Friday, January 5, 2018

James George Jatras — Iran and Myths of Revolution


Jatras is one of the few mentioning that some of the economic frustration is the result President Rouhani's neoliberal "reform" that shrank the the welfare state and expanded the market state to improve the economy and integrate Iran into the global economy after the nuclear deal and lifting of some sanctions. This policy further disadvantaged the have-nots that make up the bulk of the protestors. The neoliberal answer is to wait patiently; it takes time for the gains to trickle down.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Iran and Myths of Revolution
James George Jatras | Deputy Director of the American Institute in Ukraine, a privately funded American NGO, and former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadershipAs

Here is a revealing fact from a World Bank study for 2016:
“The Iranian government has implemented a major reform of its subsidy program on key staples such as petroleum products, water, electricity and bread, which has resulted in a moderate improvement in the efficiency of expenditures and economic activities.” In plain English, “efficiency of expenditures” means the Iranian government is cutting down on how much its social welfare programs actually provide social welfare....
In other words, Iran follows an extreme neoliberal, shock-and-awe kind of capitalism [under President Rouhani].
Good economic analysis.

But it appears to me that the author is crediting "the people of Iran" with more homogeneity than exists there based on what I am reading. The protests are not "people" the rising up against an incompetent and repressive government. Iranian demography and politics are more complicated then that.

Iran and the Left: a Dissenting View
Reza Fiyouzat

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