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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

The Protests in Russia and Iran

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Nikos Sotirakopoulos discuss the recent protests against the authoritarian regimes of Iran and Russia. They analyze the common causes that animate these public demonstrations and offer a philosophical perspective on why they effectively undermine the moral legitimacy of these dictatorships.

Among the topics covered:

  • Why we should care about protests in dictatorships;
  • How Iran’s mandatory veiling laws coerce its citizens and triggered the latest protests;
  • The recent revival of Russian anti-war demonstrations triggered by Putin’s military draft;
  • Why the protests are an existential threat to the Russian and Iranian regimes’ moral credibility;
  • Ayn Rand’s explanation of why the best people choose to withdraw their moral sanction from tyrants;
  • What, if anything, the U.S. should do to support the protests;
  • What Westerners can learn about how to respond to the Iranian regime from journalist Masih Alinejad’s uncompromising stand;
  • Why most Western leaders lack the moral authority to criticize dictators.

The podcast was recorded on October 5, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Ricardo Pinto

Ricardo Pinto, BA in philosophy, is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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