Innate Ideas and the Analytic/Synthetic - Priori/Posteriori propositions

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 11/27/2014

In his Meno, Plato raises the epistemological question of how is it that humans have certain ideas which are not conclusively derivable from their environments? Plato argued that, as the body is from the material world, the soul is from the world of ideas and is thus immortal. He believed the soul was temporarily united with the body and would only be separated at death, when it would return to the world of Forms. Since the soul does not exist in time and space, as the body does, it can access universal truths.


Descartes and other philosophers of rationalism stressed the primacy of innate ideas placed in the human mind by God at birth. Besides mathematical principles and simple ideas, the main innate idea for Descartes was the idea of God, an idea that could not be derived from experience. Although there is obvious variation among individual human beings due to cultural, linguistic, and era-specific influences, innate ideas are thus said to belong to a more fundamental level of human cognition because they are common to everyone (Universal Assent). Descartes posited relation between mind and body is called Cartesian dualism. He held that mind was distinct from matter, but could influence matter. The mind exerted control over the brain via the pineal gland and that the soul was the place in which all our thoughts are formed.


British Empiricists, were critical of this theory and denied the existence of any innate ideas, arguing that all human knowledge was founded on experience, rather than a priori reasoning. Locke, who proposed the notion of tabula rasa (Mind as a blank slate) saw no evidence of pre-existing ideas in the mind. Locke further objected that accepting the notion of innate ideas would open the door to dogmatic assertions, as it implied that the mind was born somewhat predetermined to think based on these ideas. Accepting the existence of innate ideas could thus lead to abuse in the search for truth as well as in human affairs. Locke goes on to suggest that in fact there is no universal assent. Even a phrase such as, "What is, is," is not universally assented to; infants and severely handicapped adults do not generally acknowledge this truism. Locke also attacks the notion that an innate idea can be imprinted on the mind without the owner realizing it. Locke would not accept the idea that someone can be aware of what he or she does not know.


Leibniz acknowledged the need for a middle road between the two extremes, for him, rational ideas were virtually in the mind at birth and needed to be activated by experience, a position that builds upon Aristotle’s ideas. From this perspective, the pre-existence of a mental design is compatible with the essential need for experience. Leibniz’s New Essays on Human Understanding (1695–1705, published in 1765) was a response to Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Leibniz suggested that people are born with certain innate ideas. The rich sense of “ self ” structured as containing the fundamental notions (innate ideas) of "being, substance, unity, possibility, change, action, and so on". They are the ingredients of our self (hence “ we are innate to ourselves ” in this sense, too). The most identifiable of these being mathematical truisms. The idea that 1 + 1 = 2 is evident to people without the necessity for empirical evidence. Leibniz argues that empiricism can only show that concepts are true in the present; if one sees one stick and then another, he knows that in that instance, and in that instance only, one and another equals two. If, however, people wish to suggest that one and another will always equal two, they require an innate idea, as they are talking about things they have not yet witnessed (No experinece yet). Leibniz called this innate ideas, "necessary truths." Another example of such may be the phrase, "what is, is," or "it is impossible for the same thing to be and not to be." Leibniz argues that such truisms are universally assented to (acknowledged by all to be true) and, this being the case, it must be due to their status as innate ideas. Often there are ideas that are acknowledged as necessarily true, but are not universally assented to. Leibniz would suggest that this is simply because the person in question has not become aware of the innate idea, not because he or she does not possess it. Leibniz argues that empirical evidence can serve to bring to the surface certain principles that are already innately embedded in the mind. This is rather like needing to hear only the first few notes of a song in order to recall the rest of the melody.


Kant introduecd two distinctions, the first was Analytic and Synthetic propositions:
  1. Analytic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject concept, we require only analysis of the subject itself to understand this proposition (True by virtue of Meaning and if true then it is self evident) - "All bachelors are unmarried".
  2. Synthetic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is not contained in its subject concept, we require something outside of the analysis of the subject. (True by how their meaning relates to the world and if true then it tells us something new about the world) - "All bachelors are happy"
Kant contrasts this distinction with another one which is a priori and a posteriori propositions:
  1. A priori proposition: a proposition whose justification does not rely upon experience. Therefore, it is logically necessary.
  2. A posteriori proposition: a proposition whose justification does rely upon experience. Therefore, it is logically contingent.
Of course, as Kant would grant, experience is required to understand the concepts "bachelor," "unmarried," "7", "+" and so forth. However, the a priori/a posteriori distinction as employed here by Kant refers not to the origins of the concepts but to the justification of the propositions. Once we have the concepts, experience is no longer necessary. The analytic/synthetic distinction and the a priori/a posteriori distinction together yield four types of propositions:
  1. Analytic a priori
  2. Synthetic a priori
  3. Analytic a posteriori
  4. Synthetic a posteriori
We can know analytic propositions by consulting our concepts in order to determine that they are true. Analysis of the subjects by our kowledge of concepts through previous experience. Kant says the Analytic a posteriori propositions is self-contradictory, so there are no analytic a posteriori propositions. So all analytic propositions are a priori. We can know Synthetic a posteriori by experience of the world. That leaves only the question of how knowledge of synthetic a priori propositions is possible. How understanding a proposition requires something outside of the analysis of the subject yet its justification doesn't rely upon experience.

This question is exceedingly important, Kant maintains, because all important metaphysical knowledge is of synthetic a priori propositions. If it is impossible to determine which synthetic a priori propositions are true, he argues, then metaphysics as a discipline is impossible. Before Kant's first Critique, empiricists and rationalists assumed that all synthetic statements required experience to be known. Hume's skepticism rested on that basic principles such as causality cannot be derived from sense experience only: experience shows only that one event regularly succeeds another, not that it is caused by it.  Kant's goal was to find some way to derive cause and effect without relying on empirical knowledge. Kant rejects analytical methods for this, arguing that analytic reasoning cannot tell us anything that is not already self-evident. Instead, Kant argued that it would be necessary to use synthetic reasoning. It can't be Synthetic a posteriori because this is the core of Hume scepticsm is that he found out there is no justification for causality in experienece. So it must be Synthetic a priori. However, this posed a new problem — how is it possible to have synthetic knowledge that is not based on empirical observation — that is, how are synthetic a priori truths possible?

Kant uses the classical example of 7 + 5 = 12. No amount of analysis will find 12 in either 7 or 5. The concept "12" is not contained within the concept "5," or the concept "7," or the concept "+." And the concept "straight line" is not contained within the concept "the shortest distance between two points". (So it is a synthetic) but once we have grasped the concepts of addition, subtraction or the functions of basic arithmetic which govern the relation, the same principle applies to other numerals (for example 4+6 = 10) and it tells us something new about the world without having experience with 4, 6 or 10. It is self-evident, and undeniably a priori, but at the same time it is synthetic. And so Kant proves a proposition can be synthetic and known a priori. But not all synthetic propositions are a priori, for example "All bachelors are happy" has no concepts of rules to govern the relation so it always requires experience.

Kant concluded that the mind operates through a priori categories present independently from experience. However, for him, these categories are not  innate ideas but they are merely the way the human mind necessarily processes information (for example, the concepts of substance, causality, etc.). First they would remain entirely empty unless filled with experience gathered from the senses. They give no information whatsoever to what reality really is (the things-in-themselves), but merely indicate how one understands it with a limited, human understanding. (Condition for understanding).

Thus causality when thought as a synthetic priori, it is a concept governing the events happening in sequence which we can apply at other sequences of events to tell something new about the world each time, yet they are a priori whose justification does not rely upon experience. thus Causality doesn't require experience.

