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How Capitalism Shapes Our MInds

  1. Lecture 4: How Capitalism Shapes Our Minds and Hearts For Access to Complete, Free, Online Course on: A New Approach to Islamic Economics Register at Al-Nafi Platform:
  2. 4.1: Methodological Differences between Uloom-ul-Umran & Eurocentric Social Science This is 1st Segment of 4th Lecture on A New Approach to Islamic Economics. More Details at: L4: How Capitalism Shapes Our Minds and Hearts
  3. Methodological Notes The approach to study of economics adopted in this course is radically different from that of conventional courses around the globe. Our perspective can be labeled as “Uloom-ul-Umran”, which is the study of how societies change over time. We will follow the methodology first created by Ibn-e-Khaldun for this purpose. It is historical and qualitative, as opposed to mathematical and quantitave. For more information, see: Uloom-ul-Umran: An Islamic Approach to Western Social Sciences – We will describe it greater detail later, after first describing Western methodology for economics.
  4. Battle of Methodologies (Methodenstreit) A battle of methodologies took place in Europe, where this historical and qualitative methodology was replaced by a quantitative and mathematical methodology which currently dominates. For details see: Method or Madness? BRIEF: A century of religious wars led to rejection of religion as a basis for organizing society. Social Science emerged as an alternative. Rejection of religion led to its replacement by “science” as the sole valid source of knowledge. The scientific method was to be applied to the study of human society in “social science”.
  5. Consequences of Scientific Methodology Science is study of external world. Objective: Factual knowledge – Subjective experiences: No longer regarded as knowledge. Our internal experience is “subjective” – cannot be studied scientifically. This was discarded by economists using scientific method. Rationality Axioms used to define behavior – not related to our internal subjective experience of the world. These axioms are built on rejection of God, Afterlife, Judgement Day. They depict human behavior to be maximization of pleasure. Also, humans are animals, engaged in cut-throat competition, governed only by survival of the fittest.
  6. The Alternative: Islamic Methodology Reject Axiomatic Behavior theory: This is wrong both normatively and empirically. See:The Strong Conflict Between Human Behavior and Economic Theory: Start with Islamic Theory of Human Behavior. Great Strides have been made in Islamic Psychology: Abdallah Rothman: Developing a Model of Islamic Psychology and Psychotherapy Islamic Theology and Contemporary Understandings of Psychology – Routledge 2021.
  7. Rothman, A., Coyle, A. Toward a Framework for Islamic Psychology and Psychotherapy: An Islamic Model of the Soul. J Relig Health 57, 1731–1744 (2018).
  8. 4.1 Concluding Remarks • A theory of human behavior is FUNDAMENTAL to construction of social sciences. • Excluding subjective human experience as “unscientific” leads to a dramatically wrong picture of human behavior. • Islamic intellectual heritage offers a rich and complex understanding of human behavior, which can be used to create an alternative theory of economics, and also rebuild the social sciences. • The Key Difference: Modern Economics is theory of the spiritually stunted Nafs-e-Ammara; Islam’s Gift is an Economy of Spiritual Progress. See:
  9. 4.2: How to Study Social Change? Section 4.2 of A New Approach to Islamic Economics Register for complete online course at: Register for weekly mailing list on Islamic Econ:
  10. Studying the Process of Social Change All dimensions: political, economic, social, educational, environmental, must be studied together. No one dimension can be isolated. This DENIES the premise of Economic Theory that economics can be studied in isolation from society, politics, and history
  11. Uloom Ul Umran: A Historical and Qualitative Approach to the study of social change Modern Social Sciences were created in early 20th Century on the basis of a triple mistake: 1. Science is the only valid source of knowledge 2. Scientific methodology, as understood by Logical Positivists, involves study of observables, and does not go beyond the unobservables. 3. Scientific methodology CAN be used to study human societies. All three statements are false. This leads to a need to rebuild the social sciences on sound epistemological foundations.
