The Friday, June 12 election was widely expected to be a somnolent affair in which Ahmadinejad coasted to a second term over some lackluster opponents. Instead, the Moussavi campaign quickly heated up, jarring not only the conservative establishment but also sparking a new and supposedly apathetic generation of youth into action. At a rally at the University of Tabriz, Moussavi appealed to youth alienated by the morality police. Students complained of political and gender repression, including cameras in classrooms to prevent conversation among students of the opposite sex.
On Wednesday, June 24, a terrible event took place in Paris: Hundreds of Africans sans papiers (undocumented immigrants) who had occupied the Bourse de Travail for over a year were evicted and pushed onto the street with their belongings. These workers had taken refuge in the Bourse du Travail, a union-run employment service, because they have no work permits and hope to secure legalization.
Israel’s invasion and devastation of the Gaza Strip is one more illustration of that nation’s barbaric behavior toward weaker peoples and nations. Far from the small beleaguered land represented in its own propaganda and that of its US supporters, nuclearly-armed Israel’s war machine is unmatched in the region, allowing it to attack its neighbors with impunity.
This year, we celebrate the 125th anniversary of Marx’s 1882 Preface to the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, co-authored by Engels, in which he espouses an alternate road toward communism for Russia, one based upon agricultural Russia’s village communes, and different from that outlined in CAPITAL, Vol. I for Western Europe. (Persian translation)
During a visit to Tehran in the spring of 2005, we were impressed by the degree of intellectual freedom Iranians had carved out within the Islamic Republic. The numerous bookstores on Enqelab Avenue across from Tehran University carried an array of newly translated books by Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, among others. A lecture on “Foucault and Feminism” at Alzahra Women’s University elicited enthusiastic responses, including one from a high university official clad from head to toe in a black chador. A visit to the literary editors of the country’s most prestigious newspaper, Shargh (daily circulation 100,000), led to a conversation that ranged easily from religion and politics to Continental philosophers like Foucault, Theodor Adorno and Giorgio Agamben.
Erich Fromm’s work is unfortunately neglected in academia today, in no small part because his expansive humanism is out of joint with many forms of radical thought popular in those quarters. In addition, university psychology and psychiatry departments have almost completely excluded Freudians or psychoanalysts of any kind, which leaves no room for Fromm there […]