Not according to this post at Secular Right by Razib Khan – er, I mean David Hume. The opinions of Iranians on a variety of social issues is presented, and it doesn’t mesh well with progressive predilections stateside. 

We know the bigger conservative outlets online have been calling, relatively explicitly, for solidarity with those involved in the Iranian uprising. But it’s the other side of the political spectrum that is of interest here. I mention it because I’ve seen alot of support on Facebook recently, from former classmates and various others, for Iranians in their struggle against an apparently increasingly corrupt, out of touch, uber-conservative regime. But I haven’t heard much about conservatism per se from the media, only “stolen elections” and such (though theocracy and its illegitimacy is no doubt a subtext). The reason would seem to be hinted at by the public opinion displayed at SR. The vast majority of Iranian respondents, across the income spectrum (wherein higher income is associated with higher education), thought that abortion was never justifiable; that homosexuality was never justifiable; and that “men should have more right to job than women.” These social attitudes need not be informed by a religious orientation, and in fact elsewhere Razib has noted that social conservatism is not inherently linked to either personal religiosity or an officially sanctioned state religion. Though I do think it might partially explain why a move to overthrow theocracy itself is not afoot.

If there were a question dealing with race, I’d love to see how it turned out. It is the issue for the modal liberal in modern America, aside from possibly environmentalism, but that’s because the issue of race has become less salient in recent years – the years since 1992, say. And as political philosopher and progressive academic heroine Amy Gutmann tells us, there is no democracy without a rectification of the race problem, a conflation of democracy with liberal democracy (ala Fareed Zakaria), and a proper stance – a “substantive” stance – on racial matters. 

So perhaps a stand-in will do for the missing “race” variable. How about immigration? According to the same World Values Survey Razib utilizes, Iranians are less cosmopolitan than Americans on this issue too. A greater proportion of Iranians disagree with the notion “Let Anyone Come In” than do Americans, and by a much wider margin agree with the statement “Stop People From Coming.”

In sum, what is it that Facebook fans of the Iranian uprising think will happen over there if their pleas are successful? If it’s a purely procedural form of democracy they hope to usher in, then I note their lack of interest in this problem wherever it exists. It seems to me that a perception that liberal, youthful, lovers of substantive freedom and a progressive ethos are up against a stodgy reactionary establishment is what motivates this enthusiasm. But if in fact the people they are supporting are even less liberal in orientation than a right-wing Republican (ooh, double shot!), and it appears that this is the case, what’s to get so excited about?

Advertisements