In an opinion piece in the St. Peteresburg Times, Yulia Latynina, a political commentator for a Moscow radio station, takes on the recent election and turmoil in Iran.
In the election results and ensuing protests, she sees not grass roots activism, not fraud and the response of an outraged people, but simply the pitfalls of democracy in a poor country. Latynina draws parallels between post-Soviet Russia and Iran, arguing that poor voters tend to elect bad leaders:
The Iranian vote demonstrates a simple truth that even Aristotle and Plato understood but that is frequently forgotten by fans of democracy today — namely that democracy is one of the worst forms of government if the majority of voters are impoverished…
All observers of democracy — from Thucydides to Machiavelli — have made note of one simple fact: If the voters do not own property, democracy does not differ from dictatorship and will inevitably end in tyranny.