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Liberalism and the End of History: Myth or Reality?

Abstract This paper argues that liberalism is a capitalist ideology and provides justification for what is described as human rights imperialism. Universalisation of liberal norms entails the global dominance of capitalist order. Attempts to universalize liberal norms and practices ought to be contested specially by deconstructing capitalist individuality. The paper is divided into three parts. Section one examines the relationship between liberalism and capitalism. Section two outlines the main features of human rights ideology and section three assesses strategies for contesting human rights imperialism and global capitalist order. Resume Javed A. Ansari is Dean CBM and Advisor FPCCI. He has been educated at the universities of Karachi, Cambridge, Sussex and at the LSE. He has served within the UN system, at universities and



institutions. political


areas and





philosophy, economics.





He has been serving the Islamic movements of

Pakistan, Britain, Austria and Malaysia since 1962.

1- Liberal Democracy and Capitalist Order Liberal democracy --- was born in Western Europe in the late seventeenth century. It fell terminally ill during Harry Trumans Presidentship of the United States and has since then been dying slowly (like an AIDS patient) in the metropolitan capitalist countries. Democracy in Western Europe has been dying since at least the mid 1960s. As America and Europe prepare to bury democracy, the academic community has started a new debate. Is democracy dying or is it merely mutating thus making its burial unnecessary? In the present decade several theoretical versions of mutated democracies have been invented --- Goodins 'Reflective Democracy (2003), Youngs Inclusive Democracy (2002),

Dryzeks Deliberative Democracy (2002) and the World Bank's Participatory Democracy for example. All these seem to be responses to the gradual but inexorable growth of popular indifference to democratic process. A common feature of these conceptual mutations is that they all justify --indeed celebrate ---- the growth of popular indifference and citizen withdrawal. These writings contain no schemes for encouraging greater democratic

participation or for making the democratic process more meaningful for the ordinary subject of capital (the citizen). Quite the contrary, most

contemporary theories of democracy view mass participation with disfavor. Thus both associative democracy and participating governance theories lay emphasis on 'stakeholder involvement rather than electoral participation. Conventional mechanisms and modalities for sustaining and structuring mass democratic movements form no part of reflective and deliberative democratic programmes (as developed by Dryzek and Goodin for example). Deliberative depoliticization is seen as both inevitable and desirable by Patterson (2002), and Zakaria (2003) argues that democratic renewal requires not more but less democratic participation.1 Actually existing capitalism in the 21st century needs democracy without the demos. More than fifty years ago a major doyen of democratic theory in America, Robert Dahl had contrasted Madisonian democracy and popular democracy (1956, chap. 2)2. Madisonian democracy is of course constitutional democracy. Constitutional democracy is the governance of the people for the sustenance of capitalist order. Its emphasis is on the universalization of capitalist human rights3, checks and balances on the distribution of institutional power, and ensuring the autonomous capitalist individuals and civil societys dominance over republican state structures. In other words, constitutional liberal democracy provides the political form for the rule of the law of capital.4 Popular or Athenian democracy (preRousseauian, non-liberal democracy), on the other hand, is not committed to

the rule of the law of capital. Popular / Athenian democracy requires mass participation. It is rule by and not for (over) the people. It creates a sovereign state which may (or may not) challenge the sovereignty of capital5. Constitutional and popular democracy compliment each other as long as majoritarian decisions express the will of a formally sovereign people to subject themselves to the rule of the law of capital 6. In actually existing capitalist order ---- mature, transitional and underdeveloped --- it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the complementarity between constitutional and popular democracy as several studies have shown (Diamond 1996). Capitalism's apologists, such as Fareed Zakaria, stress that it is the

constitutional rather than the popular element of liberal democratic order which is essential for securing and sustaining the global hegemony of capital and America (1997)7. Imperialism must de-sovereignise national parliaments to ensure universal application of capitalist law8. The World Banks good governance literature (see specially World Bank 1999) argues that in Third World countries Western funded NGOs plus impartial courts ensuring the rule of the law of capital equals democracy9. Michelle Everson has presented a roughly similar argument for insulating market governance from majoritarian (democratic) decisions in the EU (Everson, 2000). Thus according to World Bank and EU apologists good governance requires the colonization of the state by the universalization of market decision making processes and the necessary delegitimization of majoritarian (popular democratic) decision

making that this entails. Mark Thatcher10 and Alex Sweet Stone have argued

that decision

making by non majoritarian institutions enjoys


procedural legitimacy than the decisions of West European national cabinets because decisions by non majoritarian pubic institutions follow due process of (capitalist) law and allow access to stakeholders. Thus non majoritarian institutional (market modeled) decision making provides a democratically superior alternative to partisan majoritarian decision making by cabinets. (Thatcher and Sweet Stone, 2002).11