Kant created a revolutionary synthesis between rationalism and empiricism that shed an entirely new light on the question of innate ideas.
  1. From rationalism, he draws the idea that pure reason is capable of significant knowledge but argues that pure reason is flawed when it goes beyond its limits and claims to know those things that are necessarily beyond the realm of all possible experience: the existence of God, free will, and the immortality of the human soul. Kant referred to these objects as "The Thing in Itself" and goes on to argue that their status as objects beyond all possible experience by definition means we cannot know them and in the Critique of Pure Reason famously showed how all arguments for the existence of God are flawed, that the received views about the simplicity and immortality of the soul were problematic, and that our freedom could never be cognized. Yet, all is not lost, for Kant believed that the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the freedom of the will must be considered as postulates of morality and not objects of knowledge. It follows that problems which according to Kant are beyond experience cannot even be raised by pure reason.
  2. Kant noted the peculiarity of Locke's suggesting that, after deriving all concepts from experience and reflection on experience, he could demonstrate the existence of God and the immortality of the soul, matters lying well beyond all experience. So to the empiricist he argued that while it is correct that experience is fundamentally necessary for human knowledge, reason is necessary for processing that experience into coherent thought. He therefore concludes that both reason and experience are necessary for human knowledge. In the same way, Kant also argued that it was wrong to regard thought as mere analysis. In Kant's views, a priori concepts do exist, but if they are to lead to the amplification of knowledge, they must be brought into relation with empirical data, without the concepts, intuitions are nondescript; without the intuitions, concepts are meaningless."
By locating the answers to metaphysical questions not in the external world but in a critique of human reason, Kant provides clear boundaries for metaphysical speculation and maintains a sensible, empirical approach to our knowledge of the external world. Knowledge does not depend so much on the object of knowledge as on the capacity of the knower.

Frege and Carnap

Frege's notion of analyticity included the idea of substitution of synonymous terms. "All bachelors are unmarried" can be expanded out with the formal definition of bachelor as "unmarried man" to form "All unmarried men are unmarried," which is recognizable as tautologous and therefore analytic from its logical form: any statement of the form "All X that are (F and G) are F". This expanded idea of analyticity was able to show that all Kant's examples of arithmetical and geometrical truths are analytical a priori truths and not synthetic a priori truths. Carnap said in his autobiography that:

Since empiricism had always asserted that all knowledge is based on experience, this assertion had to include knowledge in mathematics. On the other hand, we believed that with respect to this problem the rationalists had been right in rejecting the old empiricist view that the truth of "2+2=4" is contingent on the observation of facts, a view that would lead to the unacceptable consequence that an arithmetical statement might possibly be refuted tomorrow by new experiences. Our solution, based upon Wittgenstein's conception, consisted in asserting the thesis of empiricism only for factual truth. By contrast, the truths of logic and mathematics are not in need of confirmation by observations, because they do not state anything about the world of facts, they hold for any possible combination of facts.

A proposition that is necessarily true is one whose negation is self-contradictory (thus, it is said to be true in every possible world). By contrast, a proposition that is contingently true is one whose negation is not self-contradictory (thus, it is said that it is not true in every possible world). As Jason Baehr states, it seems plausible that all necessary propositions are known a priori - and this position stems from Positivism - because "Sense experience can tell us only about the actual world and hence about what is the case; it can say nothing about what must or must not be the case".

In "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", Quine begins by making a distinction between two different classes of analytic statements.
  1. The first one is called logically true and has the form: No unmarried man is married A sentence with that form is true independent of the interpretation of "man" and "married", so long as the logical particles "no", "un-" and "is" have their ordinary English meaning.
  2. The statements in the second class have the form: No bachelor is married.A statement with this form can be turned into a statement with form (1) by changing synonyms with synonyms, in this case "bachelor" with "unmarried man". The notion of the second form of analyticity leans on the notion of synonymy, which Quine believes is in as much need of clarification as analyticity.
So for the sentence "All and only all bachelors are unmarried men" to be analytic, the terms 'bachelor' and 'unmarried man' should be synonymous (analyticity is explained by synonymity). And for two words to be cognitively synonymous, they must be interchangeable in every possible instance of these words, and the referents are necessarily identical. (synonymity is explaind by necessaity)

So, from the above example, it can be seen that in order for us to distinguish between analytic and synthetic we must appeal to synonymy; at the same time, we should also understand synonymy with interchangeability. However, such a condition to understand synonymy is not enough so we not only argue that the terms should be interchangeable, but necessarily so. And to explain this logical necessity we must appeal to analyticity once again, which means we have gotten full circle. Given any one term in the family-analyticity, synonymy, necessity-we could define the others. But since we can't explain any of the terms except by using the others, and since Quine thinks that all are equally in need of explanation, he concludes that the analytic/synthetic distinction, along with the necessary/contingent and the apriori/aposteriori distinctions, must be rejected.

But Quine's argument is effective only against positions that accept two of the positivists' fundamental theses:
Tl . All necessary (and all apriori ) truths are analytic.
T2 . Analyticity is needed to explain and legitimate necessity so a prioricity.
It is only when these two theses are accepted that Quine's argument holds. It is not a problem that the notion of necessity is presupposed by the notion of analyticity if necessity can be explained without analyticity. Both theses were accepted by most philosophers when Quine published Two Dogmas. Today however, both statements are to be antiquated.
  1. For T1, although some truths are both necessary and apriori, there are many examples of each that are not examples of the other. As for analyticity, opinions vary; the analytic truths are a subset of the truths that are both necessary and apriori.
  2. For T2, necessity and aprioricity are, respectively, metaphysical and epistemological notions that can stand on their own.

Kripke argued identity is not a relation that holds between names. It is a relation that holds between an object and itself. So when someone accurately claims that two names refer to the same object, the claim is necessarily true, even though it may be known a posteriori (can be known only through empirical investigation). For example, the proposition that water is H2O (if it is true). According to Kripke, this statement is necessarily true (since water and H2O are the same thing, they are identical in every possible world, and truths of identity are logically necessary) and a posteriori (since it is known only through empirical investigation). Also it is analytic because analysis of H20 says that it is water. Kripke's controversial analysis of naming as contingent and a priori would best fit into Kant's epistemological framework by calling it "analytic a posteriori".

Another example is the sentence, "the evening star" (Hesperus) is "the morning star" (Phosphorus). Here is an overview of the argument:
(P1) Hesperus is a proper name that refers to the evening star. Phosphorus is also a proper name and it refers to the morning star. They pick out the same thing in all possible worlds in which the thing exists.
(P2) Hesperus is Phosphorus. They are, in reality, two different names that refer to the same thing: Venus. This is necessarily true.
(P3) The fact that Hesperus is Phosphorus was discovered by empirical observation. So it is a posteriori knowledge.
(P4) Therefore, it is possible for knowledge obtained a posteriori to be necessary.
(P5) It is analytic because the predicate concept is contained in its subject concept.

With the example “Hesperus is Phosphorus”, Kripke seems to have provided a successful counter-example to the Kantian claims:
(a) P is a priori iff P is necessary.
(b) P is a posteriori iff P is contingent.

And also he provided a counter example to Quine's claim that the terms analyticity, synonymy, necessity are circularaly definable, so have to be rejected. Because now A prioricity, analyticity, and necessity have since been more clearly separated from each other. Although some truths are both necessary and apriori, there are many examples of each that are not examples of the other. Thus, the relationship between aprioricity, necessity, and analyticity is not easy to discern. the a priori/a posteriori distinction is epistemological, the analytic/synthetic distinction is linguistic, and the necessary/contingent distinction is metaphysical.