  12. Key Features of Uloom- ul-Umran Methodology • A “scientific approach” assumes that there are universal laws which apply to all societies across time and space. • In contrast, our historical and qualitative approach assumes human freedom to chose goals and to strive for goals. • Social change is driven by collective human responses to change – creating agency for human beings not allowed in social science. • These responses are shaped by theories about causal factors responsible for the change. • Causal Factors are never observable; different groups can always create different theories. Theories which come to dominate depend on Power, rather than Truth.
  13. Newton’s Laws: • Enormously Popular: science became substitute for faith. • Laws lead to a deterministic universe. Enormous influence on philosophy. Kant set out to prove these laws as “Pure Reason”. • Economists set out to imitate Physics. • All theory to be derived from ONE maximization principle. • Methodological Individualism. • Ignored the central role of community in social change. Key defect persists till tody.
  14. Dominant View: Material Determinism Massive influence of Newton’s Philosophy – adopted as the religion, following abandonment of Christianity. Colin Turbayne: The Myth of Metaphor. The metaphor of the world as an organism abandoned and replaced by the metaphor of the world as a dead machine. Initial conditions determine trajectories of ALL particles: we live in a deterministic world. Philosophers set themselves the problem of “explaining away” the experience of free will.
  15. Two “Scientific” Methodologies: 1. Contemporary: Human Beings and Historical Events are all subject to universal laws of motion, just like physical objects – “SCIENCE”. 2. Marxist: Human lives are bound within the economic relations of production and distribution. These relations are subject to laws of motion. Material Determinism: Human thought is shaped by material forces, primarily the economic system. External material forces determine our thoughts, feelings, and spirituality.
  16. UuU: Entanglement of Man and Matter Material forces shape our thoughts, feelings, and spirituality. ALSO, our thoughts, feelings, and spirituality shape the material world. Primary Illustration: The knowledge given by God to man, accompanied by the spiritual training given by the Prophet SAW to the companions, dramatically changed the course of history. See: What the World Lost Due to the Decline of the Islamic Civilization.
  17. Social Change • Exogenous Events, outside human control, create social change. • Humans respond – collectively, in groups – to the change. • Responses are mediated by theories about causal factors which created the change. • Responses are also mediated by class interests and relative power of different classes which are affected by the change. • Collective human responses to change shape the course of history
  18. Natural Methodology: Abandoned by West • The Scholastics: Study of Society based on the Bible & Theology. • A Century of extremely destructive Wars between Protestants and Catholics. • Abandonment of Scholastic Approach. Necessity of rebuilding a theory of society on secular – non-religious foundations. • Reconstruction of knowledge on basis of observations and reason alone. • Deification of science as the only route to certain knowledge. Abandonment of heart and soul as basis for knowledge.
  19. Concluding Remarks • Historical Events in Europe dramatically shaped European thought. • Rejection of Religion led to its replaced by faith in Science. • Adoption of “scientific” methodology led to massive confusion in approach to the social sciences. • Attempts to create value-free economics have led to concealment of moral values within “rationality”. • The power of human beings to shape and change history, in accordance with their visions, has completely disappeared from view.
  20. 4.3:Illustrative Study of Social Change Section 4.3 of A New Approach to Islamic Economics Register for complete online course at: Register for weekly mailing list on Islamic Econ:
  21. Transition from Hunter-Gatherers to Feudal to City-States to Nations
  22. Pedagogical Principle • Every particular is an instance of a universal. • Every universal is comprehensible only via its manifestation in particular instances. • How we grasp a universal from a particular depends on our intuitions – which can often be wrong. • How we assimilate a particular to a universal is generally easier, and less subject to error. But, errors can also be made in this direction. • This process of acquisition of knowledge is different from the standard Western categories – induction, deduction, transdiction.
  23. Hunter- Gatherer Societies A hunter-gatherer is a human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging (collecting wild plants and pursuing wild animals), in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species.
  24. Marxist Analysis Environment: Exhaustion of local supplies => Nomadic Society. Philosophy: Mother Earth: We take care of environment, as it takes care of us. (Urban life leads to detachment from nature.) Politics: Egalitarian Societies – easy exit for discontented subgroups. No slave. Property: No private property. Illustrative Attitude: Cherokee Constitution of 1839: “The lands of the Cherokee Nation shall remain common property.”
  25. Trigger for Social Change: Cultivation of Land • Nomadic lifestyle must be abandoned. • Private property must emerge. • Gatherers => Farmers • Hunters => Soldiers. Robbing farmers is easier than hunting! • Farmers need protection from roaming soldiers. • Feudal Society emerges. • Feudal Lord with soldiers guarantees safety of farmers in neighborhood of castle, in return for food tributes. Class Structure.
  26. City States • Need for Alliances among Feudal Lords. • Stable Local Alliances create prosperity, and emergence of cities. • Cities create need for governance. Economic power allows maintenance of armies. • History of Europe: Continuous Wars between City- States. Machiavelli’s The Prince. • Alliances between multiple cities lead to emergence of the Nation-State.
  27. Creation of National Identities: Lives there a man with a soul so dead … Benedict Anderson: Imagined Communities – essential tool: the print media. Cheap and widely distributed newspapers create common perspectives. The “Asabiyya” of Ibn-e-Khaldun, manufactured by newspapers. National Identity must be nurtured by education, and must be sufficiently strong to be worth dying for. (Hearts and Minds)
  28. Iqbal-Madani Debate on Nation Iqbal: Among these newly minted gods, the biggest is the Nation. The clothing it wears is the coffin of religion. Allegiance to humanity (Adam) must supercede allegiance to Nations. National Identity source of maximum warfare and death in human history, by dividing man against man – against teachings of the Quran. Madani: In ultimate agreement. Pragmatic strategy against British rule, to use nation to achieve liberty.
  29. Wael Hallaq: The Impossible State The topic of Nation and its Islamic status continues to be of central importance, and extraordinarily divisive in Muslim thought. Nations of Middle East created as part of a divide-and-rule strategy. See also, lecture series at American Islamic College (available on YouTube, search by names): A Critique of Modernity: The State and its Forms of Knowledge | Lecture 1
  30. End of Section 4.3 Online Course: A New Approach to Islamic Economics: Course Description: THIS Section 4.3: Illustration of Social Change Processes Weekly Mailing List on Islamic Economics:
  31. 4.4: Pedagogy & Knowledge Section 4.4 of A New Approach to Islamic Economics: Free Online Course on Al-Nafi Platform: Register for weekly email list:
  32. Islamic Theory of Knowledge: Radically Different from Western Approach Hadeeth: Useful Knowledge Enters the Heart. Islam is a religion founded on the knowledge given by Allah T’aala to humankind – this is a knowledge they could not have acquired on their own. Islamic teachings place central emphasis on acquisition of knowledge. Pre-Islamic Era is known as “Jahiliyya” or period of ignorance. Islamic scholars have enormous amounts of writings, discussions, debates about the nature of knowledge.
  33. Western Epistemology Built on Radically Different Foundations • Influx of knowledge from Al-Andalus via reconquest strongly resisted by Catholic Church. Ultimately leads to Protestant-Catholic split. • More than a century of religious wars lead to rejection of religion as a basis on which to build society. • Rejection of Bible, Theology, and the Scholastics lead to search for new principles on which to found knowledge. • Knowledge defined to be based on observations and logic. This excludes (deliberately) the heart and intuition as sources of knowledge.
  34. Contrasting Views of Knowledge: Deferred Central Points: Sketched Briefly Here: Islamic Knowledge is built on Heart and Intuition, on the foundation of certainties provided by Quran. Human knowledge is ALWAYS prone to error. These errors multiply when our hearts are blinded by worldly desires. Tazkiya – purification of heart – is a first step to knowledge. Western Knowledge: Excludes heart and intuition. Uses reason and observations (of external reality, not of our internal world) as sole sources for knowledge. Strives for a certainty which cannot be obtained.
