The evolution of the internet and social media has proven to be effective in terms of political change in some countries. This change, however, has yet to be seen in Iran, where there is still a great struggle for democracy. The problems that Iran is facing can be analyzed through the Snow reading from last week, Social Networks and Social Movements: A Microstructural Approach to Differential Recruitment, which discussed why and how people mobilize. Similarly, Howard points out that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), like cell phones and the internet, play a large role in changing society (Intro & Prologue), but for some reason, this change still isn’t happening in Iran.
Due to the political state of Iran, critics should start focusing on what is missing from their current resources. The readings from this week all relate back to the idea that ICTs are not everything, and they cannot impact change on their own. It is clear that Iranians do not have the ability to mobilize resources that will impact a decision to act, which is something that Snow says is extremely important (Snow). The Iranian people have been hindered by internet shutdowns and blocks placed on particular sites, such as Mousavi’s on election day (Howard, Prologue). At the same time, worse acts have been committed, as people have lost their lives over this form of activism (Eltham).
In order to tackle this issue, the Iranian people need more resources, but unfortunately, nothing seems very promising. While other countries witness this destruction, there is a fine line between getting involved and keeping a fair distance. This causes critics to wonder if war is the only solution, and what that might mean for the rest of the world.
Just as some countries have achieved democracy, others seem further away than ever. What resources do you think Iranians need? Do you think that the citizens of the United States will ever be put in a similar position to that of the Iranians? Do you think that our government will too become corrupt? Is it already? Is there a better way for Iranians to change their country or is war and destruction the only option?