Capitalist political theory thus welcomes the decoupling of constitutional liberal and popular democracy. This decoupling has been underway in Western Europe for quite sometime. Central to this decoupling is the marginalisation of the Party in all European polities.12 The party was the central construct of

representative democracy in Western Europe. It was the main instrument for the legitimation of the metamorphosis of the divine right of the King into the divine right of the Citizen. The decline of the party and the desovereiginisation of the Citizen are two sides of the same coin --- at least in Western Europe. The marginalization of parties may be necessary for the strengthening of constitutional liberal democracy for it ensures capitalist governance that combines stakeholder participation and problem solving efficiency to never ending capital accumulation (Kohler-Koch 2005). Post modern liberal theory13 seeks to articulate conceptions of democratic order which (a) enable the sustained accumulation of capital for its own sake,

(b) has social legitimacy (c) without popular participation and external accountability. An important index of citizen withdrawal from conventional democratic process is a decline in mass party consciousness. In Western Europe political parties are manifestly failing to engage ordinary citizens. Party leaders are withdrawing from party life and are becoming increasingly dependent on access to non party public institutions14. Western European political parties suffer from a synchronized mutual withdrawal of leaders and ordinary members. Ordinary members withdraw into private life and / or single issue movements and NGO networking and party leadership retreats into public bureaucracies. In this crucially important sense Lenin has been stood on his head. In post modern capitalism it is the state which captures the party and not vice versa15. Today in liberal democracies political life is becoming professionalized as economic life did throughout mature capitalism about a century ago when corporate property deconstructed private property. Today the politician is as much a professional as the investment fund manager, the corporate CEO and the banker. Only a diminishing minority among capitalisms hundreds of millions of subjects in the metropolitan countries have the ability or the inclination to become either political or corporate managers. For the seething millions, politics is as alien external and disenchanted an arena as investment banking ---- although the entertainment spin off of the politics industry is undeniably greater than that of the stock market. It is this entertainment potential of the politics industry which sustains audience

democracy. Political professionalism in Western Europe is vitally sustained by the fact that the increasingly non participating audience nevertheless enjoys and appreciates the output of the politics industry as theatre. The professionalization of politics has lead to a withdrawal of capitalist political leadership from mass arenas. The agenda of different parties are converging not just with each other but also with the agendas of army generals (every Western political elite supports the war against the mujahideen though to varying degrees), the state bureaucrats, the

multinational corporates, and the financiers. All political professionals are salesmen hawking the consensual policies of the capitalist market and state elites. They are all therefore searching for a middle ground in which millions of alienated, isolated, disenchanted subjects of capital can converge celebrating the meaninglessness of capitalist everyday life and seeking freedom and prosperity through competition and accumulation. Party organization concentrates on mobilizing this (Negris) multitude and regards party members as dispensable. This ongoing process is the essence of the ongoing colonisation of the party by the capitalist market and the capitalist state. Today throughout Western Europe and North America both opposition and ruling parties typically participate in governance perpetually. They always share power and mutually benefit from the electoral merry go round, for all are capitals professional political managers, parts of the same governing elite. It is no wonder that this permanent governing elite agitate for non majoritarian, non partisan decision making systems --- of the type advocated

by Young (2002), Dryzek (2002), Richardson (2004), and the World Bank (1999). During the long nineteenth century liberal capitalism thrived without popular participation16 and the advocates of reflective, inclusive and deliberative democracies are pleading for a necessary return to the

nineteenth century. It is certainly true that capitalist hegemony requires popular support for its sustenance17 but it does not require popular participation in capitalist governance process. The overwhelming majority of metropolitan countries citizens are epistemologically (not just ideologically) committed to capitalist order. They accept as rational the underlying moral commitment to the supremacy of the general will which is the essential foundation of capitalist order. The general will wills the never ending expansion of the realm of freedom and progress --- i.e. the human being's right to be an autonomous, self determined creator of the world and of his own being within it. Capitalism seeks to articulate this creed through capital accumulation which is neither Webers stock of money nor Marxs social relation but the Christian vice of avarice and covetousness. Europe and Americas history shows that endless capitalist accumulation for its own sake is the only existing spatial and temporal route for pursuing limitless freedom and progress (human autonomy and universal domination) (Ansari 2004). The vast mass of Westerners --- both those withdrawing from citizenship and those who are not --- remain committed to the Rousseauian doctrine that

the will of all should not be allowed to contradict this general will 18. In this fundamental moral sense the overwhelming majority of Western populations accept capitalist rationality. They accept the view that it is irrational to question the endless expansion of the realm of freedom and progress --endless capital accumulation as the only ultimate end in itself. In this fundamental epistemological / moral sense the American and European citizen remains committed to the rationality and functionality of capitalist order. His withdrawal from citizenship is a voluntary absenteeism. This abstention is a vote of confidence in the professional political managers who run the system. It is not an act of protest or an expression of disillusionment as the left analysts seem to believe. He enjoys the political spectacle as a spectator and disapproves of those who mess it up by their unprofessional participation and rowdy activism. That is why mass movements -anti globalization, antiwar movements quickly lose their momentum and fizzle out in West European countries and longstanding single issue mobilizations ---- greens, feminists, nuclear disarmament groups, trade unions --- have abandoned grandiose system wide agendas and are seeking to become part of the system by advocating modest reform proposals which can easily by accommodated within capitalist order. A revival of participatory / popular democracy through single issue

