The world problem that occupies peoples' minds now, affecting the heart of their present existence, is the social problem which can be summarized by giving the most frank answer to this question:
What is the system that suits humanity, the one through which humanity achieves a happy social life?
Naturally, this problem occupies a prominent and serious position. In its complexity and diversity of suggested solutions, it poses as a source of danger to humanity itself, for system is included in the calculation of the human life, affecting the core of its social entity.
This problem is deeply rooted in the distant epochs of the history of human existence. Mankind faced it ever since it had sprung up in its social life. The human social entity stemmed from several individuals linked to each other through common bonds and ties. These bonds, naturally, need general directions and organization. Indeed, it is on the extent of the harmony between this system and the existing human reality and its interest that both social stability and happiness depend.
This social problem has pushed humanity, in its intellectual and political arenas, to wage a long battle and engage in a struggle full of different sorts of combat, and by different codes of the human mind, aiming at erecting and engineering the social structure, trying to sketch its plans and lay down its pillars. It was a tiring struggle, crowded with miseries and iniquities, full of laughter and sorrow, one in which happiness was espoused to misery. All this occurred because of all the different colors of abnormality and deviation that characterized those social systems. Except for glimpses that shone during moments of the history of this planet, the social existence of man would have lived in continuous misery and dived into tumultuous waves.
We do not want to display, now, the rounds of the human struggle in the social field, for we do not want, by making such type of research here, to narrate the history of agonizing humanity, showing the different spheres through which it revolved since time immemorial. Instead, we want to partake in humanity's present living circumstances and in the rounds it reached, so that we may know the destination that a round is expected to reach, and the natural shore towards which a ship should make its way and dock, so that it may reach peace and goodness, coming back to a stable life of justice and happiness after a long struggle and tiring endeavour, after journeying for so long in different places and directions.
In fact, contemporary man's awareness of today's social problem is stronger than at any past epoch of ancient history. Today, he is more conscious of his relationship to the problem and to its complexity, for modern man has come to realize the fact that the problem is of his own making, and that the social order is not imposed on him from above, the way natural phenomena operate, for these phenomena govern man's relationship to nature.
Man now stands in contrast with ancient man who often used to look at the social order as though it were an order of nature, facing it without choice or power. While he could not develop the law of earth gravitation, by the same token, he could not change his social relations. Naturally, when man starts to believe that those relations are but one aspect of behaviour while man himself chooses without losing his own will within their sphere, the social problem then starts to reflect in him—in man that lives it intellectually—a revolutionary bitterness, instead of the bitterness of yielding
Modern man, on the other hand, started to be contemporary to a tremendous change in man's control over nature, a change that has never been preceded. This growing control, terrifying and gigantic, increases the complexity of the social problem and doubles its dangers, for it opens to mankind new and great avenues of utilization; and it doubles the significance of the social order on which depends the distribution of each individual's share of those tremendous outcomes that nature today bestows on man with generosity.
Man, after all, inherited from his predecessors, along ages, a broader experience, more inclusive and deep, that resulted from the social experiences which ancient man had had, and in their light he studies the social problem.
Having acquainted ourselves with the essential question humanity faced ever since it practiced its conscious social existence, artistically attempting to answer it along its remote history, we want now to cast a look at what humanity, now and in all other ages, possesses of capacities and essential conditions required for giving an accurate answer to the essential afore-mentioned question, i.e., "What is the system which suits humanity best, the one through which it can achieve happiness in its social life?"
Can humanity provide the answer?
And what is the required amount—in its intellectual and spiritual composition—of conditions necessary to succeed in providing the answer?
What sort of absurdities’ can guarantee humanity ultimate success in the test and terseness in providing the answer to the question, in the way it chooses to solve the social problem, in reaching the best system that guarantees humanity's happiness, uplifting it to the highest levels?
In a clearer expression: How can contemporary man perceive, say, that democratic capitalism, dictatorship, social proletarianism, etc., is the best system? If humanity perceived this or that, what are the absurdities which guarantee that it is right and correct in its perception?
Even if it secured all of that, will it suffice to perceive the best system, knowing it fully well, to put it to practice in order to solve the social problem on its basis? Or will the implementation of the system depend on other elements which may not be available, in spite of the "knowledge" of its practicality and merit?
