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Capitalist Democracy

So let us start with the capitalist democratic system, the stystem which cast a sort of injustice in the economic life, a dictatorship in the political, a stagnation in the intellectual life of the Church and whatever is related to it, preparing the reins of government and influence to a new ruling group which substituted its predecessors yet played their very social role only in a new manner ... !

Capitalist democracy has been based upon a li mitless belief in the individual, and that his per- sonal interests by themselves guarantee, naturally, the society's interest in different fields ..., and that the idea of government is but for the pro- tection of individuals and their personal interests; therefore, the government must not go beyond this objective in its activities and actual scopes.

Capitalist democracy may be summarized in declaring the four norms of freedom: political, econ- omic, intellectual and individual.

Political freedom allows every individual's speech to be heard and opinion to be respected in determining the nation's general well-being, planning, construction and appointing the authorities for her protection. For the nation's general system and ruling organ are a matter directly linked to the life of each of her individuals, affectively touching his happiness or misery; so, it is natural, then, that each individual has the right to participate in and build both system and organ. Had the social issue been as we said before, a matter of life or death, happiness or misery of the natives upon whom general laws and regulations are enforced, it equally is natural not to let an indi- vidual or group, whatever the circumstances may be, take her responsibility as long as there is no individual whose purity of purpose and wisdom of mind rise above inclinations and mistakes.

Therefore, there has to be a complete equity in the political rights of all natives, for they all are equal in bearing the results of the social issue and obeying the demands of constituting and executing authorities. Upon this basis stands the right of voting and the principle of general election which guarantee that the ruling organ, in all its authorities and offices, represents the majority of natives.

Economic freedom hinges upon the belief in free economy, whereupon the policy of open door has been erected, determining to open all doors and prepare all fields before the native in the economic field. So, everyone is free to possess for the sake of both consumption and production. Such productive possession, which makes the mass capital without a limit or restriction, is equally allowed for every- one. Each individual, then, possesses an absolute freedom to produce, in any norm or method, accu- mulate, increase and multiply wealth in the light of his own personal interests and benefits.

According to the allegation of some defenders of this "economic freedom", the laws of political economy, which naturally are based on general principles, can guarantee the society's happiness and keep an economic equilibrium in it ..., and that the personal interest, which is the strong motif and real goal of the individual in his work and activ- ity, is the best to guarantee the general social interest, and that the competition which takes place in the free market is solely sufficient to create the spirit of justice and equity in different accords and con- tracts. The natural laws of economy, for example, interfere in keeping the natural level of price in a manner which can almost be mechanical, for if the price rises above its fair natural limits, demand will decrease, according to the natural law which rules that "The rise of a price causes a decrease in de- mand", and the decrease in demand causes in turn lowering the price, according to another natural law, and it does not leave price until it lowers it to its previous level, thereby removing exceptions. The personal interest always imposes upon the individual to think of the way to increase and i mprove production, while decreasing its expense and cost. This (according to the same theory) brings forth the society's interest at the same time when it is regarded as a private issue which also concerns the individual ... !

Competition naturally demands restricting prices of goods and fair wages to workers and labourers without injustice or inequity, for each seller or pro ducer fears raising his prices or lowering the wages of his labourers because of the competition of other sellers and producers.

Intellectual freedom means that people must live free in their doctrines and beliefs according to their reasoning or whatever their liking and incli nation inspire to them without obstacles from the authority. The government must not rob any indiv- idual of this freedom, nor must she forbid him from practising his right in it, the proclamation of his ideals and beliefs, and the defence of his view- points and reasoning.

Personal freedom expresses: the emancipation of man in his behaviour from different kinds of press- ure and restriction. Therefore, he possesses his will and (the freedom to) improve it according to his personal desires, regardless of whatever happens as a result of applying such control over his personal conduct of consequences and results, unless they clash with the control of others over their own con- duct. The deadline at which the personal freedom of any individual stops is: the freedom of others. As long as the individual does not harm this freedom, there is no problem in conditioning his life in the manner he likes, following different customs, tra- ditions, rituals and rites they find palatable, for this is a private matter which is linked to his being, pre- sent and future. As long as he possesses such being, he is capable of faring with it however he pleases.

Religious freedom, according to the capitalism it calls for, is but an expression of the individual freedom in its doctrinal aspect, and of the personal freedom in the practical aspect which is related to doctrines and conduct ... !

From this exposition we can reach this sum- mary: the wide intellectual line of such system, as we hinted to it, is:

Society's interests are linked to those of the individual; for the individual is the base where- upon the social system must be placed. A good government is the apparatus which is utilized for the service and benefit of the individual and the strong instrument to keep and protect his interests.

Such is the capitalist democracy in its basic principles for the sake of which several revolutions broke up and many peoples and nations strove to achieve under the leadership of leaders who, when describing such new system and counting its merits, describe paradise in its blessing and happiness and what it contains of aspiration, bliss, dignity and fortune, and upon which several amendments were made, but such amendments never touched its heart's essence; rather, it stayed maintaining the most signi- ficant of its principles and bases.

Adopted from the book: "Contemporary Man and The Social Problem" by: "Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr"

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