What are the understandings of Iranian thinkers Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Ali Shariati, Ruhollah Khomeini and Morteza Motahhari about human subjectivity and human agency in the earthly world?
This article is part of the proceedings of the international conference “Iran and the World in the Mirror of History”, which took place in University of Sofia in February 2019. It was organised by the University of Sofia, the Allameh Tabatabai University (Tehran), and the Islamic Free University (Tehran).
The intellectual debates for modernity in Iran in the 60s and 70s are marked by the search for authenticity. The process has been catalyzed by the coup d’etat in 1953 and the modernization project of shah Reza Pahlavi in 1961, also known as the “White Revolution”.
The White Revolution is an attempt to limit the influence of the land lords and to gain support among the villagers and the working class. Parts of the reform package are: expropriation of land from the landlords and their distribution among 1,5 million rural families; nationalization of forests and pastures; privatization of state companies, etc.
In fact, the White Revolution strengthens the social conflicts, instead of resolving them. Reforms increase significantly the dimensions of two of the dissident classes – the intellectual class and the urban working class. The land-given peasants become independent and oppositional farmers. The attitudes among a big part of Iranians turn out to be fertile soil for a successive wave of critical attitude towards the West, which is seen as a supplier of security and inspiration for the policy of Reza Pahlavi’s regime.
Judging from the philosophical ideas of the period, there is a key understanding for the contemporary Iranian in this period – as somebody who is alienated from his roots and essence. The leading intellectuals of the 60s and 70s create a discourse of authenticity.
Jalal Al-e Ahmad
Jalal Al-e Ahmad articulates strong criticism of Western society and paves the way for the search of the authentic Iranian and intellectual in Iran with his works “Occidentosis – a plague from the West” (literally Occiden tosis is a kind of disease, which is afflicted by the West, but it might be interpreted also as a kind of “westernization” – in Persian gharbzadegi, and “On the Service and Betrayal of Intellectuals”.
In 1962 Al-e Ahmad published a monograph, called “Occidentosis”, which is a report for the Congress on the Aim of Iranian Education at the Ministry of Education. The thinker renounces categorically in this text the imposed Western modernity and sets forth on a quest to recreate the traditional Iranian “self”. It is not accidental that the notion “occidentosis” reminds “tuberculosis”. Al-e Ahmad borrows it from Fakhroddin Shadman and Ahmad Fardid – intellectuals of the previous generation. In Fardid’s view the westoxication starts in a time far away with the Hellenic influence upon the Persian culture. Fardid searches not for the pure race, but for the pure culture. In Shadman’s view “cursing Alexander (the Great), the invading Arabs or the Mongols will only hinder solving our current problems” (Shadman 2004: 34 in Ghamari-Tabrizi 2008: 181). Both of these authors understand westernization as shallow imitation of the West, as affirmation of the Western culture through the negation of the Iranian “self”, but both of them have no complex understanding for the Western essence (Ghamari-Tabrizi 2008: 181). Al-e Ahmad sees in occidentosis not so much cultural confrontation between the East and the West, but rather the predicament of colonialism and dependency (Ghamari-Tabrizi 2008: 180). In Al-e Ahmad’s view westernization is:
“the aggregate of events in the life, culture, civilization, and mode of thought of a people having no supporting tradition, no historical continuity, no gradient of transformation, but having only what the machine brings them… Occidentosis thus characterizes an era in which we have not yet acquired the machine, in which we are not yet versed in the mysteries of its structure”. (Al-e Ahmad 1984: 34)
Al-e Ahmad points out that the West extends and imposes its influence in the world, using the power of machines. In the spirit of the Marxian dependence theory the intellectual reminds us that the world is divided into two halves – the owners of the machines and the owners of the resources, the former exploiting the latter. The battle for markets of the developed industrial nations leads to economic and cultural death of the people of the Third world. In Al-e Ahmad’s view Iran’s road lies in appropriation and taming of the machine, without catching West’s disease. In the name of this goal, he argues for the need of a new Iranian intellectual, such as “the organic intellectual” of Antonio Gramsci. Al-e Ahmad’s views on intellectuals are formulated in “On the Service and Betrayal of Intellectuals’ ‘.
The author criticizes Iranian intellectuals for their disconnectedness from the masses, for their rejection and lack of understanding of the traditional beliefs, for the easiness, with which they subordinate to the rulers. Al-e Ahmad’s touch with Western social theory makes him search for authenticity, which means for him a turn towards an alliance with the Shi’a clerics.
