Between contemplation and action and thus “spiritual authority” and “temporal power” is the difference between ‘inward power’ and ‘outward power.’ Inward power – which is represented by the intellectual and spiritual elite – serves as the lifeblood of outward power, which is represented by the “temporal power” in the form of the government class. Moreover, outward power must be vested with the blessing or “Barakah” of the inward power along with legitimacy being conferred upon it by the inward power. Thus, outward power has to be brought into inward power in order for outward power to have blessing and legitimacy. Today’s political instability and social strife – which has assumed a global scope as of late –stem from the fact that people in a number of societies no longer know their rightful place. Blurring the lines between drastically different individuals and groups in the name of “democracy” and “egalitarianism” and enabling all to mingle with all is not the natural design of any society.
Moreover, there is also the issue of what Aristotle deemed as ideal forms of government versus the perversions of the ideal forms of government. For instance, tyranny is the perverted form of monarchy, whereas oligarchy is the perverted form of aristocracy, and democracy is the perverted form of a polity. Why Iran’s system of government has withstood egregious Western sanctions is because it adheres to the traditional “caste” system which was alluded to in the previous essay. Also, it is worth noting that universal suffrage was never part of either the Western or Eastern tradition because governance requires a lot of knowledge and wisdom, and the masses do not have access to such knowledge and wisdom or are uninterested in such knowledge and wisdom, even with the advent of technology and so forth. Thus, governance is not to be left in the hands of the masses and universal suffrage. As a result, the United States was run by an educated ‘polity’ at its founding, not by universal suffrage.
In turn, boasting about supporting Israel as the “only democracy” in the Middle East with the handful of political deadlocks it has had over the course of the last few years stems from pettiness of thought rather than anything substantial, given that there is no ethical or moral justification whatsoever to support Israel after all the atrocities which Israel has committed against a largely unarmed and vulnerable Palestinian population.
I alluded to “Barakah” earlier, which amounts to the “blessing” of either a spiritual authority or God himself being conferred upon a government and society. The Islamic tradition suggests that the overthrow of a good leader is a major cause of a government and society losing its “Barakah.” In the case of the United States, the stolen election of the year 2000 whereby George W. Bush stole the election from Al Gore can be considered the moment when American government and society lost its “Barakah.”
In essence, the intellectual and spiritual authority in a society acts as the “unmoved mover” behind government and society, and is to be sheltered from the stresses and troubles of society at-large. Thus, the notion of the intellectual and spiritual authority being an “inward power” rather than an outward power. However, in recent times, outward power is largely controlled and hampered by financiers and the ‘nouveau riche,’ thus the stymying of economic and social progress on the societal level along with the growing inequality between the various classes, which in turn serves as the impetus for anti-establishment and populist sentiment.
Also, the ability of internationalist capital to move across borders with impunity or without regulation causes political instability and social upheaval more than anything else in this day and age, aside from the novel phenomenon that is social media. Thus, aside from the alignment of interests and cognizance of the pluralistic nature of international society, the main prerequisite for peace and stability in the international system is for restrictions to be put on the autonomy of internationalist capital. The abandonment of ‘dark money’ as a necessity is something that is being growingly realized in lots of places, and whether this realization becomes more widespread remains to be seen.