Bryan Caplan  

3 Fun Quotes from Ayatollah Khomeini

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Khomeini's retrospective deontological case for the Iran-Iraq War:
[W]e do not repent, nor are we sorry for even a single moment for our performance during the war. Have we forgotten that we fought to fulfill our religious duty and that the result is a marginal issue?
Khomeini on reactionary political thought:
Yes, we are reactionaries, and you are enlightened intellectuals: You intellectuals do not want us to go back 1400 years. You, who want freedom, freedom for everything, the freedom of parties, you who want all the freedoms, you intellectuals: freedom that will corrupt our youth, freedom that will pave the way for the oppressor, freedom that will drag our nation to the bottom.
Khomeini on economics:
Economics is for donkeys.
All quotes from Khomeini's Wikipedia biography.


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COMMENTS (9 to date)
Hazel Meade writes:

It's always good to be reminded that other people aren't like us. There are plenty of people in with world whose worldview is cometely alien to a secular liberal westerner, who are motivated by entirely different value judgements.

Putting yourself in other people's shoes isn't about about imagining what they would do if they shared all the same values and motivations as you. It's about imagining what you would do if you had their values and motivations, which is much harder.

NZ writes:

@Hazel Meade:

I agree re. putting yourself in other people's shoes.

So what's the outcome? Having gained insight from this empathic exercise, how should it impact our consideration of, and dealings with, Iran?

vikingvista writes:

[Comment removed for foul language. Email the webmaster@econlib.org to request restoring your comment privileges.--Econlib Ed.]

Sieben writes:

Whenever I read quotes from Middle Eastern leaders about religion, I always gotta take it with a grain of salt. You never know how much of it is "real" versus flowery ad hocery they use to justify what they already want to do.

I mean American Christians use religious language all the time, but I would hardly think that their religious doctrine provides a good explanation for any of their opinions or behaviour.

Hazel Meade writes:

NZ: It should give us a clearer-eyed understanding of what their boundaries and interests are. So we'll have a better idea of what we ought to offer them or demand from them in negotiations.

Basically people who aren't interested in money will be less motivated by accessing western markets. But something they might really want would be letting the Shiites take power in Yemen.

NZ writes:

@Hazel Meade:

Interesting. I don't see in the Ayatollah's comments any revelation of worldly boundaries and interests--money, power, or otherwise. It seems clear that negotiation would only be self-delusion on our part.

Brad writes:

"Economics is for donkeys."

Did he just call you a donkey?

Seth writes:

The 2nd and 3rd sound like my Mom.

Jeff writes:

Just fyi...Joseph Stalin's wikiquote page has some real gems, too.

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