It looks like the Iranians are having no more luck fighting the culture wars than American Conservatives are having fighting theirs.

When American businesswoman Ruth Handler first launched Barbie back in 1959, she probably didn’t expect the dolls to become as controversial as they are popular.

In an apparent effort to shut out Western culture, Iranian authorities have closed toy stores in Tehran for selling Barbie dolls, according to Associated Press.

Which just goes to show you what culture wars are really all about. They reflect the totalitarian impulse. Totally.

The Soviets were big on culture wars too. Trying to stamp out American influences like jazz and rock and roll. Both those forms of music were first denounced by culture warriors in America. As was Barbie in America. So the Soviets and now the Iranians are late to the game. In fact the war against jazz impelled Drug Warrior Harry Anslinger to prepare a plan to arrest multitudes of jazz musicians for their drug use. Well – wiser heads (heh) prevailed. For a while. It wasn’t until much later that war was declared on the Grateful Dead for their celebration of drug use, as chronicled in their song Truckin’. Despite the culture wars, government reports indicate that about half our youth have tried an illegal drug by age 25. Not a very good advertisement for the utility of a culture war. The Iranians will be no luckier. Because a culture war is the best advertisement a despised culture can get. The central idea being, “People are willing to go to jail for this? It must be really fun.”