movements is therefore unlikely in Europe and America. Participating democracy flourished when capital was organizing populations in the form of

nations and classes (Kay 1979 p 17-41) and problems of capitalist justice were being addressed by aggregation. Nationalist and socialist struggles against the liberal state were family quarrels as John Gray calls them (1999 p7) for both nationalism and socialism endorse capitalisms purpose --- the need for the endless expansion of the realm of freedom and progress while questioning the liberal strategies, tactics and methods for the achievement of this purpose. Nationalist and socialist experiments in Central and East Europe, East Asia and Latin America have produced an impressive array of new instruments and techniques for reducing capitalist injustices19 but none have questioned the legitimacy of capitalist rationality, i.e. the moral commitment to unending expansion of the realm of freedom and progress (limitless capital

accumulation) as an end in itself. Capitalist rationality has been challenged not by socialism and nationalism but by religion. Christendom became Europe by replacing Christian Man by the human being, religious society by civil society and theocracy by the republic. Religious epistemology posits the supremacy of the will of God and seeks to subordinate 'being in the world' to being with God'. The rational person is he who subordinates his being to Gods will and seeks His approval through every thought and act (Imam Ghazali n,d p 36). Religious rationality thus explicitly rejects expansion in the realm of freedom and progress (capital accumulation) as a legitimate individual and social purpose. Capitalism is therefore fundamentally and foundationally threatened by religious revival as has often been stated by the Western leaders in their war against Islam.

Despite the unemployment and the deprivations created by the crisis which began in late 2007, oppositional movements in the metropolitan countries

remain committed to liberal capitalism. As iek argues (their) utopia is not a radical change of the system but maintain(ence) of a welfare state within the system (2010 p 86, emphasis iek's). These oppositional movements never question the liberal democratic institutional mechanisms of the capitalist state of law (p 86). The West seeks to protect and consolidate capitalist order in the non metropolitan world by committing oppositional movements here to liberal constitutionalism. As Alain Badiou argues the name of the ultimate enemy today is not empire or exploitation but democracy. It is the acceptance of democratic mechanisms that prevents a radical transformation of capitalist relations (quoted in iek 2010 p88). Badiou (2010) has proposed exercising defensive violence by building free domains at a distance from state power (mezzanine rule). Capitalist order requires the existence of free, patriotic citizens dedicated to capitalisms ultimate purpose --- the continuing maximization of capital accumulation / freedom. Such citizens appeared at the beginning of the capitalist era by the conceptualization of human rights ideology as grounding capitalist state order. Abolishing democratic rule based on human rights ideology is thus necessary for transcending capitalism. Rgis Debray has been arguing this for several years. Debray (2009)

describes human rights as the religion of the video sphere (2009 Section II).

This religion works in harmony with the reigning economic and political philosophies of the contemporary West to project the image of a serene global village effectively camouflaging the interests (of the West) (quoted in Collins 2010 p132). Debray advocates rebellion against human rights theory and practices, for human rights ideology legitimizes imperialism (through for example R2P). The abstraction of human rights hides the tyranny of profits. The next section seeks to show the organic link between human rights ideology and capitalism.

II. Human Rights Ideology As Justification for the Universalisation of Capitalist Order Human rights ideology is a product of Europes revolt against Christianity. The first great triumph of the anti-religious movements of modern Europe was the Glorious Revolution of 1688. That is why John Lockes thought remains the source of human rights doctrine. Locke also profoundly influenced Kants subsequent development of the doctrine of autonomy (Solomon 1988). Human rights entail duties of capitalist states to ensure the development of capitalist individuality and civil society. Human rights are the means for constructing capitalist individuality and civil society, so that the prioritization of duty of capital accumulation may be legitimated and continuously performed.

There are no rights one acquires merely by the biological fact of being a Homo sapiens. There are no grounds for situating human rights in human nature. Human rights are a doctrine legitimizing the rule of capital. That is why human rights are specific to the era of capitalism and are universal only to the extent of the universality of the rule of capital. What Solomon calls European mans transcendental presence (1988 p.7) is merely mans submission to capital. Capital must dominate both the market and the state for it to dominate mans self. Capitals rule and the dominance of its law is indispensable for the dominance of universal human rights. It is important to stress that human rights are held by individuals against the state. They are held that is by the individual in his personal / private capacity against his public capacity as a citizen. It is thus quite wrong theoretically to argue as for example, the arrogant American human rights apologist Jack Donnelly (1989) does that human rights entail no duties. The enjoyment of human rights by the private individual requires that in his public life he implements the rule and the law of capital and continuously constructs capitalist societies and capitalist states. The autonomous individual is not free to reject freedom, to reject the organization of the market and the state in accordance with the law which actualizes the prioritization of capital accumulation. Donnelly describes human rights as moral rights of the highest order (1989 p.12) to illustrate this commitment to the prioritization of capital