Hilary Putnam comments on the significance of Kripke’s counter-examples, ”Since Kant there has been a big split between philosophers who thought that all necessary truths were analytic and philosophers who thought that some necessary truths were synthetic a priori. But none of these philosophers thought that a (metaphysically) necessary truth could fail to be a priori”.


Noam Chomsky has taken this problem as a philosophical framework for the scientific inquiry into innatism. His linguistic theory attempts to explain in cognitive terms how one can develop knowledge of systems which are too rich and complex to be derived from the environment. One such example is human linguistic faculty. Human linguistic systems contain a systemic complexity which could not be empirically derived. The environment is too variable and indeterminate, according to Chomsky, to explain the extraordinary ability to learn complex concepts possessed by very young children. It follows that humans must be born with a universal innate grammar, which is determinate and has a highly organized directive component, and enables the language learner to ascertain and categorize language heard into a system. Noam Chomsky cites as evidence for this theory the apparent invariability of human languages at a fundamental level.

Parallels can then be drawn, on a purely speculative level, between the moral faculties and language, as has been done by sociobiologists such as E. O. Wilson and evolutionary psychologists such as Steven Pinker The relative consistency of fundamental notions of morality across cultures seems to produce convincing evidence for these theories. In psychology, notions of archetypes such as those developed by Carl Gustav Jung, suggest determinate identity perceptions.

Philosophical Fragments by Kierkegaard

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 11/27/2014

The Paradox Of Reason

The supreme paradox of all thought is the attempt to discover something that thought cannot think. This passion is at bottom present in all thinking, even in the thinking of the individual, in so far as in thinking he participates in something transcending himself. But habit dulls our sensibilities, and prevents us from perceiving it.

I cannot know it, for in order to know it I would have to know god, and the nature of the difference between god and man; and this I cannot know, because the Reason has reduced it to likeness with that from which it was unlike. Thus god becomes the most terrible of deceivers, because the Reason has deceived itself. The Reason has brought god as near as possible, and yet he is as far away as ever.

The idea of demonstrating that this unknown something (the God) exists, could scarcely suggest itself to the Reason. For if the God does not exist it would of course be impossible to prove it; and if he does exist it would be folly to attempt it.

The paradoxical passion of the Reason thus comes repeatedly into collision with this Unknown, which does indeed exist, but is unknown, and in so far does not exist. The Reason cannot advance beyond this point, and yet it cannot refrain in its paradoxicalness from arriving at this limit and occupying itself therewith. It will not serve to dismiss its relation to it simply by asserting that the Unknown does not exist, since this itself involves a relationship. But what then is the Unknown, since the designation of it as the God merely signifies for us that it is unknown? To say that it is the Unknown because it cannot be known, and even if it were capable of being known, it could not be expressed, does not satisfy the demands of passion, though it correctly interprets the Unknown as a limit; but a limit is precisely a torment for passion, though it also serves as an incitement. And yet the Reason can come no further.

The Weaknesses of the Teleological Argument 

If it were proposed to prove Napoleon’s existence from Napoleon’s deeds, would it not be a most curious proceeding? His existence does indeed explain his deeds, but the deeds do not prove his existence, unless I have already understood the word "his" so as thereby to have assumed his existence. But Napoleon is only an individual, and in so far there exists no absolute relationship between him and his deeds; some other person might have performed the same deeds. Perhaps this is the reason why I cannot pass from the deeds to existence. If I call these deeds the deeds of Napoleon the proof becomes superfluous, since I have already named him; if I ignore this, I can never prove from the deeds that they are Napoleon’s, but only in a purely ideal manner that such deeds are the deeds of a great general, and so forth.

The works of God are such that only God can perform them. Just so, but where then are the works of the God? The works from which I would deduce his existence are not directly and immediately given. The wisdom in nature, the goodness, the wisdom in the governance of the world -- are all these manifest, perhaps, upon the very face of things? Are we not here confronted with the most terrible temptations to doubt, and is it not impossible finally to dispose of all these doubts? But from such an order of things I will surely not attempt to prove God's existence; and even if I began I would never finish, and would in addition have to live constantly in suspense, lest something so terrible should suddenly happen that my bit of proof would be demolished.

Reason for the Christian God's Manifestation in Human Form

Will you deny the consistency of our exposition: that the Reason, in attempting to determine the Unknown as the unlike, at last goes astray, and confounds the unlike with the like? From this there would seem to follow the further consequence, that if man is to receive any true knowledge about the Unknown (the God) he must be made to know that it is unlike him, absolutely unlike him. This knowledge the Reason cannot possibly obtain of itself; we have already seen that this would be a self-contradiction. It will therefore have to obtain this knowledge from the God. But even if it obtains such knowledge it cannot understand it, and thus is quite unable to possess such knowledge. For how should the Reason be able to understand what is absolutely different from itself? If this is not immediately evident, it will become clearer in the light of the consequences; for if the God is absolutely unlike man, then man is absolutely unlike the God; but how could the Reason be expected to understand this? Here we seem to be confronted with a paradox.

In order to be man’s Teacher, the God proposed to make himself like the individual man, so that he might understand him fully. Thus our paradox is rendered still more appalling, or the same paradox has the double aspect which proclaims it as the Absolute Paradox; negatively by revealing the absolute unlikeness of sin, positively by proposing to do away with the absolute unlikeness in absolute likeness.

Faith is a miracle from God 

However, the outward figure is not important in the sense that he would cease to be a believer if he happened to meet the Teacher some day on the street and did not at once recognize him or even walked some distance with him on the way without realizing that it was he. The God gave to the disciple the condition that enables him to see him, opening for him the eyes of Faith. But it was a terrible thing to see this outward figure, to have converse with him as with one of us, and every moment that Faith was not present to see only the servant-form. When the Teacher is gone from the disciple in death, memory may bring his figure before him; but it is not on this account that the disciple believes, but because he received the condition from the God, and hence is enabled again to see, in memory s trustworthy mage, the person of the God. So it is with the disciple, who knows that he would have seen nothing without the condition, since the first thing he learned to understand was that he was in Error.

But in that case is not Faith as paradoxical as the Paradox? Precisely so; how else could it have the Paradox for its object, and be happy in its relation to the Paradox? Faith is itself a miracle, and all that holds true of the Paradox also holds true of Faith.

The disciple at second hand problem

Let us assume that it is otherwise, that the contemporary generation of disciples had received the condition from the God, and that the subsequent generations were to receive it from these contemporaries -- what would follow? We shall not distract the attention by reflecting upon the historical pusillanimity with which the contemporary accounts would presumably be sought after, as if everything depended on that, thus introducing a new contradiction and a new confusion (for if we once begin in this manner, the confusions will be inexhaustible). No, if the contemporary disciple gives the condition to the successor, the latter will come to believe in him. He receives the condition from him, and thus the contemporary becomes the object of Faith for the successor; for whoever gives the individual this condition is eo ipso (cf. the preceding) the object of Faith, and the God.

What then can a contemporary do for a successor? (a) He can inform him that he has himself believed this fact, which is not in the strict sense a communication (as expressed in the absence of any immediate contemporaneity, and in the circumstance that the fact is based upon a contradiction), but merely affords an occasion. For when I say that this or that has happened, I make an historical communication; but when I say: "I believe and have believed that so-and-so has taken place, although it is a folly to the understanding and an offense to the human heart," then I have simultaneously done everything in my power to prevent anyone else from determining his own attitude in immediate continuity with mine, asking to be excused from all companionship, since every individual is compelled to make up his own mind in precisely the same manner. (b) In this form he can relate the content of the fact. But this content exists only for Faith, in the same sense that colors exist only for sight and sounds for hearing. In this form, then, the content can be related; in any other form he merely indulges in empty words, perhaps misleading the successor to determine himself in continuity with the inanity.