The points which we have raised now are related to a large extent to the common concept of society and cosmos; therefore, the method to deal with them differs among scholars, each according to his respective common concepts; so let us start with Marxism.
The windmill (Marxism argues), for example, inspires man to feel that the feudal system is the best system for him. The steam mill that succeeded it teaches man that capitalism is worthier of implementation. Today's electrical and atomic means of production give the society new intellectual concept, believing that the social system is the fittest Marxism sees man as being spiritually and intellectually conditioned to the method of production and the type of producing powers.
Being independent of these powers, he cannot think in social terms, nor can he know the best system. The producing powers, according to Marxism, dictate to him such knowledge, allowing him to answer the essential question which we laid out in our Introduction above, and he, in turn, will recur their echo carefully and faithfully.
Humanity's capacity to conceive the best system, then, is exactly its own capacity to interpret the social outcome of all producing powers, returning their echo.
As for the old conventional conception, it is now wrong, since a more modern social conception has been invented
What assures the Soviet man that his viewpoint is accurate is the belief that such view represents the new aspect of the social awareness, expressing a new stage of history; so, it has to be correct, unlike old viewpoints
It is true, though, that some social views may seem to be new—in spite of their falsehood—such as the Nazi view in the first half of this century, as it seemed as if it were expressing a new development in history But how fast are such veiled views uncovered, proving through experience that they are nothing but an echo to the old views, an interpretation of worn-out historical stages, not new views per se.
Thus does Marxism assert: the "modernity" of the social view, i.e., its birth as the outcome of newly-formulated historical circumstances, is the guarantor of its accuracy as long as history is in escalating advancement
There is something else, and that is: Today, for example, humanity's perception of the social system, as being the fittest, is insufficient, according to Marxism, to put it to practice unless and until the class that benefits from it more than others (this, according to this example, is the proletariat) is violent, a class struggle will take place against the class that benefits from keeping the old system. This mad struggle interacts with the concept of the fittest system; hence, such struggle will get fiercer as long as that concept grows and becomes clearer and, in its turn, it deepens the concept, helping it grow as it gets more strong and prevalent
This Marxist viewpoint is based on the materialistic historical ideals which are criticized in our broad study of economic Marxism1 . What we add here is that history itself proves that the social ideals concerning identifying the type of systems that are the fittest are not created by the producing powers; rather, man has his own originality and creativity in this sphere, independently of the means of production.
Otherwise, how can Marxism explain to us the ideas of nationalization, socialism and state ownership during distant and separate periods of history? If the belief in the idea of nationalization—as the fittest system, according to the Soviet man nowadays—is the result of the sort of today's producing powers, what is the meaning of the appearance of the same idea in remote times when these producing powers were non-existent?
Did not Plato believe in communism, imagining his ideal city on a communist model? Was his conception the outcome of modern means of production which the Greeks never possessed? What can I say? But the social ideas two thousand years ago reached a stage of maturity and depth in the minds of some great political thinkers to a degree which paved for them the way of their implementation just as does the Soviet man nowadays, with only few adjustments.
This is Woo-Di, the greatest of China's emperors from the Han dynasty, believed, out of knowledge and experience, in the social system as being the fittest. He put it to practice during the period from 140 - 87 B.C., making all natural resources the property of the nation and nationalizing the industries of salt extraction, iron mining and wine-making He wanted to put an end to the authority of commissioners and commercial competitors.
He established a special system for transportation and exchange under the auspices of the state, trying thereby to control trade in order to be able to avoid sudden price fluctuations. The state workers themselves used to undertake carrying and delivering goods to the respective owners throughout the country, and the government itself used to stock whatever items were left of the nation's need, selling them when their prices rose above the necessary limit and buying them back when their prices fell He set to establish great common institutions to create jobs for the millions of those who could not be absorbed by the private industries.
Also, in the beginning of the Christian era, Wang Mang ascended the throne and became enthusiastic about the idea of emancipating slaves and putting an end to both slavery and feudalism, just like what the Europeans believed in doing at the beginning of the capitalist era. He abolished slavery, took the lands from the feudal class, nationalized arable lands and distributed them among the peasants, forbade buying or selling lands in order to avoid repossession. And he nationalized mines and some other major industries, too.
So, could Woo-Di or Wang Mang have derived their social inspiration and political policies from steam power, electricity or the atom, the energies which Marxism considers to be the bases of social thinking?
