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In principio: Modern Sciences – Mistresses of Economic Fundamentalism

Reference : Dr Javed Jamil

In principio: Modern Sciences – Mistresses of Economic Fundamentalism

Both capitalism and socialism, the two great faces of economic fundamentalism had anathema for God whose fear and love created “unnecessary” impact on human morals. Morals of course were unnecessary burden in their eyes.

Qur’anic (Dynamic) Paradigm of Health - 2
 
Economics is surely one of the essential constituents of human life. Without money, one cannot survive; we need currency for food, drinks, clothes, house, treatment, entertainment, marriage, bringing up of children and their education and even for funeral. But the problems begin to arise when money is assumed to be the only essential of life. Economics is stomach that supplies food for the body. It cannot and must not become the heart and the brain. For a wholesome living, good relations among members of family and of society, proper spiritual and moral development and proper environment are also needed. Love for money is nice, as far as it does not disturb mental, family and social peace. But as soon as it transforms into lust encroaching upon others’ spheres, it becomes a curse. When the lust for making money becomes organised, its effects on society are bound to be devastating. And when this organisation turns global and uses highly advanced information and technology available to it, mankind faces imminent ruin. This dominance of economics in the world affairs is what I call Economic Fundamentalism.

It can be seen that economic fundamentalism is becoming increasingly aggressive with every passing day. What has facilitated its stupendous growth is the outstanding ability of its generals to deal with the hurdles coming in their way. The truth is that they have been marching towards their ultimate destination without facing any appreciable resistance. They studied and recognised all the possible sources of obstruction well in advance and prepared a meticulous plan to thwart them. All possible weapons were and are being employed for this purpose: persuasion, advertising, misinformation, defama­tion, bribing, manoeuvring and use of power. The ballistic missiles of their money-power have proved to be too destructive for the resistant elements to with­stand. Through persuasion or threats they are either overpowered or purchased. The opposing forces have failed owing not only to the lack of resources but also to the glaring shortage of will and spirit. What further paralysed them are innumerable divisions in their ranks, based on religion, region, race, ideology and language. The economic fundamentalists have used this lassitude to gain on them; they are now the virtual rulers of the world. Their trumpet blows everywhere — from the north to the south and from the west to the east.  There is little evidence in sight to foretell that their dominion will shrink to any remarkable extent in the foreseeable future. Whatever few areas or fields have till now remained beyond their reach will soon be ransacked by their visible or invisible forces. How long they will be able to retain their hold, only time will tell. But presently, no signs of the emergence of a messiah or Mahdi are visible.

The rise and growth of economic fundamentalism has been, from historical standards, rather rapid taking hardly a few centuries. The think-tank of the world of economic fundamentalism has taken innumerable steps to strengthen their hold. They have sacrificed the goddess of justice before the eyes of Statue of Liberty. They have transformed through political institutions the state into their estate. They have incessantly and relentlessly been trying to organise a grand farewell for religion. They have captivated the imagination of the people through the media. They have got the attire of society redesigned so that it looks gorgeous and inviting to their eyes. They have industrialised sex, in which they have discovered the hen that always lays golden eggs. They have relocated the entire educational set-up on the Wall Street.  They have monopolised the tree of economy whose fruits and shadows are only theirs; others can only admire its beauty from a safe distance. They have taken science and technology as their mistresses that are always keen to offer their glorious best to them. They have nipped all the challenges in the buds by masterminding popular movements. They have lynched ‘civilisation’, which has been given a new incarnation; and now Bohemians are called civilised. Last but not the least, they have been busy colonising the good earth in the name of globalisation.
 


The rise and growth of economic fundamentalism has been, from historical standards, rather rapid taking hardly a few centuries. The think-tank of the world of economic fundamentalism has taken innumerable steps to strengthen their hold. They have sacrificed the goddess of justice before the eyes of Statue of Liberty. They have transformed through political institutions the state into their estate. They have incessantly and relentlessly been trying to organise a grand farewell for religion. They have captivated the imagination of the people through the media. They have got the attire of society redesigned so that it looks gorgeous and inviting to their eyes. They have industrialised sex, in which they have discovered the hen that always lays golden eggs. They have relocated the entire educational set-up on the Wall Street.  They have monopolised the tree of economy whose fruits and shadows are only theirs; others can only admire its beauty from a safe distance. They have taken science and technology as their mistresses that are always keen to offer their glorious best to them. They have nipped all the challenges in the buds by masterminding popular movements. They have lynched ‘civilisation’, which has been given a new incarnation; and now Bohemians are called civilised. Last but not the least, they have been busy colonising the good earth in the name of globalisation.