encumbering it with the false pretense of autonomy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes human rights as a standard of achievement in all nations, thus obligating all states to submit to the rule and the law of capital. The ideological character of human rights - their basis in the doctrine of

human autonomy are universally recognized. Lockes interpretation of the doctrine of natural law has been rejected centuries ago as have been various conceptions of human needs. All talk of human rights (being) needed not for life but for a life of dignity (Donnelly 1989 p 17) is tautological, for human dignity is conceived by the human rights apologists as merely the acceptance of autonomy. A dignified human being is by definition one who submits himself to capital autonomys only substantial content is freedom i.e. capital accumulation. Capital constructs human being in a specific way as a means for preferring capital accumulation / freedom to all other ends. The institutionalization of human rights is a means for constructing such an individuality. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lists the duties of states for creating capitalist individuality. The often-stressed commitment by the UN and liberal and social democratic authors to the inalienability of human rights is important in that it shows capitalisms unwillingness to recognize as human an individuality which rejects autonomy. An individual whose life is not dominated by avarice and jealousy and who does not prioritize the practice of capital accumulation is not

recognized as a human being. Similarly a state which does not perform the duty of constructing capitalist individualities and civil society loses legitimacy. The state must ensure that its citizens remain human i.e. committed to the systemic prioritization of capital accumulation. What duties must the state perform to ensure the continuing construction of capitalist individuality and civil society? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights derives its list of human rights from the Dworkinian conception of human beings as autonomous individuals equally entitled to concern and respect (Donnelly and Howard 1988). These include the Lockean / Jeffersonian rights of life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. Recognition that the propertyless must be inclusively integrated into capitalist order has led to the social democratic insistence on widening the list of universal human rights so that the propertyless also become the subjects of capital. Political and eco-social rights are inter-related in that the State must perform duties in both areas for constructing and nurturing capitalist individuality. Both sorts of rights emerged as a consequence of the conquest of state power by elites committed to autonomy. Liberal elites overthrew authoritarian rule by constructing civil societies and republican states. Social democratic elites incorporated the mass of ordinary people into capitalist order by encumbering the state with Keynesian duties (welfare rights). The traditional insistence on the primacy of political rights (e.g. Cranston 1973) nevertheless emphasizes the point that the performance of the state's duties entailed by the Lockean / Jeffersonian list of rights are fundamentally

important for the construction of

capitalist individuality and civil society.

Without the performance of these duties capitalist order would necessarily collapse (Shue 1980). Most imperialist states --- specially America --- have threatened non capitalist states for violation of Lockean / Jeffersonian rights alone. Constructing capitalist order requires commitment to two central values --autonomy and equality. This essentially requires that the state does not constrain liberty on the grounds that 'one citizens conception of the good is superior to another (Dworkin 1977 p. 273). Treating each person with equal concern and respect implies taking all ends as of equal value i.e. of no (intrinsic) value at all. The only valuable end is freedom the right to choose any equally valueless end and to increase resources (Rawls primary goods) for the exercise of this absurd choice. Accumulation is thus an end in itself and the subject of accumulation loses all moral worth for all his choices are equally (intrinsically) valueless. In this fantasy of evil all substance disappears and the equality and autonomy enjoyed by the citizen is purely formal. In theory he can choose any way of life; in practice he is compelled to choose a way of life that prioritizes accumulation (avarice and jealousy) for it is this (substantive) choice alone which makes possible the (formal) choice of any way of life. It is in this sense that Foucault often spoke of the compulsions of freedom. A capitalist life is necessarily the only rational choice for all individuals in capitalist order. A religious life is necessarily a life of surrender (Kant would

call it heteronomy). If this surrender is not restricted to the private life of the individual, it makes the construction of civil society and a constitutional republic impossible. The capitalist state is therefore necessarily anti-religious in that its law obligates its subject to confine his moral valuations to his

personal life. As citizen, his valuation is necessarily immoral in that it assigns worth to acts in accordance only to their contribution to increasing the resource for freedom (capital accumulation). The capitalist state refrains from enforcing a particular version of the good life only as far as personal choices are concerned i.e. choices to which value cannot be assigned by capitalist valuation processes. At the public level it ruthlessly enforces the capitalist way of life with all the force that it can command. Enforcing human rights is a means for ensuring (a) that private moral valuations of individuals are rendered equally trivial and barred from affecting public choices and (b) public choices are valued systematically in terms of their contribution to capital accumulation. The autonomy / dignity of the individual is defined in terms of his commitment to the equal triviality of all moral evaluations on the one hand and to capitalist rationality on the other. Theorists such as Donnelly proclaim the universality of human rights because this view of man is rooted in structural changes that today are increasingly common. Throughout the world the social changes of modernization . . . in the context of capitalist market economies have replaced the . . . moral whole of traditional society (Donnelly 1989 p 69). This means that throughout the