So do we derive this conclusion: Perceiving this system or that—as being the fittest—is not the making of this producing power or that.
Also, the advancing movement of history—the one through which Marxism proves that the "modernity" of thinking guarantees its accuracy—is nothing but another myth of history, for certainly reactionary and melting trends of civilization are numerous indeed As for non-Marxist thinkers, these decide that man's ability to conceive the fittest system grows with him from the many social experiences through which he lives.
Therefore, when social man puts to practice a specific social system, embodying it within his own living experience, he can notice from his experience of that system the faults and weak points that hide within the system, for these will be eventually discovered, enabling man to conceive a more terse and informed social system.
Thus, man will be enabled to conceive the fittest system, putting his answer to the essential question in the light of his experience and knowledge. The more complete and numerous the experiments or systems he tries are, the more knowledge and terseness he achieves, becoming more capable of defining the fittest system and determining its dimensions.
Our main question: "What is the fittest social system?" is but another way of asking: "What is the best method of home-heating?" This question faced man ever since he felt cold for the first time inside his cave or hideout; so, he engaged himself in thinking of an answer to it, until he was led, through his observations and numerous experiences, to a way to make a fire. Then he persistently struggled to find a better answer to the question across his prolonged experiences, until he finally discovered electricity for heating.
So was the case with thousands of other problems which he faced throughout his life. He found the way to solve those problems through experience, and his perception increased in exactness as his experiments increased in number. Among such problems are: the problem of getting the best medicine for tuberculosis, the easiest method for oil drilling, the fastest means for transportation and travel, or the best method for wool-weaving, etc
Just as man has been able to solve all of these problems, providing answers for all of those questions through experience, so can man answer the question of "What is the fittest social system?" from his social experiences that disclose both advantages and disadvantages of the particular system scrutinized, pointing out the reactions to it on the social level
This is accurate to a certain degree: The social experience allows man to provide the answer to this question: "What is the fittest (social) system?" just as natural experiments enabled him to answer several other questions which encompassed his life ever since it had begun.
But we have to differentiate—if we want to study this issue deeper—between the social experiences that formulate man's perception of the fittest system and the natural experiments from which man acquires his knowledge of nature's secrets and laws and the methods to benefit from them, to find out, for example, the best medicine, the fastest means of travel, the best method for weaving, the easiest method for oil-drilling, or even the best way to divide the atom.
For the social experiences—social man's trials of different social systems—do not really reach, in their intellectual output, the same degree like that of natural experiments, i.e., man's experiments of the natural phenomena, for these indeed differ from the first in many points. Such a difference leads to man's varying ability to benefit from both natural and social experiments.
So, while man is capable of comprehending the secrets of natural phenomena, ascending to the peak of perfection as time passes by, due to his natural and scientific experiments, well, he really cannot help taking a slow pace in his attempt to comprehend the fittest social system, without ever being able to achieve absolute perfection in his social thinking, no matter how diversified and numerous his social experiences may be.
It is mandatory on us, in order to know all of this, to study these significant differences between the nature of a social experience and a natural one, so that we may be able to reach the fact we have already decided, that is, the natural experiment may be able to grant mankind, across ages a complete image of nature to be used to utilize the natural phenomena and laws. As for the social experience, this cannot guarantee mankind to discover such a complete ideology concerning the social issue.
The most significant of these differences may be summarized thus:
First: The natural experiment can be initiated and practiced by one individual, comprehending it through noticing and observing, directly studying all what may be disclosed of its facts and shortcomings and coming to a specific idea hinging on that experiment.
As for the social experience, it is but the embodiment of an already practiced and implemented system. The experience of the feudal or capitalist system, for example, means the society's implementation of this system during a period of its history; hence, such an experience cannot be done or absorbed by just one person.
Rather, the entire community implements the social experience, consuming a life-span of the community's age far wider than does this individual or that. When one wants to benefit from a certain social experience, he cannot be contemporary to all of its events, just like being contemporary to an actual natural experiment while implementing it; rather, he can be contemporary to one side of its events, necessarily depending on his assumption, derivation and (knowledge of) history while scrutinizing all the aspects and consequences of the experience.
Second: The thinking crystallized by a natural experiment is much more subjective and accurate than that derived by man from a social experience.
