In the book Nizam al Islam sheikh Taqiuddin an Nabhani was quite right when he said of the western ideology, that capitalism (the pursuit of increasing capital) is the most prominent part of the ideology. That view is as correct today as it was when it was first articulated some 70 years back. The concept of democracy although a major feature of Western ideology is less prominent and therefore what is implemented in the West is referred to as capitalism.
Some critics of this understanding argue that this depiction of capitalism is archaic, outdated and does not reflect the reality of what is implemented in the world as capitalism.
What they fail to realise is that the description of western ideology, did not come from an observation of what is implemented. Rather it came from an archetype of what is an ideology. The intellectual construct based on observation of ideologies was used to assess the three ideologies, Islam, communism and capitalism. Namely , that an ideology consists of Fikra (viewpoint on life and thoughts and rules of what should be implemented) and tariqa ( how the fikra should be implemented)
On the basis of this archetype it became possible to crystallise what the Islamic systems of life were both in terms of thought and method. Without this archetype the confusion that existed and still exists in the minds of Muslims as to how Islam is applied would still persist. The nuances in capitalism were not perceived to be mission critical to those that sought to see the return of Islam to state and society.
In today’s reality, many Muslims have become accustomed to a certain view of capitalism. That yes, there is an economic aspect which has always been prominent , but also that democracy and freedom are an integral part of it. Indeed many have become comfortable with capitalism, some secretly admiring it and others openly extolling its virtues.
In 2020, it is increasingly apparent that capitalism is morphing to a different shape. How it will end up is not clear. What is clear though are the ideas that are being pushed by those who can be regarded as capitalists (i.e the owners of big capital). What is also clear is that we are now entering a period tension internally with different trends within capitalist society. Authoritarianism vs Libertarianism, big corporations working through government departments a tendency towards the amalgamation of corporations and government as happened under the Nazis in Germany and Mussolini in Italy. Fascism where the elites interests are pursued through the mechanisms state. Perhaps even an era of neo feudalism , where the lords oft he manor sit behind tech controlling the serfs.
To many western intellectuals ( those that haven’t been duped or corrupted by funding and positions) , this penny has not yet dropped. In places like Britain normal democratic processes have been by passed, the mainstream media is purely trumpeting the virtues corporate inspired medications, green economy and exclusively pushes the government agenda dismissing or misrepresenting other views regardless of them being factual and accurate . Policing is becoming increasingly more draconian and the spectre of the military coming out to control the streets is certainly in the air.
As Muslims it’s important to take a stance whilst all this goes on – that stance cannot be based on anything other than Islam. What we are witnessing is an internal struggle within capitalism and western societies. If Muslims are to help humanity we need put our own house in order and implement Islam, in the Muslim countries. The opportunity for change is now here.
If Muslims do not do this at this point in time – then whatever the outcome of the tussle in the West our ummah will be on the receiving end of usurpation of their resources and efforts. Perhaps for another century or more if capitalists succeed in implementing their agenda.
The current rulers of the Muslim world would be all too happy to implement a hi tech tyranny over their populations. The only way out is the reinstatement of the khilafah.