capitalist world the state must perform duties associated with human rights to impose capitalist discipline on individuals and on society. Human rights thus provide a framework for regulating the relationship between capitalist individuality and capitalist order. In this order the divine rights of the king is substituted by the divine right of the individual but the individual is king only if he is committed to capitalist rationality at the public level and committed to the trivialization of all moral evaluations. Equally autonomous individuals publicly sanction all ends made possible by capital accumulation. In public life capital accumulation is the only end in itself. Capitalist rationality rejects the possibility of a moral

evaluation of capital accumulation the operation of capitalist markets (commodity, money, shares) articulates this impossibility. The universalization of human rights is a necessary consequence of the universalization of capitalist markets. Markets treat individuals with equal concern and respect in as much as they facilitate capital accumulation for any end. In as much as this necessarily implies capital concentration, the markets cannot guarantee the

universalization of capitalist property relations the unemployed and those who refuse to work are excluded. Globalization of capitalist markets cannot ensure the universal dominance of the capitalist property form and global political order must be constructed to universalize capitalist individuality and civil society.

Such global order is necessarily liberal. It need not (some would argue that in present circumstances it must not) be democratic, and corporatist and developmentalist (Kalickis intermediate) states can also perform the duties associated with the extension of human rights. The scope for the existence of such regimes is however restricted in global capitalist order, for submitting to global capital on the one hand and sustaining corporatism / developmentalism (capital accumulation not for itself but for China) is very difficult, perhaps impossible as the Chinese experience with human rights shows. Typically such regimes (and orthodox socialist ones such as the USSR, East Germany and to a lesser extent Cuba) find themselves threatened by the voluntary acceptance of human rights ideology by influential individuals (intellectuals and students) and the adoption of a consumerist lifestyle by the masses (Qinglian, 2000). Capitalist individuality is then constructed in opposition to a regime which is seen as pursuing capital accumulation for the state elite and denying market opportunities (specially global market opportunities) to its subjects. Moreover such regimes typically fail to prevent the subversive growth of civil society and to sustain the mass solidarity generated during the revolutionary phase. Legitimizing capitalist property relationships (usually with the active support of the imperialists) becomes a viable political project in such circumstances. The popular demand for the recognition of universal human rights in such regimes is thus based on a prior acceptance of the legitimacy of capitalist property (i.e. property dedicated to accumulation for its own sake). In

societies, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, where capitalist property is not

socially legitimated, there is no popular demand for universal human rights. As against this there is a popular demand for human rights practice in urban and seized parts of China where people yearn for full participation in capitalist property relationships. The concept of capitalist property is based on the premise that man is owner of himself. But in a fundamental sense the Lockean law of nature requires that this possession be forfeited to capital. In Lockes system the right of self preservation is best articulated in the individuals right to unlimited private property. Locke argues that the purpose of civil society is to preserve property (1967, 3.1-3, 85, 15-16, 173, 6-8). Ones Body is ones property (Locke 1967, 179.2-3). This conception of the Body as individual property lies at the base of Lockes (and subsequently Ricardos and Marxs) labour theory of value. The Body thus is the basis of capitalist property since the purpose of being (individual and social) is to preserve Freedom. Locke recognizes a duty to labour productively (1967, 32.1). Hence, the Body is capitalist property as it provides a basis for (and ought to be used for) unlimited accumulation (Freedom). Locke argues that capitalist money which can be accumulated without limit removes the natural law constraints on individual accumulation (1967, p46 28-30). Locke justifies the massacre of the Red Indians and the seizure of their lands as a means for making unlimited accumulation possible (196 36-18, 41, 1-3, passim). Accumulation is justified however only if the property appropriated (by the

slaughter of the Red Indians in America) is put to use i.e. used for further accumulation. Rawls and Dworkin are firmly in the Lockean tradition when they suggest that use must involve egalitarian concerns since without this, unlimited accumulation cannot be used to construct a fully inclusive capitalist order. The all encompassing (inclusive) nature of capitalist property is graphically illustrated by Lockes definition of property. Locke writes: (H)e seeks out and is willing to enjoy in society with others . . . for the mutual Preservations of the Lives, Liberties and Estates which I call by the general name Property (1967: 123, 14-7, emphasis in original). The individuals body, liberty and estates all are Property in the sense that all are instruments for useful production and societys overriding purpose is the enjoyment of Property i.e. accumulation. Both negative and positive rights are recognized by liberal governments for the purpose of the enjoyment of Property. Locke writes Law is . . . the direction of a free, and intelligent Agent to his proper Interest . . . the end of Law is to preserve and enlarge Freedom (1967, 57, 10-13, 17-18). As we have seen Freedom is the enjoyment of Property. The enjoyment of Property is thus the end served by the rule of law. The rule of law is thus an instrument for the rule of Capital. The Second Treatise only recognizes one positive right, the right to property. This is because property is a precondition for autonomy. In the market property owners are enabled to autonomously construct contracts. From a