Only one who receives the condition from the God is a believer. (This corresponds exactly to the requirement that man must renounce his reason, and on the other hand discloses the only form of authority that corresponds to Faith.) If anyone proposes to believe, i.e., imagines himself to believe, because many good and upright people living here on the hill have believed, i.e., have said that they believed, then he is a fool, and it is essentially indifferent whether he believes on account of his own and perhaps a widely held opinion about what good and upright people believe, or believes a Münchausen. If the credibility of a contemporary is to have any interest for him -- and alas! one may be sure that this will create a tremendous sensation, and give occasion for the writing of folios; for this counterfeit earnestness, which asks whether so-and-so is trustworthy instead of whether the inquirer himself has faith, is an excellent mask for spiritual indolence, and for town gossip on a European scale -- if the credibility of such a witness is to have any significance it must be with respect to the historical fact.  But what historical fact? The historical fact which can become an object only for Faith, and which one human being cannot communicate to another.

If we wish to express the relation subsisting between a contemporary and his successor in the briefest possible compass, but without sacrificing accuracy to brevity, we may say: The successor believes by means of (this expresses the occasional) the testimony of the contemporary, and in virtue of the condition he himself receives from the God.


Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 11/26/2014

Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand. ~ Karl Marx
Marxism is a method of socio-economic inquiry based upon a materialist interpretation of historical development, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis of class-relations and conflict within society and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change. Marxism is based on a materialist understanding of the development of society through the economic activities required by human society to provide for its material needs. The form of economic organization, or mode of production, is understood to be the (base) to every social phenomena including social relations, political and legal systems, morality and ideology (superstructure), this is known as Historical materialism or Dialectical materialism. The concept is based on Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectics.  By turning Hegel's idealist dialectics upside-down, Marx advanced his own theory of dialectical materialism, arguing that:
It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.
This relationship between the superstructure and the base is reflexive; At first the base gives rise to the superstructure and remains the foundation of a form of social organization. Hence, that formed social organization can act again upon both parts of the base and superstructure, whose relationship is dialectic, namely a relationship driven by conflicts and contradictions.
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. ~ Engels
Marx investigates labor-power as a commodity. Labor-power existing on the market depends on two fulfillment's: the workers must offer it for temporary sale on the market and the workers must not possess the means to their own subsistence. As long as the labor-power is sold temporarily then the worker is not considered a slave. Worker dependence for a means of subsistence ensures a large working force, necessary for the production of capital. For the capitalist the worker possesses only one use-value, that of labor power. The capitalist buys from the worker his labor power, or his ability to do work, and in return the worker receives a wage, or a means of subsistence. The wage, is the first thing that Marx begins to re-explain in the opening of the chapter, stressing that it is equal to the quantity of the "necessaries of life habitually required by the average laborer". Under capitalism it is the capitalist who owns everything in the production process such as: the raw materials that the commodity is made of, the means of production, and the labor power (worker) itself. At the end of the labor process it is the capitalist who owns the product of their labor, not the workers who produced the commodities. Since the capitalist owns everything in the production process he is free to sell it for his own profit. The goal of the capitalist is to produce surplus value.

However, producing surplus value proves to be difficult. If all goods are purchased at their full price then profit cannot be made. Surplus value cannot arise from buying the inputs of production at a low price and then selling the commodity at a higher price. This is due to the economic law of one price which states "that if trade were free, then identical goods should sell for about the same price throughout the world". What this law means is that profit cannot be made simply through the purchase and sale of goods. Price changes on the open market will force other capitalists to adjust their prices in order to be more competitive, resulting in one price. Karl Marx points out that, "in its pure form, the exchange of commodities is an exchange of equivalents, and thus it is not a method of increasing value," and so a contradiction reveals itself. If the participating individuals exchanged equal values, neither of the individuals would increase capital. The needs being satisfied would be the only gain.

So, where does surplus value originate? Quite simply, the origin of surplus value arises from the worker. The following example is from Marx's Capital Volume I. A capitalist hires a worker to spin ten pounds of cotton into yarn. Suppose the value of the cotton is one dollar per pound. The entire value of the cotton is 10 dollars. The production process naturally causes wear and tear on the machinery that is used to help produce the yarn. Suppose this wearing down of machinery costs the capitalist two dollars. The value of labor power is three dollars per day. Now also suppose that the working day is six hours. In this example the production process yields up 15 dollars, and also costs the capitalist 15 dollars. Thus there is no profit. Now consider the process again, but this time the working day is 12 hours. In this case there is 20 dollars produced from the 20 pounds of cotton. Wear and tear on machinery now costs the capitalist four dollars. However, the value of labor power is still only three dollars per day. The entire production process costs the capitalist 27 dollars. However, the capitalist can now sell the yarn for 30 dollars. This is because the yarn still holds 12 hours of socially necessary labor time in it (equivalent to six dollars). The key to this is that workers exchange their labor power in return for a means of subsistence. In this example, the means of subsistence has not changed; therefore the wage is still only 3 dollars per day. Notice that while the labor only costs the capitalist 3 dollars, the labor power produces 12 hours worth of socially necessary labor time.

Labor power can produce more than its own value. In order for commodities to be produced with surplus value two things must be true. Man must be a living commodity, a commodity that produces labor power, and it must be the nature of this labor power to produce more than its own value. Marx says that surplus value is "merely a congealed quantity of surplus labor-time… nothing but objectified surplus labor". A Capitalist is always devising new ways to increase the surplus that he is receiving.

  1. The first, or absolute, way the capitalist can increase surplus value is through extending the working day so the worker has more time to create value. Capitalism takes advantage of this extra time by paying the worker a wage that allows them to survive but is less than the value the same worker creates. So there are two parts to the working day. One part of the working day is the time necessary in order to produce the value of the workers labor power. The second part of the working day is surplus labor time, which produces no value for the laborer, but produces value for the capitalist. 
  2. The second, or relative, way the capitalist can increase surplus value is to revolutionize changes in the production method. Marx describes the machine as the instrument of labor for the capitalists' material mode of existence. The machine competes with the worker, diminishing the use-value of the worker's labor-power. Marx also points out that with the advance in technology of machines led to the substitution of less skilled work for more skilled work which ultimately led to a change in wages. During the progression of machinery the numbers of skilled workers decreased, while child labor flourished, increasing profits for the capitalist.

Marx displays an example of surplus labor occurring in these favorable conditions in the case of the East Indies. The inhabitants would be able to produce enough to satisfy all of his needs with only twelve working hours per week. This provides for more than enough leisure time until capitalist production takes hold. Then he may be required to work six days per week to satisfy his needs—there can be no explanation of why it is necessary for him to provide the extra five days of surplus labor.

In pre-capitalist economies, exploitation of the worker was achieved via physical coercion. In the capitalist mode of production, because the worker does not own the means of production, he cannot survive except by working for capitalists. The reserve army of unemployed workers continually threatens employed workers, pushing them to work hard to produce for the capitalists with minumum wage while the capitalists get the highest profit. The worker's entry into such employment is voluntary in that he or she chooses which capitalist to work for. However, the worker must work or starve. Thus, exploitation is inevitable, and the "voluntary" nature of a worker participating in a capitalist society is illusory. The action of the law of supply and demand of labour on this basis completes the despotism of capital.