In the nineteenth and the early twentieth century, science achieved preponderance in the affairs of the world. But, with the march of the twentieth century, economics outsmarted sciences. This was an ominous development as it led to misuse, often in extremely dangerous proportions, of the various disciplines of science. The scientific spirit is no longer visible anywhere. Scientific researches are being misused to exploit the masses in order to attain the economic and political supremacy. The outcome of the misappropriation of sciences and medicine has been that a large number of life-threatening diseases are increasing in incidence at an alarming pace; people are killing one another; and family peace and social order are conspicuous by their virtual non-existence. It is therefore high time now that the vessel of scientific and medical spirit were set into motion without any further demurrage. Let us see what science means.

Science is the name given to the efforts for arriving at the truth and knowing the realities. It unfolds the mysteries of nature and explains how scores of natural forces combine to maintain perfect harmonious equilibrium essential for the sustenance of the universe and for the survival of all living beings. It teaches us how to avail ourselves the materials and energies for different purposes. It would however be dangerous to presuppose that science is merely an informer and has nothing to do with our morals. What is incontrovertible is that science too, like religion, has been and is being misused by the vested interests. The dagger of blame falls not on science but on those who misappropriate it. Scientists themselves have often tended to refute the greatest truth of the universe. A general empathy towards religion which was the outcome of malicious campaigns against it by the forces of economic fundamentalism influenced scientists too, who knowingly or unknowingly strove to present science as an antidote to religion. Religion had already been equated with orthodoxy and retrogression. It was therefore natural for the emerging edifice of science to maintain a safe distance from the Faith. Hence, when science discovered that there exists a most wonderful equipoise in the universe that keeps life intact, that there seems to be a common cause of all the causes (a common force behind all the forces), and the common cause has to be cognisant of the needs of all the creatures, they named this common cause Nature. Had it been called God, the avowed antagonism of religion by science would have suffered a major setback. The acceptance of the One by science could have been a big boost for moralists. Materialists could have faced encumbrances in their naked pursuit of money.

Consequently, numerous laws governing the vast universe were labelled not as God’s or Creator’s Laws but the Laws of Nature. The laws of gravitation and motion, for instance, were called Newton’s Laws of Gravitation and Motion rather than the Creator’s Laws, as if Newton created these laws, who in fact only tried to elucidate them. Despite all these attempts to banish God from the realm of science, the truth is that science cannot move an inch without assuming the presence of an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal, wise, calculating and all-pervading entity. It has only tried to infatuate itself by calling this omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient being as Nature. Can science enlighten us how the particles, or the space, or the waves forming “Nature” possess faculties of intelligence and wisdom? Can it explain why all the physical laws remain the same everywhere in the universe? (Einstein’s theory of relativity postulates that physical laws are the same in all co-ordinate frames all over the universe.)When there was none who understood the nature and implications of the universal laws before their being created how did they come into existence? And how were they enforced into a huge dominion without any enforcing agency?Science claims itself to be the truth and nothing but the truth, or an effort to arrive at the truth. But its signal failure has been its inability to recognise the greatest truth of the Universe. It is not that science transformed its exponents into atheists. In fact, the greatest scientists of the world including Einstein, Darwin and Newton had an unshakeable belief in the presence of the One. But what their hearts were cognisant of, their pens could not describe in a scientific jargon. It was less perhaps because they found their belief scientifically untenable and more because they were scared of becoming targets of anti-religion elements that had the dominating presence in society. Both capitalism and socialism, the two great faces of economic fundamentalism had anathema for God whose fear and love created “unnecessary” impact on human morals. Morals of course were unnecessary burden in their eyes.
 


Both capitalism and socialism, the two great faces of economic fundamentalism had anathema for God whose fear and love created “unnecessary” impact on human morals. Morals of course were unnecessary burden in their eyes.


The ethical denudation turned science amoral if not totally immoral. Scientists started thinking that science was above religion and ethics. It had no role to play in the on-going course of social history except providing or striving to provide means of comfort or supremacy to those who seek them. They have continued their work despite the fact that self-seekers misuse their inventions and discoveries to rob common people of their hard-earned money, or to kill humans for political supremacy in the world. Scientists have incarcerated themselves in laboratories, computers, books and journals; the barons of economic fundamentalism roam free. Seldom do the beacons of science protest against the on-going desecration of nature and life. The few who display some determination and conviction to vent their feelings, like environmentalists or epidemiologists, are either diplomatically tackled or neutralised through lucrative offers.

