Libertarianism in Iran

Boaz Persian

The team at (the Persian-language Lamp of Liberty) is pushing out a steady stream of articles, commentaries and books on liberty for readers of Persian, including increasing numbers in Iran. Libertarianism: A Primer, by my colleague David Boaz, is now available in Iran and other countries where Persian is spoken, as well as Common Sense Economics, by James Gwartney, Richard Stroup, and Dwight Lee, the essays of Frédéric Bastiat, On Liberty by John Stuart Mill, and other books. In addition, native speakers/writers of Persian are contributing hard-hitting and insightful articles on freedom, focusing on current events in Iran and the region, which are then featured on and on such influential and widely read sites as Gooya. It’s a part of the work of the Atlas Global Initiative for Free Trade, Peace, and Prosperity.

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5 Responses to “Libertarianism in Iran”

  1. Many thoughts sprang to mind as I read this, such as CIA’s involvement in supplanting the 1979 libertarian revolution in Iran with their agent’s (Khomeini’s) version of a republic, but none as prominent as the question later raised in 1986 Congressman Don Edwards: “A free society can’t work if the government security agency, clandestinely publishes books, owns newspapers, and hires professors or clergymen to propagandize the public. . . Have we all forgotten that ten years ago this behavior produced a major controversy and the CIA was forced to stop publishing books?” .

    Edwards was referring to the 1976 Church Committee that uncovered CIA information warfare activities, including the production of hundreds of scholarly publications, that targeted Americans rather than foreign countries.

    Libertarians have a long history of unwittingly supplying rhetoric that is usurped by global corporatists and their parent – the State, in order to camouflage their statist, anti-market activity. The question remains – is it libertarian or is it CIA?

  2. Tom G. Palmer

    That’s a very strange comment. I know a great deal about this book and not one person involved in writing, translating, editing, or publishing it has ever been involved with the CIA. I should know, as it is a project I founded and supervise. I am also unaware of any long history of unwittingly supplying rhetoric (what does that mean?) to “global corporatists and their parent — the State.” I find the remark very puzzling. How is opposing war and intervention supplying rhetoric to “the State”? And now that I look more closely at the remark, I find it especially puzzling, even bizarre, as if Khomeini were a “CIA agent.” First I’ve ever heard that bizarre theory, and I’ve had to endure a lot of truly bizarre theories in my life.

  3. I’m pretty sure Tom Palmer was in the States, not Australia, when the French newspaper ‘Le Monde’ reported as early as 1979 that CIA had their number two man stashed in France in the event Shah Pahlevi and his SAVAK were no longer able to maintain their grip on the Iranian population. Khomeini was later brought in to do what later became known in America as a “Ross Perot” on the people (i.e. telling them what they wanted to hear, thereby rescuing the status quo). It worked, although tens of thousands of socialists wouldn’t buy it and subsequently fled. It was quite interesting during the early ’80s as a member of AWACS to provide support to Khomeini’s F-4 fighters against Iraqi MIGs while Khomeini shouted that the U.S. was an evil “Shaytaan”. We helped Iran in the air against Iraq, the surveillance stations were maintained on the Iranian-Soviet border, and oil continuted to flow to Europe and Japan as it had under the Shah. But it sure sounded different!

    The Church Committee’s findings concerning CIA propaganda production aimed at Americans was sparked when it was learned that William Casey, Director of CIA, had secretly paid $107, 430 to a Harvard professor to underwrite a book, which became ‘Saudi Arabia: The Ceaseless Quest for Security’ by Nadar Safran. Apparently, Nadar Safran had no clue that CIA was paying and initially found the idea of government clandestine subsidies to be bizarre if not absurd until the Church Committee proved otherwise. Over one thousand books were clandestinely subsidized or produced by CIA prior to 1967.

    As for corporatists usurping the rhetoric of the free market to camouflage their anti-market behavior, this has long been a problem many a libertarian has long lamented – Paul H. Weaver in his (1988) ‘The Suicidal Corporation’ and (1992) ‘News and the Culture of Lying’, or Thomas J. DiLorenzo in his article (June 1994)
    ‘Economic Fascism’ in the Freeman.

    The point is that we live in a society under a government-generated competitive business cycle, meant to feed the warfare state. The partial martial law today in America is in response to the greatest threat to the State today – the economic crisis. And I wonder how many so-called libertarians are clandestinely subsidized by the government, whose children (i.e. corporations) then seize upon the rhetoric to describe their activities (which in reality are anti-market)? This is a question every successful wordsmith should be asking? Am I legitimate or am I CIA? Safran never thought to ask the question.

  4. RW, are you claiming to have flown AWACS in support of Iran? It’s pretty well established that the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran; so beyond your (apparent) claim of involvement do you have any evidence of U.S. support for the Iranian Islamic republic as well? (Aside from unsubstantiated claims that Le Monde says Khomeni was CIA.)

    Regardless, what could be wrong with translating Bastiat, Gwartney-Stroup, or J.S. Mill into Farsi?

    And even if it were financed by the CIA (hard to believe, certainly you’ve presented no evidence), so what? The ideas in the books are true and valuable regardless. Your comment makes no sense.

  5. I take it then that you are uninformed about the United States’ role in supporting Iran against Iraq in the air. That said, you are correct to note that the Iraqis land forces, outnumbered three to one by Iranian ground forces, were helped in the interest of balance of power. Both countries’ dictators were CIA-installed and CIA-maintained. Cheers, RW

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