Mahshid Amirshahi speaks about Shapour Bakhtiar's political legacy and criticizes the Diaspora Intelligenstia's silence / Mahshid Amirshahi
05-Aug-2010 (2 comments)

Mahshid Amirshahi Prominent Iranian Feminist and intellectual speaks about Shapour Bakhtiar's political legacy and criticizes the Diaspora Intelligenstia silence and for their general indifference toward's the great man's wise words. She reads out from the Persian translation of Bakhtiar's memoires "Ma Fidelité" First published in French.

recommended by Darius Kadivar



DK and JJ

by Mehrban on

DK jaan, please submit the video for the top of the first page. Or "Iranian of the Day".

Ps.  I did not know Mahshid Amirshahi before reading your post. 

Darius Kadivar

I liked her interview but disagree with some of her assessments

by Darius Kadivar on

I overall liked what she said except her rant against the Pahlavi's Fortune and her clear distaste of the Monarchy and it's institutions.

The problem with the Iranian Intelligenstia in general and particularly of her generation is their lack of flexibility and general stubborness.

For most of them It's ALL OR NOTHING !  

I can understand why she hates the monarchy which is her right. I don't share that assessment but that is another debate.

What I understand less is their lack of intellectual flexibility when it comes to political options.

She clearly is a Secular Republican aka Jomhurykhah which was NOT the case of Shapour Bakhtiar who was first and foremost a Constitutionalist.

I have often argued that in my humble opinion Bakhtiar was Republican by Heart and Monarchist by Reason. Very much like De Gaulle except the otherway round. The latter ( i.e: De Gaulle) was Monarchist by Heart and Republican by Reason.

What led Bakhtiar to accept the post of Prime Minister was precisely his attachment to the Constitution of the Land and the ideals that sustained it. Constitutionalists were nourished by the ideals of the Enlightment philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau as well as the British Bill of Rights all of which were developed prior to the French Revolution of 1789.

RESTORATION: Britain's 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688 and the 'Bill of Rights'

The British had understood this early on with their Magna Carta but more importantly their Bill of Rights which subsequently inspired the American Bill of Rights and the French Constitution.

Constitutionalism was never about toppling the Monarchy but domesticating it by forcing the King or Queen to accept it or leaving him or her no other alternative but to accept to respect and honor the mutual contract between the people and the governing body.

HISTORY FORUM: Nader Naderpour on Iran's Constitutional Revolution and European Rennaissance (1996)

In otherwords Constitutionalism emcompasses Republican ideals so to speak within a Royal framework.

PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY: First Public Gathering of the Iranian Majlis (1906)

It is not surprising that someone like Voltaire is equally admired by both the British and the French and is amongst the most popular of the Enlightment philosophers.

Unlike Bakhtiar :

BEHOLD THE PALE HORSE: French Socialists Pay Tribute to Shapour Bakhtiar 

Clearly this lady has not read Voltaire ...

HISTORY OF IDEAS: Ian Davidson on Voltaire's "English Exile"  

Dommage ...

Other Recommended Blogs:

GOOD READ: All You Need to Know About The Enlightment Philosophers

HISTORY FORUM: The Age of Enlightment in France and Europe.