This post is the fourth in a series entitled: “The Mahsa Revolution: A Political Philosophy and Futures Studies Perspective”
The goal of this series is to offer readers reflections on the on-going grassroots, women-led revolutionary movement in Iran, to be continued until its completion or the mutual exhaustion of readers and author. I will analyze, for non-Persian speakers, debates and initiatives regarding the future of Iran from a philosophical and futures studies perspective. Every revolutionary moment unlocks the space of the politically and socially conceivable and enables the hopeless to exercise their rusted capacity for imagining better futures. It also reveals normative disagreements on desirable futures, inclusion and exclusion from those futures, and strategies suitable for realizing them. Although I am not an Iranologist, my hope is to give readers a candid glimpse of the burgeoning forward-looking democratic life of Iranians in Iran and the diaspora.
Logo of the Alliance for Democracy and Freedom in Iran that has produced the Mahsa Charter
In my last post, I analyzed the “Mahsa Charter” which aims at unifying the broadest range of the opposition to the Islamic Republic around a common minimal platform for a transition to secular democracy. My reading of the charter was positive—I appreciated the balance it strikes between the demands of different constituencies (republican and monarchists, unitarists and federalists). In short, I saw it as a good starting point for constructive discussion. But in the days and weeks that followed the release of the charter (March 10), I was surprised to discover that few Iranians active on social media shared my view; most received it rather coldly and often attacked it vehemently. Today, I’d like to analyze how the charter was received in the Iranian community, and more specifically, in one of its main online deliberative spaces, Clubhouse, a “social audio” app very popular among Iranians.