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Marx & Engels on Capitalism, Class Struggle and Crisis
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Whether loving or hating it, many visualize capitalism as an unstoppable juggernaut. For those of us who would defeat it, we must identify its weaknesses. Fortunately, Marx and Engels’ writings on “crisis” reveal them. They show how its endless imposition of exploitative and alienating work creates such antagonistic conflicts everywhere as to make it, ultimately, a far more fragile monster than it first appears. Each of its efforts to shape social relationships, subordinating them to the work of commodity production and its control over society, has been and can be thrown into crisis by those of us resisting its way of life and seeking to create more appealing alternatives.
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Ibn al-Azraq (d. 896/1491) was a renowned Andalusian jurist (faqīh) and statesman who lived during the final period of the Nasrid emirate of Granada. His most famous work, Badāʾiʿ al-Silk fī Ṭabāʾiʿ al-Mulk (Unprecedented Lines about the Nature of Political Rule), is a political treatise that builds upon Ibn Khaldūn’s (d. 808/1406) social theory (Ꜥilm al-Ꜥumrān). In The grand critic of Ibn Khaldūn Elena Şahin critically analyses the major aspects of Ibn al-Azraq’s political thought.
In this contribution on the field of the history of Islamic political thought, Elena Şahin demonstrates that while Ibn al-Azraq integrates the thrust of Ibn Khaldūn’s approach, Ibn al-Azraq’s work should be regarded as part of a larger conversation amongst various scholars, engaging, for example with the Andalusian jurist al-Shāṭibī’s (d. 790/1388) theory of Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa. Widening the analysis of Ibn al-Azraq’s work illuminates that Ibn al-Azraq’s political theory was in opposition to that of Ibn Khaldūn, and thus gives us a better understanding of the dynamic debates within Andalusian political thought.