Response To Article4
By Sam Ghandchi
Here is ghandchiís second response to CCC:
Again I have marked CCC' s comments as "C" and my previous
postings as "S".† Here we go:
S) But here I am just referring to the sensationalist extremism in our
S) history. I accept that I have not given enough arguments to
S) substantiate this view in every juncture of our modern history
S) and definitely a lot more work is needed. But I am trying and I
S) need your help to add your research to prove or disprove this
S) In my opinion, the number of individuals, who chose the
S) rationalist path in our modern history is very small: Amir Kabir,
S) Kasravi, Arani, and Dehkhoda. The liberal tradition, even before
S) 1953 coup, was extremely weak.† Even in that period, it was
S) rather Mossadegh as an individual, and not Jebheh Melli as a
S) party.† Jebheh Melli never grew to be a real party any way and it
S) had more emphasis on nationalism than liberalism.
S) The only party of significance in our history was Tudeh Party, as a
S) party, and that was neither rationalist nor liberal. It was not even
S) communist.† Kianoori and Ghasemi were adventurists long before
S) guerrilla movement. And I classify them more with the
S) sensationalist tendency of our intellectuals in modern times,
S) rather than the rationalist tradition.
C) O.K. Certain people (call them a tendency) chose the "rationalist or
C) liberal" path. Others, didn't. The circumstances (dictatorial)
C) certainly didn't help the first, but supplied a lot of ammunition for
C) the second. The arguments of the second (because of the
C) circumstances - social, political, economic) won the masses more
C) often - and affected the course of history more than the other.
C) Change the circumstances, and you'd have had different effect. No
C) use arguing about the "choice". You can't reverse the time.
S) I am just trying to view the history not as "COULD NOT" and
S) "WOULD NOT". I am trying to say that we are not pawns in a big
S) movement of a historical machine. I am tired of Hegelian models
S) of looking at history as inevitable spirals. I do not believe in any
S) historicism. I actually like philosophies like Karl Popper who
S) oppose historicism.
S) Actually I think whether Muslim, secular, leftist, rightist, futurist,
S) whatever, we all share many similar approaches in our way of
S) analyzing our history which is not really helping us to make better
S) choices.† I do not think that I have the answer.† I am also not a
S) historian.† But I hope to see more history books with fresh
S) perspectives.† I am tired of reading Petroshevski's inevitability
S) theories fixed on Iranian history.
C) Historicism may have many defects in it but at least it gives an
C) explanation of "why" things do turn up as they do. Popper, on the
C) other hand provides no alternative explanations. Ideas don't come
C) out of the thin air
I disagree.† I think ideas also do come "out of the thin air" (meaning
not being related to any specific historical conditions, and just having
to do with someone stumbling on the right block).
About 15 years ago a couple of guys, one a mathematician and the
other one a linguist, came up with a new theory in psychology that
could have been postulated at the time of Aristotle.† In other words,
to make this discovery possible, none of the achievements of science
or technological changes were needed, as a prerequisite, but nobody
had noticed it before.† In fact, it is so simple that everyone on SCI can
go and test it without needing any special equipment.† But nobody
had thought of it in these 2000 years!
Do you want to know what it is?† If you do, please note that before I
mention this discovery, I would like to warn not to use it for
manipulating people. †It is very powerful and should be used with
integrity.† Of course I cannot stop anyone from using any scientific
discovery in a malicious way, but I can warn that it can hurt you
yourself if you use it without integrity.
Also noone can hide a scientific fact.† Maybe some people on this
newsgroup already know about it anyway.† But I know whoever is
using the achievement of this field for manipulating people is as
guilty as a chemist using his knowledge to create mustard gas.
Also I need to mention that there is a lot of rumor about criminal
actions committed by one of the founders of this discovery.† I do not
know one way or the other, I just know about this field as a science.
Now what is this discovery?† Am I pulling your leg?† No not really, I
am very serious.† Richard Bandler (a mathematician) and John
Grinder (a linguist), in 1979, published a book called FROGS INTO
PRINCES where they have presented a new theory in psychology, and
have called it neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).
The above book is still the easiest text to read among all the
literature in the field.† There is a lot of hocus-pocus about NLP flying
everywhere, but the basic theory is hard to refute.
The theory is this that the people who are visual (the ones who think
in terms of pictures), move their eyes upwards when they try to
remember something (for example trying to remember the color of
the socks of their mother the last time they saw her).† These people
also breath on the top of their lungs.
The people who are auditory, move their eyes to the sides when
trying to remember something and they breath in the middle of their
lungs.† The ones who are kinesthetic (the feeling type people), move
their eyes down, when they try to remember something; and they
breath at the bottom of their lungs (thus affecting the shoulder
movement and having gut feelings in their stomach).† Even the skin
color changes can be marked for each of the three group, etc.† There
is also a cerebral group, noted by Genie LaBorde, which I skip.
The above knowledge can be used to create rapport between
different people.† For example if you know that the person you are
talking to is a visual person, you can use phrases like "do you SEE,
what I am trying to get at", whereas if s/he is auditory, you can say
"do you HEAR what I am trying to get at", or if the person is
kinesthetic, you can say "do you FEEL what I am trying to get at ..."
Therefore, this knowledge can be used constructively between, for
example, married couples, to create rapport when two have different
REPRESENTATIONAL systems.† But it can also be used maliciously as
a manipulative device to fool someone and get them do something.†
Back to our own issue, just the EYE MOVEMENT part in this NLP
theory is a great discovery and is very easy to substantiate.† Test it
with a friend (with their permission).† With the exception of a small
population in BASQUE of SPAIN, the eye movement part of this
theory has not been refuted for any group of people in the world.†
Thus it is really solid.
Now couldn't this theory be discovered by Aristotle.† When you read
Aristotle's DE ANIMA, one would say someone of that caliber in that
society could have as well discovered this NLP theory.† Even Freud,
Piaget, and Jung missed this one, and it did not need any special
tool or any special social circumstances to be discovered.† Why?†
Because nobody looked for something like this.
There is a similar report about Chinese discovery of gliders about
3000 years ago.† Gerard O'Neil reports it in his excellent book: "2081:
A HOPEFUL VIEW OF HUMAN FUTURE".† The Chinese made one
mistake or else they had it.† Their mistake was to look at low-fliers
such as "doves" rather than high fliers, such as "eagles", as their
model for flight.† Or else they would have had gliders 3000 years
ago.† They looked for the right possibility, but they looked in a wrong
All I am trying to point out is that we have a lot of choices if we start
to look for them and in the right place.† How do we know?† Maybe
we can get lucky like Bandler and Grinder (just joking:) or ....† Simply
put, the basic theories are really just ideas "out of thin air".† The
rational process is the process of falsification (see Karl Popper's
OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE for a thorough explanation of the theory
C) and you are not always at liberty to choose amongst alternatives
I agree.† There are consequences for choosing each choice, sometimes
it can undermine your existence to make some choices, as both Amir
Kabir and Mirza Reza Kermani found out, in their own ways.
C) ...Liberal tradition, capitalist development and
C) democratic institutions have more or less gone hand by hand. You
C) cant imagine one without the others.
I agree with the gist of what you are saying, but I see the bond
looser than you do.† I have written my impressions in another
posting where I have noted Daniel Bell's THE COMING OF POST-
INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES.† I have nothing to add to what Daniel Bell
has presented in his treatise.† The democratic values are
achievements of humanity regardless of where (mostly West)
and in what economies (mostly capitalist economies) or when
they were achieved.† The same is true about achievements of
socialist movement, such as unemployment benefits and the
achievements of womenís movement, such as universal
suffrage, which are now HUMAN values regardless of where,
when, and in what economy they were achieved.
C) Almost all of the pioneering Iranian liberals/democrats were
C) directly affected by the West and at a time when people in Iran
C) looked up to the West these were valued. Indeed, one of the
C) motives of de-westernisation by IRI was exactly to de-value
C) liberal thinking and democratism. It wasn't political dependency
C) to the West which the mollahs were against, it was liberal
C) thoughts and ideas (i.e.: "cultural dependency").
C) Kill the respect for the free-thinking world and the pioneers of
C) liberalism, and then in an atmosphere of ignorance, dictatorship,
C) religious fanaticism, poverty and illiteracy you've got a winner in
C) sensationalism, adventurism, violence and terror. Those
C) advocating the latter of course had the "choice" not to do so. But
C) then they had to give up not only power but even the right to
C) speak up or even to live in a harsh and dictatorial climate.
C) Whatever their reasons, they had to discredit liberalism by killing
C) the respect for the liberal democracies (the West). And they did it
C) in various guises from anti-imperialism (of the Tudeh and
C) radicals/armed movements of 60s/70s) to the direct anti-
C) westernism of the present rulers. Labels for convenience rather
C) than the substance
S) BTW, I know intellectuals are not one pack, but I cannot
S) understand why you think my analysis of their general tendency
S) towards sensationalism; and their role in the defeat of liberalism
S) in Iran, is bordering on naiveté.
C) Because, I think you put too much emphasis on individual
C) freedoms and not enough on the socio-economic conditions and
C) the constraints people operate within.
You are right.† I do put a lot of emphasis on individual freedom.† I
have tried to give some of my reasons in my response to DDD
BTW I am not the "worst".† There are some people who think you are
even responsible for who you are born from (Louise Hayes).† I am
not joking.† I think of her as "out of her mind". †So I can understand
that, in this respect,† you should think of me the same way.† But I do
not go that far:):).† or do I?
S) I could use Alvin Gouldner's analysis and differentiate the
S) intelligentsia, etc. and give a more detailed analysis of different
S) groupings of intellectuals and their role. But all I wanted to note
S) was that the majority of Iranian intellectuals overwhelmingly
S) sided with the sensationalist tendency rather than the rationalism
S) and liberalism, and I did not need a breakdown.