Lockean perspective there are no propertyless individuals in a capitalist market for every individual possesses his Body, the original repository of Property. Formally equal contracts can be constructed as long as the right to work the willingness of an owner of estates to enter into a contract with an owner of a Body on terms of formal equality --- exists. It is only the non voluntarily unemployed (rigorously speaking the unemployable) who are propertyless and excluded from the circuit of capital. Welfare rights are recognized by social democratic regimes and theorists such as Rawls and Dworkin as necessary for extending capitalist property to the growing multitude of estateless individuals in civil society and to eliminate

unemployment. It is in the social democratic states that the domination of capital is most comprehensive though this comprehensiveness often has to be purchased at the cost of deceleration in the rate of capital accumulation. Human rights ideology is premised on an ontology, which sees the Body as

self creating and a creator of the World. This is most clearly evident in the thought of Kant (on which Locke had an immense impact). The self says Kant does not derive its laws from but prescribes them to nature (1954 p97) for it possesses an order which is fixed and immutable in all of us (p. 73) Kant agrees with Hume that the world is not out there but in us. Man knows the world because the self determines the structure of his experiences that is the meaning of Kants assertion that objects must conform to knowledge (1996 p. 75). The self acts upon the world to give it form and meaning. The self imposes the one possible set of structures upon the world, which it has

discovered by categorizing its sensations to recognize objects and their relations (Kants understanding) and by developing concepts on the basis of such understanding. The self is thus the basic source of all experiences and concepts. Kant describes it as transcendental in that it is the necessary and universal basis of all experiencing and conceptualizing. The self possesses a priori knowledge of the concept of an object and the process of causation and reality must conform to those structures of the mind we can know a priori of things only what we put in them (Kant 1954 p.75). The existence of knowledge thus requires the prior existence of (an understanding, reasoning) self. The (self) realization of the self is thus the condition of the existence of the world. Moreover this transcendental self is not just the source of knowledge. It is the will determining all action and all

knowing. In this sense the transcendental self is consciousness in general. It cannot be known for it is the source and not the object of experience. The recognition of the self requires not knowledge but faith. That is why Kant can claim that his task is to limit knowledge in order to make room for faith. But faith in what? In freedom says Kant for freedom is a postulate of practical reason a pre-supposition of morality (1996 p.181). It is this faith in freedom, which makes it possible to derive the universal moral principle, which defines right and duty. For Kant morality is the free and practical use of reason. Reason defines for man his religion and his morality. Reason gives a morality, which enunciates

unversalisable principles. These universalisable principles Kant calls them moral laws are categorical imperatives. The categorical imperative when acted upon produces a harmonious community in which every one is always treated as an end in himself. This is Kants Kingdom of Ends. Man is autonomous in that he can, unaided, discover truth. Kantian morality is merely a relationship between the individual and the universal laws, which he has discovered by reasoning- the universal law is thus a product of pure practical reason alone. Man is good in himself only because he autonomously discovers/ constructs this good. But rationality is ultimately grounded on mans belief in freedom to which he is intuitively committed. Kantian morality is therefore not a rejection of the instincts and the passions. The

space for instincts as a source of knowledge and therefore morality is most clearly presented in the Third Critique (1996) where Kant argues that feeling has its own intelligence and ultimate cosmic truths must be felt. In this conception of the self man is a self creator and a creator of the world because all knowledge is incorporated in his mind. His mind constitutes reality and he is responsible for the world. Man is Absolute Creator and Sustainer of the universe. This doctrine of the divinity and omnipotence of man is the essence of human rights ideology. It has always been a revolutionary ideology. That is why Lockes Second Treatise concludes with a defence of the right to revolt. Liberalism is essentially a revolt against Gods sovereignty for it sees

humanity as committed to self creation and to the creation of the world through labour leading to the accumulation of property. Liberalism revolts against regimes which do not prioritize the accumulation of capitalist property by performing the duties required for the universal practice of human rights. Liberalism demands that all conceptions of human nature which reject the autonomy of the individual be abandoned. The central purpose of human rights ideology is to delegitimize all political regimes based on the concept of Gods sovereignty and to replace them by regimes committed to the sovereignty of capital. Property as conceived by Locke and Kant resides essentially in the Body which actualizes its Freedom by accumulation of Money. The Body is thus an instrument of capital and asserting the sovereignty of the equal and autonomous avaricious and covetous individual, his right to make his self and the world his creation is asserting the sovereignty of capital. It is nothing else. Human rights are thus in a very important sense prior to democracy. Duties associated with them must be imposed upon a state before it can be allowed to practice democracy. This is because human rights construct autonomous individuality on the one hand and protect the capitalist minority from the tyranny of the majority on the other. That is why the UN Charter of Human Rights is modeled on the American Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. The Charter, the Bill and the Declaration all proclaim the equal autonomy of the individual. This commits democratic and all other --regimes to an acceptance of the doctrine of self creation which is the

