranians should participate in its democratic games but continue their own struggle to achieve democracy in their country.

Though democracy is sure to come, its arrival time and price to pay are unknown. What is not a secret is that giving unfulfilled promises has its heavy cost, seriously damaging the creditor and the debtor both when things come to a head.

For the first time in the history of democratic struggle in their land, Iranians have the opportunity of modelling the thesis of “promise of democracy” by reminding the debtor of the inevitable confrontation and the heavy payment of the debt.

Djavad Khadem



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