GLOBALIZATION AND IRANIAN INTELLECTUAL CIRCLES
The reality is that globalization of the world
economy is moving very fast and it is no longer an issue of theory anymore and
countries like Japan
and later Singapore, Taiwan, and now South Korea are
planning and actively producing for this epochal change and their products have
even taken lion shares of markets in the U.S.
Even simple look at the cars on the streets in the U.S. and seeing the Japanese
Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and now even South Korean Hyundai
cars, can tell one about this reality of production for world market.
Now what do the leftists do in the Iranian intellectual circles. Do they try to analyze and study this phenomena, and look for the best course of action for Iran and Iranians in this global market? Do they try to see how much Iran has been able to take from the global market beside selling raw material (oil). No! Even in the best of the magazines with the leftist mindset, you see articles after articles against globalization, as if this is the worst thing happening in the world. This is just a Luddite reaction to the progress of our times. Then they post or translate articles by people such as authors of Monthly Review in the U.S., those who are a very tiny group of semi-Marxist professors (just like the small group of Islamist professors in the U.S.), with no significance in the U.S. whether among the American workers, or American intellectuals, or the economists, or other academia and noone who makes any impact in the industry or labor cares for any of their publications. Now what do these people write? They claim on one side that Marx also had seen the globalization (which is true) *but* they oppose it and say until there is socialism (some imaginary kind of socialism other than the socialism which has already been in Soviet Union, China, etc), they want to stop the globalization. In other words, they want to stop the real progress of the world until the world complies with them. If Marx was alive, he would be the first to call these "Marxists" reactionary Luddites. They remind me of the ones who quote Molavi's saying of del-e har zareh rA keh beshkAfi to justify the lack of any serious scientific work of us in the areas of quantum physics and saying that we already knew it all at the time of Molavi. Those Sufis are insult to Molavi just like these Marxists are insult to Marx.
Frankly nobody cares even to write opposing the articles of Monthly Review because nobody reads it except their own small cult. There are more Iranian intellectuals in Iran who have heard of Monthly Review than there are in the U.S. This is the sad thing. This is the kind of nonsense that is fed to our Iranian intellectuals by the ones who cannot see that industrial society in both its socialist and capitalist forms already has happened and has finished and the world is moving to a post-industrial global economy and the answer to the problems of this new world cannot be found in Marx’s Grundrisse or Hegel’s Philosophy and one has to study the new realities rather than look for it in maktab and religion. People like John Rawls have done more work on the issue of social justice in this coming new society than all the socialists put together, and the leftists still like to claim to speak for social justice.
Even writing critics of the left is of no value in most parts of the world anymore. It is like writing critic of Christian theology. It is not significant in the scientific circles. The sad reality that one has to spend time critiquing it in the Iranian circles is ridiculous because these American authors have no significant readers in their own society and our intellectuals waste time translating the obsolete theology of these authors for Iranian readers as if these are analysis of the world economy and world developments.
In the West, all that ever was needed to write critic about left has already been written by Karl POPPER, Lezcek KOLAKOWSKI, and Daniel BELL and there is really not much more to add to what has already been done.
Our intellectuals need to read the latest research in all areas of social and technical inquiry including the research on the world economy by economists like Wassily Leontief, by authors like JOHN NAISBIT or ALVIN TOFFLER, who have done extensive work on the world economy itself. Reading the speculations of the leftists about world economy is worth as much as reading the speculations of the Islamists about the economy. It is worth zilch. Nothing. Anybody who has read a book like the MEGATRENDS of John Naisbit can tell the difference between that work and the junk religious speculations of the leftists.
Even more importantly our intellectuals should research the realities of the Iranian economy to find the best solutions for Iran's agriculture, industry and post-industrial technological developments rather than wasting their time reading Monthly Review. The Monthly Review can give as much analysis of the world economy as the maktab-e eslAm could give. The Islamists always claim the prophet and their scholars had already solved all the issues of today and would say their Prophet Mohammad had seen the world economy and would look for verses to prove it and they call for their own kind of cosmopolitanism, which has to be *Islamic*, just like the leftists asking for their kind of cosmopolitanism to be *socialist*. Neither one tries to see what is developing in the world *now* and plan for this reality. They are just stuck in dogma. This is all.
Both capitalism and socialism is at the end of its road. Socialism in its best case in Sweden is still not a solution for today’s world and capitalism is not the answer to our world issues today. The developments in the West are not all capitalism and the whole twisted view of the left sees it this way. The post-industrial society is developing using multiple forms of ownership. The same way that Islamists do not understand the world of today and see it as Islamist versus kAfar, the leftists see it as socialist vs capitalist. It is a religious grouping related to a past of 150 years ago for the leftists, and the past of 1400 years ago for the Islamists, rather than analysis of today's reality. They simply have no understanding of the current global economy. Sincere leftist supporters can read works like John Naisbit' s MEGATRENDS to change their whole dicatomous obsolete perspective of the world and see things through new paradigms or else they will just feel disappointed and see the whole world as one big failure, where they think their beloved socialism has failed in Soviet Union and China and they try to make an imaginary one by themselves, as if all those in Soviet Union and Eastern block were fools that could not see what these people are trying to see in their cults. If they get out of their cultish shell, they will see that in fact, socialism had succeeded, and completed what it could achieve. Both capitalism and socialism were two main ways that industrial society started, grew, and is finished now. The world is moving beyond the *industrial* society in both its forms.
As far as the issue of globalization and Iran, the following is what I wrote a while back and I hope to see more research by Iranian intellectuals in Iran about various industries. I have quoted a clergy in my article who had done a lot of research about the growth of technology in Iran of the last 20 years. Attached please find my article below.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
Feb 16, 2002
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*The above article was first posted on Jebhe BB on February 16, 2002