Anthropology of discourse (the flow of wisdom from the group to the organizations)

I'm an image! 2020 / 11 / Aug

The transformations that occurred in anthropological studies contributed to achieving important leaps in this field, including the shift of those studies from the group’s preference for its goals to working on integration, coordination, and continuity with regard to the group, and instead of conflict and dispersion, which represents the continuity of the group as well, as was prevalent in studies for quite a while. From time to time, and entering the big city to work on the concept of (the political game), some anthropological studies began to move towards (the political process) instead of political organization, and thus Schwartz indicated that the study of the processes that affect the achievement of public goals and the acquisition of power and its use by members of the group Those who are interested in these goals (Anthropology, Suleiman Khalaf). Thus, after entering the study of modern politics, anthropology remained committed to the connection between the group and its general goals, through which it determines the belonging of those policies to the group and its separation from it (Salverda, 2013).

  Through these starting points, this paper attempts to examine the discourse of the Al-Hikmah Movement, which was formed in 2017, and to highlight the concepts of that discourse in order to know the circumstances of its formation, and the degree of its closeness and distance from the mother group within which it was founded.

    The Wisdom Movement was founded in 2017 with prominent members from a previous political formation, the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council. The phase of its establishment represented the end of the conflict between two generations within the Supreme Council (the generation of veterans), which is a generation of fighters for the Baath regime, and they have religious and political relations that cannot be marginalized, and a generation A new one represented by the President of the Council, Mr. Ammar Al-Hakim, and a number of young people gathered around him. Their rapprochement was at the expense of the previous generation, in addition to the different trends between the two generations in looking at the state and the relationship between the formation and the Shiite community. The moment of separation was a door to understanding and clarifying the trends instead of the different visions that confused their speech. in the previous period. There were two speeches: the speech of the youth, which was supported by the President of the Council, and the speech of the old formations represented by the leaders of the first row of turbanists and politicians who wanted a speech representative of the Shiite community moving within the political process, and that introduction was a gateway to understanding the social and political conditions for establishing the National Wisdom Movement before entering into its speech.

Community speech

The political discourse of Shiite groups and movements in Iraq has a number of signs and symbols that express the relationship between the party and the parent group, representing a reminder to the public of that relationship, such as the choice of expressive colors for the group, or the presence of pictures, hadiths and icons that confirm the historical identity of the Shiites, and the choice of a special icon. Or a special symbol that is both an extension and a link to the group, helping to create contexts among the public and shape their relationship with the party or any constituent formation. In addition to the use of a number of vocabulary that means adherence to that heritage, and this represents the most prominent features of Shiite political discourse, these data are treated as a controlled rhetorical context that works to redraw the relationship between the audience and the speaker of the speech.

Shiite context

    Context plays a major role in the production of discourse, and defines the boundaries of the relationship between the addressee and the addressed person. The context is the recipient’s drive to reach the speaker’s intention and ability to produce sentences and judge the truth or error of what he hears, and to reach the speaker’s implicit knowledge of his language, so that he can reach the meaning of the text or speech (Knoush, 2007).

    The further the speech is from the social and linguistic context of the group, the more distant the meaning becomes from the audience, which often forces the speech writer to increase the words of his speech and establish more justifications to compensate for the deleted or replaced context within the speech in an effort to reach the audience.

Exactly, he is similar to a person in a society that is linguistically and socially alien to him, as he works to compensate for the lack of opportunities to reach meaning by speaking a lot to make what he wants clear.

The context of the Shiite community’s discourse contains a number of repetitions that stereotype the audience, and represent their awareness of events and starting points because the Shiite group has a historical context through which it interprets the way of life of individuals and judges their relationships with others through it. That context is translated by a number of icons, symbols, and colors, as well as vocabulary. A certain form was formed for them as an expression of that context, and it is composed of the development of their relationships with historical events that express their belonging to that group. These concepts and icons are a social and political context for Shiite discourse, and Shiite parties use them to strengthen their relationship with the public and achieve legitimacy for their expression. So the question we are moving on in this topic is: Does the discourse of the National Wisdom Movement represent the context of the Shiite community? How did he develop his relationship with the audience?

