Sam Ghandchiسام قندچي Pseudofuturism of the Likes of Manuel Castells in the Style of Fakenews
Sam Ghandchi

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There is an expression in Persian that says when canaries are popular, some salesmen color sparrows and sell them as canaries! That has become the story of supporting Karl Popper and Modern Futurism today that some people with opposite views, introduce themselves as supporters! After the fall of Soviet Union, some people do not like to call themselves 'Leftist' anymore, and color their own kind of Leftism as 'Futurism' and I call them 'Pseudofuturists,' the same way Karl Popper referred to Marxism and Psychoanalysis as 'Pseudoscience'! Manuel Castells is one good example of such phenomena! He wrote volumes of books to counter Daniel Bell's 1976 work on Information Society, and tried to present the post-industrial society within a Marxist framework. I do not need to go into details, Daniel Bell in his 1999 Foreword of his Magnum Opus 'The Coming of Post-industrial Society' has responded to Manuel Castells in details. Personally, I have no problem to collaborate with the honest Leftist activists in Iran's pro-democracy movement, and at the same time, have written about differences and agreements of Futurists and the Left (1 and 2), but here the issue is about dishonesty that some people call themselves futurist, but in reality, in their programs, still even follow the ideologies of former Soviet Union and Maoist China. The following is what Descartes wrote about Aristotelians of his time:


"Aristotle's most passionate disciples of today...are not satisfied with an understanding of what is intelligibly explained by their author, but wish, besides that, to find in him the solution of problems about which he says nothing and perhaps never thought [Descartes, Rene, Discourse on Method, DPW, p. 51].*"


In fact, Descartes understood Aristotle better than all those Aristotelians of his time, but Descartes went beyond Aristotelianism. The pseudofuturists of our time, talk about democracy as if the Left were the theoreticians of democracy in Modern Times, whereas from John Locke and Immanuel Kant to Karl Popper and then  John Rawls, it has been the Liberals who worked the most on the theory of democracy! The problem of the pseudofuturists is that they even distort the thoughts of popular futurists like Alvin Toffler and try to present him as a Leftist, to justify their own backwardness. It is interesting to note that pseudofuturists especially those among the Iranian followers of Alvin Toffler, never mention that late Alvin Toffler, in politics, not only fully supported Newt Gingrich, the famous American Neocon politician, but in his speeches talked of Newt as someone who spoke for him in politics! Actually it was Daniel Bell who although was a personal friend of Irvin Kristol the founder of Neocon and co-published journals with Late Irvin Kristol, father of Bill Kristol, nonetheless, despite being very old at that time, still published a critique of Neocons at the time of Iraq War.


Pseudofuturists not only all these years, just like the majority of the left, were like the tail of Islamic Reformists of Iran, but even more than that, they remind me of some Islamists of Iran that after people began to turn away from Islamism, they started calling themselves as 'no-andish' meaning 'new thinker,' although presenting the same retrogressive views that Islamic reformists have promoted for years, this time with a new facade as "tahavolkhaahi meaning transformatist" and on the BBC! In 20th Century, the Maoists were somewhat a similar phenomena, when they tried to present themselves as something different from Soviet Marxism, but it was all verbiage, and there was nothing new in their ideas, and in a way, in some respects, Maoism was even more retrogressive than the Soviet-style Marxism and they rejected any new ideas in the Socialist Camp as revisionist and heretic, the same wording Lenin had used for Kautsky, and 40 years ago, Khomeini used for Salman Rushdie!


Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,


Sam Ghandchi
January 1, 2021
















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متون برگزیده سام قندچی



For a Secular Democratic & Futurist Republican Party in Iran