fountainhead of capitalist order. A religious state cannot be considered legitimate in the perspective of human rights ideology for such a state necessarily denies mans capability of self and world creation. There is simply no basis in Islam or Christianity for recognizing human rights (i.e. rights enjoyed by humans because they are humans). That is why Locke could not substantiate his claim that God wills human self-determination by reference to the Bible. The only legitimate regime according to human rights ideology is a constitutional --- not necessarily a democratic --- republic. Such a republic proclaims mans sovereignty in principle and the sovereignty of capital in practice. This is because a constitutional regime accords value only to freedom i.e. the accumulation of means for the satisfaction of any equally trivial ends. It necessarily rejects morality by taking the difference between persons seriously and regarding all private valuations as equally worthless. Treating the individual with concern and respect amounts to equalization / trivialization of all moral choices and therefore necessarily, valuing outcomes / choices solely in terms of their contribution towards accumulation of resources for the satisfaction of equally trivial and valueless ends. It is therefore not surprising that constitutional republics are necessarily dominated by capitalist oligarchs whose personal choices (leading a life of avarice and covetousness) coincide with the preferences of the socially valued way of life. In practice it is capitalist norms and values that are imposed upon all citizens indeed one is a citizen only to the extent one considers legitimate the social prioritization of

accumulation. Human rights ideology and its practice makes it impossible that an alternative social prioritzation be articulated. Repression is thus necessarily part of the agenda of universal human rights. Such repression is usually justified in the name of the people this was first done by the authors of the American constitution. The mass slaughter of the Red Indians, the fire bombing of Dresden and Tokyo, the atomic attacks of Hiroshima, the napalming of Vietnam, the use of daisy cutter bombs in Afghanistan, the constant state terrorism leading to the death of millions of Iraqi children, the continuing drone attacks on Pakistan all these are the legitimate acts of a liberal regime which justifies them on the basis of human rights ideology, in the name of we, the people. Michael Mann has argued the there is a relationship between liberal democracy and genocide (1999). Liberal democracies commit ideologically legitimated genocide (Vietnam, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan) argues Mann. The greater the commitment to homogenize behavior through the acceptance of human rights as a universal norm and the consequent (equal) trivialization of personal ends, the greater the temptation to murder those who refuse to accept these norms. This other has to be coerced or induced to submit to the sovereignty of capital. Submission to capital / human rights ideology is a necessary condition for survival in liberal order. Human rights ideology does not advocate peaceful coexistence. Races such as the Red Indians and states such as Afghanistan, which do not submit to the sovereignty of capital, ought

to be exterminated. The edifice of liberal America was built on the corpses of millions of Red Indians and the preservation of global order requires the mass slaughter of the Afghans. Mann is conscious of liberalisms compulsive commitment to exterminate outsiders when he discusses the behavior of settler communities in eighteenth century North America the greater the democracy among the perpetuators the greater the genocide (1999 p.26). The (liberal) rule of we the people thus necessarily requires the elimination of the other. That is why ethnic cleansing, murder, deporting, genocide was central to the liberal modernity of the New World (Mann 1999 p.27). Destroying state authority in Asia and Africa is an important need of global capitalism which is characterized by the increasing dominance of the financial markets over systems of production and exchange. Corporate management is today more subject to finance market discipline than ever before, and restructuring today typically involves de-regulation and globalization of financial systems. This systemic dominance of finance is embedded in the nature of capital. The limitless expansion of financial markets reflects the inherent insatiability of desire there are no limits to the growth of avarice and jealousy. Unlimited expansion of capital requires universalization of rules and

procedures throughout the world the creation not just of global markets but also of global state structures. This globalization of rules, procedures and norms is a requirement of the functioning of the global debt market for it is

government issued debt instruments (supposedly risk free) which serve as the benchmark for the determination of the price of all debt i.e. the structure of interest rates. It is in this sense that we can assert that public debt (the sovereign guarantees of the state) remains at the basis of the structure of private debt. Finance capital and its limitless expansion requires that states pursue risk free policies i.e. policies that do not endanger the limitless expansion of finance. The financial markets punish states which act irresponsibily, but their capacity to do so is constrained. They can destroy Argentina, crush Indonesia, relegate Korea, humble France but they cannot punish America without seriously injuring themselves. The political nature of global finance was captured in one of Nicos Poulantzas seminal studies over three decades ago (1975). He saw multinational capital as an agent of social transformation, subordinating both host country markets and the host country states to America. This according to Poulantzas has led to the creation of a new type of non territorial imperialism, implanted and maintained . . . through the induced reproduction of the form of the dominant imperialist power within each national formation and its state (P.46) Globalization requires the extended reproduction within (each dominated national formation) of the ideological and political conditions for the development of American imperialism (Poulantzas 1975 p.47). American ideology (the ideology of human rights), markets, and governance process must achieve hegemony in the sense that they alone are recognized as legitimately ordained imperatives of reason. State elites, in every country,

