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Volume :1 Issue : 1 1981      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Ibn Khaldun and Karl Marx: On Economic and Social Interpretation of History

Auther : Fuad Baali , J. Brian Price

No.1 vol.1 winter 1981

 

 

 

 

In this paper history is conceived of as social chance. Nevertheless, history and sociology remain two separate disciplines.

Ibn Khaldun and Marx preserve sociology as a generalising science a`lthough they make use of historical changes. They make a dialectical synthesis of sociology and history and follow up the interrelation of social changes (economic and non-economic) and historical changes.

This paper uses textual criticism to clarify Marx’s close system of thought which is often labelled as economic determinism and to show that although there is ultimate economic determinism in this theory, it remains a multicausal theory. Marx often implicitly admits that ideas do eventually develop an autonomy of the won and affect the material activity of men.

Ibn khaldun also gives a predominant – though not exclusive – position to the economic factor in history. But he also admits (e.g. Asabiya is a non-economic factor. So are morals. Religion, authority and the condition of science).

Ideational elements are, therefore, not less important than economic elements. But ibn khaldum and Marx lay more emphasis on the economic elements.

Concerning the relation of man to labour ibn khaldun em-phasises the significance of incentive whereas Marx concentrates on the communal aspect of labour.

Both thinkers seem more determinists than promoters of free will. Ibn khaldun relegates the individual to a secondary place in historical development.

Ibn khaldun evolution is cyclic, whereas to Marx it is linear and progressive/ to both however, evolution is dialectical. It stems from the conflict which, to ibn khaldun, is a conflict between desert people (babu) and those of urban areas (hadar). Marx sees conflict as class struggle. This paper prefers the term historical materialism to the erm dialectical materialism, and echoe Marx’s admontion that “we should ascond from earth to heaven “ rather than” descand from heaven to earth.

 
 

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