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Our Philosophy – Ayatullah Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr

Deviation from the Communist Operation

The leading authorities of communism who called for this system were unable to implement it with all its features when they seized power. They believed that, in order to implement this system, a development of human thought, motives and inclinations was necessary. They claimed that there would come a time when personal interests and individual considerations would disappear from the human soul, replaced by a social mentality and social inclinations. With that, a human being would think only of the social welfare, and would be motivated only for its sake.

Because of this, it was necessary, according to the tradition of this social doctrine, to establish prior to that a socialistic system in which people could rid themselves of their present nature and acquire the nature which is consistent with the communistic system. In this socialistic system, important revisions of the economic aspect of communism were made.

Thus, the primary point of the communist economy – namely, the annulment of private ownership – was changed to a more moderate stand. This stand called for the nationalization of heavy industry, foreign trade, and large domestic trade, as well as the imposition of government restrictions on all of them. (p. 29) In other words, it called for the elimination of large capital to help the advance of simple industries and trades, and to give individuals power over these industries and trades. This is because the main point of the communist economy clashed with actual human nature to which we have alluded earlier. Individuals began to neglect performing their jobs and activities at work. They also avoided fulfilling their social duties. This was due to the fact that [under this system, they were only] supposed to secure an orderly life and a satisfaction of their needs. Also, under this system, one was not supposed to perform any work or make any effort for more than this, regardless of its intensity. Why then should the individual make any effort, work hard and earnestly, as long as the result for him is the same whether he is lazy or active? Further, why should he be motivated to make happiness available to others, and to bring comfort to them by his own sweat and tears and by the sap of his life and capacities, as long as he does not believe in any values of life except in those that are purely materialistic? Thus, the leaders of this school felt obliged to freeze absolute nationalization.

They were also obliged to amend the second important point of communist economics. They did this by creating differences among salaries, in order to motivate the employees to become active and to carry out their jobs – apologizing at the same time that these were temporary differences which would disappear when the capitalistic mentality was abolished and when humankind undergoes further development. Due to this, they applied continual change, in accordance with their economic methods and socialistic tactics, so that they could avoid the failure of any one method by introducing a new method. However, until now, they have not successfully eradicated all the basic principles of the capitalistic economy. Usurious loans, for example, have not been completely eliminated, even though in reality they are the basis of social corruption in the capitalistic economy.

But none of this means chat those leaders were failures or that they were not serious about their teachings or sincere about their doctrine. Rather, it means that they clashed with reality when they came to apply [their ideas]. They found their way full of the contradictory elements that human nature imposes in the face of the revolutionary method of social reform (p. 80) that they preached. Thus, reality forced them to retreat with the hope that the miracle would be accomplished in some near or distant future.

Politically, communism, in the long run, aims to eliminate the state from society when the miracle is accomplished and the social mentality prevails among all people. At that point, everyone will think only of the material interests of the whole society. But before that, when the miracle is not yet accomplished, when people are not yet united in one class and when society is still divided into capitalistic and labor forces, the government must be purely chat of the labor force. This would be a democratic government within the limit of the labor circles, and dictatorial with regard to the general public.

They tried to justify this by claiming that a dictatorial labor government was necessary at every stage experienced by humankind with the individual mentality. This is so, for the protection of the interests of the labor class, for the stifling of the breath of capitalism and for the prevention of capitalism from reappearing on the scene.

In fact, this school, which is represented in socialistic Marxism and then in communistic Marxism, is distinguished from the capitalistic democratic system in that it is based on a specific materialistic philosophy which adopts a specific understanding of life that does not admit any [11] of the moral ideals or values of life. It also explains life in a way that leaves no room for a creator beyond the limits of nature, nor for expected retributions beyond the boundaries of the limited material life. This is contrary to capitalistic democracy which, even though a materialistic system, is not established on a definite philosophical basis. Materialistic communism believes in proper linkage between the issue of actual life and the social issue, but capitalistic democracy does not believe in such a linkage, or does not attempt to make it clear.

Thus, the communistic school was in reality the outcome of philosophical study. It was tested by experiencing the philosophy on which it was based, and from which it branched out. Judgement of any system (p. 81) depends on the extent of the success of that system’s philosophical notions in understanding and portraying life.

From the first glance one casts on the communistic system, it is easy to notice that, whether this system is diluted or complete, its general characteristic is to destroy the individual in society and make him an instrument to be manipulated for the purpose of realizing the general standards that this system presupposes. Therefore, it is exactly the opposite of the free capitalistic system that considers society for the sake of the individual and subjugates it to his interests. It is as if the individual personality and the social personality were destined in the traditions of these two systems to clash and to struggle against each other. The individual personality was the winner in the system whose legislation was based on the individual and his specific benefits. Thus, society was afflicted by economic tragedies that shook its existence and malformed the life of all its people.

The social personality was the winner in the other system, which tried to avoid the errors of the former system. Thus, it supported society, and sentenced the individual personality to disappearance and death. As a result of this, individuals were exposed to severe ordeals that abolished their freedom, their personal existence, as well as their natural rights to choice and thinking.

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