06 November, 2009

The Populist

Here's a few videos of protestors getting beaten up in Teheran on November 4, nicely followed up by this interesting quote from a story where Ahmadinejad offers his view on social justice (via Ali Esbati):

The three economists listened attentively to Ahmadinejad as he lectured on the waste caused by current subsidization policies and the fact that because of artificial prices any investment was hardly justifiable. He told his audience that a free market was the "best distribution system to guarantee social justice."

It does add some perspective to the argument that the current political confrontation in Iran somehow pits political liberties against economic justice because Ahmadinejad promised to bring the oil wealth to the dinner tables in his election campaign. I'm not an expert on Iran in anyway, but perhaps this is a sign that Ahmadinejad, having failed to mobilize the poorer segments in support of his rule and realizing that the opposition has its strongest base among the urban middle class, decided to try and placate his opponents by posing as a neo-liberal?

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