Transcript with references:
In the West, Adam Smith is considered to be the ‘father of economics’. He is ‘revered’ both by Western academics and in Western popular culture and government, particularly within the ‘citadel of the international right wing’, Washington, D.C.
As noted by Canada’s leading intellectual, John Ralston Saul, adherents to Washington’s “neo-conservative/neo-liberal” ideology treat Adam Smith as their version of a god, ‘worshiping’ and enforcing their professed faith in him around the world through militancy and terror. Most of the writers, leaders, and philosophers murdered globally, Ralston Saul points out, are killed by these Western fundamentalists and the extremist proxy regimes and militant groups they train, install, and prop up.
In addition to assassinating or jailing ‘dissident’ writers and thinkers, Washington runs reeducation camps, both domestic and international, to force its extremist interpretations of Smith upon anyone within its grasp, largely focusing on vulnerable young people.
However, Smith’s work, in reality, is very little read. What is known are largely snippets and sound-bites, and even these are taken out of context and perverted, often to justify doing the opposite of what Smith actually calls for. While Western oligarchs hide behind Smith’s works in the same way that others hide behind books like the Bible, Smith, in reality, was highly critical of oligarchs, noting that they would conspire to falsify markets and ensure that their own self-interest was always ‘most peculiarly attended to’, regardless of the cost to others. Smith was also a harsh critic of free capital flow, pointing out that it would destroy nations, and he was even opposed to division of labor, which he said would be a major violation of human rights and therefore governments would have to intervene to prevent it.
Another video will explore in depth what Western oligarchs actually do while they hide behind out-of-context and over-simplified passages from books like The Wealth of Nations, but here their actions can be summarized in a word: predation; they use their power to subdue and rob people who are weaker than them.
One of many important examples of this is the Middle East. For hundreds of years, a major target of Western predation has been this strategically important and resource rich region.
When the West begins to target an area or group of people for plunder, its attacks are accompanied by mass propaganda campaigns. These serve to add pretext for the Western predation and to help Western populations cope with the mental discomfort that results from murdering, brutalizing, and robbing innocent people.
Thus, Jack Shaheen, a prominent media studies professor, observes that US corporate media and government, which are often indistinguishable, depict Middle Easterners as quote ‘untermenschen’ – the German word for sub-humans – a term the Nazis used to dehumanize their victims, and which, in fact, the Nazis likely learned from the US.
It’s all the more ironic, then, that Adam Smith, quote, “got most of his best ideas and best lines from medieval Islam”, specifically from Sharia law, as noted by David Graeber, an anthropologist who has taught at Princeton and the London School of Economics.
For example, around the year 1,100, Islamic thinker al-Ghazali “highlighted the importance of the division of labour” using “the example of a needle factory to illustrate his point”. Seven centuries later, Adam Smith used the same example, a needle factory, to illustrate the same idea, division of labor, but without citing al-Ghazali.
Ibrahim M. Oweiss, an Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Economics at Georgetown, writes that another of Smith’s Islamic sources, and perhaps the most important, may have been Ibn Khaldun.
Oweiss notes that Khaldun’s “significant contributions to economics … should place him [ahead of Smith] in the history of economic thought[, as Smith’s] great works were published some three hundred and seventy years after Ibn Khaldun’s death. Not only did Ibn Khaldun plant the germinating seeds of classical economics, whether in production, supply, or cost, but he also pioneered in consumption, demand, and utility, the cornerstones of modern economic theory.
It was Ibn Khaldun, not Adam Smith, who first presented the contribution of labor [in terms] of building up the ‘wealth of a nation’…
It was also Ibn Khaldun … who made [the] case for a free economy and for freedom of choice.”
(Khaldun’s “theory of taxation … has affected modern economic thought and even economic policies in the United States and elsewhere.”)
It was not until “centuries later, that [his] ideas were developed by the Mercantilists, the commercial capitalists of the seventeenth century-Sir William Petty (A.D. 1623-1687), Adam Smith (A.D. 1723-1790), David Ricardo (A.D. 1772-1823), Thomas R. Malthus (A.D. 1766-1834), Karl Marx (A.D. 1818-1883), and John Maynard Keynes (A.D. 1883-1946), to name only a few – and finally by contemporary economic theorists.”
Professor Joseph Alois Schumpeter, an Austrian-born American economist and political scientist who served as Finance Minister of Austria in 1919, writes, cited by Oweiss, that Adam Smith was in fact “a mere collector of previous economic thoughts. He eloquently presented these ideas in detail in an excellent new form and style[, but n]evertheless, by comparison, Ibn Khaldun was far more original than Adam Smith, in spite of the fact that the former had also restructured and built upon foundations laid down before him, such as …. Aristotle’s analysis of money and Tahir Ibn al-Husayn’s treatment of government’s role. Still, it was Ibn Khaldun who founded the original ideas in numerous areas of economic thought.”
One of the reasons Westerners often prefer to attribute these ideas to Smith and other people of European descent rather than to Sharia law, is to assist with the previously mentioned propaganda campaigns that are intended to dehumanize victims of the West. Oweiss notes that “ever since the Crusades, which lasted from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, most Western philosophers attempted to discount the impact of Muslim scholars through a multiplicity of approaches, which included using Muslim ideas without mentioning the name of a Muslim author. The protracted war waged by the Crusaders to capture the Holy Land from the Muslims created a strong antagonistic feeling, well embedded in the Western mind, from which Western scholars were not immune and which lasted for centuries, probably until modern times.” Another example of this dynamic is the founders of the US taking ideas about government and other areas from Native philosophers, then leading the extermination of the Native nations while using propaganda to suppresses their humanity, a project that unfortunately also continues today.
Though Smith does not cite specific sources for the ideas he gets from Sharia, he does openly praise Muslim economic systems generally, writing in his History of Astronomy that “the empire of the Caliphs seems to have been the first state under which the world enjoyed that degree of tranquility which the cultivation of the sciences requires. It was under the protection of those generous and magnificent princes, that the ancient philosophy and astronomy of the Greeks were restored and established in the East; that tranquility, which their mild, just and religious government diffused over their vast empire, revived the curiosity of mankind, to inquire into the connecting principles of nature.”
One noted European historian who breaks from the trend of refusing to praise specific Muslim scholars, Arnold J. Toynbee writes of Ibn Khaldun that “in his chosen field of intellectual activity, [Khaldun] appears to have been inspired by no predecessors … and yet, in the Prolegomena … to his Universal History he has conceived and formulated a philosophy of history which is undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has yet been created by any mind in any time or place.”
Oweiss concludes that because of Khaldun’s “unprecedented contributions to the overall field of economics”, he, not Adam Smith, should be considered “the father of economics.”
But as long as Western fundamentalists are allowed to maintain their disproportionate monopoly on violent force, which allows them to hunt down and murder dissident writers and thinkers worldwide while using Nazi-like propaganda to justify their international armed robbery, it’s probably best that we don’t hold our breath.
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Updates on Twitter. Author’s pamphlet ‘The Agility of Tyranny: Historical Roots of Black Lives Matter’.