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Understanding the 'Isms'
Publication date: 2002-03-19

The Essence of Various Social, Political and Economic Theories

If you look at any newspaper you will certainly find at least one mention of an ‘ism’ or ‘ists’. And bookshops and libraries have whole departments dedicated to various ‘isms’. By ‘isms’ I mean various doctrines and movements that have existed in the world throughout human history and proliferate today.

The ‘isms’ in fashion today are ‘Terrorism’, ‘Anti‐Terrorism’, ‘Islamism’, and, of course, the old‐time favorites ‘Capitalism’ and ‘Socialism’.

There are two types of ‘isms’: active and passive. Active ‘isms’ are the ‘isms’ that are used by the proponents of the ‘isms’ to describe themselves. Passive ‘isms’ are ‘isms’ used to describe or label others. Thus ‘Socialism’ is an active ‘ism’, because it is used by those, who profess this doctrine, to describe themselves. So there are people who call themselves ‘socialists’. ‘Capitalism’ is a passive ‘ism’. It was invented by socialists to describe behavior of others.

“Islamism” is another example of a passive ‘ism’. It is not professed by any group of people. There is no Islamist ideology, party, organisation or any other institution. The term ‘Islamism’ was invented by the American government in response to an accusation that their “War against Terrorism” is a war against Islam.

They call Islamists those Muslims whom they see as hostile to the US, to distinguish them from the Muslims in general. So Islamists are just those Muslims who are ‘bad guys’ in the eyes of the American government.

While the history of various ‘isms’ might be instructive and fascinating, the real issue is not in the historical details, but in the commonality of all the ‘isms’.

And it is the belief of the adherents of the active ‘isms’, that adherence to whatever ‘ism’ they happen to choose gives them a right to interfere with the lives, freedom and property of those who are not proponents of their ‘ism’. Thus socialists believe that they have a right to control freedom and property of others.

The commonality of all passive ‘isms’ is the belief of the inventors of the ‘ism’ that they have a right to interfere with the life, freedom and property of those whom they choose to label as ‘ists’. Thus socialists believe that they can confiscate, or ‘nationalise’ the property of the ‘capitalists’.

Until we accepts that interference with lives, freedom and property of others is crime, and that holding of any views or beliefs does not bestow on anyone an immunity from that crime, groups of people will continue to kill other people, seize other people's property and interfere with other people's freedom, in the name of various political, social, economic, demographic, nationalist or religious doctrines.

The solution to it all is government by truth, honesty and justice in accordance with the principles of the World Court of Justice.

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Copyright (C) 2002 Shams Ali — All rights reserved

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