In 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei, Leader of The Islamic Republic of Iran, reacting to terrorist acts in France, wrote two Letters to the youth in Europe and North America. He asked that the youth maintain an open mind and be not swayed by the vicious anti-Islam hostility spewing out of Western propagandists, politicians, television and the press.
In particular, the Leader invited the youth to discover the potential that Islam has for the solution to global problems. That invitation was significant because it stimulates the question which is the crux of the matter ─ Does Islam have a solution? Does it really have a solution?
Remember, the global problems include: A likely global economic collapse; increasing rich-poor division; growing authoritarianism; ecological disaster; and military tension. The vicious Western propagandists, of course, say that there is no Islamic solution to anything. The Leader, they say, is a fantasist.
In responding to the Leader’s invitation, I believe in a major, new paradigm i.e., a completely new way of comprehending reality. The new comprehension then enables: A Justice which creates efficiency and an efficiency which creates Justice.
The arrogant West, of course, thinks it embodies efficiency and Justice but the fact is that the global economy is tottering on the cusp of collapse (although desperately propped up by astonishing amounts of quick-fix money which prolong the party a little longer, but create huge crises to come).
The many factors in the collapse include: Ever-increasing debt – personal, corporate, governmental – at levels higher than those of 2008; widening rich-poor division; the weakening of the middle classes suffering real decreases in income (at a time when physical productive capacity is hugely increasing); and inability to address the great technological shift which is smashing out traditional jobs and, replacing them, if at all, with temporary, part-time, zero hours, ‘gig economy’ jobs which are not really jobs at all.
To which can be added: Environmental depredations; endless Western aggressions; and occupations (whether military, economic or cultural) of other people’s lands. In short, the West is profoundly failing and so my main thought is a political, moral and intellectual challenge to the West at the deepest level of all ─ that of paradigm.
In challenging the West, the towering figure is Imam Khomeini who said that the aims of the Iranian Revolution must include national independence and Economic Justice. But he also said that Economic Justice cannot be found in today’s “incorrect system of economy prevalent in the world of Islam,” thus, in addition to independence, the incorrect system must be replaced not least because it is the agent of oppression by foreigners and elites.
How can that be done? Only a change of paradigm (on the scale of the Copernican Revolution) is capable of overthrowing both the incorrect Islamic system as well as the failing Western one.
In that new world (unlike today’s Western and Islamic Economics which continually narrow ownership), the real economy and real income are spread to every person in society. Furthermore, rich-poor division is ended; riba is greatly diminished; and solutions to intractable environmental problems become available. Most important of all, the new paradigm enables Iran to give the world a hugely positive, and sorely needed, lead.
Of course, it will be said that, at present, Iran is indeed giving the world a lead. Thus it stands firm against the arrogant powers who are blatant bullies and whose word can never be trusted. In contrast, Iran’s calm common sense and balanced diplomacy are exemplary. Moreover, Iran upholds religious independence, cultural independence, political independence and unity between Muslims.
Those things said, however, something is missing. It is, of course, unreasonable to expect everything of a country which is continually subject to attack and sanctions whilst always being the object of apparently never-ending Western hostility.
Yet, at the same time, a huge opportunity exists because the Western model, (particularly in its economic, political and social aspects) is on the verge of collapse and there is a crying need for some country to give major economic and political Leadership. In short, the situation requires an exportation of Justice (done without aggression or military occupation as always happens with Western imperialism).
Iran is ideally suited to give such Leadership. Its Shia faith, for example, has at its core a deep sense of the need for Justice; the Islamic religion rightly opposes riba/interest; and Western hostility to Iran will rebound on itself when Western ideology and practices are seen to be the fundamental cause of the coming global economic crisis (and the associated political and environmental crises).
So, for the sake of the future world, Iran can give the Lead and it is profoundly hoped that it will do so. This is a matter of surpassing and urgent international importance not only because the global economy is teetering on the verge of collapse but because American hegemony is weakening; and the global tectonic plates are shifting. Iran, in particular, now has a huge opportunity to give a lead to the world thereby implementing Imam Khomeini’s call for Justice.