This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Iran's Struggle With Modernity Essay

981 words - 4 pages

'Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism (or agrarianism) toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance.' (Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernity, Accessed on Friday January 10th 2014)

The two most important aspects of Modernity are described by the terms 'comparative' and 'unavoidable'. A traditional society that chooses to abstain from the challenge of modernisation puts itself into a disadvantageous position and risks becoming obsolete as well as losing its sovereignty. With the sole exception of geographically isolated indigenous communities, every nation-state is obligated to follow the way of progress, in order to prolong its economic and military prowess and preserve or advance its position in the international system. Otherwise, its neighbours - whether allies, neutral or antagonists - will exploit the 'window of opportunity' to strengthen themselves. As Greek historian Thucydides put it: 'The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must' ('Thucydides and the Ancient Simplicity: The Limits of Political Realism', Gregory Crane, Pg 27, Google Books http://books.google.gr/books?id=duh8LPd1-E4C&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=thucydides+the+strong+do+what+they+...).

Since Modernity is associated mostly with technology and intellectual openess, which in turn translate into patterns of economic activity and institutionalization/political participation, it is obvious that religious fundamentalism and undemocratic background hinder that goal. Modernity combines the organizational structure and resources of the state with the intuition, imagination and initiative of the individual. Thus a certain degree of personal freedom in economic, social and political activities is considered vital.

As far as the Islamic Republic of Iran is concerned, the basic challenges that it faced from the 19th century onwards revolved around having a central government with the ability to collect taxes, maintain regular army and control its borders. In other words, proving itself a sovereign nation-state against both external and internal threats. Caught in the geopolitical struggle between the Russian and the British Empires (known as the 'Great Game'), Iran managed to avoid colonization but nevertheless lost the de facto control of its northern and western provinces. Foreign interference, under various pretexes, continued till the first half of the 20th century. Iran was important not only as a passage/supply route to Central Asia (the so-called 'Persian Corridor') but also as an oil exporter.

In retrospect, Iran's case is unique. Despite sharing the same turbulent past as the rest of the Middle East, with civil wars / regional conflicts / coups d'état, it didn't experience colonial governmental assimilation and therefore it didn't inherit, imitate or adopt the western...

Find Another Essay On Iran's Struggle with Modernity

Democracy and Modernism: Country Examples Essay

1000 words - 4 pages It has been really an wonderful week learning about one of the most controversial country of the modern time, Iran, because of its rigidity towards the Nuclear program and Shariah law thus result to continuous violation of human rights. Yet we all have to admit it the journey of Iran had been full of struggle because of inefficient ruler and thus lead to fall in economic, social and political aspect of the people over the course of history

This article argues that modernity is the second form of colonization

2229 words - 9 pages prove that there are, despite some exceptions, solid reasons to hold the statement that modernity is the second form of colonization as being true. It will do that by firstly examining the common ideas and assumptions modernity, achieved through modernization process, shares with colonization. It will then trace the process and means which modernization and colonization use to achieve different ends, yet the similar goal is maintained, i.e. the

Modernity is the second name of colonization

1715 words - 7 pages is aware of. The purpose of this essay is to prove that there are, despite some exceptions, solid reasons to hold the statement that modernity is the second form of colonization as being true. It will do that by firstly examining the common ideas and assumptions modernity, achieved through modernization process, shares with colonization. It will then trace the process and means which modernization and colonization use to achieve different ends

Soyinka’s Views of Modernity and Tradition in The Lion and the Jewel

1097 words - 4 pages A common post-colonial struggle shows itself in Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel between modernity and the traditional, seen both in a transparent manner as the Western World clearly and gradually influences the play’s village of Ilujinle as well as a deeper way between two of its central characters—Lakunle representing modernity while Baroka represents tradition. However, although the struggle is brought to fruition throughout the course of the

Gender inequality in Iran

2363 words - 9 pages such as labor and women's rights activists , and societal ideologies derived from 5 cultural and religious values, the result of this sees the social thought regarding gender commonly finding that men have more rights and freedoms in comparison to women. Along with this, many laws governing Iran cause contrasts in the treatment of each gender. Iran's legal system is based of Islamic principals that aim to uphold Shari'a law, in many instances