National Wisdom Movement speech

In the first note of the speech of the National Wisdom Movement on the anniversary of its founding in 2017, it did not carry any sign that reinforces its presence within the Shiite community, other than the turban worn by the leader of the movement. No image was included that represents the Shiite presence and expresses the relationship between the two parties, as it represents the Shiite icons. Such as images of imams or symbols that express the historical chain of the Shiite heritage. Most Shiite parties and movements use a number of these symbols in their discourse and choose one of them, which distinguishes them from other parties within the group itself. These symbols help to produce meaning for the discourse directed to the public, and reproduce themselves according to those symbols. . On the other hand, the Al-Hikma Movement did not use any of the symbols and slogans representing the Shiite heritage in its speech, and used images of the Al-Hakim family, which express a family context more than a group context. This is because the images of the authority, Mr. Mohsen al-Hakim, Mr. Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, and Mr. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, were not a natural extension of the relationship with the public. Rather, they express a non-permanent relationship with the Shiite public, since the reference relationship represents an elitist context, and once he dies, it turns into another reference that does not necessarily exist. There will be a bloody spillover, and the public was not modeled on inheritance based on kinship in dealing with the issue of religious authority, except for individual cases that represented an emotional connection, especially with the authorities who were directly linked to the public, and created an emotional bond that required the public to turn to their children, as is the case with the authority of Sayyid (Muhammad). Al-Sadr), and this situation cannot be applied to all religious references. Thus, using the context of Al-Hakim’s family photos did not achieve the public relationship that is based on the link pattern with the mother group, and it achieved a family context, which does not go beyond strengthening the validity of the existence of the founder of the Al-Hikma Movement as he is within this lineage.

     The celebration of the founding of the movement, in addition to pictures of Al-Hakim, was satisfied with the Iraqi flags and the new logo with a new color, which is blue, which did not carry any known meaning typical of the Shiite public (such as green, which expresses belonging to the Islamic religion, or red, which expresses connotations of revolution). Imam Hussein (peace be upon him), and even recently about the yellow color, which emerged as an expression of hostility to Israel and was used by many forces, as the Al-Hikmah Movement abandoned it in its new founding after it had been present in the logo of the Supreme Council since the leadership of the current President of Al-Hikmah, Mr. Ammar Al-Hakim, in 2009.

   Regarding the founding sermon delivered by Mr. Ammar Al-Hakim, who carries the legacy of the Al-Hakim family, with the pictures behind him when he delivered the speech (photos of the authority, Mr. Mohsen Al-Hakim, Mr. Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim, and Mr. Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim), and the name of the movement derived from the connotation of Al-Hakim’s name, (Al-Hakim). , wisdom). Rather, he began the sermon with (O sons of the movement of the martyr of the mihrab, dear Iraq, and their lovers), and the meaning of this is only to address a specific audience within the group, and not to address the Shiite community and its audience.

He pointed out that the previous strategies in political action that faced obstacles were the strategies of (Martyr of the Mihrab and Dear Iraq). The entire speech did not refer to the contexts of the Shiite community. It did not mention the Battle of Al-Taf, the implications of the revolution, or the issues of backbiting. Rather, it did not address the common issues with the Shiite public, to be a key to drawing the relationship with that audience, or drawing the identity for it according to that perspective of the new formation.

     Perhaps those contexts in which the Shiite political discourse is based may have shackled the parties and movements, and defined their discourse from which they could not depart. However, in return, they represent their presence within the group and the source of their closeness to the public, and thus their political power.

The Shiite movements have drawn their own images that distinguish them from others within the group. They do not depart from the historical context, but rather are part of it. Images that do not need explanation represent what is common between these parties and the public, and they address their audience through these symbols and pass on their messages. Rather, they do not make an effort to deliver their messages; Because the medium is ready and prepared to pass messages. The discourse of wisdom, which is devoid of all those symbols, colors, slogans, and images specific to the Shiite community, and the discourse is devoid of any reference to them, needs a number of ways to deliver its messages. One of these methods was the tendency toward clarification of every paragraph he intended, and justification for any project he launched. Therefore, what is often observed in the speech of the leader of the movement is prolongation. Because it carries within it a number of (explanations and justifications).

      When he wanted to explain the nature of the new formation (Al-Hikmah Movement), he said (it talks about the present realistically, looks to the future, deals with complex problems, looks to the future) and he also said (a new political spirit, a large framework that includes all of Iraq’s terrain) and said (it relies on authenticity). And renewal, pure patriotic love.

