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Hasan0404

Islam And Marxism- The Difference.

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Marxism and communism are not the same.  Marx himself had very little to say about Communism or Marxism.  In any case, a lot of prominent intellectuals did identify themselves as Marxists of one variant or another from left leaning anti-state Marxists such as Rosa Luxemburg to a more right variant in eventually what came to be Bolshevism with Lenin etc.  Marxists, especially left Marxists have traditionally been discriminated against and marginalized due to their revolutionary anti-state/anti-authoritarian activities.

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@Hydar Husayn, Yes, knowing the atheistic approach of marxism/communism towards religion I meant to ask the differences on which its economic aspect is opposed.

 

We may take its economic aspect and discard what it says about religion.

 

@King,

 

Well for now with limited reading on these topics marxism/communism are synonymous for m :)

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Capitalism is inherently unethical, that is Marx's sentiments in a nutshell. Therefore by following this logic, if you abandon capitalism for something like communism, you are establishing a more righteous and ethical system. Marx dreams of an egalitarian society, that is free from corrupt owners of production, in which all people have equal access to goods and services.

 

Interestingly enough, Marx has some things to say about mysticism and fetishism (the religious term, not the sexual one). We become fetishized with commodities, which keeps us in the unethical capitalist system. Not to mention, the capitalist notion that money begets more money is a mystical one. That being said, straying away from mysticism and commodity fetishism, which are inherently fatuous practices, is a wholesome one.

 

I hope this makes sense.

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@Hydar Husayn, Yes, knowing the atheistic approach of marxism/communism towards religion I meant to ask the differences on which its economic aspect is opposed.

 

We may take its economic aspect and discard what it says about religion.

Islam is monotheistic religion, and presents a comprehensive plan for life. there is a kind of interrelationship among all its aspects. our spiritual life is engaged with our religious life; our social life is connection to our economical one and so on.  and all of them are based on one noble planning revealed by God. so any part of it feels like a part of puzzle. we could not exchange with any other Idea. individuals may think that certain theories regarding nonreligious issue would fit and could be exchanged by Islamic ones while it would not.only those who are thoroughly acquainted with Islam and skilled at its concepts could judge that whether something fit the various parts of Islam or dose not.

with respect to above mentioned, I think although some economical or educational ideas of different methods or theories seems fitting the Islamic idea, the comparison it self is inaccurate. in order to avoid syncretistic Islam we should observe this important issue.

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There are different aspects of what is called "Marxism" - Marx's Capital is the finest of critique of Capitalism around - and understanding the critique helps one to formulate an alternative to rot of Capitalism. Marx also wrote other important social critiques which are all important readings to understand our present social and economic conditions.  Marxism - includes within it a conflict of classes - we know that socio economic classes exist, and have existed for a long long time. The difference , the key difference is that Marxists suggest a conflict of classes leading to a more egalitarian and just *classless* society  Islam, however, suggests a balance of classes - Islamic economics does not necessarily do away with class. So, for example there are business class, who employ labor. The Marxists would suggest that there be no business and labor class, so that the inequality and injustices of exploitation can be eradicated. Islam suggests that the there are business and labor classes, but that exploitation must be eradicated through the payment of just wages, the payment of Khums etc., requiring the business owners to provide honorable employment conditions etc.  

 

The whole issue of "religion" or "atheistic' ideology - is all questionable, and not at all necessarily a part of what Marxists these days are interested in. HOWEVER, at the time of Marx, the Christian church, was (and is still) an exploitive institution that always sided with the super wealthy people and defended the oppressive conditions. This took place all over Latin America, the current Pope who is celebrated by liberals, in fact, remained mostly silent during the dictatorship period of Argentina. Only now because the political conditions have shifted that he is talking a little bit of a different talk. Given those conditions, Marxists kind of wanted to throw the baby out with the bathwater... and that was a mistake.  

 

At the same level, if Islamic scholars, instead of concerning themselves about the oppressed peoples - just hang and hob not with the rich and powerful, they too will lose respect of the Muslims. 

