it’s the economy, stupid

The New Yorker has published an excellent report on the recent economic history of Iran. Unfortunately, only a summary is available online.

Stories about money don’t titillate as easily – or as often – as those about outsized personalities. And, yet, money is what makes the world go round. The prosperity that allowed America to play dice with George W. Bush is the flip side of the coin that got President Obama elected during a financial crisis and deep recession.

In Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba, China, North Korea, Sweden, Iceland and Iran: what is possible is dictated as much by economics as it is by politics; both are efforts to understand and organize human activity.

To fashion a crude analogy: politics and culture may be what’s in the brain, but the body (the heart, the lungs, the stomach, the limbs, etc.) is economics.