Al-e Ahmad defines the Enlightenment with the notion roushanfekri (روشنفکری – Enlightenment, enlightedness – from roushanfekr” – intellectual or enlightener): We can say that roushanfekri “is peculiar to the period in which human societies are no longer organized on the basis of blind obe dience or fear of the supernatural… In more general terms, rushanfekri “is a period in which man is cut off from natural elements… and his destiny is separated from that of nature. [He] finds himself alone vis-a-vis his destiny, without any celestial or terrestrial support… forced to act relying on himself only, without any expectation from the Outside or the Sublime world… to choose, to be free and responsible”. (Vahdat 2002: 117)
In Al-e Ahmad’s view freedom and free thought are the essence of Enlightenment. However, he confronts unresolvable dilemmas. On one hand, the writer establishes that secular ideologies can’t penetrate deeply in the social fabric, especially in Iran. On the other hand, the greatest obstacle for the spread of the enlightenment idea is namely religion. Al-e Ahmad believes that the Shi’a idea for expectation of justice through the return of the last Imam is based on “ignoring the present reality and living only by hope of the [promised] Day or relegating the solution of all problems to that [promised] Advent (Al-e Ahmad 1980: 271 in Vahdat, 2002: 119). In his view this is pure faith in the predestination – the greatest brake before the activity and taking of decisions, characterized by the enlightened mind.
The second dilemma of the author is connected with his search for ”the authentic intellectual”. This authentic thinker has to lead Iran towards liberation and true enlightenment. Al-e Ahmad considers the Shi’a clergy as possible realizers of this role. But clerics are also the most skeptical social force with regard to the Enlightenment. The writer doesn’t clarify whether if the clerics participate in the social-political movements, they will abandon their idea for government, based on revelation, or whether it is better to refrain from any political activity at all.
If the Iranian in the times of Al-e Ahmad is alienated from himself, and, respectively, unfree, there comes the question towards which “self” should the westoxicated Iranian return. This is the third unresolved issue for the author.
The loss of the real “self”, which is characteristic for the West, is a key topic for a number of Iranian intellectuals – before and after the Revolution. Al-e Ahmad’s search for authenticity is a search of the “Iranian essence” in personal terms too. However, it is going to become a political program for large social layers. Even though Al-e Ahmad realizes that only Shi’a clerics can offer the deficit connection with tradition, he remains a secular person. His ideas are developed by Ali Shariati – a man with religious essence, who is looking for a missing connection of tradition with modernity.
Return to the roots – the pre-revolutionary Islamic discourse of Ali Shariati
Al-e Ahmad stirs debates and reactions among secular intellectuals, such as Darius Shayegan and Ehsan Naraqi. But his message is met with enthusiasm by lots of religious groups and figures too, including ayatollah Khomeini. The systematic state oppression of the left movements in Iran in the 60s and 70s is combined with tolerance towards the Islamic organizations. Their affirmation in philosophical and ideological dimension is related to a large extent with the person of Ali Shariati.
Shariati is formed by two cultures – the Iranian and the French one, and is a product of at least two worldviews – the traditional (Islamic) and the modern (Marxian) one. Shariati creates an eclectic theory for society and man. Taking from the Western left the notion of “alienation”, the sociologist plants in Iranian soil, in order to search for its cure – the authenticity. According to Shariati the superficial religion, magic, polytheism, asceticism, mechanization, scientism, money, civilization, goal seeking, society, materialism, and idealism as causes for man’s alienation from its authentic self (Shariati 1972: 328-366 in Vahdat 2002: 136). Through such a loss of the self (khodbakhtegi) Eastern people are misled by the West to become modern. The dilution of the local essence takes place through a cultural way – through the equalization between” modern” and ”western”, and in a purely material way, with the introduction in Iranian culture of for eign modes of consumption and imported goods to satisfy them. That is how Shariati supports the thesis of Al-e Ahmad that cultural imperialism is the dimension in the field of ideas of the built-in need of imperialism to open new markets for the excess of goods.