S) IMHO the intellectuals of Iran in the last century have had many
S) choices to make. A few like Amir Kabir worked for reason and
S) liberalism (I know reason and liberalism are not equal); and they
S) still lost their life; and many like Koochek Khan, Heydar Amoghli,
S) and Mirza Reza Kermani did not have the time for liberalism. I
S) wish more of our intellectuals had taken the former path than the
S) latter. I think Iranian society would have benefited more.
C) You wouldn't expect someone to choose liberalism if it is going to
C) lead the death - if the alternative gives you the possibility of
C) survival, and much quicker result, would you?!
No.† I cannot expect people to choose anything.† It is not my place to
tell people what to choose.† But I can only note the consequences of
the choices they have made, or possible consequences of the choices
they are making now.† I can only say that there were people like
Amir Kabir or Fatemi who chose the path of liberalism with the
consciousness that it could lead to their death and it did.† I think
Mossadegh also was ready to die.† Only he was lucky that he was not
S) I know about the world situation and historical facts, etc. But I still
S) believe, the more educated you are, the more responsible you are
S) for the decisions you make; and one cannot just blame everything
S) on historical trends.
C) Indeed, both sides of the argument would emphasis on being
C) "responsible". It is just they end in different conclusion.
You are right.† This is when we need to make our judgment based on
what we envision to be the possible consequences of our action.† And
I know it is not an easy decision.† You can force a child to do or not to
do something, but if you can show the child to see the outcome of
his/her action, then s/he needs to decide what a right decision is for
him/her.† I think the outcome of sensationalist reaction to our
circumstances means more backward thinking in our society.
Backward thinking has a long history in Iran.† True that social and
cultural freedom was not that limited at the time of the Shah.† But in
the area of politics, the climate for political thinking was suffocating
under the Shah's regime.† PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT THINK ALL
OUR MONARCHISTS TODAY ARE LIKE THE GROUP THAT I AM
Still some old-timer monarchists wish that there was some kind of
communism to justify their animosity towards the intellectual
thought and social and political thinking in general.† They still think
the best scientists and engineers are the ones who do not talk about
politics, culture, society, and do their technical work quietly with
their heads down bowing to their monarchist masters.
They do not like to see our scientists to be like Einstein, who was
involved with all kinds of social, political, and cultural issues.† They
still cannot understand that the scientific mind cannot grow in a
dictatorial environment.† They are still silent about how the SAVAK
tried to kill every innocent thought in the minds of Iranian
If you wrote only a word against the legitimacy of saltanat, and its
crazy backward traditions, that even a female child of a king cannot
become king, you would be dead.† Could a little boy ever say an
innocent question that why he cannot become a king (the society's
number one political figure), just because he has not been born from
a queen?† In England, they also have a monarchy, but they do not
hang you for questioning the legitimacy of it.
Still many people are scared to talk about these.† This is like the
reign of Suleiman, that the fable has it; that after his death the ants
were still scared to go up from his cane.
I think for a long time, nations like us, need not to worry about
wasting paper or wasting energy for democratic processes.† We have
a lot to catch up; and let's use all the papers that we can (I do not
know about spending the bandwidth, that is up to the internet) :)..
S) I once went to a firewalking seminar with Tony Robins in San
S) Francisco vicinity. I was able to walk on fire after learning to
S) control my mind and the choices I had made. He had one good
S) advice in his 6-hour presentation. He said that early on he learned
S) to read the books that successful people read, do the things they
S) did, etc. He tried to teach how to always be aware of making
S) choices. His book is called UNLIMITED POWER. BTW, many people
S) think he is a charlatan. I do not know. But his lecture program was
S) useful for me.
C) Don't I see some "adventurism" here?! Do you think what you did
C) correspond with "reason", "rationalism" and liberalism? No one can
C) deny the almost unlimited power of humans. But then
C) adventurist use the same argument to advance voluntarism you
C) and even a tiny minority of you can change the world by your
C) action no matter what the rest of society thinks/does. It does ring
C) a bell, doesn't it?!
Yes you are right.† Descartes could not arrive at his own theory using
his own analytic method either.† Krishnamurti hardly was directed
by reason.† I agree with you that rationalism is inadequate.† In fact
in another posting, I stated that I side with people like DAVID BOHM
in his critique of Cartesian thought (David Bohm is a nuclear physicist
and the author of SCIENCE, ORDER, AND CREATIVITY).
But I think the Western Societies have a strong enough rationalist
and liberal foundation to guarantee not going astray when adding
the other side.† In backward countries that is not true.† It is like an
adult who can play with fire and will not burn himself/herself.† I
think we need to work extra hard, until resorting to reason for every
decision becomes a second nature for us.
C) With my best regards and appreciation for your valuable
C) - CCC
Thank you.† I am happy that you have found my contributions
valuable.† This helps me going (some guys have a red eye after
reading this much on their screen, and they wonder how they can
help to stop me from writing:):).
It is wonderful to be able to participate in a real dialogue.
- Sam Ghandchi