Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is trying his hand at a new social endeavor: family planning on a national scale. The Iranian president has announced his willingness to decrease the number of hours worked by married professionals in an average week as a way of encouraging greater fertility. Ahmadinejad’s plan, which is said to be currently under review by the Ministry of Health, would reverse population control measures put in place by the regime over the past decade to boost prosperity. It envisions a near-doubling of Iran's population, to some 120 million souls, in the foreseeable future.
Ahmadinejad's initiative appears to have a clear objective: international dominance. "Westerners have got problems," the Iranian president has told reporters. "Because their population growth is negative, they are worried and fear that if our population increases, we will triumph over them." (London BBC, October 23, 2006; Melbourne The Age, October 24, 2006)
No doubt Jonah, who has been working on his book about fascism, will have had the same reaction as I. For this is right out of the fascist manual. Indeed, Mussolini once wrote an impassioned introduction to a very boring book (authored by one Richard Korherr, who I do not believe was from Bologna, and called something like "shrinking population, the death of nations") urging Italians to reproduce like Topsy. And of course Hitler had all those breeding programs, about which I will say no more for fear of being lumped in with Webb and Libby as a foul-mouthed (or is it foul-penned, or foul-keyboarded) sex fiend.
Wow, imagine that: Creating positive incentives to encourage families to have children. This Ahmadinejad is indeed a monster. Here in America, our own pseudo-populist reactionaries have developed a much simpler way of encouraging population growth, by simply prohibiting women from obtaining safe abortions.