Authenticity is most of all psychological and philosophical notion, which became popular in the 60s and 70s and is popularized by supporters of existential therapy in the West. Just like the young Shariati these supporters are placed in the left social sector. The search for authenticity is an escape from the eternal imitation and internal impossibility to be something different from yourself. Just like Al-e Ahmad he turns towards the intellectuals with the hope that they will stop imitating European colleagues and will embrace the cause of the ”organic” and socially responsible enlightener. A new type of intellectual is needed for the new type of society. Shariati becomes a model for the future Iranian religious intellectuals.
In Shariati’s view it is logical that the escape from the material and oppressive world of consumption and machine should be searched for in the world of ideas. But to which “self” should the Iranian return? The Iranian culture has too many layers – it is Shi’a, but there is also a purely Iranian pre-Islamic part in it. The intellectual, which many consider the Iranian Voltaire, because of the importance of his ideas for the following revolution, believes that each society has to achieve its own enlightenment. Just like Al-e Ahmad Shariati uses the notion “roushanfekri” in order to describe the desired social condition.
“Since the eighteenth century, the West, with the ad of its sociologists, historians, writers, artists, and even its revolutionaries and humanists has imposed on the world the thesis that there is only one kind of civilization, and that is the Western form”, explains Shariati in 1976. He explains his searches this way:
”The real or authentic existence is an existence which crystallized in the “I” in the course of centuries of building history, culture, civilization, art. It is what gives me a cultural identity vis-a-vis other cultures – the West, the East, the American and African… This authentic personality, my human personality, distinguishes me from the others.”
Shariati has certainly understood that the appearance of a person, of self“ is a separation from the whole. Life starts running indeed, only when the subject of separation is sufficiently self-conscious as separate. But Shariati doesn’t fight for a return to the lost traditional “self”. In his basic work – “Return to the self”, the intellectual underlines: “If the return to the self means a return to who we are, to our existing national culture and religion, we are much better off to become western from head to toe.” (Ghamari-Tabrizi 2008: 183) The phrase is key to the understanding of Shariati’s project. He searches not for a return to the past, but a return to a desired present condition. (Boroujerdi 1996: 113)
”When we say return to one’s roots”, we are really saying return to one’s cultural roots… Some of you may conclude that we Iranians must return to our racial (Aryan) roots. I categorically reject this conclusion. I oppose racism, fascism, and reactionary returns. What is more, Islamic civilization has acted like scissors and has cut us off completely from our pre-Islamic pasts… Consequently, for us to return to our roots means not a rediscovery of pre-Is lamic Iran, but a return to our Islamic roots.” (Abrahamian 1989: 116 in Boroujerdi 1996: 113)
That is one of the main dilemmas in the Iranian discourse on authenticity before the revolution is resolved. But Shariati is not the typical Islamic leader. He is rather a Western graduate, who discovers in Islam a tool for rebellion and social change. The works of Shariati represent a form of “liberation theology”, whose form is Islamic and not Catholic. This makes him an Iranian representative of the Western Third-Worldism, an Iranian anti-imperialist fighter, who reminds of Franz Fanon. It is not accidental that Shariati translated Fanon’s masterpiece “The Wretched of the Earth” – a key work of revolutionary left and the anti-colonial movement. Fanon explains in this book the need for violence on behalf of the oppressed against their colonizers – as a tool for liberation.
In Shariatis’s view Iran lives in the age between the end of Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance (Shariati 1981: 281 in Boroujerdi 1996: 114). That is why Shariati believes that Iran needs its Luther and Calvin, who are to unleash an Islamic Reforma tion: “The Islamic intellectual must first embrace the Islamic Protestantism just as it happened with Christianity in the Middle Ages, to destroy all the degenerating factors, which have been an obstacle in the name of Islam to the process of thinking.”
With his radical views Shariati naturally wins “enemies in the circles of the conservative Shi’a thought. He himself is not kind to the Shi’a clergy. In his essay “Red Shiism against black Shiism” Shariati thesis on Shiism as an ideology for mobilization of the suppressed masses. The author names “red shiism” the pure religious form, which is by definition caring for social justice and salvation of the collective. Black Shiism is a deviation, which has appeared under the influence of the monarchic and clerical institution. The touch with power distorts even the purest religious power. The ideal for social justice and fight reminds the Marxian one, but with the difference that the religion and not the class is the banner for the masses. Such a thesis is very important, because it shows the flexibility of the Islamic ideology. It could borrow ideas and attract supporters from the left movement, while the opposite doesn’t seem to happen.
The authentic self “of Shariati is a key insight in the debates on modernity in Iran. His views on this matter are shared by two other Islamist thinkers – the ayatollahs Khomeini and Mottahari.
On one hand, in Shariati’s view man “possesses His character and shares His spirit… he is responsible for his time, society, faith, culture, history and future”2. Such views show a modern theory for subjectivity in the Western sense.
But on the other hand, in Shariati’s view man is a process (set in motion) – from matter to God’s spirit. The thinker believes that man possesses God’s attributes, but after the Fall he has forgotten his “primal self-divinity” and dwells in the “desolate abode” of nature, alienated from his true “self”. This alienation doesn’t allow the people to feel at home in nature and turns their bodies into “prisons”. In Shariati’s view the road to real subjectivity passes through transcending the body, matter and earthly world, of “pollution of existence” and reaching to God. Paradoxically, reaching of supreme subjectivity and merging with God are complete negation of earthly subjectivity and its sacrifice. ( Shariati 1983a: 555-556, 560, 566 in Vahdat)
Shariati’s views on the authentic “self” are telling about the so-called “mediated subjectivity” – the man as a creature with its own will, which is at the same time subordinated to the god’s will. On the basis of his theory for subjectivity Shariati rejects the consumerist ethos of the West, which has found its expression in the special attention to the body. If the body is something, which must be overcome (as the Shariati believes), the excessive care for the body, which the westernized Iranian women of the middle class give, can’t be justified.
Similarly, in his work “Fatemeh is Fateme” Shariati excludes the sexual rights and freedoms from the human rights. These are deviations in the philosopher’s view, which have been created by the cultural imperialism of the West. That is how the West has been diverting attention of the youth in the West and in the East away from exploitation and colonization. (Shariati 1971: 62 in Vahdat 2002: 142) Shariati is amazed by the God-like possibility of humans becoming creators of their destiny – the situation, which is being affirmed in the West. At the same time the philosopher is terrified by the results of the journey, which the West had undertaken (Shariati 1983b: 119, 135, 185 in Vahdat 2002: 144). In Shariati’s view the subject of modernity is “a lone wolf”, who after opposing God and nature, accepts the loneliness of his subjectivity with anxiety. In Shariati’s view the solution of the problem lies in the subordination and loss in the creature, in God, followed by the discovering of a “new” self, which lives in peace with God and Love. This must be the subject of the new world in the utopia of the mediated subjectivity:
“I return. I seek the paradise I left. I wash my hands of the original sin, the rebellion. I will liberate all the corners of the original paradise of my ”self”.
[I will liberate] nature, history, society, and even myself [from my “self”]. There I, Love, and God will scheme together to create the universe anew, to create the creation again. In the new beginning, God will not be alone. In this universe, I will no longer be estranged… We will bring heaven to earth, a heaven in which all trees are the forbidden tree, we will create a world whose architects are our skillful hands.” (Shariati 1983b: 203-204, in Vahdat 2002: 144)
The works of Al-e Ahmad and especially of Shariati are proof for Foucault’s thought that new ideas are born in the border territories in any kind of sense, but most of all in the no man’s land between the East and the West. Martin Luther accomplished religious reform with the collaboration of his ruler – prince Frederik III the Wise, elector of Saxony. Such a symbiosis between ideas and power is unthinkable for Shariati, as well as for many Iranian religious leaders of the 70s. Iranian society develops with its own dynamics, which for sure surprises not only the shah’s power, but also the oppositional forces themselves.
Religious interpretations on the subject of modernity
The Muslim philosophy proposes two solutions to the problem for man’s will and the imperfectness of the creation. The first one claims that God has created laws for the world, which act independently of his original will. Through reason man can understand these laws, use and obey them. This deist concept is attributed by ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to the medieval Muslim rationalists, known as Mu’tazilites. The other point of view – of negation of human will, is attributed by Khomeini to the Ash’arites. The Iranian cleric rejects both points of view and searches for a position in-between the positions” (amri bein al-amrain). Instead of duty “he speaks about “need”.
“Freedom… implying that [human] beings may be independent in their agency… and necessity, implying the denial of all aspects attributed to any entity other than God and claiming that God directly organizes and affects everything are both impossible. Therefore, the true position is a position in between. This means that [humans] are effective possibilities “and capable of causality, but not immediately and independently. In all the universe there are not immediate agents except the sublime God. And all beings, because they are not independent in their essences, are not independent in their actions and attributes either. These [humans] have certain attributes, and effect certain actions, and achieve certain deeds, but independently“.