In short, there is little to doubt that the scientific spirit, which can also be called Scientific or Healthy Morality, does not govern the present world. It is the economic spirit, which can also be called Economic or Commercial Morality, which prevails and pervades everywhere. The question may here be put forward: what does the scientific morality actually mean?

Sciences can be broadly divided into material sciences and life sciences. Material sciences explain the phenomena occurring in nature and inform how precisely matter follows certain principles. The laws of physics remain the same in all the frames of reference throughout the universe. The laws of motion, the law of gravitation, and the laws relating to light, magnetism, electricity, nuclear physics and chemistry never change. Rules are the rule, and exceptions are exceptional. These laws are not only universal but also eternal having continued unchanged from time immemorial. It can be seen that every particle of the atom follows with uncompromising precision the duties imposed on it. It has no individual rights. It has to stick to the duties and prohibitions applied by “Nature”. It is because of adherence to the principles that the huge universe maintains an incredible equilibrium sustaining billions of mammoth planetary bodies that too in their turn follow the prescribed course. They all are having peaceful coexistence because each one of them knows its specified boundaries, which it never infringes.

When one studies living sciences, one finds that it is life that brings billions of billions of atoms together into one single entity.Living cells also follow the rules but the precision of material sciences is not visible here. Instead, they work within certain boundaries. Blood pressure, respiratory rate, cardiovascular impulses, etc. are not pinpointed, (as in the case of material sciences) but have upper and lower limits. No pulse count can be termed as exactly normal. The range of 60 to 80 is taken as normal. Similarly, the systolic blood pressure normally ranges between 110 and 140 mm Hg and the diastolic between 60 and 90. There are also normal ranges for the time and amplitude of different waves appearing normally in an electrocardiogram, viz., P, Q, R, S, T and U waves. The same is true for total leukocyte count, differential leukocyte count, red blood cell count, haemoglobin percentage, serum bilirubin, blood sugar, cholesterol, creatinine, globulin, albumin, T3, T4, TSH, insulin and thousands of other indicators. An individual remains healthy till all these remain within the normal ranges. As soon as any of them either shoots up beyond the upper limit, or falls below the lower limit, deterioration in health begins. These indices tend to remain in the normal range, if the individual’s routine activities including eating, drinking, physical work, sleeping, etc. remain normal. No sooner does one engage in an abnormal activity or is exposed to dangerous outsiders (bacteria, viruses or other germs), one’s body starts exhibiting signs of weakness and disease. Excessive or deficient eating and drinking, swallowing of such materials as have no role to play in the functioning of the physical system, extraordinarily exacting or sedentary work, uninhibited sex, or no sex at all—all these pose threats to the normal functioning of the body.

Economic fundamentalism thrives on change. Change, it is asserted, is the essence of a successful life; and society must continue to change with the time. The emphasis on change is the obvious outcome of the conspiracy to rob the masses by luring them to buy new fashionable clothes and household items and to adopt new social mores. But science has different ideas to disseminate altogether. Natural laws always remain precisely the same and do not change with time and place. Living beings, if at all they change, do so extremely slowly and for the better; these changes are aimed at adapting in accordance with the new environmental conditions. The corporate world, on the other hand, insists on rapid changes. In fact, it deliberately brings transformations in the surroundings for its own interests, and then pressurises the masses to make adjustments. The new changes more often than not bring disaster, not any real betterment in life. Magnates want the organs of the body to perform functions that they have not been created for. They want stomachs to digest the indigestible, lungs to inhale what is unworthy of inhalation, mouths and tongues to lick or suck what is unworthy of licking or sucking, anuses to receive what is not worthy of receiving, and brains to think what is unworthy of thinking. Yet, they harangue fantastic arguments to allow these in the name of personal freedom.
 

 The new changes more often than not bring disaster, not any real betterment in life. Magnates want the organs of the body to perform functions that they have not been created for. They want stomachs to digest the indigestible, lungs to inhale what is unworthy of inhalation, mouths and tongues to lick or suck what is unworthy of licking or sucking, anuses to receive what is not worthy of receiving, and brains to think what is unworthy of thinking. Yet, they harangue fantastic arguments to allow these in the name of personal freedom.