When he wanted to clarify the goals of the new formation, he referred to (projects to start building the homeland of fathers and grandfathers) and (improving the foundations of a just, modern state) (restoring confidence, bridging the gap, spreading the spirit of justice, a free economy, project opportunities, etc.).

However, he does not need all these clarifications if he ensures the existence of a context that connects his speech to the group. Rather, he knows that he needs to create a new context, and this requires a number of mechanisms and more time to achieve it.

Wisdom mechanisms of relationship with the public

       Since Mr. Ammar al-Hakim assumed the presidency of the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council after the death of his father, Mr. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, in 2009, he has been experimenting with a number of mechanisms that are considered more successful than other Shiite leaders, including inviting the public to a unified place to demonstrate, to become a gathering of millions, as well as mixing his speech. He used a number of words from the Iraqi colloquial dialect, imitating the style of the leader of the Sadrist movement. He even chose to promote those popular words in his media, such as the word “Ahna kadaha,” which his media promoted greatly, but they disappeared after a short period.

He also used the experience of addressing the public through screens in front of which people gathered in (10) Iraqi governorates, which is similar to the method of dealing with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon, but it was later replaced by other experiences.

The result is that these experiments were successful with other leaders, but they did not take place with Mr. Ammar al-Hakim. The reason for this is because it belongs to other contexts that were the reason for its success in one place and its failure in another. The most important of which is the existence of commonalities between the public and their leader, who frames his speech in the context of the revolution of Imam Hussein as (Nasrallah), the Sadrist legacy linked to the father, the marja, and his relationship with the public, and the symbolism of Imam Mahdi, which the Sadrist movement took as a context for its work. These differences between Al-Hakimiya’s experience and other experiences failed during her attempts to communicate with the public according to these mechanisms. Which forced Mr. Al-Hakim to turn to other mechanisms, and therefore the continuous change in the use of communication with the public was the dominant feature, and the continuous changes were made possible for him by the loss of the social context on the one hand, and imposed on him by the loss itself (of the context) on the other hand. Until he eventually turned to the method of organizations as his strength instead of the mass bases that require connection to the group’s heritage and its (social) context.

This change applied to the projects that were basic themes in one speech, and changed in another speech. He referred to in the speech establishing the Al-Hikmah Movement in 2017, as work projects (the trend towards a free market committed to the laws of social protection, education, and women’s empowerment), while he focused on An article published on the anniversary of the founding in the year (2020) focused on other concepts such as (the state and the non-state), and the rhetorical connection to the authority of Sayyed Al-Sistani, which was mentioned among the basics in previous years, was changed. It was replaced by (the strategies of the martyr of the niche and the dear of Iraq) from (2017 to 2020). ). Conclusion

All of the above means that Mr. Al-Hakim and the Al-Hikma Movement have replaced the popular mass base with the mass of organizations, and the reason for this transformation is the loss of hope in obtaining the power of the public searching for the context of existence within the group, and despite the success that this experience achieved in the 2018 elections, there is no He guarantees the continuation of this mechanism with the same success, especially since it is linked to organizational mechanisms. As soon as an emergency occurs as a solution to these organizations as a result of any crisis that the Al-Hikma Movement is going through, it will face the loss of the strength that it made a great organizational effort to obtain.

Which requires wisdom to step back a little and think about the grassroots audience and how to attract them, not on the basis of ceremonial mechanisms that end with the end of the celebration itself, but rather on the basis of choosing a symbolism from the group’s heritage to follow that does not resemble that taken by other movements. Consistency in them is because the public deals with its symbols with consistency, and changing them means that the symbol is in favor of its users, so they tend to search for them in other places.

This starting point is not limited to participating in the ritual scene of the group, but it must be adopted as a way of life, as it exists in other places, while searching for a distinctive element among the rest of the formations. The process of replacing the symbol in every celebration speech makes the audience leave in search of symbols that represent them and distinguish them from other formations within the same group that they can brag about, live with, and walk under their name.


the reviewer

Jon Abbink and Tijo Salverda. (2013). The Anthropology of elites.

Political Anthropology. (Suleiman Khalaf). The political process approach. Emirates: Department of Sociology_University of the Arab Emirates.

Knoush's emotions. (2007). Contextual significance among linguists. Mecca: Dar Al-Sayyab.