At the dawn of the industrial age, the great English philosopher John Locke proclaimed the idea that the only true knowledge is drawn only from our direct experience. Not by chance, Berkeley and Hume,the fathers of empiricism and sensualism, worked and proclaimed their ideas in England – the cradle of capitalism and the modern industrial era. These ideas had a huge contribution to the latest scientific discoveries and the development of modern science in general. Through that attitude for the study of phenomena in the world around us, countless discoveries were made that changed the world – and the way we see it, and himself.
Empiricism taught humankind to look at the properties of the objects around them, compare them with each other and found regular processes that connect objects. Thus made possible the experience of a person to absorb as much experience of others. This is a safe, reliable, and practical criterion for the truth of knowledge. On the other hand, the more goods industrialized world swept the world with, the more empiricism established itself as dominant attitude of perception.
Quite naturally, this way of knowledge became dominant in developed countries: not only in academia but also beyond – in political practice, in education, in culture at all. Nowadays, however, it becomes a stone tied to the neck of the rich West, that can be drown in the throes of global problems.
One of the direct consequences of empiricism is we are inclined to notice the differences between the phenomena around us, but we do not think about the reasons that cause these differences. Very often, these reasons are not observable in the immediate experience or are so complex that we do not have software tools for their registration. Quite naturally, with the exclusion of the causes of visible phenomena from the circle of our knowledge, we bow our cognitive process in classification of recorded events. This is very well seen in the development of historical science in the Western world, and hence its influence in strategic research and theories which have significant role for the development of present day international relations. During 1948, Arnold Toynbee wrote his History of the World in which cultural differences between nations were described and arranged in a classification table. After him, other authors have developed their own classifications, where closer, where different from that of Toynbee. The latest effort in this regard is that of widely known nowadays Samuel Huntington. These works of Western scientific thought form analytical instrument of political scientists, experts, advisers and all others that determine the behavior of large and small states in the international arena today. Accordingly, deficiencies in studies of authors such as Toynbee and Huntington are played daily in international politics. Moreover, if in the middle of the 20th century, these shortcomings could be left without consequences, so in today’s global era they are the immediate cause very dangerous for all of us and far-reaching actions of politicians.
Authors such as Huntington explained what are the differences between the Western World and the Islamic civilization, but did not explain what raised these differences. This automatically leads to the inability to predict the dynamics and the inability to find ways to overcome them. Logically international strategies today revolve around the encounter of civilizations, not about their integration. However, even if it is recognized that the clash is dangerous and must be avoided attempts for integration are contradictory in their effects and surprises its initiators. Instead of integration, the policies of world powers bring growing chaos. Again, the reason is the empiricist way of thinking.
In addition to the perception of world history, this attitude prevails in practice and thinking of Western society in its contemporary phenomena. The facts of this society are just accepted as given and there are absent any attempts to understand what and how it affects those facts. Momentum empirical paradigm makes western politicians think that if democracy has proven in their practice, it will is valid in all other societies.
The presence of democratic procedures is associated with democracy itself, thereby misunderstood the conditions under which democracy is possible, and what is a democracy at all, and when it could become part of the fabric of a society, and when it will behave as a cancerous tumor to it. The simple empirical fact that democracy works flawlessly already 200 years in the western world, creates the illusion that it is normal and inevitable for all world cultures. It is this illusion was in a formation and the state policy of the United States in the Middle East, and otherwise deserving admiration intention to integrate the Islamic and Western worlds. This is assumed by default that will happen as a process of democratization of Islamic countries. However, this completely contradicts echoes of Islamic culture. In the Islamic world, there have never been conditions for the emergence of democracy, nor can it be seen today as a model of self-government of the Islamic community.
What in the nature of democracy cannot be perceived by western political scientist and politician trained to analyze from the perspective of empiricism?
To have democracy we need to have free citizens to express their will in elections. We need to have representatives of those citizens in the government to manage the institutions according to the free will of citizens. Finally, we need to have a structure of the state, which ensures that the free will of the citizens will not be replaced with the private interests of some politicians. All these things are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for the existence of democracy. When we speak of free citizens, the foundation and the beginning of democracy, we understand that the will of an individual is independent of the will of any other person in society. In other words, we assume the existence of personal independence. Personal independence, however, can only exist where there is private property and capitalism. However, capitalism can be present only where there is an industry and developed stock and labor markets.
Nothing like that can be found in Islamic societies. There is not Islamic state that have developed industry based on the production of goods on an industrial scale. Private property, to the extent it exists, functions only in relation to the exploitation of natural resources such as oil, gas or other minerals, which, however, is exploitation in the context of the functioning of Western culture and capitalism, that are external to the Islamic countries phenomena. Market forces do not carry out the redistribution of income in the society of the mining industry. The institutional mechanisms of the state do this, which as a rule is built on the personal relationship between individuals and society, grouped into clans and families. Lack of industry and capitalism renders the existence of independent private individuals, respectively, and the main element of any democracy. Therefore, Islamic society continues to be govern by moral imperatives that are only alternative to democratic procedures. Moral imperatives are an expression of the personal relationship that exists between members of the Islamic society. In a society that is not dominated by abstract ideas and party programs, only the personal authority can interpret the actions of individuals as good or bad according to moral dogma, such as the Koran. This is completely alien to democracy, but is perfectly natural and normal for a society that does not know the industrial mode of production. The western politicians, however, perceive this simplicity of traditional Islamic societies, as a source of distress and trouble. They know very well from their empirical experience what democracy is, but do not understand and cannot understand how it created naturally, and when this is external body that should be rejected by the public organism.
Perhaps the most reasonable way for the integration of the Islamic world in the global era are massive investments in industrial enterprises in these countries. The losses will be less than the alternative of continuing to intrude something foreign to these countries, which give rise to a violent hatred and terrorism. Developing a real industrial base in Islamic countries will change life metabolism of these societies and create real preconditions for democracy as a universal political order in the global era.
Project Founder and Manager
Jordan Yankov works as a consultant for development of different types of power generation projects, energy planning and development. Jordan has experience as manager in advertising, multimedia, marketing and technology projects. He has graduated philosophy but he never persuaded an academic carrier. Despite that, he maintained his strong interests in fundamental sciences, philosophy and social problems. For several years, he helped d-r Ivan Punchev in his efforts to develop non-classic dialectical logic in mathematical form. As a result, he elaborated his own ideas in the fields of fundamental sciences, artificial intelligence and social prognoses. All of this inspired him to start The Human Future Project as an ongoing streamlined effort to create new paradigm for understanding of the human nature.