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(salam)

 

What I have managed to perceive is that Islam has given us the points which we must abide by in our discourse through time.

 

Like Riba is declared haram, but how to sustain modern economy without it, that is not formulated I think. Likewise we are told

 

not to overcharge, but the limit for that is not explicitly mentioned. Imami interpretation of Statehood is known, but what to do in

 

the occultation of Qaim ajf, we are unable to agree on something unanimous so far.

 

In marxism or anything else I do not seek the replacement of Islam, but clues that may help us settle the questions of the likes above.

 

Keeping the basic points in focus many possible combinations can be formulated.

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(salam)

 

What I have managed to perceive is that Islam has given us the points which we must abide by in our discourse through time.

 

Like Riba is declared haram, but how to sustain modern economy without it, that is not formulated I think. Likewise we are told

 

not to overcharge, but the limit for that is not explicitly mentioned. Imami interpretation of Statehood is known, but what to do in

 

the occultation of Qaim ajf, we are unable to agree on something unanimous so far.

 

In marxism or anything else I do not seek the replacement of Islam, but clues that may help us settle the questions of the likes above.

 

Keeping the basic points in focus many possible combinations can be formulated.

 

Riba is haram not only in Islam, but also in Christianity - Jesus (pbuh) struggled against the usury extortionists of the time. In fact, the so-called "modern economy" is not much different than the economy at the time of the Prophet (pbuh) - the conditions have not changed. However, what Muslims seem to have forgotten ,to an extent, is that there needs to be an alternative Riba free economy that needs to be constructed - an alternative to the Capitalist/Riba based economy.  

 

"Overcharging" is only possible if there is a scarcity of the item, and scarcity can exist because the item/good itself is scarce, or because people are hoarding. In the first instance, the market can determine an appropriate price.  In the second instance, the price is artificial, because of monopolistic conditions, or hoarding. Hoarding is forbidden in Islam, and because of hoarding is forbidden, overcharging is not possible. Because Islam does not do away with the market (as Marxism - suggests) - monopoly is also not possible - if a good has a market, multiple producers will begin to appear, and price will start to go down. In fact, the present day imperialist economy is built on government support of monopolistic practices, hoarding, and creating artificial scarcity, otherwise - there would be a much more widespread availability of technology etc. In this respect, libertarianism has some similarity to Islam -  that they shun government intervention - including government intervention in favor of big businesses.  

 

The Prophet (pbuh) constructed a community/umma - and only if there is an umma - or a community, can Islamic economics be practiced - how else is it possible? So, the issue of what to do in the occultaion of the Qaim ajf - is really a non-issue, made into an issue by some. Essentially, if someone does not think a community (state in present day situation) is to be constructed - an Islamic Republic - well then it is not possible practice Islam at its fullest in all of its dimensions. 

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Capitalism is inherently haram because it is based entirely upon Riba, and market economics in general is just pseudoscience- which runs contrary to the truth-seeking values of Islamic culture. Example: a purse made of flimsy material can cost in the hundreds of dollars because it is of a popular name brand, but a purse made of more sturdy and durable material could only cost 12 dollars despite being more functional and long lasting. The formulation of prices is not rooted in reality and Islam teaches us to always be right and exact in all our actions. Capitalism is also short sighted, the mad drive for profit leads people to disregard the long term effects that such economic activity can have on the environment, whereas Islam teaches man to be good stewards of the earth and take into account the effects of our actions. 

 

If something is Haram it is haram, plain and simple. There is no excuse for Riba and there should be no tolerance for it, all forms of capitalism and market economics are predicated upon Haram values and ideals and the culture it creates is the polar opposite of the one which is mandated upon us by the Allah(swt), the Lord of Worlds. I believe that socialism is in correspondence with the teachings of Islamic economics, I greatly admire Marx and agree with him on many points, throughout the history of the Communist/Marxist-Leninist movement there have been many fusions and interactions of it with Islam. During the early period of the Soviet Union there were communist organizations like the Muslim Socialist Committee and there were many members of different Communist movements who agreed with the politics and economics of Marxism, who were influential participants in different Marxist/Communist guerilla movements who were also practicing Muslims.

