Karl Popper

What's on Ayatollah Khamenei's bookshelf? This time Karl Popper's book

July 28th marks the birth anniversary of Karl Popper, an Austrian-British philosopher and professor. For the occasion, Khamenei.ir presents you with an extract from Ayatollah Khamenei's speech that refers to Karl Popper.

Some people wanted Iranians to be asleep. They wanted their hands and feet tied and they did not want them to make any move in order to possess their own entity and natural resources of wealth. As a result, they installed certain people as heads of our country. It was the English who installed Reza Khan to power. It was an American and English union that installed Mohammad Reza and led him to power. For 50 years, they hindered the development of our country at an excellent time - when global opportunities were available to it. They kept us back, not only in political and security areas, but also in cultural areas.

 When I speak about cultural invasion, some people think that I mean, for example, if a boy is growing long hair that I am opposed to this, but the issue of cultural invasion is nothing like this. Of course, decadence and sexual corruption is one branch of cultural invasion, but cultural invasion is beyond this. For many years, they instilled these ideas and beliefs in the minds of Iranians' that they could not do anything against them and they should follow examples of Europe and the West.

They did not allow us room to believe in ourselves. In the present time, if you have a scholarly theory in the area of humanities, natural sciences, physics, mathematics, and other such fields and it differs from common theories among the world, you are confronted by those you say your opinion, for example, in economics or psychology is opposed to the theory that such and such a person has presented. That is to say, they believe in the opinions of some European scholar as strongly as - or even more strongly than - believers’ of the Holy Quran, God's words and divine revelation. The interesting point is that these theories will become old and obsolete and they will be replaced by new ones, but these people will continue to cherish the theories that were formulated 50 years ago like a holy text and religion.

It is tens of years now that Popper's theories in political and social areas have become outmoded and obsolete; tens of books have been written against him in Europe; in recent years, some people have emerged who have begun promoting his theories, claiming that they have a philosophical understanding. It is many years now that some theories have become obsolete in economic centers of the world and new theories have replaced them, but some people refer to those old and outmoded theories when they want to formulate economic plans. This has two flaws in it: one is that they only copy others; another, is that they are unaware of new developments. They cherish the foreign text that was taught to them as a holy book and they give it to our youth. Our country is the birthplace of philosophy, but they refer to others in order to understand philosophy.

 Extracts from the Leader's Speech in Meeting with Students and University Professors of Hamedan Province; July 7, 2004