“Libertatea… care implică faptul că ființele [umane] pot fi independente în acţiunile lor… și necesitatea, care implică negarea tuturor aspectelor atribuite oricărei alte entități în afară de Dumnezeu și care susține că Dumnezeu organizează și realizează totul în mod direct, sunt ambele imposibile. Prin urmare, adevărata poziție este o poziție intermediară. Aceasta înseamnă că [oamenii] sunt posibilități efective “și capabile de cauzalitate, dar nu imediat și independent. În tot universul nu există agenți imediați, cu excepția sublimului Dumnezeu. Și toate ființele, pentru că nu sunt independente în esențele lor, nu sunt independente nici în acțiunile și atributele lor. Aceștia [oamenii] au anumite atribute, și efectuează anumite acțiuni și realizează anumite fapte, dar în mod independent” (Khomeini 1983: 73 in Vahdat 2002: 157-158).
What matters for Khomeini is the Muslim to be an active subject. Back in 1944 the future leader of the Islamic Revolution warned about the danger of the passive goodness of the faithful. He explains that the imperialists care about the natural resources and markets and fear that Iranians might become active subjects.
In Khomeini’s view, to be a subject means to control your nature. The strengthening of will could be achieved only through negation of the body. In his 1973 book “The struggle against the self or the greatest jihad” Khomeini stipulates that the ascetic revolutionary is the subject of social change and of the future society. This thesis could serve to trace later the evolution of the idea for the active subject in Iran. In one of his first public discourses towards the people after landing on Iranian soil Khomeini says:
“We are not opposed to the cinema, to radio, or to television; what we oppose is vice and the use of media to keep our young people in a state of backwardness and to dissipate their energies. We have never opposed these features of modernity in themselves, but when they were brought from Europe to the East, particularly to Iran, unfortunately, they were used not to advance civilization, but to drag us into barbarism. The cinema is a modern invention that ought to be used for the sake of educating the people, but, as you know, it has been used instead to corrupt our youth.” (Khomeini 1981: 287 in Vahdat 2002: 161)
Another nuance in the idea for mediated subjectivity is introduced by ayatollah Morteza Motahhari. In Motahhari’s view man has two natures – animalistic, material and corporal on one hand, and spiritual, cultural – on the other hand. Marxism recognizes only one of these natures. Just like Shariati thinks, in Motahhari’s view the road to true subjectivity passes through movement from the material towards the spiritual side of man. (Vahdat 2002: 169).
Just like Shariati and Khomeini, Motahhari considers the realm of consciousness and subjectivity as the highest point of being. But if the final point for these the former two authors is self-consciousness, for Motahhar it is religious faith:
“The evolved individual is the one who has been freed of dominance by the inner and outer environments but depends upon belief and faith… The more evolved human society becomes, the greater the autonomy of its cultural life and the sovereignty of that life over its material life. Man of the future is the cultural animal; he is the man of belief, faith, and method, not the man of stomach and waistline.” (Motahhari 1985: 29-30 in Vahdat 2002: 29-30)
Motahhari sees history as a process of de-alienation, in which the subjects overcome the built-in alienation in order to achieve their authentic self “through self-consciousness and intellect. But while for Kant the only source of duty is consciousness “ (Motahhari 1980: 35-36 in Vahdat 2002: 171), Motahhari searches for the sanction of the supreme, celestial source, the Absolute. Even though it is permitted to humans to use their reason in order to achieve some goals, these goals are marked in advance by the revelation. Either the goals are based on instinct and consequently are inadmissible, or are set by a foreign source, which overwhelms human reason (Motahhari 1978: 26, 43-46 in Vahdat 2002: 171). That is how man is moving in the strictly set limits of the Holy Script. Like Khomeini, Motahhari wants to oppose the traumatizing Western modernity, which robs man. Again, just like Khomeini, Motahhari reaches in his thoughts to the two Islamic schools of the Mu’tazilites (rationalists) and Ash’arites (orthodox ones). Motahhari agrees with the former that human notions for good or evil can be used, in order to evaluate God’s acts (Motahhari, 1974: 9 in Vahdat 2002: 173). At the same time like the Ash’arites the ayatollah believes that by granting human subjectivity to people the god’s subjectivity is denied (Motahhari, 1974: xxiv, in Vahdat 2002: 173). The resolution of this contradiction leads Motahhari just like Khomeini to “the position between the positions”: “In the Shiite philosophy and theology, man’s freedom is posited without man being portrayed as a partner in “God’s property”, and without God’s volition being subjugated and subordinated to human will. Divine providence has been established in the entire universe without implying man’s compulsion by God’s will.” (Motahhari 1974: xxx in Vahdat 2002: 173)
Motahhari reflects on one of the questions which will be central to the reformist movement of the 90s – is it possible to have a change in the Providence, because of providence “through human agency”: (Motahhari 1979: 48 in Vahdat 2002: 174).
“Is God’s knowledge subject to change? Are God’s decrees subject to revolution?… Yes, God’s knowledge can be changed, that is some of God’s knowledge is subject to change. Yes, the lower can influence the higher.”the lower order” – particularly man’s will and action may shake the “higher order” and cause changes in it. This is the highest form of man’s control over destiny. I confess this is bewildering, but it is true. These are sublime and exalted issues of the change in an earlier divine decree, discussed in the Quran for the first time in the history of human culture.” (Motahhari 1979: 49-50 in Vahdat 2002: 174)
Like other religious thinkers in Iran Motahhari discusses one of the most important issues in the Shia thought – the ijtihad, the right of high-ranking clerics to introduce changes in the Islamic law. The ijtihad is the main division line between the two large tendencies in the Iranian Islamic worldview after the revolution – the conservatives and the reformists.
The desire to find union and resolution to contradicting principles is one of the characteristics of the pre-revolutionary philosophical ideas on the subject of modernity in Iran.
Al-e Ahmad is indignant that Iran is subordinated to occidentosis, that Iranians lose their subjectivity vis-a-vis the owners of the machines in the world in the 60s. However, he appeals that the country learn technologies and appropriate machines. This could be interpreted as a desire that Iran become a real part of the West, and not only its fading copy. Al-e Ahmad sees the Shia clergy as a social base for developing an anti-colonial discourse, but judging from his secular positions he refers critically to the clergy’s ability to be part of the spirit of times.
Shariati searches constantly for pacification between Marxism and Shia religiosity, between the West and the East. At the end, he also reaches his synthesis, which is popular among those Iranians, who want to be both a part of the world and not to lose their traditions and locality.
Ayatollah Khomeini and Morteza Motahhari developed their own concepts, which could be summarized with the notion “mediated subjectivity“. The medium ground they’re looking for is between the human and the celestial. The concept of velayat-e faqih“ (rule of the jurisprudent), which is the basic concept of the Islamic Republic, steps on this very same “mediated subjectivity“. Velayat-e faqih” could be translated as “rule of the initiated”, of those who have found balance between the human and celestial subjectivity. Iranian philosophers’ constant search for a third way, for syntheses and peace between various contradictions gives ground to believe that the Iranian subjectivity has become extremely complicated in the last decades. The resolution of contradictions often leads to their mutual neutralisation and nihilism, and life in such a reality of “mediated” subjectivity requires high spiritual qualities.
In 2016 in an interview given to the author of this article the contemporary Iranian philosopher and president of the Iranian Academy Reza Davari explained that unlike the greatest part of the countries in the world Iran has had its philosophical tradition for more than 1200 years. This great tradition allows the country to think in its own way for the world and to become a part of it in its own way.
”We Iranians have over 1200 history of philosophy. This philosophy has had a peculiar trend and has come closer to the religion over [the last] 1000 years. The link between religion and philosophy in our history is of prime significance. But we have not paid due attention to it. If we do, a movement of philosophy may emerge. But its prerequisite is that Islamic philosophy professors consider the current situation of the world, history of philosophy, and particularly the philosophy of the modern era. Those countries which have no history of philosophy can merely share the western thinking in order to have a place in the thinking of the future. But as Iranians have a history of philosophy, they can refer to it. Lastly, we must reflect on the situation where the future-less contemporary world is situated, and hope for a glimmer of light in the horizon of the future.”
The pre-revolutionary ideas for the subject of modernity in Iran show that the Iranian elite has been awakened and has been searching for solutions to the fundamental questions before its nation. Getting to know these ideas is obligatory for everyone, who wants to understand the post-revolutionary social and philosophical development of the country
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