If we judge Iranian presidential candidates, not by the glittering Islamic ideals they profess or by the high-sounding reformist intentions they dream up, but by their role in the political structure of that society, it’s clear Mr. Mousavi will bring great disappointment to those who think this means the end of the republic.

Those who do not deliberately close their eyes can see that opposition candidate Mousavi is nothing more nor less than a new variety of Iranian authoritarianism. It’s nothing more than an election-based dispute. The people in the streets are only upset that the number of votes counted for Fascist #1 were in fact more than the number of votes for Fascist #2. But they still want to believe in the election system. The irony of the post-revolutionary Islamic Republic is that very little revolutionary rhetoric is involved.

Under the banner of “free elections” the most predatory wars were waged; under the banner of the “open society” closed societies were instated; under the direction of political vanguards, bureaucracies were resurrected. The modern use of the term “democracy” contains the same inherent falsehood. The appeals heard today, that America has freedom because our elections are free and anyone can run in them, etc., reminds me of Wittgenstein’s fly trapped inside a glass bottle. The goal, of course, is to show the fly the way out.