Authoritarian denounces capitalism as ‘undemocratic’

Patrick Gibbons

President Ahmadinejad of Iran blamed capitalism for global poverty and called it an undemocratic and unjust institution in front of the United Nations today. He, of course, is completly wrong.

Allegations of human-rights abuses, voter fraud and state suppression of protests in 2009 mar Ahmadinejad’s credibility. But then again, he is president of Iran, a country ranked as “unfree” by the non-partisan Freedom House. Iran also suppresses the media (capitalism doesn’t suppress the press), as citizens can only get government-approved news.

Iran does not have enough political or civil freedom to be considered a democracy. In fact, Iran’s political rights and civil liberties are given the second-lowest score possible by Freedom House.

Oh, the irony is not missed on us.

Of course, capitalism has done more to reduce poverty than anything. Period. Capitalism has not only lifted billions out of abject poverty, it has produced the technological gains that now allow the world to host more than 6 billion humans.

Capitalism is also more democratic than democracy. Think about it. Democracy serves (at worst) 51 percent of the people, and it is never surprising when it pushes one-size-fits-all policies on voters. But what about capitalism? How many types of TV stations are there? Magazines? Computers? Books? Music? Cars? Clothes? Almost anything you want, you can get, even if you are in the minority.

Only an authoritarian (or someone who is out of touch with reality, which authoritarians usually are) would denounce capitalism as undemocratic and unjust while claiming it has done nothing to help the poor.

Green means free, Red means unfree. Guess which countries are most likely use capitalism as the primary engine of economic change, allow private property and support the rule of law?