  35. Relevance to Economics • Modern Economics: Excludes our internal subjective human experience as a source for knowledge about human beings. • Replace it by a “rational” analysis – depending only on logic and scientific knowledge – excluding emotions and spirituality. • This leads to the homo economicus model: cold, calculating, callous, and cruel. • REPLACE this model by an understanding of human behavior based on our direct intuitive and experiential understanding of humans. • Immediate consequence: Mathematics cannot be used to describe it.
  36. The Student’s Perspective: to Understand To learn points-of-view, first abandon all personal views and emotions. Seek to see things from the point-of-view of those committed to it. Attempt to understand arguments and counter-arguments while SUSPENDING judgment and attachments. Emotions cloud understanding. In other places, I have taken and advocated the opposite view. This relates to stages of growth in understanding. Initially, one must start with the student’s perspective – no UNINFORMED judgments. Companions used to say to Prophet SAW: Allah and His Prophet know better.
  37. Larger Lesson • Increasing levels of unity lead to increasing strength. • The Nation-State has been enormously harmful to human welfare, leading to continuous warfare. • Islamic ideals require unity at the level of the Ummah, and ALSO at the level of humankind – we are all brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of Adam and Hawwa. • Unity comes from the hearts, not from rationality.
  38. 4.4 Concluding Remarks • This segment on contrasting theories of knowledge and pedagogy is a side-note for our present topic: How Capitalism Shapes Our Minds and Hearts. • There is one important reason for including it. We do not plan to study the impact of capitalism by doing mathematics and by reasoning about it. • RATHER, look at our hearts to see how they have been infected by the desire for wealth, and the worldly goals of pursuit of pleasure, power, fame, glory, etc. – these are essential to capitalism and anti-thetical to Islam
  39. 4.5 Emergence of Capitalism Section 4.5 of A New Approach to Islamic Economics: Free Online Course on Al-Nafi Platform: Register for weekly email list:
  40. Economic Schools of Thought • These represent ways of thinking about the economy, embedded within a society. • These are NOT scientific theories, which can be evaluated for Truth or Falsity. • The normative and the positive are “inextricably entangled”. (Putnam) • Theories provide causal explanations of social change, and also prescribe policies (which favor class interests, but portrays it as a social interest).
  41. Aristocracy versus Bourgeois Physiocrats Agriculture is centrally important to economy. Wealth of Nations is measured by cultivated land and value of agricultural production. Mercantilists Agriculture is source of raw materials for production, and food for labor. Commerce creates gold and silver, the measure of wealth of nations.
  42. Rising Power of Commercial Classes Corn Laws, passed in 1815, restricts import of corn, to create greater profits for Landlords. Repealed in 1846, to allow cheaper food for labor, preventing rise in wages, and helping commercial classes Poor Laws, strengthened by the Speenhamland system in 1795, provided minimum allowance, tied to price of bread, for all poor. This caused substantial deterioration and decline in labor supply for industrialists, and loss of production. Poor Laws were repealed in 1834, causing extreme hardship to the poor, and creating the labor market required by the industrialists.
  43. Enclosures: Privatization of Public Lands Attempts of Aristocracy to grab lands resisted by masses, supported by monarchy. Cromwell beheads King Charles 1, ends monarchy, creates Republic. Royalists overthrow republic, restore monarchy, but extract many privileges for themselves against the monarch. Large scale enclosures follow the Restoration – a massive landgrab, called a revolution of the Rich against the Poor, by Polanyi.
  44. Consequences of Enclosures • Privatization leads to large-scale efficient agriculture – more food and wool. • The poor displaced from social and environmental networks appear in the cities, and intrude on public consciousness: The emergence of "Poverty". • Creation of a labor class, needing to sell their lives for money, and creation of surplus food supplies, necessary to feed them. Simon Fairlie: A Short History of Enclosure in Britain: The Land Magazine.
