Manuel Castells' three volume Age-Economy, Society, and Culture seems like a very important theoretical work, but I did not find it much of value.  I think it is pretty confused about what codified knowledge, the most important part of value in the post-industrial age, means.  Basically things like ASIC are what constitute real value in this society which he would not understand.  Now that after 25 years, the ideas of the futurists have proven to be right and the leftist to be wrong, these leftist authors try to incorporate them into their system, the same way the Christian and Islamist authors try to incorporate whatever in science and technology succeeds in their system and “forget” about the day when they attacked those ideas as heresy.  The leftists before the fall of the Soviet Union and many of them even now, attacked these new ideas, about the post-industrial development, as bourgeois and capitalist apology, and some of them even made death threat to the ones who called Marxism as obsolete.


I would not mind if the leftists and Islamists accept these ideas.  My problem is that these volumes of Castells are translated to Parsi but original works of Wassily Leontief, Daniel Bell, or even popular books like John Naisbit’s MEGATREND have not been translated to Parsi.  This titling of Iranian intellectuals to the left is causing them not to see that the left in the last three decades has been one of the most sterile schools of thought in the West and none of the original ideas has come out of the left.  In fact, one can understand why the leftists in Iran may not openly call themselves Communists but why do they do the same secrecy in the West and call their websites as democratic websites rather than as leftist?  I think it is because they are afraid that they cannot answer about China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cambodia, Old Soviet Union, and Eastern Block which mean over half of the world and still tell people that they should try to make a “true” socialism and with their plan.  They are just like the ones for “true” Islam after 1400 years..


Let me note that Manuel Castells has tried to push a Marxist model to understand the social structure of post-industrial society which hardly fits.  I reviewed his works a couple of years ago and did not care much for it and found it a waste of time.  A lot of verbiage like most of the New Left thick books with little substance.  BTW, Daniel Bell in his Foreword 1999 of his book "The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society" had written a couple of notes on Manuel Castells' works too.  I once recommended reading Daniel Bell's "Foreword 1999" of his book "the Coming of the Post-Industrial Society" (and of course the book itself too which is a great masterpiece).


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher


Feb 16, 2002



* The above article was first posted on Jebhe BB on February  16, 2002


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