Al-E Ahmad Presentation - NWT


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  • Nativism struggle, resistance, self-assertion, and patriotism that they wedded in prideAfter WWI, secular intellectuals reconsidered the role of the West in Iranian national identity and society3 secular Iranian intellectuals most popular and represented different views & political affiliations
  • SeyyedThought Iran should attempt to appropriate Western Civilization willfully and thoughtfullyPointed to Japan and Russia as examples of thisImagined a political Persian language that dealt with Western governmentality, but without conversion to LatinDemocracy as the greatest discovery and mechanisms designed to protect it are Europe’s greatest inventions still critical of Europe’s non-inclusion of the EastStill pointed to contributions of EastAhmadRejected political, economic and geographical definitions of the E/W binary Instead only adopted philosophical distinctionsOrient as benevolent an compassionate, Occident (Gharb) as terrain of dominationOne must become Westernized to better understand the West as an adversary
  • Born in 1923 to a religious family in IranSent to Iraq to become a talabeh (or theology student)Quit before he had defended his dissertationShortly after, drifted towards secularism and joined ranks with the Marxist Tudeh Party, then ceded over internal mattersRetired from politics for a few years, then became involved again Dabbled in some workers’ rights parties1952 – formed an independently oriented Third Worldist Party (Third Force)Became fascinated with eastern intellectuals and poets
  • Prepared for the Commission on the Aim of Iranian Education within the Ministry of Education Decided not to publish due to its critical view of the regime, but still revered among intellectualsQuestioned basic foundations of Iranian social & intellectual history at a time of rapid socioeconomic transformationCritical of Iranian enlightenmentLack of discussion around national & ethnic identityUniversalism of the Iranian Left – popular in previous decadeCalled for an awakening of Iranian intellectuals to reassess their passive acceptance of Western influence
  • Accident from Without: Influenced by Heidegger’s views on science and technology problematic, given Heidegger was post WWI and in EU regarded as instruments of human mastery and the essence of the WestEnvironment rendered susceptible to it: inability of Iran to take a unified stance against WBlames passive intellectuals for taking to Enlightenment theory and rendering Iran easily dominated Also for disregarding contradictions with internal society
  • Shi’a tradition instrumental in mobilizingImpressed by Gandhi’s populism and historical ties to Iran – ‘India as the mother of Iran’ Intellectuals & clergy were to cooperate with one another as only response to tyrannical rule
  • Al-E Ahmad Presentation - NWT

    1. 1. Painting by HieronymusBosch, 1575
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