  45. Industrial Revolution in England. The Industrial Revolution was the transformation of a society based on agriculture and handicrafts into a community of machines and factories. It was a revolution in the sense of a complete change, but it was not a political revolution, although its impact on politics and society was enormous. It was essentially an economic and technological revolution, involving the extensive use of steam power, the application of science to industry, and the mechanization of production. It began in Britain in the late eighteenth century and spread to Europe and North America in the nineteenth century. The Industrial Revolution had far- reaching consequences for the structure of society, the nature of work, and the environment, and it marked the beginning of the modern world.
  46. Consequences of Industrial Revolution • Creation of massive amounts of surplus goods – far above and beyond domestic demand or needs. • Creation of Market Economy, necessitated by massive surplus. • Market Economy replaces, after violent battle, the social economy, and takes central place. • Market Economy has its own philosophy, culture, and politics. To be discussed. • Dominance of the market economy today continues to cause harm to natural and humane social values.
  47. Contrast with Traditional Economy • Money is only used by the rich. • Basic needs met by a network social relationships, not by the market. • Market is a peripheral adjunct to society. Country Fairs – periodical events for trade, peripheral to normal life. • Survival depends on social networks. Trust, Integrity, Reciprocity, Placing social needs above individual is natural – and required for survival. • Generosity, Cooperation, Social Responsibility, Paternalism, Regulation of Markets.
  48. 4.5 Concluding Remarks The Industrial Revolution was a trigger for a massive amount of social change. Production of massive surplus led to creation of a consumer economy – laborers create products, and buy them – wasting time in buying and spending. Creation of a labor market cheapens human lives, puts them for sale. Wealth becomes a goal of life: It can buy everything. A Market Economy makes markets central to life: everything is for sale.
  49. 4.6 A Market Society Living in A Market Society conditions our minds to think in terms of market transactions. Some specific implications are explored.
  50. Gifts Versus Commodities Living in a market society, we lose sensitivity to the strong conflict between market mechanisms and social mechanisms. Polanyi: In a traditional society, markets are embedded within society. In a market society, social relations are embedded within the market. Carrier: In traditional societies, people produced what they needed and traded within social network for other needs. All of these transactions build social relationships. In contrast, in market economies, vast majority of transactions are impersonal market transactions, that are often adversarial.
  51. Illustration: Blood Donations Traditional Blood Drives call for donations on basis of social incentives. What would happen if we offered to PAY money for blood donations? Entirely different class of donors emerges. The two incentives: money versus social: are opposed to each other. IMPORTANT: Economists fail to understand this. Nobel Laureates argued that offering money incentives would INCREASE blood donations (because the two incentives would add to each other).
  52. The Battle between Markets and Society • One of the main messages of Polanyi is that a Market Society came into existence after a battle with traditional society. • Things considered sacred and out of reach of the market, were reduced to commodities for sale on the market. • Capitalist style labor markets – selling lives for money – cannot exist, without cheapening human lives. • This REPLACEMENT of social mechanisms by market mechanism causes great harm to society. • Polanyi provides a history of how markets won this battle against society.
  53. Emergence of Capitalism: Double Movement • Markets seek to expand, Society strongly resists such expansion. • Polanyi: History of emergence of capitalism cannot be understood without looking at this double movement. • Why do Markets – in an industrial society - seek to expand? • Why does society resist such expansion?
  54. Operation of Markets Requires Three Artificial Commodities • Land • Labor • Money These commodities are artificial, in the sense that they are no produced by labor. Land is the environment, in symbiotic relationship with humans. Labor is the material of our lives, not for sale at any price. Money is a social convention, created by consensus on use of tokens for claims on goods sold in the marketplace.
