Gobineau believed that the Iranian people needed the philosophy of Descartes more than the philosophies of Spinoza or Hegel because, unlike Cartesianism, they are ‘oriental’ and offer the Persian scholars nothing new… Instead, he wished to introduce ‘Western’ modernity to Iranians, which above all is represented by Cartesian rationalism and dualism, because these notions were unknown to the Orient, according to Gobineau.
Some people might tell me I shouldn’t “go fast, break things” and I can’t help it- imagine these implications
Early reception of Spinoza there characterized him as a Sufi. Many western philosophers are as new to them as their Sufis are new to us.
It is notable that the [Theological-Political Tractatus], translated by Ali Ferdowsi, is the last work by Spinoza to appear in Persian.
This was said by an Iranian Spinoza translator in 2007
‘I do not consider the publication of the [Theological-Political Tractatus] translation in the interest of myself and society’… About his personal interest, his pupils unanimously say that Jahāngīrī always asked God to forgive his sins in his classes, especially for translating the TPT, because he ‘feared being the incarnation of the Qur’ān’s verse about the fate of those who broke the convent with God’
The subsection of the essay this is from is titled A Book Not to Be Given to the Vulgar.
I saw this amusing cover the other day – I mean, is it wrong?
So, I want you to see that there’s an intellectual cold war between Iran and the west, and both sides withhold knowledge from their citizens about each other. Mulla Sadra? Who’s that? I doubt you have the vaguest clue what he’s about. Or let’s talk about Isaiah Tishby! Thankfully or not, most people don’t have much of an attention-span and can’t remember the various people whose thought I detail, otherwise there’d be more of a danger to our political order.
I’ve mentioned a few times now the general idea that I don’t care about how they see Spinoza there. What’s important to me is that someone like Tishby can be discussed in an honest way. Whatever maintains the stability of their stronghold I’m on board with. We need an oasis of freedom away from Shylock, that’s what’s valuable, and there will have to be sacrifices made for that oasis.
Although Jahāngīrī had eventually approved the idea of writing a thesis on the TPT, he warned his pupil to ‘be aware that Spinoza’s critique of religion concerns only Judaism and Christianity. Although Spinoza had sufficient knowledge of Islam and the Qur’ān, his critique had nothing to do with our religion’.
Let’s talk about the “shells” again. Whether Spinoza was a Kabbalist or not, what’s at issue here is essentially the shells. Recall my post on Bagley. The shell-people, or the demos as we can call them, has to be both protected and avoided. I showed you Corbin the other day talking about how an implicit rule of Shi’ism is to not “strike at the face” – there’s more than one reason not to do that. Suffice it to say that there’s something both good and evil about that face, i.e. good and bad reasons for striking it. And for the sake of the oasis both should be avoided.
Anyway, I thought this article I’ve been reading was insta-translated from Farsi, and nope, it’s originally in English, and I’m not surprised. If I even talked like the above there I’d be rightly designated as a subversive. If you follow me so far that this is a provisional “solution” you need to know these dimensions or else it will not be a solution.
To be excessively candid, the foundation of the oasis rests on a layer of “the Unthought”. And that’s fine, that’s probably intrinsic to having a “State” at all. You’re very familiar with me applying this idea to our very own State. The theological-political is not going away if we settle in Iran. That’s what I’m getting at here. Don’t have illusions about that. We should know what their version of it is, and know how to avoid it and/or respect it. Remember Hegel’s idea of “educating the public to acknowledge the rationality of the government”? If a government allows me to criticize and theorize about the near-planetary Jewish totalitarianism then I would consider that government rational anyway, and thus would educate the public to acknowledge its rationality. Oh no, Khamenei doesn’t understand the finer points of neechenism, that’s not something important to bring up in this context.
This is a pretty juicy cloud-controversy though if you want to read that essay yourself. The point I’m making here is that Spinoza’s thought can be used to dismantle either ZOG or Iran, and you have to know who your real enemy is.