It would be a greatly needed research to see how the likes of Shariati and Al-e Ahmad were the prophets of retrogression that took shape among Iranian intellectuals during the last decades of Shah's regime. For a long time, Shariati was allowed to present his speeches at hoseinieh ershAd in jAdeh-e ghadeem-e shemiran, which is now called Shariati street.
Shariati was a symbol of animosity with liberal democracy in the years following KhordAd 1342. The youth, who were disappointed with the last failure of Jebh-e Melli government of 1339, to establish democratic monarchy in Iran, either went the Islamist way of Shariati, or followed the leftist path of cherikhA-ye fadAyii khAlgh.
Another prophet of retrogression in those years, who highly influenced the youth was jalAl-e Al-e Ahmad. His infamous book called "gharb zadegi", did more damage to the Iranian youth's social thought, than any other book I can think of. It was in a way like Unabomber's hatred for modernization.
I have written a series of articles fifteen years ago, entitled Progressiveness in the Present Epoch, where I explained how I see the formation of the retrogression (vApas-garAii) that finally took over Iran as Islamic Revolution. 
I hope Iranian scholars do more research into how the ideas of the likes of jalAl-e Al-e Ahmad and Shariati have damaged Iranian social development so much in the last quarter century.
Sam Ghandchi
Oct 26, 1999

* The above article was first posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on Oct 26, 1999


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