The capitalists argue that they have the right to extract all of the value from a day's labor, since that is what they bought. Similarly, the worker demands the full value of his own commodity. The worker needs to be able to renew his labor power so that it can be sold again anew. The capitalist sees working fewer hours as theft from capital, and the worker see working too many hours as theft from laborers. This class struggle can be seen throughout history, and eventually laws such as Factory Acts were put in place to limit the length of a working day and child labour.

So as we have seen, according to Marxist analysis, class conflict within capitalism arises due to intensifying contradictions between the minority (the bourgeoisie) who own the means of production, and the vast majority of the population (the proletariat) who produce goods and services. The bourgeoisie in the capital system get the surplus product in the form of surplus value (profit) due to exploitation of the proletariat. Specifically, the working class (proletariat) do not own capital and must live by selling their labour power in exchange for a wage. In capitalism, the labour theory of value is the operative concern; it states that the value of the product = the quantity of labor average  and productivity + capital of materials used. The profit or surplus-value arises when workers do more labor than is necessary to pay the cost of hiring their labor-power; thus, capitalist exploitation is realized as deriving surplus value from the worker.

As capitalism exploits and oppresses the proletariat, the contradiction becomes apparent to the proletariat, social unrest between the two antagonistic classes intensifies, culminating in a social revolution. The eventual long-term outcome of this revolution would be the establishment of socialism - a socioeconomic system based on cooperative ownership of the means of production,distribution based on one's contribution, and production organized directly for use. Karl Marx hypothesized that, as the productive forces and technology continued to advance, socialism would eventually give way to a communist stage of social development. Communism would be a classless, stateless, humane society based on common ownership and the principle of
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".
Marx viewed religion as "the opium of the people" that had been used by the ruling classes to give the working classes false hope in an after life where they would be really rewarded while being exploited by the capitalists, while at the same time recognizing it as a form of protest by the working classes against their poor economic conditions.

After Marx

One of the first major political splits occurred in Marxism was when the social democrats argued that socialism should be achieved through evolution rather than revolution. Such views were strongly opposed by the revolutionary socialists, who argued that any attempt to reform capitalism was doomed to fail, because the reformists would be gradually corrupted and eventually turn into capitalists themselves.

Lenin and the Bolsheviks 

As he surveyed the European milieu in the late 1890s, Lenin found several theoretic problems with the Marxism of the late 19th century. Contrary to what Karl Marx had predicted,capitalism had become stronger in the last third of the 19th century. In Western Europe, the working class had become poorer, rather than becoming politically progressive, thinking people; hence, the workers and their trade unions, although they had continued to militate for better wages and working conditions, had failed to develop a revolutionary class consciousness, as predicted by Marx. To explain that undeveloped political awareness, Lenin said that the division of labour in a bourgeois capitalist society prevented the emergence of a proletarian class consciousness, because of the ten-to-twelve-hour workdays that the workers laboured in factories, and so had no time to learn and apply the philosophic complexities of Marxist theory. Lenin said that the “history of all countries bears out the fact that, through their own powers alone, the working class can develop only a trade-union consciousness”; and that under reformist, trade-union leadership, the working class could only engage spontaneous local rebellions to improve their political position within the capitalist system, and that revolutionary consciousness developed unevenly. Nonetheless, optimistic about the working class’s ability to develop a revolutionary class consciousness, Lenin said that the missing element for escalating the class struggle to revolution was a political organisation that could relate to the radicalism of political vanguard of the working class, who then would attract many workers from the middling policies of the reformist leaders of the trade unions.

The core ideological features of Marxism-Leninism are those of Marxism and Leninism, that is to say, belief in the necessity of a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism through communist revolution, to be followed by a dictatorship of the proletariat as the first stage of moving towards communism. The dictatorship of the proletariat refers to the absolute power of the working class like "paris commune". It is governed by a system of proletarian direct democracy, in which workers hold political power through local councils, known in the Russian Revolution as "soviets". Then arises the need for a vanguard party whose elections are democratic (centeral democracy) to lead the proletariat in this effort. Leninists argue that Lenin's ideal vanguard party would be one where membership is completely open, thus the organization would quickly include the entire working class and that all directing bodies of the Party, from top to bottom, shall be elected. The democratic aspect of this organizational method describes the freedom of members of the political party to discuss and debate matters of policy and direction, but once the decision of the party is made by majority vote, all members are expected to uphold that decision. This latter aspect represents the centralism. As Lenin described it, democratic centralism consisted of "freedom of discussion, unity of action."

The concept of a vanguard party was used by the Bolsheviks to justify their suppression of other parties. They took the line that since they were the vanguard of the proletariat, their right to rule could not be legitimately questioned. Hence, opposition parties could not be permitted to exist. The first goal of a Leninist party is to educate the proletariat, so as to remove the various modes of perceived false consciousness the bourgeois have instilled in them, instilled in order to make them more docile and easier to exploit economically, such as religion and nationalism.

Lenin advocated Marx's position of religion saying:
Religion is the opium of the people: this saying of Marx is the cornerstone of the entire ideology of Marxism about religion. All modern religions and churches, all and of every kind of religious organizations are always considered by Marxism as the organs of bourgeois reaction, used for the protection of the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class.
But also expanded it to say:
Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism 
The Mensheviks 

The Mensheviks were more inclined to work with the liberal "bourgeois" democratic parties such as the Constitutional Democrats, because these would be the "natural" leaders of a bourgeois revolution. In contrast, the Bolsheviks didn't believe that the Constitutional Democrats were capable of sufficiently radical struggle and tended to advocate alliances with peasant representatives and other radical socialist parties such as the Socialist Revolutionaries. In the event of a revolution, this was meant to lead to a dictatorship of the proletariat, which would carry the revolution to the end. The Mensheviks came to argue for predominantly legal methods and trade union work, while the Bolsheviks favoured armed violence. Some Mensheviks left the party after 1905 and joined legal opposition organisations. After a while, Lenin's patience wore out with their compromising and in 1908 he called these Mensheviks "liquidationists".


Lenin consistently explained "this elementary truth of Marxism, that the victory of socialism requires the joint efforts of workers in a number of advanced countries". Modern followers of Leon Trotsky maintain that as predicted by Lenin, Trotsky advocated proletarian revolution as set out in his theory of "permanent revolution", and he argued that in countries where the bourgeois-democratic revolution had not triumphed already (in other words, in places that had not yet implemented a capitalist democracy, such as Russia before 1917), it was necessary that the proletariat make it permanent by carrying out the tasks of the social revolution at the same time, in an uninterrupted process. Trotsky believed that a new socialist state would not be able to hold out against the pressures of a hostile capitalist world unless socialist revolutions quickly took hold in other countries as well, especially in the industrial powers with a developed proletariat.


"Socialism in One Country" was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin in 1924, elaborated by Nikolai Bukharin in 1925 and finally adopted by Stalin as state policy. The theory held that given the defeat of all the communist revolutions in Europe in 1917–1921 except Russia's, theS oviet Union should begin to strengthen itself internally. That was a shift from the previously held Marxist position that socialism must be established globally. But the USSR ceased to show the characteristics of a socialist state long before its formal dissolution. The USSR had developed new class structures: those who are in government and therefore have power (sometimes referred to as the political class), and those who are not in government and do not have power, the working class. This is taken to be a different form of capitalism, in which the government, as owner of the means of production, takes on the role formerly played by the capitalist class; this arrangement is referred to as "state capitalism". Some academics such as Chomsky dispute the claim that the political movements in the former Soviet Union were Marxist.

Communist governments have historically been characterized by state ownership of productive resources in a centrally planned economy and sweeping campaigns of economic restructuring such as nationalization of industry and land reform (often focusing on collective farming or state farms.) While they promote collective ownership of the means of production, Communist governments have been characterized by a totaliterian state apparatus in which decisions are made by the ruling Communist Party.


Unlike the earlier forms of Marxism-Leninism in which the urban proletariat was seen as the main source of revolution, and the countryside was largely ignored, Mao believed that peasantry could be the main force behind a revolution, led by the proletariat and a vanguard Communist party. The model for this was the Chinese communist rural Protracted People's War of the 1920s and 1930s, which eventually brought the Communist Party of China to power. Furthermore, unlike other forms of Marxism-Leninism in which large-scale industrial development was seen as a positive force, Maoism made all-round rural development the priority. Mao felt that this strategy made sense during the early stages of socialism in a country in which most of the people were peasants. Unlike most other political ideologies, including other socialist and Marxist ones, Maoism contains an integral military doctrine and explicitly connects its political ideology with military strategy. In Maoist thought, "political power grows from the barrel of the gun" (a famous quote by Mao), and the peasantry can be mobilized to undertake a "people's war" of armed struggle involving guerrilla warfare.

The CIA and Iran’s 1953 coup

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 11/26/2014

The Persians were dissatisfied with the royalty terms of the British petroleum concession, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), whereby Persia received 16% of "net profits". Led by Mossadegh, political parties and opponents of the Shah's policies banded together to form a coalition known as the National Front. Oil nationalization was a major policy goal for the party.

By 1951, the National Front had won majority seats for the popularly elected Majlis (Parliament of Iran). According to Iran's constitution, the majority elected party in the parliament would give a vote of confidence for its prime minister candidate, after which the Shah would appoint the candidate to power. The Prime Minister Haj Ali Razmara, who opposed the oil nationalization on technical grounds, was assassinated by the hardline Fadaiyan e-Islam (whose spiritual leader the Ayatollah Abol-Qassem Kashani, a mentor to the future Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had been appointed Speaker of the Parliament by the National Front).

After a vote of confidence from the National Front dominated Parliament, Mossadegh was appointed prime minister of Iran by the Shah. Mossadegh had sought to reduce the semi-absolute role of the Shah granted by the Constitution of 1906, thus making Iran a full democracy, and to nationalize the Iranian oil industry, consisting of vast oil reserves and the Abadan Refinery, both owned by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a British corporation (now BP). Britain now faced the newly elected nationalist government in Iran where Mossadegh, with strong backing of the Iranian parliament and people, demanded more favorable concessionary arrangements, which Britain vigorously opposed.

The National Iranian Oil Company suffered decreased production, because of Iranian inexperience and the AIOC's orders that British technicians not work with them, thus provoking the Abadan Crisis that was aggravated by the Royal Navy's blockading its export markets to pressure Iran to not nationalise its petroleum. The Iranian revenues were greater, because the profits went to Iran's national treasury rather than to private, foreign oil companies. By September 1951, the British had virtually ceased Abadan oil field production, forbidden British export to Iran of key British commodities (including sugar and steel), and had frozen Iran's hard currency accounts in British banks. The British blockade of Iranian seaports meant that Iran was left without access to markets where it could sell its oil. The embargo had the effect of causing Iran to spiral into bankruptcy. Tens of thousands had lost their jobs at the Abadan refinery, and although most understood and passionately supported the idea of nationalisation, they naturally hoped that Mosaddegh would find a way to put them back to work. The only way he could do that was to sell oil."

The United Kingdom took its anti-nationalisation case against Iran to the International Court of Justice at The Hague; PM Mosaddegh said the world would learn of a "cruel and imperialistic country" stealing from a "needy and naked people". Representing the AIOC, the UK lost its case. Nevertheless, the British continued to enforce the embargo of Iranian oil. In August 1952, Iranian Prime Minister Mosaddegh invited an American oil executive to visit Iran and the Truman administration welcomed the invitation. However, the suggestion upset Churchill who insisted that the U.S. not undermine his campaign to isolate Mosaddegh: "Britain was supporting the Americans in Korea, he reminded Truman, and had a right to expect Anglo-American unity on Iran.

However, the Speaker of the Parliament Ayatollah Kashani, Mossadegh's main clerical supporter, became increasingly opposed to the Prime Minister, because Mossadegh was not turning Iran into an Islamic state. By 1953, he had completely turned on him, and supported the coup, depriving Mossadegh of religious support, while giving it to the Shah. Economic tensions caused by the British embargo and political turmoil began to take a major toll upon Mossadegh's popularity and political power. The people were increasingly blaming him for the economic and political crisis. Political violence was becoming widespread in the form of street clashes between rival political groups. Mossadegh was losing popularity and support among the working class which had been his strongest supporters.

By mid-1953 a mass of resignations by Mossadegh's parliamentary supporters reduced the National Front seats in Parliament. A referendum to dissolve parliament and give the prime minister power to make law was submitted to voters, and it passed with 99.9 percent approval, 2,043,300 votes to 1300 votes against. The referendum was widely seen by opponents as a dictatorial act, and the Shah and the rest of the government were effectively stripped of their powers to rule. When Mossadegh dissolved the Parliament, his opponents decried this act because he had effectively given himself "total power". Ironically, this seemingly un-democratic act by a democratically elected prime minister would result in a chain of events leading to his downfall.

The US was becoming increasingly wary of Iran. U.S. reluctance to overthrow Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1951, when he was elected, faded 28 months later when Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the White House and John Foster Dulles took the helm at theState Department. "Anglo-American cooperation on that occasion brought down the Iranian prime minister and reinstated a U.S.-backed shah." (Harry Truman, the previous president, had refused demands by the British and international oil companies to carry out the coup).

Britain and the U.S. selected Fazlollah Zahedi to be the prime minister of a military government that was to replace Mosaddegh as premier. The Central Intelligence Agency bribed street thugs, clergy, politicians and Iranian army officers to take part in a propaganda campaign against Mosaddegh and his government. During the coup, Roosevelt and Wilber, representatives of the Eisenhower administration, bribed Iranian government officials, reporters, and businessmen. They also bribed street thugs to support the Shah and oppose Mosaddegh. The CIA gave Zahedi about $100,000 before the coup and an additional $5 million the day after the coup to help consolidate support for the coup. The US government gave Zahedi a further $28 million a month later, and that another $40 million was given in 1954 after the Iran government signed the oil consortium deal. Classified documents show British intelligence officials played a pivotal role in initiating and planning the coup, and that AIOC contributed $25,000 towards the expense of bribing officials.

Farmans (royal decrees) dismissing Mosaddegh and appointing Zahedi (a loyalist who had helped Reza Shah reunify Iran decades earlier) were drawn up by the coup plotters and signed by the Shah. General Zahedi, met with the pro-Shah Ayatollah Mohammad Behbahani and other Shah supporters in secret. There (using CIA money deridingly known as "Behbahani dollars"), they quickly created a new plan. The Ayatollah Behbahani also used his influence to rally religious demonstrators against Mossadegh. Ayatollah Kashani had completely turned on Mossadegh and supported the Shah, by this point

In 2000, James Risen at The New York Times obtained the previously secret CIA version of the coup written by Wilber and summarized its contents, which includes the following:

  1. In early August, the C.I.A. stepped up the pressure. Iranian operatives pretending to be Communists threatened Muslim leaders with savage punishment if they opposed Mossadegh, seeking to stir anti-Communist sentiment in the religious community.
  2. In addition, the secret history says, the house of at least one prominent Muslim was bombed by C.I.A. agents posing as Communists. It does not say whether anyone was hurt in this attack.
  3. CIA agents were planting rumors in the Iranian press about Mossadegh being of Jewish parentage, being a Communist or Communist fellow traveler, having secret sympathies for the British, and having designs on the throne 
  4. The agency was also intensifying its propaganda campaign. A leading newspaper owner was granted a personal loan of about $45,000, in the belief that this would make his organ amenable to our purposes.

The first attempt failed on Saturday, August 15; CIA headquarters twice ordered him to leave Tehran, but Roosevelt remained and organized a second coup on Wednesday, August 19. Roosevelt was able to use the U.S. ambassador in Tehran, Loy Henderson, to deceive Mossadegh into ordering the people to stay home and calling in the armed forces to bring calm to the streets. Having secretly organized paid mobs, and having already secured the support of high-ranking Shia clerics (Ayatollah Kashani, Ayatollah Behbahani, Hojatolislam Falsafi) and the radical group Fadaian Islam, who brought their followers into the streets, Roosevelt then had one group of military officers attack Mossadegh’s home and another take over the Tehran radio station. Roosevelt’s leadership was the single most significant factor in the success of the August 19 coup; without him, there would have been no second coup. Under Zahedi's authority, the army stormed all government buildings with the support of demonstrators. Mossadegh fled after a tank fired a single shell into his house, but he later turned himself in to the army's custody. To prevent further bloodshed, he refused a last attempt to organize his supporters. By the end of the day, Zahedi and the army were in control of the government. The second person who spoke on Radio Tehran announcing and celebrating the overthrow of Mossadegh was Ayatollah Kashani’s son, who was hand-picked by Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA Operative in Tahran.

As a condition for restoring the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, in 1954 the U.S. required removal of the AIOC's monopoly; five American petroleum companies, Royal Dutch Shell, and the Compagnie Française des Pétroles, were to draw Iran's petroleum after the successful coup d'état—Operation Ajax. The Shah declared this to be a "victory" for Iranians, with the massive influx of money from this agreement resolving the economic collapse from the last three years, and allowing him to carry out his planned modernization projects.

Democracy and The End of the Ottoman Empire

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 11/26/2014

The Ottoman constitution of 1876 was the first constitution of the Ottoman Empire. Written by members of the Young Ottomans, particularly Midhat Pasha, during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II(1876–1909), the constitution was only in effect for two years, from 1876 to 1878.The Constitution proposed a parliament divided into two parts: The senators were elected by the Sultan, and the Chamber of Deputies was elected by the people, although not directly (they chose delegates who would then choose the Deputies). There were also elections held every four years to keep the parliament changing and to continually express the voice of the people.

The newly elected Parliament first convened on 13 December 1877, but was prorogued by the Sultan on 14 February 1878 under the pretext of the war with Russia.

The First Congress of Ottoman Opposition was held on 4 February 1902, at 20:00, at the house of Germain Antoin Lefevre-Pontalis, a member of the Institut de France. The opposition was performed in compliance with the French government. Closed to the public, there were 47 delegates present.

The Second Congress of Ottoman Opposition took place in Paris, France in 1907. Opposition leaders including Ahmed Riza, Sabahaddin Bey, and Khachatur Malumian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation were in attendance. The goal was to unite all the parties, including the Young Turks' Committee of Union and Progress, in order to bring about the revolution.

A military coup in June 1908, led by the so-called Young Turks Officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress, had stripped Sultan Abdul Hamid II of his power, reconstituting the parliament and constitution the Sultan had suspended three decades earlier. The Sultan, however, had maintained his symbolic position.

In May 13, 1908, the leadership of the Committee of Union and Progress, with the newly-gained power of its organization, was able to communicate to Sultan Abdulhamid II the unveiled threat that "the [Ottoman] dynasty would be in danger" if he were not to bring back the Ottoman constitution that he had previously suspended since 1878. On June 12, 1908, the Third Army, which was in Macedonia, began its march towards the Palace inIstanbul. Although initially resistant to the idea of giving up absolute power, Abdulhamid was forced on July 24, 1908, to restore the constitution, beginning the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire.

The Countercoup of 1909 was an attempt to dismantle the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire and replace it with an autocracy under Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The Sultan's bid for a return to power gained traction when he promised to restore the Caliphate, eliminate secular policies, and restore the sharia-based legal system.

Soon after the countercoup, however, the Committee of Union and Progress organized the Army of Action and regained power from the reactionaries.

On 13 April 1909, Abdul Hamid II was finally deposed. His brother Mehmed V would ultimately take his place as Sultan, the position once more reduced to mere symbolic significance.

In 1913, the Committee of Union and Progress seized power in the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état. The government was headed by Minister of the Interior and Grand Vizier,Talaat Pasha (1874–1921). Working with him were Minister of War, Enver Pasha (1881–1922), and Minister of the Navy, Djemal Pasha (1872–1922). As to the fate of the Three Pashas, two of them, Talaat Pasha and Djemal Pasha, were assassinated by Armenian nationals shortly after the end of World War I while in exile in Europe during Operation Nemesis, a revenge operation against perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide.

Following the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I, On October 30, 1918, the Armistice of Mudros was signed between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I, bringing hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I to a close. The treaty granted the Allies the right to occupy forts controlling the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus; and the right to occupy "in case of disorder" any territory in case of a threat to security.

16 May 1919, along the established lines of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, the Allies (British, Italian, French and Greek forces) occupied Anatolia. The occupation of Constantinople, which was followed by the occupation of Smyrna (the two largest Ottoman cities in that period) sparked the establishment of the Turkish national movement and the Turkish War of Independence.

19 May 1919, Atatürk went to Anatolia and formed The Turkish National Movement.

In June 1919, Atatürk issued the Amasya Circular, declaring the independence of the country was in danger. He resigned from the Ottoman Army on 8 July and the Ottoman government issued a warrant for his arrest. Later, he was condemned to death.

In 10 January 1920, Mustafa Kemal declared that the only legal government of Turkey was the Representative Committee in Ankara and that all civilian and military officials were to obey it rather than the government in Constantinople. This argument gained very strong support, as by that time the Ottoman Parliament was fully under Allied control. Mustafa Kemal advanced his troops into Marash where the Battle of Marash ensued against the French Armenian Legion. The battle resulted in a Turkish victory alongside the massacres of 5,000 – 12,000 Armenians spelling the end of the remaining Armenian population in the region.

In March 1920, Turkish revolutionaries announced that the Turkish nation was establishing its own Parliament in Ankara under the name Grand National Assembly (GNA). The GNA assumed full governmental powers. On April 23, the new Assembly gathered for the first time, making Mustafa Kemal its first president and Ismet Inönü chief of the General Staff. The new regime’s determination to revolt against the government in the capital and not the Sultan was quickly made evident.

By May 3, 1920, a Turkish Provisional Government was also formed in Ankara.

On 10 August 1920, the Ottoman Grand Vizier Damat Ferid Pasha signed the Treaty of Sèvres, finalizing plans for the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, including the regions that Turkish nationals viewed as their heartland. The harsh terms it stipulated included the renunciation of all non-Turkish land that was part of the Ottoman Empire, as well as parts of Turkish land, to the Allied powers

Mustafa Kemal insisted on the country's complete independence and the safeguarding of interests of the Turkish majority on "Turkish soil". He persuaded the GNA to gather a National Army.

The Sultan gave 4,000 soldiers from his Kuva-i Inzibatiye (Caliphate Army) to resist against the nationalists. Then using money from the Allies, he raised another army, a force about 2,000 strong from non-Muslim inhabitants which were initially deployed in Iznik. The sultan's government sent forces under the name of the caliphate army to the revolutionaries and aroused counterrevolutionary outbreaks. The GNA Army faced the Caliphate army propped up by the Allied occupation forces and had the immediate task of fighting the Armenians forces in the Eastern Front and the Greek forces advancing eastward from Smyrna, on the Western Front.

On 13 April, the first conflict occurred at Düzce as a direct consequence of the sheik ul-Islam's fatwa. On 18 April, the Düzce conflict was extended to Bolu; on 20 April, it extended to Gerede. The movement engulfed an important part of northwestern Anatolia for about a month. The Ottoman government had accorded semi-official status to the "Kuva-i Inzibatiye" and Ahmet Anzavur held an important role in the uprising. Both sides faced each other in a pitched battle near Izmit on June 14. Ahmet Aznavur's forces and British units outnumbered the militias. Yet under heavy attack some of the Kuva-i Inzibatiye deserted and joined the opposing ranks. This revealed the Sultan did not have the unwavering support of his men. Meanwhile, the rest of these forces withdrew behind the British lines which held their position.

On 1 November 1922, the GNA voted for the abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate. The last Sultan left Turkey on 17 November 1922, in a British battleship on his way to Malta. This was the last act of the Ottoman Empire.

After the end of the Turkish-Armenian, Franco-Turkish, Greco-Turkish wars (often referred to as the Eastern Front, the Southern Front, and the Western Front of the war, respectively), the Treaty of Sèvres was abandoned and the Treaty of Lausanne was signed in July 1923. The Allies left Anatolia and Eastern Thrace, and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey decided the establishment of a Republic in Turkey, which was declared on October 29, 1923.

The Protocols Of Zion - A Literary Forgery?

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 11/26/2014

Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Among mankind the evil instinct is mightier than the good. Man is more drawn to evil than to good. Fear and Force have more empire over him than reason . . . Every man aims at domination; not one but would be an oppressor if he could; all or almost all are ready to sacrifice the rights of others to their own interests....
 Geneva Dialogues, p. 8.
It must be noted that people with corrupt instincts are more numerous than those of noble instinct. Therefore in governing the world the best results are obtained by means of violence and intimidation, and not by academic discussions. Every man aims at power; everyone would like to become a dictator if he only could do so, and rare indeed are the men who would not be disposed to sacrifice the welfare of others in order to attain their own personal aims.
 Protocols, p. 1 ("The Britons" edition).
What arms will they (States) employ in war against foreign enemies? Will the opposing generals communicate their plans of campaign to one another and thus be mutually in a position to defend themselves? Will they mutually ban night attacks, traps, ambushes, battles with inequality of force? Of course not; such combatants would court derision. Are you against the employment of those traps and tricks, of all the strategy indispensable to war against the enemy within, the revolutionary?
 Geneva Dialogues, p. 9.

... I would ask the question why is it not immoral for a State which has two enemies, one external and one internal, to use different means of defence against the former in that which it would use against the latter, to attack him by night or with superior forces?...

 Protocols, p. 2.
Machiavelli: -- "You do not know the unbounded meanness of the peoples . . . . groveling before force, pitiless towards the weak, implacable to faults, indulgent to crimes, incapable of supporting the contradictions of a free régime, and patient to the point of martyrdom under the violence of an audacious despotism . . . giving themselves masters whom they pardon for deeds for the least of which they would have beheaded twenty constitutional kings."
Geneva Dialogues, p. 43:

"In their intense meanness the Christian peoples help our independence - when kneeling they crouch before power; when they are pitiless towards the weak; merciless in dealing with faults, and lenient to crimes; when they refuse to recognize the contradictions of freedom; when they are patient to the degree of martyrdom in bearing with the violence of an audacious despotism. At the hands of their present dictators, Premiers, and Ministers, they endure abuses for the smallest of which they would have murdered twenty kings."
 Protocols, p. 15:
"I shall extend the tax on newspapers to books, or rather I shall introduce a stamp duty on books having less than a certain number of pages. A book, for example, with less than 200 or 300 pages will not rank as a book, but as a brochure. I am sure you see the advantage of this scheme. On the one hand I thin (je rarifie) by taxation that cloud of short books which are the mere appendages of journalism; on the other I force those who wish to escape stamp duty to throw themselves into long and costly compositions, which will hardly ever be sold and scarcely read in such a form." 
P 135
"We will tax it (the book press) in the same manner as the newspaper Press - that is to say, by means of Excise stamps and deposits. But on books of less than 300 pages we will place a tax twice as heavy. Those short books we will classify as pamphlets, which constitute the most virulent form of printed poison. These measures will also compel writers to publish such long works that they will be little read by the public and so chiefly on account of their high price."
 The Protocols, p. 41
Like the god Vishnu, my press will have a hundred arms, and these arms will give their hands to all the different shades of opinion throughout the country.
— Machiavelli,  Dialogues, p. 141
These newspapers, like the Indian god Vishnu, will be possessed of hundreds of hands, each of which will be feeling the pulse of varying public opinion.
— Protocols, p. 43

Machiavelli. -- "You must know that journalism is a sort of Freemasonry; those who live by it are bound . . . to one another by the ties of professional discretion; like the augurs of old, they do not lightly divulge the secret of their oracles. They would gain nothing by betraying themselves, for they have mostly won more less discreditable scars . . ."
Geneva Dialogues, pp. 145, 146: 
"Already there exists in French journalism a system of Masonic understanding for giving counter- [p. 15] signs. All organs of the Press are tied by mutual professional secrets to the manner of the ancient oracles. Not one of the members will betray his knowledge of the secret, if the secret has not been ordered to be made public. No single publisher will have the courage to betray the secret entrusted to him, the reason being that not one of them is admitted into the literary world without bearing the marks of some shady act in his past life."
 Protocols, p. 44:
After covering Italy with blood, Sulla reappeared in as a simple citizen in Rome: no one durst touch a hair of his head.
Geneva Dialogues, p. 159. 
Remember at the time when Italy was streaming with blood, she did not touch a hair of Silla's head, and he was the man who made her blood pour out.
Protocols, p. 51.
Now I understand the figure of the god Vishnu; you have a hundred arms like the Indian idol, and each of your fingers touches a spring.
— Montesquieu,  Dialogues, p. 207
Our Government will resemble the Hindu god Vishnu. Each of our hundred hands will hold one spring of the social machinery of State.
— Protocols, p. 65
How are loans made? By the issue of bonds entailing on the   Government the obligation to pay interest proportionate to the capital it has been paid. Thus, if a loan is at 5%, the State, after 20 years, has paid out a sum equal to the borrowed capital. When 40 years have expired it has paid double, after 60 years triple: yet it remains debtor for the entire capital sum.
— Montesquieu,  Dialogues, p. 209
A loan is an issue of Government paper which entails an obligation to pay interest amounting to a percentage of the total sum of the borrowed money. If a loan is at 5%, then in 20 years the Government would have unnecessarily paid out a sum equal to that of the loan in order to cover   the percentage. In 40 years it will have paid twice; and in 60 thrice that amount, but the loan will still remain as an unpaid debt.
— Protocols, p. 77
What restrains those beasts of prey which they call men from attacking one another? Brute unrestrained Force in the first stages of social life, then the Law, that is still force regulated by forms. You have consulted all historical sources; every where might precedes right. Political Liberty is merely a relative idea....
What restrained the wild beasts of prey which we call men? What has ruled them up to now? In the first stages of social life they submitted to brute and blind forces, then to law, which in reality is the same force, only masked. From this I am led to deduct that by the law of nature right lies in might. Political freedom is not a fact but an idea.[p. 12]