 

The most astounding examples of this synthesis of thought would be the Muslim Communist leaders Tan Malaka and Mirza Sultan Galiev

 

the following is a link to the article "Communism and Pan-Islamism" by Tan Malaka, who was an Indonesian freedom fighter

http://www.marxists.org/archive/malaka/1922-Panislamism.htm

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The founders of Marxism tried to build a holistic picture of the world. The world and society are characterized in Marxism as a dialectical development of matter. The desire to cleanse oneself of GV Hegel's idealism led to other extremes - economic determinism. The economy, especially production, was considered the primary factor, the "basis" of society, and social psychology, politics, law, ideology - the secondary, "superstructure".

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If anyone is actually interested in reading Marx's Capital - and not whatever nonsense is propogated by capistalist-imperialists for their own benefit - while keeping the population illiterate about how Capitalism actually works - they can take this course: 

http://davidharvey.org/reading-capital/

After having read at least volume 1 of Capital - folks might actually have a better understanding of what Marx said - and how he demystifies Capitalism - from such nonsense as "hidden hand of the market" and what not... 

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Guest Sunshine
On 10/28/2014 at 2:59 PM, Kamil Abbas said:

Capitalism is inherently haram because it is based entirely upon Riba, and market economics in general is just pseudoscience- which runs contrary to the truth-seeking values of Islamic culture. Example: a purse made of flimsy material can cost in the hundreds of dollars because it is of a popular name brand, but a purse made of more sturdy and durable material could only cost 12 dollars despite being more functional and long lasting. The formulation of prices is not rooted in reality and Islam teaches us to always be right and exact in all our actions. Capitalism is also short sighted, the mad drive for profit leads people to disregard the long term effects that such economic activity can have on the environment, whereas Islam teaches man to be good stewards of the earth and take into account the effects of our actions. 

 

If something is Haram it is haram, plain and simple. There is no excuse for Riba and there should be no tolerance for it, all forms of capitalism and market economics are predicated upon Haram values and ideals and the culture it creates is the polar opposite of the one which is mandated upon us by the Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), the Lord of Worlds. I believe that socialism is in correspondence with the teachings of Islamic economics, I greatly admire Marx and agree with him on many points, throughout the history of the Communist/Marxist-Leninist movement there have been many fusions and interactions of it with Islam. During the early period of the Soviet Union there were communist organizations like the Muslim Socialist Committee and there were many members of different Communist movements who agreed with the politics and economics of Marxism, who were influential participants in different Marxist/Communist guerilla movements who were also practicing Muslims.

 

The most astounding examples of this synthesis of thought would be the Muslim Communist leaders Tan Malaka and Mirza Sultan Galiev

 

the following is a link to the article "Communism and Pan-Islamism" by Tan Malaka, who was an Indonesian freedom fighter

http://www.marxists.org/archive/malaka/1922-Panislamism.htm

There are some good aspect from capitalism.. Capitalism brings a lot of money for  a country. With that money you could fund social institutions like Healthcare, education for wide majority of population and you could also make Rich and Poor be taxed equally...   This reminds of Iraq which does not have market economy. Its only have renter economy... The government can only provide public sector  job for 3-4m people out of 40m population. Lack of money make the country unequal. Country need to get profit to able make society equal.

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Marxism usually provokes different reactions in people. Some associate these views with communism and think it is very bad. And someone mentions capitalism and says it's very good. Everything is very ambiguous. I read a lot of information on papersowl.com/examples/marxism/, but I did not define my point of view, because there are a lot of views and they all have certain arguments.

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Communism does not beleive in social classes, islam beleives in social classes, being rich in islam is not frowned upon, you just need to help your society more because you have a bigger abillity to do so.

Edited by HusseinAbbas

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