Discussing Marxism and Wilayat al-Faqih
Both arguments are weak feeble attempts at escaping reality. Between political idea and implementation, the implementation is never exactly identical to the political blueprint – but there are always enough elements to make the implementation the offspring of the idea. There are enough of Marx’s ideas in the Soviet Union to see that it is very much a Marxist state. The abolishment of private property and the dictatorship of the proletariat are two main aspects of Marxist government.
"Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the evolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat." - Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program
"The dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the organization of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy. Simultaneously with an immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery, their resistance must be crushed by force; it is clear that there is no freedom and no democracy where there is suppression and where there is violence." - Vladinir Lenin, State and Revolution
One further criticism of Marx apologists is the obvious flaw of Marx’s economic determinism. Marx did not say if you do A, B will occur; and if you do not do A, B will not occur. Socialism, according to Marx, is predetermined. It will happen – as sure as the sun will set or that the earth will evolve around the sun. Marx apologists who argue that socialism will come from an industrial society neglect to see that in the West, industrialization had come and gone; and there is still no socialism. In fact we are in a post-industrialization phase.
The influence of Marx went beyond the Soviet Union, Communist countries, and self-described Communist movements. I was surprised to find elements of Marxism in modern Islamism, particularly with the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The term “revolution” in Islamic revolution is most evidenced of Western influence – particularly Marxist. This is of no surprise because Marxist approach and reasoning is very malleable. I am not suggesting that the Ayatollah Khomeini is a Marxist. He despises Marxism and its promotion of atheism. But he used Marxist approach, reasoning, and tactic to achieve an Islamic end.
“Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declaration of Imam Khomeini” is a collection of writing by Khomeini. Reading it, one can find Marxist terminologies and approach to the Islamic Revolution. Khomeini might find Communist atheism objectionable and dangerous. But he has no problem borrowing some of Marxist ideas to further his Islamic end. Khomeini’s idea of an Islamic state is heavily influenced by Marxism. Wilayat al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Clergies) is an Islamic version of dictatorship of the proletariat. The Guardian Council is the Islamic version of the Communist Politburo and the Supreme Leader is the Islamic version of the Communist Secretary General.
Freethought Mecca has an article “Islam & Communism in Iran” which I offer a illustrative few lines.
In the introduction I described Islam with a rather cruel, if not sophomoric choice of words, and rightly so, as totalitarian mythologies created by tribal nomads (be it Judaism, Christianity, or Islam) should be spared no sort of verbal abuse. Still, such language, when being used to describe Khomeini, does not give credit to the Ayatollah's subtle brilliance and political craftiness. This was not just a backwoods cleric who concentrated on nothing other than his beard length and stories about Muhammad's flying horse; rather this was a man who was able to blend populism, bits of Marxism, and even a small dose of nationalism with Shia Islam in order to create a new ideology.First there is the influence of Marxism on Khomeini's ideology. With polemicists such as Ali Shariati, and groups such as the People's Mojahedin, Marxism was being promoted in various forms throughout Iran during the 1960's and 1970's. The idea of the poor uniting against the rich obviously agreed with Khomeini's ideology. His concept of the mostazafin (oppressed) and the zagheh-neshinha (slum dwellers) going against the mostakberin (oppressors) and the kakh-neshinha (palace dwellers) had obvious Marxist connotations.
Khomeini, at one point, admitted the influence of the Marxists on the clerics. Speaking of the late response of the clerics to the movements against the Shah, Khomeini wrote "[w]e cannot remain silent until college students force us to carry out our duty. " It was also during this time that Khomeini spoke poorly of sarmayehdaran ("the capitalists"). Khomeini was even quoted as using the famous phrase "oppressed of the world, unite! "