Sunday, April 24, 2011

Q&A: Where does the power lie and how can we obtain it?

The following is the translation of an Arabic Q&A published in 1970.

The question which is being constantly asked is were does the power lie and how can we obtain it?
As for the first question, it cannot be answered categorically. The answer lies from state to state. In a state like the US, power lies in the hand of the people and the capitalists who control them. In Iraq, it lies in the hands of the army, not the prime minister alone. In Saudia, it is in the hands of the family of Saud and King Faisal. In Turkey, it is within the ruling party, the president and the prime minister. In Kuwait, it lies in the hands of the chieftains and the ruler. So each case is different, however, the power resides on some sort of real support for its existence. If that support erodes, those who have the power will lose it.

Originally, power in any nation should rely on the people or the influential section of them. Consequently, taking power should be through winning the public or the stronger segment of it. As this would be a natural process. Although, in many countries, power resides outside the public, like countries under foreign colonialism. In such countries, power is not in the hands of the people. In these cases, power can be achieved either by winning the people who have the power. It can also be achieved through another force stronger than the first one or through the influence of a foreign force. However, if the power is taken without winning the public or the stronger segment of it, that is through a foreign force, the power taken will not be free but it will be more like assuming a job or a position. Whereas, if power is taken through winning the public or the stronger segment of it, then the power is free and we should try immediately to sever any influence which is foreign, until the power becomes independent. So, free power should not be taken except through the people or its stronger segment. It should not be considered power unless it is free, other wise it is nothing but a job or a position.

As for the second question, it becomes clear if we understand the first: what is power, where it lies and who supports it naturally or unnaturally. If that is clear realistically and not by imagination, rather through realistic thinking and not theoretically or through assumptions, then that point should be targeted intentionally to win the support of the people. The public should be the tool in such an attack so that it will become the medium to pass the power over. The public should not be the target of the attack. Weakening the areas where power resides, should also be targeted. This applies to taking power naturally if it resides with natural or unnatural support. However, if it relies on unnatural support, that is if it relies on foreign influence, then this should be targeted. The struggle then becomes between the people and the ruling power, or the people and those who hold the power. If such a struggle continues, people should be able to attain the power and pass it to those they believe in, regardless of the strength of the ruling elite.

One should realize that it is impossible to achieve power to reconstruct the society, unless the effort is a group effort aimed at changing the mentalities and the feelings of the Ummah. This requires from those working to reconstruct the society to rid themselves of any individualistic spirit and aspirations. Their spirit and aspirations should be directed towards the collective effort. Individual struggle may achieve power but will never be able to reconstruct a society, for this requires a group effort not individualism at all. The work has to be aimed at changing the relations existing among people by uplifting their thinking and emotions. Therefore, the method to take power to reconstruct the society is much more difficult than taking it to reform it or just to rule. That is why it needs more efforts and more time.

Published 1970.

1 comment:

zahid said...

how to make one's own heart strong?