  55. Land as a commodity • Cheapens Land – reduces its value as a gift from God, which sustains our lives, and routinely performs miracles of turning seeds into plants • From mother earth, to commodity for exploitation in all possible ways. • This change in spirit is the root cause of the current environmental crisis
  56. Labor as a Commodity • Human lives for purchase and sale. • Cheapens Human beings to Human resources. • Massively increases the value of money – it can buy human lives! • Labor markets became possible because of the desperation created by Enclosures. Continued via incorporation into social norms. • Reflect on how un-natural and yet how common it is. • This is among the most important elements of how our minds and hearts are shaped by capitalism.
  57. Money as an Artificial Commodity Polanyi argues that money is a social institution that has been created to facilitate economic exchange, and that it is therefore subject to the same social and political forces as other institutions. He suggests that the creation of money as a means of exchange was a deliberate act of government and that the value of money is therefore determined by political decisions rather than by natural market forces.
  58. Capitalism Conditions Our Minds and Hearts • Awareness leads to the possibility of liberation • Realize that our lives our precious, beyond the possibility of purchase. • Realize that we are unique – not interchangeable parts. • Realize the enormous and irreplaceable gifts given to us on the planet – flora, fauna, seas, mountains, forests. These cannot be brought or sold for money. • Money is the market substitute for trust. Building genuine trust in social relationships leads to deep life satisfaction
  59. 4.7: The Transition to Capitalism The transition from a traditional society to a market society changed all the dimensions of society: politics, economics, educational, environmental, … . See: The Great Transformation in European Thought: Some specific aspects of this transformation are discussed in this section.
  60. Feudal Society • Land was biggest source of wealth (created by enclosures). • Landlords were the most powerful class. • Social responsibility of the rich for the poor was an essential philosophy for this class structure. • Markets were peripheral to society, and strictly regulated. Intuitive understanding of the threat posed by markets to social structure.
  61. Transition from Land to Capital Eric Hobsbawm: Age of Capital Growth of trade and commerce led to rising power of the trading classes, which overtook the traditional landed aristocracy. This led to major changes in society.
  62. Creation of a Capitalist Class: Hobsbawm argues that the rise of industrial capitalism created a new class of capitalists who were distinct from the traditional landed aristocracy. These capitalists were defined by their ownership of productive assets and their control over the means of production, rather than their ownership of land or their position in the feudal hierarchy. This new class was able to accumulate wealth on an unprecedented scale, and its members became some of the most powerful and influential individuals in society.
  63. Creation of A Labor Class At the same time, the expansion of capitalism also created a new class of industrial workers who were defined by their dependence on wage labor. Hobsbawm argues that this new class was characterized by a distinct culture and consciousness, which was shaped by their experiences of working in factories and mills. This new working class became a powerful force in society, and their struggles for better wages and working conditions played a key role in the development of the labor movement and the formation of socialist and communist political parties.
  64. Karl Marx: Increasing Exploitation => Revolution Labor is a commodity for sale. Surplus labor drives wage to subsistence. Capitalists exploit labor, to accumulate wealth and power. Dynamics of capitalist competition require increasing exploitation. This will eventually lead laborers to revolt, to create a more just and equitable system. One of the keys to creating justice is the public ownership of capital.
  65. Polanyi: Birth of Economic Theory • Economic theory was born in this period, and is saddled with conceptual frameworks which are now obsolete. • Marx, Ricardo, Mill, Malthus – they all analyze a society in transition – which is caught in conflict between traditional and capitalist social norms.
  66. Max Weber: Worldly Prosperity Signals Salvation What were the beliefs of capitalists, which led them to seek profits? Protestants in general believed in predestination, and salvation by grace alone, not by works. A sign of success was worldly prosperity. This led protestants to strive for worldly success, without seeking to benefit from accumulated wealth for worldly pleasures. This led to accumulation of capital, which created the dynamic growth of capitalism. The “Iron Cage” of Weber: People trapped in this way of acting even after loss of faith in Christianity.