This is a most essentially significant point which forbids the social experience from reaching the level of a natural and scientific point; therefore, it has to be thoroughly clarified.
In the natural experiment, the interest of the person performing it is tied to his discovery of the truth, the complete honest truth, without covering anything up, and he most often does not have the least interest in falsifying the truth or discomposing its features, an action which will eventually be found out through experiment.
If he, for example, wants to examine the effects of a certain chemical on tuberculosis germs, while putting it in those germs' environment, he will not then be concerned except about knowing its degree of effect, albeit if it is high or low, and he will not benefit in treating tuberculosis from falsifying the truth, over-estimating or under-estimating such an effect. Accordingly, the trend of the mind of the person experimenting the method will naturally be directed towards subjectivity and accuracy.
As for the social experience, the interest of the person performing such an experiment does not always stop at his finding out the truth, discovering the fittest social system for all mankind; but it may even be to his own personal advantage to conceal the truth from the eyes of the beholders The person whose interest hinges on the capitalist system and on monopoly or on the banking interest system, for example, will find out that his benefit lies in the truth which emphasizes that the system of capitalism, monopoly and bank interest is the most suitable one, so that the profits such system brings him will continue.
He, therefore, is not being naturally subjective, as long as his personal impulse urges him to discover the truth in the colour which agrees with his own personal interests. So is the case with the other person whose personal interest conflicts with interest rates or monopoly; nothing concerns him more than truth convicting the interest and monopoly systems.
When such a person seeks the answer to the social question of "What is the most suitable (social) system?", out of his own social research, he always is pushed by an internal power that favours a specific viewpoint. In other words, by no means is he a neutral person per se. And so do we come to know that man's thinking of the social problem cannot usually guarantee subjectivity and selflessness to the degree that ensures the accuracy of man's thinking while treating a natural experiment or dealing with a cosmic question.
Third: Suppose someone has been able to free himself intellectually from his self impulses, reasoning with subjectivity, finding out the fact that this system or that is the most suitable for all humanity, well, who can guarantee this person's concern about all humanity's interest if such interest does not agree with his own? Who is going to guarantee this person's effort to put the most suitable social system for humanity to practice if it does conflict with this person's own interest? Is it sufficient reason, for example, for the capitalists who believe that Socialism is a more fitting social system (than Capitalism) to go ahead and implement it even though it does conflict with their own interests?
Is it sufficient that the belief of contemporary man (the man of Western civilization)—in the light of the experiences which he has lived—indecency and permissiveness, is his belief in what all these relationships include of moral dangers, decay and disintegration, on man's tomorrow and future, causes him to rush to develop such relationships in the method which guarantees humanity's future, protecting it from sexual and instinctive disintegration, as long as he does not feel any contemporary danger to the present in which he lives, and as long as such relationships do, indeed, provide him with a plenitude of pleasure and fun?
We, then, in the light of all of this, do feel in need not only for finding out the most suitable system for all humanity, but also in need for an impulse that makes us concerned about the interest of mankind as a whole, trying to bring such system to reality, even when it conflicts with that portion (of society) we represent out of the whole.
Fourth: The system that social man establishes, the one in the practicality and efficiency of which he believes, cannot be qualified to bring this man up, i.e., uplift him in the human sphere to wider horizons because the system which social man makes always reflects its maker's present circumstance, his spiritual and psychological status. So, if the society enjoys a low degree of strength and solidarity of self-will, it indeed has never been capable of growing this will up—by establishing a firm social system which nurtures self-will and firms solidarity.
For so long as it does not possess a solid will, it then is incapable of discovering such a system and of implementing it; rather, it establishes the system that reflects its disintegration and melting self-will. Otherwise, can we expect a society which does not possess its self-will to oppose the temptation of wine drinking, for example, without enjoying a will uplifting it above such a cheap desire like this? Can we expect such a society to execute a firm system that bans similar cheap desires, nurturing man's self-will, restoring to him his freedom, emancipating him from the slavery of desire and temptation? Of course not!
We do not expect firmness from a disintegrating society, even when such a society realizes the danger of disintegration and of its consequences. Nor do we expect the society which is enslaved by the desire of wine drinking to free itself from such desires on its own free will, no matter how aware of wine's effects such a society may be.
For awareness is deepened and focussed by the society if it continues disintegrating itself and satisfying its desires; and the more it continues to do so, the more it becomes incapable of treating the situation and uplifting its humanity to higher degrees. This is the reason that caused man-made civilizations to be incapable of establishing a system which makes man oppose his slavery to his own desires, uplifting him to a higher human level.
Even the United States, which best expresses the greatest of man-made civilizations, has failed to enforce the law that forbids drinking, for it is self-contradictory to expect a society, which gave up itself to its own desires and to their enslavement, to institute laws that uplift it from the pitfall in which it has willingly chosen to throw itself. But we do find the Islamic system—which is brought by Divine Revelation (contrarily to man-made systems)—capable of nurturing humanity, in the system's own way, uplifting it to high pinnacles, banning wines and other evil desires, creating in man a conscious and firm self-will.
What remains for us—after having explained a portion of the essential differences between the social experience performed by the entire society and the natural experiment performed by the individual himself—is to raise the last question in treating the problem under discussion (the problem of the extent of mankind's capacity in the field of social organization and in selecting the most suitable social system), and the question is: "What is the scientific value of organizing the group's life, laying the grounds for social living and of the social system on scientific bases derived from natural experiments which are as exact as the experiments performed in the spheres of physics and chemistry, getting rid of all the weak points we studied while dealing with the nature of the social experience?"
In other words: Is it possible—while organizing social life and getting acquainted with the most suitable social system—to leave aside humanity's history, by passing the experiences human societies performed across ages, those experiences towards which we have nothing to do but glance from a distance, hiding behind curtains of time that separate us from them, can we lay aside all this by building our social life in the light of scientific experiments which we ourselves live and practice on this individual or that, so that we may get to know the most suitable social system? Some optimists may tend to answer this question in the affirmative, considering what the Western man enjoys today of tremendous potentials; for is it not that the social system is the one that guarantees satisfying man's needs in the best possible way?
Is it not that man's needs are realistic matter of fact things that can be scientifically measured and tested like all other natural phenomena? Is it not that the methods of satisfying these needs mean limited measures scientific logic is capable of measuring and subjecting to tests, studying their effects to satisfy the needs and the results which they bring about? So; why can the social system not be laid on bases of such experiments?
Why can we not find out, through experiment on one person or many persons, the sum of natural, physiological and psychological effects which play a role in activating individuals’ intellectual gifts, broadening their intelligence, so that if we want to organize our social life in a way that guarantees broadening the mental and intellectual gifts, we make sure that all such effects will be present in a multitude in the system for all individuals?
Some amateurs may imagine more than this, reasoning thus: "This is not only possible, it also is what modern Europe actually did in its Western civilization after discarding religion, ethics and all intellectual and social axioms, directing itself in building its life towards science, hence, jumping in its modern historical procedure, opening the gates of heavens and possessing the treasures of earth. " But before we answer the question we have raised above (i.e., our inquiry about the extent of the possibility of laying the grounds of social life on a scientific experimental basis), we have to discuss this latest image of Western civilization and this superficial trend of believing that the social system, which represents the essential facet of this civilization under discussion, is the product of its scientific element.
The fact is this: The social system in which Europe believed, the social principles it called for and in which it believed, did not really result from an experimental scientific study; rather, it was more theoretical than experimental, more of philosophical principles than experimented scientific ideas, the result of a mental understanding and the belief in limited intellectual principles more than a result of a derivative reasoning or an experimental research in man's needs, his psychological, physiological and natural characteristics.
One who studies modern European Renaissance—so-called by the European history—with understanding, he will certainly be able to comprehend that the general trend of the Renaissance in the spheres of the substance did indeed differ from its general trend in both social and organizational spheres. In the sphere of substance it was scientific, for its ideas about the world of substance were indeed based on observation and experiment. Its ideas about the composition of water and air, about the law of gravitation or atom-dividing, were all scientific ideas derived from observation and experiment.
As in the social field, the modern Western mind was based on theoretical, rather than scientific, ideas. For example, it calls for human rights declared in its social revolution, and it is quite obvious that the idea of right is not scientific, for man's right of freedom, for example, is not a substance capable of measurement and experiment, so, it is out of the reach of scientific research; rather, need itself is the substantial phenomenon which can be scientifically studied.
If we observe the principle of equality among all members of the society—this principle is regarded theoretically as one of the basic requirements of modern social life—we will find out that this principle was not derived scientifically from closer observation, for people are not equal in the scientific criteria except in their general human quality. After that, they all differ in their natural, physiological, psychological and intellectual qualities. The principle of (social) equity expresses an ethical value which is mental, rather than experimental, conclusion.
So, do we clearly distinguish between the stamp of the social system in modern Western civilization and the scientific one? And so do we realize that the scientific trend of thinking in which modern Europe excelled did not include the field of social principle in the spheres of politics, economy and sociology. By this we declare only the truth, and we do not want to blame Western civilization for its negligence of the value of scientific knowledge, in the field of social organization, or for not building such system on the bases of natural scientific experiments, for indeed such scientific experiments can never be suitable as bases for social organization.
It is true, though, that man's needs can be subjected to experiment on many occasions, and also the methods of satisfying these needs. But the basic problem in social organization is not to satisfy the needs of this individual or that; rather, it is to create a fair equilibrium among the needs of all individuals, and to define their interrelations within the framework which allows them to satisfy these needs. Obviously, the scientific experiment on this individual and that does not allow discovering such a framework, the nature of such relationships and the method of finding out such equilibrium.
Instead, all this can be found out during the whole society's implementation of a (particular) social system, for all the points of weakness and strength in the system will eventually be discovered. Accordingly, what must be followed in order to find the needed fair equilibrium, which guarantees the happiness of all, will also be discovered. Add to this the fact that the same needs, or their consequences, cannot be discovered in one scientific experiment.
Take this example: The person who gets used to committing adultery, as a happy person, you may not be able to discover what he really lacks or what grieves him, but you will possibly find out that the society that lived, as did this same person, a large span of its lifetime allowing itself to follow its sexual desires, you may find it after a period of its social experience falling down, its spiritual entity cracked, its moral courage, free-will and intellectual spark all gone.
So, not all the results which have to be known, while establishing the most suitable social system, can be discovered in a scientific experiment which we perform inside natural and physiological laboratories, or even inside psychological laboratories on this person or that. Rather, their discovery depends on long-term social experiences.
After this, using a natural scientific experiment in the field of social organization is sure to be motivated by the same personal inclination which threatens our use of social experiences. For as long as the individual has his own personal interests—that may or may not agree with the fact decided by the experience—, the possibility will always be there that this individual's mind is self-motivated, losing the subjectivity which characterizes scientific ideas, in all other areas as well.
Now, having come to know man's capacity to solve the social problem and answer its essential question, we exhibit the social doctrines which occupy humanity's mind nowadays, among which an intellectual or political combat is going on, according to the extent of their social existence in man's life. These doctrines are four:
1. The Democratic System
2. The Social System
3. The Communist System
4. The Islamic System
The first three of these doctrines represent three human viewpoints that attempt to answer the essential question: "What is the most suitable (social) system?" They are answers which mankind put for this question, according to his potentials and limited capacity the extent of which we have explained a short while ago.
As for the Islamic System, it offers itself on the social level as a religion based on Divine Revelation and Endowment, not an experimental ideology stemming out of mankind's capacity and potentials.
The world today is sharing two of these four systems: the democratic capitalist system is the basis of government in a large portion of the globe, while the socialist system is prevalent in another large portion. Each of these systems possesses a great political structure, protecting it in its struggle with the other, arming it in its gigantic battle waged by its heroes for leading the world and uniting the social system in it. As for the communist and Islamic systems, their actual existence is purely intellectual. The Islamic system, however, went through one of the most glorious and successful experiences of all social systems, then tempests blew on it when the field was—or was almost—empty of principled leaders.
Hence, the experience remained at the mercy of people in whose hearts Islam had not yet matured, nor were their souls filled by its spirit and essence. Consequently; these souls were incapable of resisting and withstanding. So; the Islamic structure crumbled, and the Islamic system lingered as an idea in the mind of the Muslim nation, a creed in Muslims’ hearts, and hope which its striving sons try to bring to reality.
As for the communist system, it still is an experience which has not been fully tried; yet, the leadership of the social camp is directing its mind nowadays towards preparing a social environment for it, having failed to put it into practice when it took the reins of government in its hands and declared the implementation of the social system, practising it as a step towards "true communism".
So, what is our position as Muslims vis-à-vis these systems? And what is our case for which we have to dedicate our lives and towards whose shore we have to lead our ship?