Modernization Theory by Seymour Lipset

2414 words - 10 pages , political science should follow by example. The difficulty regarding the social sciences is that concepts such as 'society' exist in a grey area between the 'human' and 'natural' worlds; they are clearly emergent from human behavior, but it is hard to judge whether they can ever possibly exhibit the intentionality displayed by an individual human being. The modernity of a state is associated with characteristics such as social openness and

The Effects of Modernity on Identity in Fight Club

1404 words - 6 pages violent acts without feeling individually responsible. They took on a mob mentality, and used their new sense of identity as a part of the whole to cope with this anonymity and feel more like men. The effects of modernity, such as these class conflicts, and consumer cultures, all contributed to the lack of masculinity that fueled this group to prove their worth as men. It is true that modernity has serious debilitating effects, and it nearly

The Indian and the NRI Heroine

1744 words - 7 pages the modern day. Women struggle to reconcile these qualities with contemporary values such as independence, freedom, and gender equality. Therefore young women are still subject to the desires of their fathers, and the unofficial caste system still limits their social mobility; yet simultaneously they dance at nightclubs, and wear short skirts. Conflict between tradition and modernity is exemplified by events like the beer bar girls ban, in which

The Young Couple

500 words - 2 pages are slowly corroded by the “Indian way of life and by the end of the story the couple find themselves on the brink of moving in with the husband’s family. Key Themes and Issues * Traditional and modern ways of life * The role of women within Indian society * Relationship between parents and children Traditional and modern ways of life The young couple in the story represent modernity and the husband’s family traditionalism

A Genealogy of the Philosophy of the Dynamite Club

2320 words - 10 pages taxes and military conscripts from the people.” A philosophical aversion to the framework of capitalism, however, can be understood once the spirit of aesthetic modernity is accounted for, and its historical development revised. The history of the rebellious consciousness of modernism is a history of the struggle of epistemology for the emancipation of man from the meaninglessness of a life in which knowledge is imprisoned by the tangible, the

Mohan Rakesh, Modernism, And The Postcolonial Present

9589 words - 38 pages degree, this rethinking estranges the category of modernism itself. The term modernism breaks open, into something we call geomodernisms, which signals a locational approach to modernisms' engagement with cultural and political discourses of global modernity. The revelation of such an approach is double. It unveils both unsuspected "modernist" experiments in "marginal" texts and unsuspected correlations between these texts and others that appear

Similar Essays

Modernism Vs. Fundamentalism Essay

922 words - 4 pages The graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is a political and personal account of a young girl’s growth to maturity. The novel serves as an autobiography of the author’s childhood in Tehren, Iran. It describes what it was like to grow up during the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the end of the Shah’s regime, and the war with Iraq. One of the most prominent themes in the novel is the clash between modernity and fundamentalism. The reader can

Iranian Politics Essay

2423 words - 10 pages , "catching up with the West" became the major goal of Iran's intellectual and political elite. They believed that the rule of law was the secret of European superiority, whereas arbitrary rule prevailed in Iran. They concluded that constitutional government had to be introduced to strengthen the nation.At the outset of the 20th century, Iran was embroiled in a bifurcated struggle. On the one hand, Iranians struggled to maintain their national

America Iran Relationship Essay

2119 words - 9 pages For years, relations between the U.S. and the Middle Eastern country of Iran have been rife with tension. Since 1979, when religious fundamentalists took control of Iran's political system and declared the country an Islamic republic, the two nations have had no diplomatic ties and have frequently clashed over political and strategic differences.Although the U.S. and Iran have never gone to war, their heated rivalry has occasionally flared into

Postmodernity: Societal Changes Essay

2553 words - 10 pages postmodern and the key features said to be associated with it. The idea of the modern world originated from social thought which sought to explain the political and economic change which began to emerge within the frame work of traditional ‘semi-feudal/absolutist, pre-modern society. Therefore, Modernity is the term used to describe the particular attributes of modern societies. Modern societies typically have industrial capitalist