Europe, News Watch, Side Feature

Capitalism Cannot Balance the Individual and Societal Needs

An article by an Observer columnist, Will Hutton titled: “Which philosophy helps us confront the crises that beset us… ‘we first’ or ‘me first’?” (Source: The Guardian)

The existential crisis for the secular capitalist ideology gets deeper every day, as its proponents continue to talk up its benefits, while becoming increasingly aware that its many harms can no longer be ignored. The author of the above article suggests that the solution lies in finding the proper balance between the individual and society. An obvious question remains: who is to determine the proper balance? How do we know when we have it right? This is no easy question to answer, which proponents of democracy have always been unable to answer. Their best solution does not attempt to find an objective answer, as they will inevitably fall back to the majority view, which is just another way of saying “might is right”. Hence, whichever group is more powerful and more able to manipulate public opinion on an issue will win the democratic contest, regardless of whether an appropriate balance was struck.

Islam does not leave such a complicated and fundamental matter of the balancing the needs of individuals and society to the whims of people. Nor did Allah leave humankind to fight it out among ourselves until one group declares a democratic majority. The harm being done while the two groups continue their endless battle is immense, yet Allah’s mercy in sending a Messenger could save us all from their selfish and arrogant bickering.

No person is oppressed, nor any group neglected when Allah’s Shariah is implemented. The Shariah determined the correct balance between the individual and society. It defines what is a basic necessity and what is a luxurious desire. It also distinguished the areas of legislation that are fixed and people have no choice, the areas where expert opinion should prevail, or where the majority opinion is to be upheld. Being that it is derived exclusively from the revealed texts of Quran and Sunnah, it is objectively correct and not subject to the whims and philosophies of one group or another.

Yahya Nisbet
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain