Bryan Caplan  

An Iranian Communist Gets It Right in Persepolis

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Of course I'm going to like an animated movie based on an autobiographical graphic novel about the Iranian Revolution. But virtually every critic who's seen this movie agrees: Persepolis is excellent. Don't miss it.

My favorite part is when the heroine's urbane Communist uncle tries to rationalize the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. He drops all nonsense about the wisdom of the proletariat and frankly admits (roughly, I'm quoting from memory) that "Religion and nationalism are the only way to unite the masses." Touche! Indeed, the only way to improve the Communist uncle's observation is to add "envy" to his list.

Once you put it that way, though, it's hard to understand why the uncle wanted a revolution in the first place.

P.S. If the Communists had taken over Iran and turned it into the second Afghanistan, would Western audiences be seeing a movie about the horror of it? I wonder.


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COMMENTS (7 to date)
John Thacker writes:

OK Bryan, where can I go to see it in the DC area? I'm interested.

joseph writes:

Bryan, I Just read 'the myth of the rational voter'.

What is going on? Did someone not love you when you were a child?

Your book at first infuriated me, then it completely bored me. You offer nothing but roughly 200 pages of reasons why economists are superior to everyone else.
Oh yeah, and also why it's good for the market to 'churn' so the people who are no longer needed will disappear and 'society' will grow richer? Or, it's a good thing that a Mexican woman can work as my nanny so my 'skilled wife' can go to work and not raise our own children? WTF.

Man, did you have your Limbic brain removed?, I must say that cavemen and most mammals have more compassion than you do.

Your book is ridiculous and not realistic for one reason; humans care about each other. Ooops that doesn't fit into your weird fascist ideology, but it is why people like yourself who support unregulated markets will never have the majority.

You should get help, I worry about your family. (providing you are healthy enough to have talked someone into procreating with you)

My Condolences for the cavity in your chest where your heart would be.

John Thacker writes:

Your book is ridiculous and not realistic for one reason; humans care about each other. Ooops that doesn't fit into your weird fascist ideology,

Joseph, you don't seem to care about Mexicans, though, from your comments. I'd say that Joseph's philosophy of caring about his own country's citizens more than Mexicans, of wanting women to remain at home no matter what (no one says you *have* to hire a housekeeper, and Bryan certainly wouldn't oppose a free choice on either side), and of apparently opposing all change in the economy, so that the haves that already have jobs keep theirs, and the existing companies stay around, but no new jobs or companies are created, is far more "fascistic," nationalistic, socialistic, and reactionary than Bryan's viewpoint. Not that I think that you're really a fascist, but I don't even understand your criticism.

TGGP writes:

You should get help, I worry about your family. (providing you are healthy enough to have talked someone into procreating with you)
Bryan is married and has twins. He doesn't deny that people care about other people, but he thinks that they act on that in a politically irrational way that causes harm. Also, what John Thacker said.

TDL writes:

I have not yet read Dr. Caplan's book, but that smear motivated me to buy it and read it. Is there a substantive criticism any where in that tirade?

Regards,
TDL

abe writes:

For those of you in the fairfax/gmu area, the film will be playing at the Cinema Arts theater in Fair City Mall.

http://www.cinemaartstheatre.com/comingsoon.php

They haven't announced when it's opening though--but they should be getting it some time soon along with There Will Be Blood!

Andreas writes:

I've seen the movie a few weeks ago and I can recommend it to anyone, who's interested in the somewhat strange history of a country, which could have looked much differently (either for the better or worse) than it does today.
Besides, it's at least a cartoon movie for adults, which doesn't focus on big titts or even bigger guns.

@ joseph: people like you are the reason, why people like brian need to write more books like "the myth of the rational voter"

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