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Posts Tagged ‘Arnold Toynbee

The Introduction: Al Moukkaddima of Ibn Khaldoun

Greatest work ever?

“Al Moukkaddima of (Abderrahman Ibn Khaldoun al Hadrami, 1331, 1406)) is, without any doubt, the greatest work that has ever been created by anyone so far, in all times and locations
Arnold Toynbee in his “Study of history, 1935″

From the outside, History looks like a succession of dynasties and political events.
Taking a good look from the inside, history is meant to accede to truth, to explain the causes and origins of the facts.

“History is an independent discipline of philosophy and politics which are branches: the objective of history is to define human civilization and the social, economic and cultural events, taken in their totality, as a system (Ibn Khaldoun)”

Ibn Khladoun lived in a century of calamities: La grande peste qui tua 60% des population en France, Italie, Espagne, England and to a lesser extent in North Africa. C’etait une period de guerrre entre dynasties au Maghreb: Merinides (Maroc), Abdelwadides (Tlemsen, Algerie de L’ouest), Hafsides (Tunis, Bejaja, Biskra, Kairawan, Tripoli…)

Another nomadic influx came from western Sahara, the Almoravides, who expanded under a fundamentalism Islamic ideology and even spread to Andalusia.

What are the kinds of injustices committed by the power-to-be?

1. Speculation in trade of real estates

2. Force others to work for cheap

3. Imposing illegal taxes, mainly in indirect transactions

4. Not respecting the laws imposed on all the subjects

5. Confiscation of properties

Any law that hordes the surplus of production will quickly destroy the security and stability of a society.

All these injustices are mainly committed to satisfy the luxury standard of living of the powerful clans.

The inequalities observed in crumbling regimes are characteristics of the following processes:

1. Les etats rentiers sont caracterises par une forte concentration du pouvoir.
Le veritable noblesse de base n’appartient qu’a ceux qui ont l’esprit de clan.
les revenus des butins sont difficiles a distinguer parmi le souverain et la classe de nobless.

2. Les gains des commercants and artisans sont proportionelles aux capitaux investis. Les pratiques des classes aux pouvoirs sont de confisquees les resources qui ont degagees des surplus economiques: les prix sont administers, les taxes multiplies, et les douanes eleves

3. Ceux qui n’ont rien a gagner ou a perdre (paysans qui ont abandonnes leurs terre, petits artisans…) subissent de plein fouet toutes les pratiques rentieres et la famine est generalise. Les gens se disperssent pour trouver de quoi vivre a l’etranger

4. Le rapport economique entre campagnes et villes est ponctionne par les differentes composants de l’ économie citadine. Pour les Bedouins, leur seul espoir est d’obeir aux gens des villes

5. Dans une ville, l’inegale distribution des richesses divise les classes, et les classes les plus pauvres tendent a physiquement survivre du minimum. La cause est que la classe gouvernante delapide la richesse a des fins improductives. Toute classe sociale exerce le pouvoir sur les classes qui lui sont inferieures.

6. Donc, la puissance politiques du souverain depend du niveau des richesses produites par le travail de l’homme et des conditions de leur repartition.

7. Al Assabiyya (cohesion) des tribues se deteriore avec le declin economique .

Quand l’economie decline et le souverain (avec sa classe de clans au pouvoir) recourent a la force comme seul moyen

“Le peuple prend peur, devient deprime, cherche protection contre le souverain en recourant au mensonge, le ruse, la fraude. Cela influe sur le caractere des sujets qui se gate…

Le peuple abandonent leur roi  sur les champs de batailles et s’abstiennent de le soutenir dans ses entreprises defensives…”

La politique rationnelle fonde un system de moderateur or regulateur qui a engender 2 type de systems after l’Islam:

Type 1 est le califat qui tient compte du public avant l’interet de l’administration. Il dirige les gens selon la loi divine and entend preserver la foi. Seulement la loi divine rend le califat necessaire. Les clans qui n’etaient pas de Koreiche etaient excludes du califat.