  67. R H Tawney: Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (16th to 18th Century) Religion as central to all human pursuit was marginalized to personal belief system. Social Norms of Market Society replaced Christian Religious norms. Bible: Love of Wealth is root of all evil, was replaced by GB Shaw: Lack of Wealth is root of all evil
  68. Concluding Remarks • Social Transitions are complex and multidimensional. • The Elephant and the Blind Men • If we look at all dimensions together, we can get a holistic picture. • This is an illustration of “Multiplexity” of Recep Şentürk • Key problem with Western theories of knowledge and social science: reduction of a Multiplex worldview by a Uniplex view. • Decolonization of Social Sciences requires going back to Multiplexity.
  69. 4.8: Central Myths of Capitalism
  70. All Societies are Created by Acts of Imagination Social Consensus defines the network of social relationships, duties, responsibilities and roles of all members of society. This “knowledge” creates society, and defines the identity of the members. This knowledge must be reproduced – via education of members – for the society to continue to exist.
  71. Foucalt: Power shapes Truth Foucault writes: "Each society has its regime of truth, its 'general politics' of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true." In this way, Foucault suggests that the stories societies tell about themselves are intimately tied to the exercise of power, and can be used to legitimize or challenge existing structures of authority.
  72. Ideas of Ruling Class Dominate Society It is not enough that the conditions of labour are concentrated at one pole of society in the shape of capital, while at the other pole are grouped masses of men who have nothing to sell but their labour-power. Nor is it enough that they are compelled to sell themselves voluntarily. The advance of capitalist production develops a working class which by education, tradition and habit looks upon the requirements of that mode of production as self-evident natural laws. The organization of the capitalist process of production, once it is fully developed, breaks down all resistance. Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1
  73. The Myth of Progress: Central to Capitalism • The emergence of capitalism has been a disaster for mankind, and for the planet. • However, it has been painted as the greatest success of human history. • This is necessary for the survival of capitalism. • It is achieved by focusing resources on propaganda, and in particular, on the educational system, which is designed to produce human resources, for sale for money. “Rejecting Eurocentric Concepts of Development”
  74. False Ideologies Created by Capitalism • Human lives can be bought and sold for money. • The value of my life is the amount of money I can earn. • Helping the poor is harmful to productivity, and ultimately to everyone. Motivation for work is created by poverty. • The goal of life is to maximize pleasure, power, and profits – without concern for society. • Money is central to the acquisition of all the pleasures that life has to offer.
  75. Fundamental Myths of Economic Theories We live in a barter economy. Money is a means of facilitating exchange of commodities. Money is a veil – it does not matter for the real economy, which consists of commodities. Goal of life is to maximize pleasure from consumption. Galbraith: Because excess production is central to capitalism, advertising to create demand for unnecessary goods is essential to its survival.
  76. Consumerism and Money Economic Theory is one of the principal tools of capitalist education. Its central myth is the L => W => C idea. All must labor, earn wages, and use money to buy commodities they need. Marx expresses this idea as C => M => C’ The commodity labor is sold for money, which is exchanged for a different set of commodities. Deeper insight is produced by dividing the purchases C’ into two parts: C’ = Essentials + Surplus Capitalism required manufacture of surplus goods, and ALSO demand for these surplus is manufactured by advertising.
  77. The Monetary Economy Capitalists: M => C => C’ => M’ Capitalists use money to purchase input commodities C: labor and raw materials. They produce output commodities C’ and sell them to get more money M’. The goal of the capitalists to is to make money, not consume products. The goal of laborers is ALSO to accumulate savings, to protect them against vagaries of the labor market. A society where every is driven to accumulate MONEY is radically different from a society where all driven by the goal to consume goods.
  78. 4.8: Concluding Remarks Society is created by a “knowledge” of a set of social relationships, responsibilities, duties, and roles assigned to different members. This knowledge must be imparted to all members, to allow society to continue. The powerful elites construct this knowledge and educate all members to believe in the society, so that all fulfill their roles contentedly. Islam in unique in defining a natural social structure which is built into our fitra and sketched in the Quran.
