Books

Iranian students for Freedom and Equality

The 4 December 2007 (13 Azar 1386) protest rally to commemorate national Student Day (16 Azar) on the campus of the University of Tehran marked the last public manifestation of the leftist student movement known as Students for Freedom and Equality (aka DAB, acronym for Daneshjuyan-e Azadikhah va Barabaritalab; literally, “Freedom-Seeking and Equality-Demanding Students”).

The Demon-Haunted World

In our modern world, the basis for this kind of critical thinking should be laid in school. Unfortunately, however, the quality of science education, and the quality of grade school in general, has suffered a sharp decline in recent decades.

Society didn’t develop in a linear fashion

We like to think that prehistoric humans were simpler than we are. We might even think they were stupid – think cavemen and -women dragging clubs around and gnawing raw meat. Of course, these depictions are far from accurate. The Flintstones is not a documentary. But these ideas point to a deep-rooted idea, an idea long espoused by philosophers and intellectuals – that people in the past weren’t capable of abstract political thought or social organization. We now know that this isn’t true. 

Nice Racism!

Nice racists like to think of racism as a problem everyone relates to as individuals. By that logic, some white people are racist while others aren’t. But there’s no opt-out clause when it comes to benefiting from systemic racism as a white person. Whatever your personal story is, the privileges you take for granted are the result of centuries of racist policies designed to bolster white supremacy. 

Gender apartheid in the Middle East

While the legal reform of Islamic gender relations is certainly possible and necessary, they will not put an end to the patriarchal regime. From a Marxist-feminist perspective, patriarchy is a social system; it is not a product of misbehavior, misunderstanding, or mis-education, although all of these may be present in individual cases.