have to be taught to Americanize local markets and governance processes, and to subordinate them to America. As Edward Comor shows in great detail (1998) officials from the US Department of Defence, the US Treasury, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO play a crucial role in negotiating terms on which US hegemony is institutionalized in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan states. Zbigniew Brzezinski notes that three great imperatives of (US) geopolitical strategy are to prevent collusion and maintain dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and to keep the barbarians from coming together (1977 p.40). These objectives are to be achieved by Americanizing societies and the governance process of both vassal and barbarian states. Human rights ideology is Americas national ideology. Americanizing societies and states on a global scale requires the prior legitimation of universal human rights. Only constitutional, liberal states seeking integration in world capitalist markets and accepting American systemic hegemony are recognized as legitimate repositories of (limited) national sovereignty in the global order of human rights imperialism. States which refuse to accept the (unlimited) sovereignty of global capital and American hegemony (Islamic Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Iraq) must be subjected to unrelenting genocide. There is no alternative strategy or policy because human rights imperialism demands mans total, unconditional, final and eternal surrender to capital.

III. Contesting Human Rights Imperialism Capitalist order emerged by destroying Christendom. As argued in the previous section capitalism is in its essence a revolt against God and a programme for human divinity at the level of the individual, the society and the state. If history ends with the universal triumph of capitalism then Nietzsches prophesy of the death of God will be proved correct. But God is not dead --- He is Al Hayy, Al Ahad, Al-Samad. As Gods slaves it is fard-e-ain for us to continue to struggle permanently against capitalism --- its ideologies, its epistemologies, its governance structures and its aesthetics. This struggle focuses on the operationalisation of the Christian virtues of poverty and chastity which are universal. We prepare for Jesus (AS) second coming through: Deconstructing capitalist individuality and delegitimating the values of freedom, equality and progress. Being in the world must become a means for being with God. The false quest for building heaven on earth must be abandoned and the purpose of life must be the seeking of Gods pleasure and salvation in the hereafter. Deconstructing civil society and rejecting contract and interest as the organizing principles of social relations. Religious society must be revitalized and customs and tradition structuring all relationships on the basis of love must become the avenue for the expression of social being. The family and not the market --- the mother and not the

customer --- is to become the pivot of society. Deconstructing the republic and delegitimating the sovereignty of capital and its associated rights and justices. Renewal of the pre Augustinian commitment. Thy will be done Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven through the articulation of a permanent revolution focused on the creation of ever expanding structures of authority proclaiming the sovereignty of God. Success is assured to those who attain shahadah like the Christian martyrs in ancient Rome --- in this struggle and we are confident that history will end not with the universal triumph of liberal capitalism but with the second coming of Jesus (AS) spirit of God and prophet of Islam. Notes 1. He makes this case with special reference to the Muslim world (2002 chp7). 2. For a later exposition see Dahl (1991) p 74-81 3. Specially for minorities. 4. The law of capital may be said to rule a people when the people accept that the accumulation of capital for its own sake provides the main social criteria for evaluating transactions and outcomes. Typically in a society ruled by the law of capital, value is ascribed to events and outcomes by financial markets --- the money market and

the capital market (Ansari and Arshad 2006 Chapter 2). 5. I disagree with the view of those such as Maududi (1949) and Eagleton (2003) who argue that popular democracy must necessarily challenge the rule of the law of capital. 6. This is Lincolns vision of democracy as rule of the people for the people by the people. 7. Zakaria F/ (1997) The Rise of Illiberal Democracy, Foreign Affairs Vol. 76 No. 6, p21 37. 8. Not only through the deployment of American and NATO occupation forces but also through the work of the WTO, the IMF, the BIS and the private sector standard setting agencies (ISO, IAS) and rating agencies and of course R2P. 9. This view is comprehensively presented by the World Bank functionary Amy Chua (2003). 10. 11. Margaret Thatchers notoriously corrupt son. All this reminds one of Rawls seminal work (1971) which saw

justice as fair process rather than any morally valued outcome. 12. 13. And much more so in North America but that is another story. Which has been flourishing particularly in France since the

early 1990s.


The most obvious recent examples are Blair and Schroeder.

Both of whom shamelessly ignored the majoritarian decisions of their parties. 15. Post modern capitalist order exists in both an

"underdeveloped and an overdeveloped form. In underdeveloped capitalist order also the state has captured the party. Thus in Turkey during 2001-2011 the Kemalist state has captured the ex Islamist AKP of Erdogan and Gul. 16. Universal suffrage did not exist in any liberal democracy until

the early years of the twentieth century. 17. 18. As Gramsci recognizes. Madison and Jefferson present essentially the same view in the

Federalist Papers. The purpose of the balance of power between the three arms of government is to prevent the overriding of the general will by the will of all. 19. 20. The programmes of Castro, Chavez, Lula and Morales. In Ansari (2004 p 141-3), I argue that socialism and

nationalism are as much capitalist ideologies as are liberalism and social democracy.

Javed A. Ansari

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