5th International Ibn Khaldun Symposium

An Attempt to Understand the Crisis of the Liberal Model by Employing Khaldunian Thought

Mustapha Bekhouche

Last modified: 28-04-2019

Abstract (400-500 words)

The World Trade Organization does not propose solutions so much as it poses problems. Presently, market mechanisms have grown incapable of steering market forces, this includes the lack of a comprehensive discourse which assumes that economic system integration are sufficient for the bridging of gaps in development, as was the case amongst EU member states where the Euro crisis reveals the questionable locomotive power of stronger economic states in hauling along other state economies towards development as in the case of the French German alliance in constructing the EU. Furthermore, in light of increased transparency and sensitivities surrounding, fragile economies have demonstrated the disincentives for economic system integration as was seen in the case of Greece. The present day liberal discourse reveals it’s emphasis towards greater centralization of capital in central precincts in return for the greater concentration of humans in marginal areas which results in greater inequalities, causing potential threats to international stability and security. Present reality dictates the reproduction of those aiding discourses of dependence. One prominent example of this includes the role of economic crises and the heightened acceleration and accumulation of debt within marginalized economies as a result of their dependency on centralized systems, added to the necessitating such states to implement free trade policies and import from countries particularly affiliated with centralized capital. This is including and not limited to the increase of in the monitored politics in relation to the flow of investments and export trends which serve as prerequisites for the offering of development programs in marginalized countries, this is all while such programs ultimately function to serve the central system and its markets. This is established to ensure that marginal countries serve as a net source of wealth for the central system and not for the purpose of future developments through aid as is commonly assumed. It has become apparent that a world of free trade does not promote growth throughout world countries but rather causes marginal countries to bear the consequences in the case of an economic crisis occurring in central countries. This leads us to reflect on the relationships between market economy and democracy championed by advocates of liberal values which is supposedly reflect the supremacy of the liberal model. Contrary to the prevalent discourse which portrays democracy and market economies as mutually conjunct mechanism towards human development. In this paper, I argue that human civilization may not be sustained upon these two concepts of democracy and market economy alone without the realization of western civilization’s entire trajectory towards disintegration and self annihilation. In fact, the interplay of the two concept poses an undeniably growing paradox which is expected to end in a clash as opposed to eventual concurrence. While the individual and their development represents the ultimate aim of democracy project, in a free market the individual is transformed into a commodity. Furthermore, we find in the democratic values, discrepancies in equity between individuals and the encouragement of divergences and variation in individual economic differences. In this sense, French scholar Jaqcues Attali predicts the demise of democracy as well as its gradual replacement with a dictatorship of the market, for him this will in turn result in the demise of social and religious values causing industry values to assume control of political organizations and institutes. The signs of this for him are manifested in the EU’s management of the Greece crisis. This paper attempts to discuss the crisis inherent to the liberal model by employing a Khaldunian framework which is equipped with analytical tools capable of addressing the crisis of capitalism through; Ibn Khaldun’s view on the role of civilization in explaining the cycles of capitalist crises and the laws of asabiyya in understanding the rise of nationalism in correspondence with failing integration projects such as those of the EU’s Greek and Portuguese financial crisis, Brexit and Nafta.



العصبيات، دورة الحضارة، القوة، التكامل والاندماج