  79. 4.9: Society: Network of Social Relationships Society must train members to recognize their roles and responsibilities within this network, to survive. A market society, created by capitalism, trains us to believe in certain myths, essential to survival of capitalism. Learning these myths enable us to unlearn them.
  80. The Battle for Knowledge: Truths Against Myths The Central Battleground is Knowledge. Knowledge given by the Quran led to the creation of an ideal society. All human beings have the potential to rise higher than angels, and also to become worse than the beasts. An ideal society encourages all members to strive for excellence in conduct, and creates an environment conduct to human development. Ebb and flow of knowledge over time led to many variants – the Islamicate – all patterned on the foundations of Islam.
  81. Colonization & Global Conquest Knowledge of how to build an Islamic Society was wiped out by European conquest and colonization of Islamic lands. Social Sciences were build on the assumption that European society is the most advanced, by far, among all societies. Europe is “developed” while the rest are undeveloped. These Eurocentric assumptions were absorbed by the ruling class, and transmitted through Western education now in global use. The rich and powerful elites seek to create European societies all over the Islamic world, in order to “develop”. They use Social Science to do so. We need to develop our own Islamic politics and economics.
  82. Solutions: Personal and Collective On personal level – UNLEARNING many myths is required. On collective level – We need to produce an alternative to Western education. This course in Islamic Economics is ONE small piece of the massive effort required to replace the ENTIRE structure of Western Social Science by an understanding of how to shape societies according to Islamic laws. Replacement of Social Sciences by applications of Fiqh to modern world
  83. Personal Level: Unlearning Unlearning Jahiliyya and Relearning Islam: Our human lives are infinitely precious. Our success will be determined on Day of Judgment. Life on this Earth is test – we succeed if we struggle for the GOOD, not if we achieve a successful outcome. Wealth and Poverty are not signs of favor or disfavor from Allah.
  84. First Steps to Learning: Who Am I? Learning Who You Are: Learning how to become a human being, instead of a human resource. Three Mega-Events Which Shape Our Thoughts: 1. Global Colonization and Conquest: Shock-and-Awe of the West 2. European Transition to Secular Thought: Marginalization of Religion 3. The Great Transformation to Market Society. Wealth as Goal of Life
  85. Understanding Human Beings: Basis for Building Society Our methodology focuses on our own intuitive, direct, experiental understanding of our human experience – no mathematics. Also, we have a developed and sophisticated understanding of human behavior, founded on the Quran, and the Sufic spiritual tradition. Toward a Framework for Islamic Psychology and Psychotherapy: An Islamic Model of the Soul Abdallah Rothman & Adrian Coyle Journal of Religion and Health volume 57, pages1731– 1744 (2018)
  86. Decolonizing the Social Sciences: From Uniplexity to Multiplexity A Series of Lectures by Recep Şentürk Brief Writeup/Outline: Video Lecture Series:
  87. Islamic Attitude towards Wealth Al-Bukhari reports that the Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Hakim! Wealth has a deceptive appearance. It appears to be very sweet (but it is really not so). It is a blessing when earned with contentment of heart, but there is no satisfaction in it when it is got with greed. (al-Bukhari, 1422H, 2:123, ḥadīth no. 1472)
  88. Some Basic Antidotes Nafs-Ammara: Modern Economics advocates this lowest level of spiritual development – man as an animal bound by his desires. Worship of the Nafs. The Soul of Human Beings is a Battle-ground for good and evil. “Islam’s Gift: An Economy of Spiritual Progress” Modern Economics is the economics of the spiritually stunted. Islamic Economics is for spiritual progress, from Nafs-e- Ammara to Nafs-e-Lawwama to Nafs-e-Mutma’innah
  89. Concluding Remarks This is final 9th segment of Lecture 4 “How Capitalism Shapes Our Minds and Hearts”. The first segment is: Uloom-ul-Umran vs. Social Science Links to next segment are provided in each segment. Weekly mailing list on Islamic Economics: More details of online course on A New Approach to Islamic Economics: