Dialectical Conflict Does Not Foster the Development of Societies, It Destroys Them
As we learned earlier, Darwinism proposed that the struggle between living things is the cause of their development and gained so-called scientific currency for the philosophy of dialectical materialism.
As can be understood from its name, dialectical materialism rests on the idea of "conflict". Karl Marx, the founder of this philosophy, propagated the idea that "if there were no struggle and opposition, everything would stay as it is." In another place he said, "Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one."36 By saying this, he called people to violence, war and bloodshed in order that they could develop.
The first to apply Marx's theory in the realm of politics was Lenin. Fostering the idea that "progress comes about as a result of the conflict of opposites", Lenin advocated that people with opposing ideas should be in constant conflict. Lenin also repeatedly stated that this conflict would require bloodshed, that is, terrorism. A piece by Lenin titled "Guerrilla Warfare" which was first published in Proletary in 1906, eleven years before the Bolshevik Revolution, shows the terrorist methods he had adopted:
The phenomenon in which we are interested is the armed struggle. It is conducted by individuals and by small groups. Some belong to revolutionary organisations, while others (the majority in certain parts of Russia) do not belong to any revolutionary organisation. Armed struggle pursues two different aims, which must be strictly distinguished: in the first place, this struggle aims at assassinating individuals, chiefs and subordinates in the Army and police; in the second place, it aims at the confiscation of monetary funds both from the government and from private persons. The confiscated funds go partly into the treasury of the party, partly for the special purpose of arming and preparing for an uprising, and partly for the maintenance of persons engaged in the struggle we are describing.37
In the 20th century, one of the most well-known ideologies to oppose communism was fascism. The interesting thing is that, although fascism declared itself opposed to communism, it believed just as much as communism did in the concept of struggle. Communists believed in the necessity of the class struggle; the fascists simply changed the arena of the struggle concentrating on the idea of the struggle between races and nations. For example, the German historian Heinrich Treitschke, one of the most important sources for Nazi ideas and a prominent racist, wrote, "nations could not prosper without intense competition, like the struggle for survival of Darwin."38 Hitler also said that he had taken inspiration from Darwin's understanding of struggle:
The whole world of Nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness–an eternal victory of the strong over the weak. There would be nothing but decay in the whole of nature if this were not so. He who would live must fight. He who does not wish to fight in this world where permanent struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist.39
These two social Darwinist ideologies believed that, for a society to grow strong, struggle and bloodshed are necessary; what they created in the 20th century is well known. Countless numbers of innocent people died; countless others were wounded or maimed; national economies crumbled; money that used to be spent on health, research, technology, education and art was spent on arms, on bandages to bind the wounds caused by those arms and to restore ruined cities. It became evident as time went on that struggle and terror did not promote human development but rather caused destruction.
It is natural that disagreements occur, but they should not be the cause of conflict and wars between people. Mutual respect and compassion can ensure agreement and co-existence between parties in disagreement. The moral teaching of the Qur'an offers to people a life of contentment and joy, whereas the dialectical struggle always brings unhappiness, destruction and death.
Differences of opinion do not necessitate conflict. On the contrary, good things can emerge from them
Certainly there are contradictions in the world. Just as in nature there are light and darkness, day and night, hot and cold, so there are also contradictions in putting ideas into practice. But a contradiction in ideas does not necessitate conflict. On the contrary, if contradictions are approached with peace, understanding, love, compassion and mercy, good results may be achieved. Everyone who compares his own idea with another's may develop his own or see its deficiencies and remedy them. Those who defend opposing opinions could have an exchange of ideas in conversation or engage in a constructive critique. Only the kind of sincere, forgiving, peaceful and humble person who conforms to the moral teaching of the Qur'an can develop this approach.
To kill a person or do him harm because he has different ideas, believes in a different religion or belongs to a different race is an immense act of cruelty. For this reason only, throughout history and all over the world, sons and daughters of the same fatherland have struggled with one another to the death, murdering one another without pity. Or people of different race or nationality, women and children included, have been indiscriminately slaughtered. The only person who could do such a thing is someone who has no respect for a human being, and who regards the person in front of him just as an intelligent animal; it is someone who does not believe that he will have to give an account to God for what he has done.
The best and truest attitude to have towards opposing ideas is revealed in the Qur'an. Clashes of ideas have arisen throughout history and one of the most well-known examples of this is the opposition between Moses (pbuh) and his contemporary Pharaoh. Despite all Pharaoh's cruelty and aggressiveness, God sent the Prophet Moses to invite him to God's religion, and He explained the method the Prophet Moses was to use:
Go to Pharaoh; he has overstepped the bounds. But speak to him with gentle words so that hopefully he will pay heed or show some fear. (Qur'an, 20:43-44)
The Prophet Moses (pbuh) obeyed God's command and explained true religion to him. In order to stop Pharaoh's denial of God and his cruelty to people, the Prophet Moses patiently explained every matter. However, Pharaoh showed a hostile attitude toward the Prophet's noble character and patience, threatening to kill him and those who shared his ideas. But it was not Pharaoh's attitude that prevailed; on the contrary, he and his people were drowned. The Prophet Moses and his people were victorious.
As this example shows, the victory of an idea or the struggle for development does not come about by hostility or aggression. The meeting between the Prophet Moses and Pharaoh offers a lesson from history: it is not those on the side of contention and cruelty who are victorious, but those who are on the side of peace and justice. The exercise of fine moral principles receives its reward both in this world and in the hereafter.