Jason Jorjani

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Jason Reza Jorjani
Born (1981-02-21) February 21, 1981 (age 40)
Manhattan, New York
NationalityAmerican, Iranian
EducationDalton School
Alma mater
OccupationWriter, lecturer, and former editor-in-chief of Arktos Media
Known forAlt-right
WebsiteOfficial website

Jason Reza Jorjani (born February 21, 1981)[1] is an American writer, former New Jersey Institute of Technology lecturer, former editor-in-chief of the European New Right publishing company Arktos Media[2][3] and co-founder of the AltRight Corporation with Richard Spencer.[4]

Early life[edit]

Jason Reza Jorjani was born and raised in Manhattan, New York into a family of "prestige and means,"[4] the only child of an Iranian immigrant father of Turkic Qajar descent[5] and a mother who comes from a working class family of "northern European heritage."[2][4] He is a dual citizen of the United States and Iran.[4]

He attended the Dalton School, one of the most exclusive private schools on the Upper East Side. After high school, he attended Fordham University for a year before transferring to New York University, where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees.[4] In 2013, he received a PhD in philosophy from Stony Brook University on Long Island.[6]

Career[edit]

While serving as a full-time faculty member at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Jorjani taught courses on science, technology, and society (STS), the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, and the history of Iran.[7] In 2016, Jorjani became editor of alt-right publisher Arktos Media.[8]

Academic suspension and lawsuit[edit]

In September 2017, Jorjani was suspended from his teaching position at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in response to a covert video recorded by Patrik Hermansson, an openly gay Swedish antifascist activist,[9] in which Jorjani predicted a future where concentration camps would return to Europe[10] and Adolf Hitler would appear on European currency by 2050:[9][11]

Hermansson met with Jorjani at an Irish bar in midtown Manhattan in June, where the two talked about a future in which Europe embraces fascism. “It’s going to end with the expulsion of the majority of migrants including citizens, who are of Muslim descent, generally” Jorjani said. “That’s how it’s going to end. It’s going to end with concentration camps and expulsion and war. At the cost of a few hundred million people.”[9]

Jorjani claimed that his remarks were spliced into pieces from a two-hour conversation and rearranged out of context, and that the prediction was a warning of a dystopian future, not an endorsement.[10][12][13]

In February 2017, NJIT officials told Jorjani they would not renew his annual teaching contract. In July 2018, Jorjani filed for a $25M lawsuit against NJIT, alleging that campus officials violated Jornani's constitutional right to freedom of speech and association and that campus leaders and colleagues subsequently defamed Jorjani in campus-wide emails and in the student newspaper. Denise Anderson, a spokeswoman for the school, denied the allegations and said, “Dr. Jorjani’s claims of wrongdoing by the university or its representatives are untrue, and we intend to vigorously defend against any such claims.”[14]

In March 2019, U.S. District Judge William Martini ruled that Jorjani does not have a case for defamation, stating: “The general allegation is implausible because the facts alleged do not support an inference that defendants knew the recording was edited to misconstrue plaintiff’s actual views."[15]

Association with Richard Spencer[edit]

Jorjani had met Richard Spencer at a National Policy Institute conference, at which both of them spoke. At the conference attendees gave Nazi salutes as Spencer led the crowd in shouting "Hail Trump!"[16] Jorjani subsequently claimed that he did not intend to speak at the conference and that he rejected the white nationalist ideology Spencer began integrating into their organization.[13]

Founding of the AltRight Corporation[edit]

In January 2019,[8] Jorjani co-founded[4] AltRight Corporation and AltRight.com with alt-right leader Richard Spencer before resigning less than a year later in August 2017, for the stated reasons that he wanted to commit to the Iranian Renaissance,[17] a 501(c)(3) cultural organization.[13][18] Jorjani ultimately took a negative view of the AltRight Corporation, referring to it as a "miscarriage" and "total failure".[11]

Views[edit]

Jorjani's ideas have been described by journalist Olivia Hardhill as influenced by Dark Enlightenment philosophy, particularly that of Nick Land.[19]

Views on white nationalism[edit]

Jorjani states that he is not a white nationalist or racist (specifically stating that white nationalism is a "bankrupt ideology and extremely destructive")[11] and identifies himself as a progressive and a feminist.[13] After resigning from AltRight, he stated that the organization was "reduced, basically, to a platform for organizing alt-right rallies attended by some very questionable individuals who I want not very much to do with" and "If I had known that this is where things would wind up, I would never had gotten involved in the first place."[11]

However, speaking at a conference organized by Richard Spencer in Washington, Jorjani referred to the collapse of the Sasanian Persian Empire as the “first and greatest white genocide.”[4]

He has predicted that Muslim citizens and immigrants will be deported from Europe by 2050,[20] and stated that such deportations would "follow from continued, ill-advised policies regarding mass migration in Europe."[13]

According to Harrison Fluss and Landon Frim writing in Jacobin, Jorjani has attracted negative attention due to his promotion of various fringe theories popular among white nationalists and conspiracy theorists:

Jorjani’s writings, political activities, speeches, and media appearances have drawn charges of antisemitism and Islamophobia. In one instance, he suggested that Yahweh and Allah were actually space aliens who enslaved their believers and tricked them into committing genocide. He has openly characterized certain high-ranking Nazi officials as akin to supermen with psychic powers. While Jorjani has vehemently denied the charges of bigotry leveled against him, his public statements do make you wonder.[21]

Support for Israel and Zionism[edit]

Jorjani has identified himself as a Zionist, stating that he has "always believed that there is absolutely no conflict between the legitimate national interests of Iran and Israel. In fact, in the case of each, no other nation on Earth has more of a mutual interest than the other."[22]

Support for eugenics in Iran[edit]

Jorjani has written in support of eugenics and has claimed that Iran cannot culturally, technologically, and scientifically advance unless it restores its "pre-Arab and pre-Mongol genetic character":[23]

The Arab-Muslim invasion was bad, but once this was compounded by the genocidal Turkic and Mongol conquests of Iran, a demographic shift took place that deprived Iran of the genetic basis for the production of a Hegel, Nietzsche, or Heidegger. Such men are less than one in a million, even in a genetically pure Aryan population. But their thinking goes on to impact millions in the broader intellectual culture of their nation. Now, I’m not saying that for this reason Iran will never produce thinkers on this level again. With the emerging technologies of embryo selection and genetic engineering, it would be possible, with the right leadership and government planning, to restore the pre-Arab and pre-Mongol genetic character of the majority of the Iranian population within only one or two generations. I’m sorry to have to suggest that this might be necessary in order to Make Iran Great Again.[24]

Works[edit]

  • Prometheus and Atlas (February 18, 2016) ISBN 1912079933
  • Lovers of Sophia (August 1, 2017) ISBN 0994595883
  • World State of Emergency (August 3, 2017) ISBN 1910524611
  • Novel Folklore: On Sadegh Hedayat's The Blind Owl (May 22, 2018) ISBN 1642641030
  • Iranian Leviathan: A Monumental History of Mithra's Abode (September 1, 2019) ISBN 1912975408
  • Prometheism (September 5, 2020) ISBN 1912975890
  • Faustian Futurist (December 24, 2020) ISBN 1912975955

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jorjani, Jason Reza, 1981-". Library of Congress Linked Data Service. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Mazzola, Jessica (27 September 2017). "I'm a leftist, not a Nazi, says N.J. professor at center of Hitler video controversy". NJ.com.
  3. ^ Porter, Tom (20 September 2017). "An alt-right chief boasted to an undercover activist of secret links to the White House". Newsweek.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Schaeffer, Carol (March 18, 2018). "Jason Jorjani's Rise and Fall in the "Alt-Right" Movement". The Intercept. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Schaeffer, Carol (March 18, 2018). "Jason Jorjani's Rise and Fall in the "Alt-Right" Movement". The Intercept. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  6. ^ Flaherty, Colleen (December 16, 2016). "New Scrutiny for a Ph.D." Inside Higher Education.
  7. ^ "Jason Reza Jorjani". Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  8. ^ a b NJ.com, Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for (2017-09-27). "I'm a leftist, not a Nazi, says prof in Hitler controversy". nj. Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  9. ^ a b c Barnes, Luke (September 20, 2017). "A gay Swedish antifascist spent a year undercover with white supremacists. Here's what he found". Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Mazzola, Jessica (26 September 2017). "NJIT prof suspended over video of him discussing Hitler's legacy". NJ.com.
  11. ^ a b c d "Richard Spencer's Alt Right Group is Due for "Implosion," Says Ex Business Partner". October 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Mazzola, Jessica (22 September 2017). "Alt-right N.J. professor who foresees return of concentration camps under fire". NJ.com.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Who is Jason Reza Jorjani?". October 24, 2017.
  14. ^ Jones, Michael (July 30, 2018). "'Alt-right' professor ousted from college files $25M lawsuit". thecollegefix. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  15. ^ Larkin, Emilee (March 13, 2019). "Judge Rules Against Alt-Right Lecturer Who Praised Hitler". Courthouse News Service. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  16. ^ Gray, Rosie (12 January 2017). "A 'One-Stop Shop' for the Alt-Right". The Atlantic.
  17. ^ Jorjani, Jason (20 September 2017). "Why I Left the Alt-Right". Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  18. ^ "About the Iranian Renaissance". October 16, 2019.
  19. ^ Goldhill, Olivia (18 June 2017). "The neo-fascist philosophy that underpins both the alt-right and Silicon Valley technophiles". Quartz.
  20. ^ "Identity Evropa and Arktos Media — Likely Bedfellows". Southern Poverty Law Center. 26 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Aliens, Antisemitism, and Academia". Jacobin. March 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  22. ^ "Why I Am An Iranian Zionist". 24 January 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-02-10.
  23. ^ Schaeffer, Carol (March 18, 2018). "Jason Jorjani's Rise and Fall in the "Alt-Right" Movement". The Intercept. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  24. ^ Jorjani, Jason (October 21, 2016). "Against Perennial Philosophy". altright.com. Retrieved November 12, 2020.

External links[edit]