Article5

Response To Article4

By Sam Ghandchi

2/28/94

 

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) theory.

 

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.

 

I agree.

 

 

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

place.

 

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

of FALSIFICATION).

 

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

posted next..

 

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

shot.

 

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

DESCRIBING BELOW.

 

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

intellectuals.

 

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) contributions.

 

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.

 

Regards,

- Sam Ghandchi

 

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