In lieu of a blog post today, I present my review of alt-right “intellectual” Jason Reza Jorjani’s Prometheus and Atlas, a book that, before his ouster from AltRight.com and retreat from public life, Jorjani had promoted as the intellectual foundations for the alt-right movement. I have covered aspects of the book on this blog because of Jorjani’s prominence among the white nationalist right, where he partnered with white nationalist leader Richard Spencer and delivered a speech a pro-Trump rally where fascist salutes were given. Recently, Jorjani joined a nonprofit dedicated to “Aryan cultural revolution” called Iranian (Persian) Renaissance, where he theorizes that Iran will deliver the “completion of human evolution” by reinstituting an “Aryan” shah.
I wrote this piece for the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture last year. Its publication was delayed, but the journal has graciously made the review available for free. Now, whenever a student tries to find scholarly information about Jorjani, it will be my evaluation of him that they find. Below is the first paragraph. The remainder is available to read on the journal’s website.
Jason Reza Jorjani’s Prometheus and Atlas takes its title in imitation of Nietzsche’s division of tragedy into the Apollonian and Dionysian in Birth of Tragedy; however, while Nietzsche used his mythic references to link art to the divine, Jorjani has selected his Titanic title for a darker purpose, to link the human condition to those immortals victimized by the gods of Olympus. In myth, Prometheus is vivisected for giving fire to mankind, while Atlas must hold the heavens for rebelling against the Olympians. Jorjani wishes humankind to emulate the Titans’ stand against oppressive deities, but it is emblematic of the problematic nature of his scholarship that he conflates the Titan Atlas with the same-named son of Poseidon who was king of Atlantis (Plato, Criti. 114a), and then proceeds to build his framework atop that faulty identity, imagining the conflated Atlas as a ‘world-colonizing’ hero.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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