Type 2: L’interet du monarque et ses clans devient priorite . Le monarque est l’objectif naturel de l’esprit de corps

L’Introduction fut la base de nombreuse disciples comme l’economie politique, sociologie, psychologie sociale, urbanism…

Note 1: Ibn Khaldoun (1332-1406) was born in current Tunisia and died in Cairo. Written by Smail Goumeziane (former Algeria minister of Commerce (1989-1991)

Note 2: Ibn Khladoun got immersed in politics for 3 decades in the many kingdoms in current Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Grenada and witnessed all kinds of coup d’ états, persecutions and exiles. He served as Chamberlin, Grand vizir, grand Judge (cadi) and all kinds of positions. he even served as lead negotiator with Tamerlan who was besieging Damascus. He stayed with Tamerlan for 7 months and eventually this butcher reneged on the promises and entered Damascus, massacred the population and displaced its artisans to Samarkand.

Ibn Khaldoun claimed to be originally from a Hilal tribe in Hardramout (current Yemen, close to the borders with Oman). He was part of the Dawawida tribe in Biskra, from which he hired mercenaries to various sultans.

He managed to get away from politics in 1372 and lived in the fortress of Beni Salama in order to write Al Mokaddama. Prior to that date, he published Ta3rif (autobiography),  Kitab Al 3ibar (Universal History), and commentaries on Al Busiri, Ibn Ruchd (Averroes) and the poet Ibn Khattib, and manuscripts on logic and arithmetics.

He travelled to Egypt in 1382 in order to join the caravan heading to the pilgrimage to Mecca and missed it. Thus, he ended up in Cairo.

In 1385, his wife and 5 daughters drowned before reaching Alexandria. His 2 other sons were Not in the convoy and met him a few months later.

Many USA and Western diplomats have described Lebanon during its civil war (1975-1991) as a special quarantine area.  This civil war was sustained by the super powers to retaining the quarantine on Lebanon (State buffer zone) in order to prevent the spread of the Middle East social and political diseases such as feudalism, sectarianism, tribalism, caste systems, and extremist ideologies (prevalent in the Arabic and Islamic States) to the surrounding Western nations. 

These diplomats failed to add the disease of apartheid which is the trademark of the State of Israel.  This quarantine lasted for more than 17 years, and in the meanwhile the USA administrations in the 80′s and 90′s created, financed and trained a potent disease in Afghanistan.

Every stated rescue mission to Lebanon was not meant for the stability and security of the Lebanese people but for the purpose of larger strategic aims in the Middle East with the land of Lebanon as a staging base.  It is the Lebanese who encouraged the other nations to look at them not as a Nation, but as anonymous people living on a piece of land that the UN admitted as a member in 1946 among the “independent” States. 

This perception was created because all the successive Lebanese governments never behaved as administering and managing a Nation but as fief hoods for sectarian leaders who rule over modern serfs.  Even after an unimaginably lengthy and terrible civil war every single monster militia leader was pardoned by a decree from the Parliament and the ferocious sectarian leaders were inducted into the successive governments and Parliaments. 

Arnold Toynbee said that for certain people history necessarily repeat itself because they are lazy students. Most probably, it seems that history repeats itself because philosophical concepts or paradigms on life, death, the nature of Gods, free will, and predestination keep repeating themselves. The Lebanese certainly are not very hot on archiving their history, and even less on reading and revisiting their past; we have the tendency to say that what is past is past and we don’t care but for the present and how to live a good life.   This saying is true for the public consumption because, on the individual level, family feuds never vanish or are forgotten or forgiven; grandchildren still hate the grandchildren of another family simply because they overheard that their grand-grand parents were in feud.

Lebanon and Palestine have suffered the same calamities of past history again and again; these two States might never had any chance for lasting peace and stability. Syria could have fallen in the same trap because it was seriously targeted by the super powers if the dictatorship in Syria didn’t manage to re-read its history and learn from past adversities at the expense of democracy; Syria did not bed with theocratic systems and tamed clerical religious powers. 

In ancient history, the City-States of inland Syria barely put a fight to a powerful invader; it is as if Syria learned to normally change skins and share in the dominion of the new Empire that displaced the former; it is as if Syria believed it was actually the new invader.

The US and the European States are creating another current “quarantine area” in the Near East: It is called Gaza.  They want to shelter the Moubarak regime of Egypt from the contamination of HAMAS!  As if the Egyptian Moslems Brotherhood was not founded around 1940, a decade before the forceful creation of the State of Israel.  They want to shelter the apartheid State of Israel from religious extremist trend; as if Zionism was not created around 1880, over a century ago before Islam got virulent in 1990.




August 2022

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