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Self in Society Roundup 9

Notes on the Iranian protests, progress, Marx for cats, and more.

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
September 26, 2022; ported here on May 31, 2024

The Brave Women of Iran

Imagine government agents murdering someone over their choice of clothing. Barbaric! That is the sort of theocratic oppression the people, and especially the women, of Iran face. Iran's so-called "morality police"—a perversion of language if ever there was one—murdered 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for breaking the hijab rules (see also the Atlantic's piece). Horrific. Below are some examples pulled from Twitter of women protesting such abuse.

Frida Ghitis: "Women are leading this uprising against repression. Forced hijab is the symbol. Removing it is the sign of resistance." Shown in the related video is a woman standing on a car waiving a hijab in the air.

Shayan Sardarizadeh "Protesters chant 'mullahs must go away' and 'death to the dictator' tonight in Hafthoz Square, east Tehran, on the 10th night of unrest in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody amid a near total internet shutdown."

Joyce Karam: Women of Iran tell their story of bravery, defying oppression and fighting for a most basic right. It's simple yet powerful."

Yashar Ali: "Tehran tonight. . ." Shown is a woman waving a hijab in the air.

An Iranian woman defiantly waves a hijab in the air.

Shayan Sardarizadeh: "In the city of Gorgan, Golestan province, women of different ages set fire to their headscarves tonight on the fifth day of nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest by morality police for 'improper' hijab."

Iranians burning the hijab.

Masih Alinejad: "Outside the UN I challenged the Biden administration not to deal with a regime that kills women: 'We aren't asking Biden to bring democracy for us. People of Iran are brave enough themselves. We don't want them to save us, we want them to stop saving the regime.'"

Frida Ghitis: "The scenes in Iran are astonishing. How far will these protests go?"

Iranians burning the hijab

Masih Alinejad: "The real news of Iran is this not nuclear deal or Ebrahim Raisi's speech at the UN. Iranian women removing their hijab, facing guns and bullets alongside men and chanting against Islamic Republic. Regime os cutting the internet in some cities. Be voice [to the] voiceless."

Masih Alinejad: "To the politicians who appeased the Islamic Republic for decades, it is time for you to realize what you have done has brought nothing to Iranians except more bloodshed in the streets. This regime is not reformable. Support the people of Iran now."

Khosro K. Isfahani: "Chanting 'liberty, liberty, liberty,' women burn their hijab in Iran's port city of Bandarabbas amid Iran Protests 2022 that was triggered over the death of Mahsa_Amini."

Golnaz Esfandiari: "Unprecedented scenes in Iran: woman sits on top of utility box and cuts her hair in main square in Kerman to protest death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the morality police. People clap their hands and chant 'Death to the dictator.'"

Ershad Alijani: "It is the first time we have seen Iranian protesters fighting back in this way. It's another 'first of its kind' in the recent protests in Iran. And it's not just this video, there are dozens of them something has fundamentally changed in the protests in Iran."

Ashok: "Iranian women removing their hijabs in protest and chanting 'death to the dictator' at the funeral of 22yr old woman who was killed after being arrested for breaking the hijab rule. These women are simply inspirational!"

Quick Takes

Progress: Noah Smith reviews Brad DeLong's book Slouching Towards Utopia. A few key lines: "Only after 1870 did technological progress accelerate to the point where it managed to outstrip human population growth." "He attributes this acceleration to three key innovations: the industrial research lab, the modern corporation, and steamship-driven globalization." "DeLong's 'long 20th century' saw the development of various ideologies, including liberal democracy, free-market libertarianism, communism and fascism."

Marx for Cats: "The history of Western capitalism can be told through the cat and that doing so reveals a heretofore unrecognized animality at the heart of Marx's critique and of Western Marxist critique."—Leigh Claire La Berge (Apparently this is not parody. Via Jason Brennan.)

Housing: U.S. governments should re-legalize "small, no-frills homes that would give a family new to the country or a young couple with student debt a foothold to build equity."—New York Times (my editorial remark)

Systemic Racism: "If you're going to use 'racism' to refer to policies that in fact harm blacks, regardless of their intent, then you're going to have to say that a lot of racism consists of attempts to help blacks."—Michael Huemer, pointing to the drug war

Ayn Rand: After 22 years of publication, the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies is coming to a close, announced lead editor Chris Matthew Sciabarra.

More Ayn Rand: Objectivists continue to very publicly fight over Rand's legacy. If you like you can read a piece by Onkar Ghate and Harry Binswanger and a reply by Carl Barney. Or you could just ignore all that!

Optimism: Objectivist Yaron Brook remains optimistic about the future.

Education Wars: Sam Weaver and Onkar Ghate some helpful things to say on the political wars over education. The focus by "both sides" (progressives and conservatives) seems to be on indoctrination, not education, they suggest.

Transgender: "A federal appeals court . . . said Arkansas can't enforce its ban on transgender children receiving gender-affirming medical care."—AP

Guns: "Rates of Black lynching decreased with greater Black firearm access."—Makowsky and Warren, via Alex Tabarrok

Libertarianism: Matt Zwolinski and John Tomasi have a book on libertarianism, The Individualists, coming out next year. It looks like it will be excellent.

Nuclear War: Stanislav Petrov came as close as anyone has to "saving the world," on September 26, 1983.

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