The Logic of Al-Kindi (185-252 AH – 801-866 CE)

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‘Through the assiduous study of mathematics and Aristole’s books it is possible to acquire knowledge of what is true.’

al-Kindi, Abu Yusuf Ya’qub ibn Ishaq (d. c.866-73)

Known as Yasqib Ibn Ishaq al-Kindi, Al Kindi is often referred to as the ‘first Islamic philosopher’ (or ‘first philosopher of the Arabs’), in as much as he actively studied the works of the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and offered a systematic approach to explaining the many topics relating to Islamic philosophy, which were extensively debated during his life-time. This included issues such as the nature of creation, immortality, the knowledge of god, and the subject of prophecy. Although not all of his ideas were accepted within the consensus of Islamic thinking, nevertheless, his ideas about immortality and the individual soul have stood the test of time, as has his ability to clearly discern and define human knowledge, as being distinct from ‘revealed’ knowledge. Although he fully embraced the agency of human knowledge, he never deviated from the idea that revealed (or ‘prophetic’) knowledge was superior, and in the final analysis, easier to attain.

Al Kindi was born in Basra (Iraq), and was educated in Baghdad, where he eventually served under caliphs al-Min’mun (813-833 CE), and al-Mu’tasim (833-842 CE) as a personal tutor, and was recognised as a preeminent astrologer. He studied Greek, Persian and Indian wisdom, and was responsible for Greek philosophical texts being imported into the State funded Academy in Baghdad, where they were carefully translated into Arabic, and studied by Islamic scholars. Al Kindi’s willingness to read widely, and learn from wisdom traditions outside of Islamic theology, led to the establishment of logic and reason within the Islamic tradition, whereby another layer of interpretive discourse was developed, through which Islamic theology could be interpreted. Al Kindi did not perceive this process as one culture invading (and displacing) another, but understood the different wisdom traditions as being representative of distinct methods of using the human mind to solve mundane and supramundane issues of human existence. This demonstrates that ‘difference’ can be accommodated without necessarily disrupting prevailing cultures or modes of thought (religious or otherwise).

The Real Reasons Behind WWI and the First (Modern) Western Invasion of Iraq

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This is a short clip of a much longer video entitled ‘Wake Up’ made in the US. This clips features a British comedian and social commentator explaining the real geopolitical reasons behind WWI – the discovery of oil in Persia – and the British drive to break the German-Turkish hold over the area (effectively an attempt to stop the building of the Baghdad to Berlin Railway). The first British military unit (i.e. the Dorset Regiment’) to be deployed during WWI was not to France or Belgian, but to Basra (Iraq). The lie we are taught at school (that the cause was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria) is a ‘lie’ designed to camouflage the real reasons. The British general public had to be infuriated with the Germans – who were depicted as ‘evil’, as a means to motivate a notoriously apathetic population into unconditionally supporting the war effort, mass volunteering of young men and conscription. The assassination did happen (unlike most if not all of the atrocities associated with WWI Germany), but it was more or less irrelevant in the final outcome. Britain was going to war with Germany over oil in Persia, and this fact was not dependent upon an assassination of a leading monarch of the time. This mythology offered an alternative history that is now taught as ‘real’, or to use modern parlance, the current British view of its own WWI history (taught in schools and universities) is nothing more than ‘fake news’.

A quick word about the ‘full’ video this extract is taken from. There are many such videos that critique the capitalist system (borrowing Marxist analysis in the process), but never crediting Socialist ideas as the basis of their method. Thu is because such videos are neo-liberal and neo-conservative in nature, and ultimately reject any form of Socialism and Communism. For such commentaries, it is the bourgeois concept of the capitalist created ‘individual’ that is the most important factor of existence (pure Americana stupidity), and not humanity as a ‘collective’. Consequently, the problems with the capitalist system are not viewed as an endemic part of that system (i.e. the ‘Marxist’ view – solved only by over-throwing that system), but are reduced purely to the bourgeois notion of the behaviour of a small or select group of powerful individuals (i.e. the de facto basis of all modern conspiracy theories). Such neo-liberal thinking involving the ‘great man’ theory, suggests that if he right individual occupies the right powerful position, then capitalism will function fairly and justly. This is nothing more than a comforting fairy-tale designed by those with power, to keep those without power, supporting the very system that disempowers and oppresses them, for the historical betterment of others. These misled commentators must use an unacknowledged Marxian approach in their analysis of capitalism, because no other system of ideology has ever criticised capitalism so thoroughly or completely. However, regardless of the motivation behind these videos, the clip above is comprised of legitimate historical fact that ironically serves to ‘uproot’ not only capitalist ideology, but also the neo-liberalism that extols it. I also suspect this British comedian is a Marxist.

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