Laura Secor has a new dispatch from Iran:
Culture wars and deep polarities tear at Iranian society, but they are not as binary as they are often painted. Iran has a traditional and a modern lower class, a traditional and a modern middle class, even a traditional and a modern élite. The new generation of activists (students, democrats, feminists, journalists) comes largely from the traditional lower middle classthe same demographic that brought us the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and no less authentic a part of the social fabric. To dismiss these Iranians’ aspirations as the vain fancies of the isolated rich is insulting and misguided. Those élite North Tehranis have not been the ones populating rallies and prison cells. That work has been done by those whose lives are difficult and dangerous enough to feel that change is urgent at any price. And if there is a hard core of Iranian activists who will remain in Tehran’s mean streets in the days or weeks or months ahead, it will most certainly not be one comprised entirely of the well-heeled few.
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