 

Science, it can therefore be confidently concluded, instructs that it is more important to perform duties and avoid prohibitions than asserting rights. Life sciences tell us that it is more important for the living being to work within the boundaries and never overstep limitations. This follows that the scientific or healthy morality is synonymous with discipline, probity, truth and self-restraint. The economic or commercial morality, on the other hand, which is so assiduously propelled by the modernists especially the corporate, asserts that rights have to prevail upon duties. Absolute freedom is the most cherished goal, whatever its consequences on society. Discipline is important only as far as it helps the business; in fact they enforce discipline on their employees with ruthless control over the affairs of the companies. It also follows that the scientific morality adores health, peace and order, and detests anything that jeopardises any one of these. Commercial morality does exactly the opposite. The modern world has the body of science ruled by the ghost of commercialism.

 


Science, it can therefore be confidently concluded, instructs that it is more important to perform duties and avoid prohibitions than asserting rights. Life sciences tell us that it is more important for the living being to work within the boundaries and never overstep limitations. This follows that the scientific or healthy morality is synonymous with discipline, probity, truth and self-restraint.


Science, in general, is the name given to understanding the truths of the universe and to utilise them in the best possible way for the peace, progress and prosperity of mankind.  Medical sciences, in particular, aim at alleviating the sufferings of men and to create conditions favourable for a disease-free and tension-free life. Montaigne (Essays, II) says: “Health is a precious thing, and the only one, in truth, which deserves that we employ in its pursuit not only time, sweat, trouble, and worldly goods, but even life; inasmuch as, without it life comes to be painful and oppressive to us. Pleasure, wisdom, knowledge and virtue, without it, grow tarnished and vanish away.” It will therefore be essentially in keeping with the scientific and medical spirit that all the developmental, political and adminis­trative activities are directed (or redirected) at ensuring health, family peace and social order.

As explained earlier in the chapter, the current international system is revolving around economic fundamentalism, an ideology that originated in the West but has now become a global monarch. All disciplines of life other than economics including health and peace have been relegated to secondary importance. The current theory of health has therefore the visible influence of economic fundamentalism over all of its dimensions. The models of growth in vague in the contemporary world have been developed in accordance with the requirements of economic forces; health is perhaps the biggest victim. It is in this backdrop that we will try to develop Qur’anic Paradigm of Health. We will see that

1.     While health has secondary importance in the current international systems, economics being its pivot, in Islam, health is one of the defining and deciding factors in the over-all definition of peace, which includes health as one of it most important constituents. Health is therefore not to be ignored in the over-all scheme of things. What endangers health is unacceptable for Islam, the degree of unacceptability depending upon the degree of dangers posed by a certain practice or item.
 
2.     All the three dimensions of Islam’s three-dimensional system, viz. Fundamental Duties, Fundamental Prohibitions and Fundamental Rights are meant to ensure total health (physical, mental, social and spiritual well being) along with other objectives.
 
3.     In Islam’s three-tier social system, which gives equal importance to individual, family and society, individual’s health, family health and public health, all are extremely important, and any activity that seriously hampers any aspect of the three is either entirely prohibited or effectively restricted.
 
4.     Even Social and Preventive Medicine (Community Medicine) currently taught and followed all over the world has a definite stamp of economic fundamentalism on it. Islamic models of different health related programmes are to be based primarily on health rather than economic considerations. Even social and economic programmes have to be made consistent with the demands of comprehensive health. This is what I call Therapeutic Sociology and will be dealt with in detail later.
 
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Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map” and “Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and Rediscovering the Universe”.

 

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Qur’an contains much more than what human brain can imagine, ponder or discover. This Book from the Creator of Universe is surely the Best Possible Book of Guidance for human beings. It not only enunciates social, moral and spiritual laws for human beings, as is usually believed, but it also provides clues to the fundamental universal laws (of Nature) that govern the universe in its entirety, fundamental biological laws that govern living beings and the fundamental principles that govern the human health in all its dimensions.  
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SERIES: A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur'an

 

CONTENTS

  

PART I: FAITH                                                 

 

 

 

PART II: PHILOSOPHY

 

 

PART III: CONSTITUTION

 

 

PART IV: THE SYSTEM

 

 

PART V: THE HISTORY OF CONFRONTATION

 

 

Last Word: The Final Document of Peace

 


 

 

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