Economics and wisdom

The ideology of growth causes huge disparities between nations, regions and social classes, destroys ecological balance, degrades the environment and leads to social upheavals, civil wars, clashes and poverty. More production and bigger growth rates do not mean welfare they cause greater disparity among social groups and present desires that cannot be fully met as inherent needs of human beings, and thus create further demands. This is a process of suicide for humans and life. There are three questions on this matter that we need to answer:
1. How can we control and restrain this material-economic growth that is taking us hostage? This is a question for the entirety of humankind and particularly for the followers of a religion that perceives the world within the universe of faith. Muslims can offer a proper and grounded answer to this question however, they instead focus on how to grow, and they use their primary sources and traditions to offer an answer to this question. As a result of this misinterpretation and misreading, they have based their political ideology upon greater development and growth. Muslims should no longer ask the wrong question, which they have been asking for two centuries. They should dare to question the clichandeacute and”Islam is not against science, progress, development, modernity and growth.and”
2. How can we coexist peacefully? The precondition for peaceful coexistence requires acceptance of others and measures to prevent the alienation of outcasts. This is in fact a theological matter about the purpose of our existence. The enlightenment ideology cannot offer an answer to this question. We need to pay attention to the genuine sources of Islam. The attainment of justice is essential for social, economic and political coexistence. Where will we find the true forms of justice? What is the purpose of freedom, morality and human beings? Unless we find answers to these questions, we cannot offer an answer to the question of how we can achieve peaceful coexistence.
3. How can we control ourselves? This is the most important question. Liberal capitalism is a system that promotes individual desires and unlimited aspirations the strength and weakness of this system is growth ideology. The system becomes powerful as it grows, but it is weakened when growth stops, and the true dynamism for growth is the desires and passions of the self. If we can find a solution for controlling the self, we can cure the illness of the ideology of growth.
The ongoing crisis is a manifestation of the huge confrontation of mankind. In fact, humans are in a struggle with themselves, others, nature and God. What will put an end to this crisis is a new process of peace — an ancient invention.
It is futile to attempt to deal with this crisis by restoring capitalism and we cannot resolve this crisis by borrowing from socialism or integrating Islam with liberalism or leftist ideologies. We could use this crisis as an opportunity to develop new conceptual frameworks. The Prophet Yusuf responded to a period of scarcity after a period of abundance by reliance on economic wisdom. If man is spoiled, the universe is also spoiled if man is restored, the universe is restored. We need to save the world from the experts and analysts who rely on a doctrine of the accumulation of power, more production and more consumption as well as the development of uninterrupted projects of growth that are void of wisdom.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman