Navigating Ideological Challenges: Perspectives on Governance, Ideals, and Colonial Critique

1. In an era of neoliberalism, can Christian Democracy remain faithful to Jacques Maritain’s personality and communitarian ideals?

Neoliberalism refers to the 20th-century resurgence of the 19th-century concept related to laissez-faire free market economic liberalism and capitalism. The ideology was linked to policies of economic liberalization like free trade, the economy, reduction of government spending, globalization, privatization, deregulation, etc., (Gottschalk, 2016 p.11). Neoliberalism explicitly rejects the key ideas of Christianity and professes open and acute hostility to "lower classes." On the other hand, Christian democracy is a concept that was under the influence of Catholic social teaching. The idea advocated for a commitment to social market principles and qualified interventionism. It is a considered center-right on social, cultural as well as moral issues, and is a supporter of social conservatism. Besides, Jacques Maritain came with some philosophies such as communitarianism, which emphasizes the connection between the community and individual. The other ideology is personalism, which perceives personality as the highest and most excellent value in measuring reality.


In the neoliberalism period, Christian democracy could not remain faithful to the ideology of communalism and personality. First, Christian democracy wanted to reconcile liberalism with Christian social teaching. However, unlike communitarianism, which advocates for unity, neoliberalism preached inequality. Neoliberalism policies included globalization, which has been linked with the emergence of a "precariat," a new social class that has an acute socio-economic alienation as well as insecurity (O'Mahony et al., 2014, p.25). Moreover, the study also suggests that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was an essential neoliberal policy that resulted in more economic inequalities. However, the idea was much celebrated. Its policies, such as fiscal consolidation and freedom of capital, significantly increased inequality and, in turn, jeopardized durable expansion in economies. Therefore, with the view that this ideology was much celebrated, Christian Democracy could never have remained faithful to Jacques Maritain’s personality and communitarian concept.

The concept of neo-liberalization resulted in mass incarceration, which was against the idea of personality and communitarian. Studies suggest that in this era, lower classes were made to accept dissocialized wage labor (Gottschalk, 2016, p.10). The research also suggests that poverty criminalization, as well as mass incarceration, was one of the neoliberal policy, which was meant to deal with social instability, especially among economically marginalized individuals. Other policies by the liberals, which created the gap between the poor and the rich, included the rise of punitive workfare, privatization of public functions, etc. The neo-liberalization system punished the lower class, who were the majority in the prisons and, on the other hand, made the rich who owned prisons richer (Gottschalk, 2016 p.9). The study also indicates that, in this period, regardless of cutting social welfare programs expenditure, prison expenditures increased significantly (p.9). These activities led to the construction of “the largest prison in California.

Therefore Christian democracy advocated for a commitment to social market principles and qualified interventionism. It was a considered center-right on social, cultural as well as moral issues. On the other hand, Jacques Maritain came up with the idea of communitarianism, which emphasizes the connection between the community and individual, and personalism which perceives personality the highest value for measuring reality. However, neoliberalism was more powerful and influential that this ideology was never put into consideration.

2. How effective has the Islamist theory of the state been in blending theocracy with the popularly accountable government? Discuss with reference to the ideas of either Ayatollah Khomeini or Sayyid Qutb.

Ayatollah Khomeini came up with a concept to implement Islamic laws. In the idea, the Muslim jurist was given the highest political power and elevated. The jurist, therefore, was given the ability to interpret the moral codes and also be the most senior political leader and cherished Islamic State of Ayatollah Khomeini. However, there are significant impacts, such as leadership to both the global community and the Muslim world. In my view, this theory was very ineffective, especially in blending accountable government and theocracy.

The theory marked a significant departure from traditional Shia practice and custom. Before the implementation of the concept, the Shia clergy practiced political quietism, particularly after the Twelfth Imam disappearance. Therefore, removing the clergy from political activism was a significant disunity factor (Khomeini, 2016). Regardless of the velayat-e faqih concept being in existence for a long time, it was originally intended to give room for some clerical guardianship, especially in the small sector of the community. These communities included people who could not protect their interests, such as the disabled and the orphans. When Khomeini reconceptualized velayat-e faqih, the concept was expanded to everyone regardless of Khomeini’s theory having little support among the Shia clergy. It was later named as blasphemous. Therefore, its structure significantly failed to blend theory and accountable government hence receiving critics from the clergy and then being named as a blasphemy.

Khomeini (2016 p.8) calls the theory propaganda, which he suggested had a significant impact on the community. Khomeini’s revolutionary was never intended to be limited to Iran. Khomeini tried to create something similar to Islamic papacy in which he positioned himself as the supreme leader. The leadership was not only Iran but also the entire global Muslim society. For this revolutionist and his followers, the 1979 Islamic Revolution was the first step to establishing a broader Islamic that covered the global Islamic world. The ideology also had some vital non-state implications for Middle East stability. Most Shia Islamist political parties, especially outside Iran, subscribed to this doctrine. This means that its impact was felt beyond the state. For instance, Khomeini (2016 p.11) reveals that the introduction of foreign laws to the Islamic community resulted in challenges. Any person caught committing criminal action would spend his whole life following the case. As per the study, this impact was felt in Iran and the other analogous counties. Therefore, this change is an indication that the revolution could not blend between government and theocracy.

3.In what ways did Frantz Fanon’s critique of colonialism in The Wretched of the Earth (1961) advance, if at all, on previous nationalist and Marxist analyses?

The Wretched of the Earth refers to a book written by Frantz Fanon in 1961. In the book, the author gives the psychological and psychiatric analysis of the dehumanizing impacts of colonization on the nation as well as to an individual (Ngutor et al., 2014, p.12). The book also discusses the broader cultural, social as well as political implications inherent to create a social movement for the decolonization a nation. In the novel, Fanon adopting Marxist concepts to analyse the impacts of colonialism in third world states. The author also highlights the significance of rural peasants in the decolonization process success (Ngutor et al., 2014, p.12). Moreover, the author gives the weak and strong points of the revolution hence giving options concerning what ought to be done for successful liberation to occur.

On the other hand, Marxism analysis of colonization is based on a review of class and contains two essential concepts. These concepts include class struggle and materialism. On materialism, the theorist reveals that it is an engine that drives society to an economy that is more persuasive and less complex. Ngutor et al. (2014, p.16). As per Marx, the mode of production in material life determines the character of the political, spiritual, and social processes of life. Generally, Marx wanted to show the class struggle. The theorist also reveals a struggle between the exploiter and the exploited.

While looking at the two authors, Marx and Fanon, both addressed violence as an indispensable force in limiting the power of the poor in the (capitalists) system. The chapter of “Concerning violence,” by Fanon he revealed on the application of violence to overthrow colonial regimes. He referred to this action as an aberration (Ngutor et al., 2014, p.16). He suggested it to be one of the most powerful forces necessary to unite the indigenous population, promote their self-esteem, and ensure decolonization. At this point, Fanon agrees with Marx, who suggested that revolution is the only way to do away with oppressive capitalists systems. Marx also reveals that the capitalist system tended to resist changes because the oppressors benefited from it, hence the need for a revolution to remove the regime.

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Moreover, the two scholars closely identified with the oppressed and the poor. In Fanon's works, the poor colonized population, especially in developing countries, is identified. He researched widely on the poor people's economic and psychological domination by foreign powers. Similarly, Marx had earlier suggested that the ruling class exploited the poor due to the difference in access to the production means (Ngutor et al., 2014, p.16). Through owning the production means, the ruling elite subordinated and alienated the working class and the masses. Therefore, there are advancements in that, Fanon is sought for the emancipation of the poor, similarly, and Marx is skeptical of the ruling elite and advocated for working-class liberation. Additionally, both Fanon and Marx expected some transition of the community to a state where there was more or less represents a utopia, a better society that benefited the general masses. Fanon also advocates for the liberation of indigenous people for oppressors. At the same time, earlier Marx's writing seemed to advocate for the replacement of capitalism with socialism- which had no exploitation and suppression of the masses (Ngutor et al., 2014, p.16).


Chappel, J.G., 2012. Slaying the Leviathan: Catholicism and the Rebirth of European Conservatism, 1920-1950 (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University).

Gottschalk, M., 2016. Caught: The prison state and the lockdown of American politics. Princeton University Press.

Khomeini, I. (2016). Governance of the Jurist (Velayat-e Faqeeh): Islamic Government, trans. Hamid Algar (Tehran: The Institute for the Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, Original publication 1970), 36. accedido el, 15, 36.

O'Mahony, L.F., O'Mahony, D. and Hickey, R. eds., 2014. Moral Rhetoric and the Criminalisation of Squatting: Vulnerable Demons?. Routledge.

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