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The End of Baath'ism

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Is the fall of Baath'ism, the end of Secularism in the Middle East?

Yes, the Middle East will turn to extreme fundamentalism
10
43%
Yes, but another secular movement will take its place
2
9%
No, Secularism in the Middle East will persist despite the fall of Baath'ism
5
22%
I'm not sure
3
13%
Other
3
13%
 
Total votes : 23
Post 17 Jun 2012, 02:58
The recent development in Syria have reminded me that the fall of the Assad government will effectively end the rule of Baath'ism in the middle east. I always regarded Baath'ism as the most progressive, anti-imperialist element in Middle Eastern politics, and the end of this ideology, which has so deeply affected Middle Eastern geopolitics for the entire length of the Cold War, I fear, will mark the end of secularism in the Middle East. It seems that western nations have been backing Islamic elements in the recent Arab Spring, as was the case in Libya, and is being done right now in Syria, doesn't help with the regions chance at secularism. your thoughts?
Post 17 Jun 2012, 10:32
Well, I don't think it is certain that Assad will fall. Because of the recent development - meanwhile it is merely a struggle between the government and jihadist extremists -, almost all secular forces stand behind Assad. Many of the Syrians who intentionally saw the government as the aggressor now turned to support the government against the islamist terrorists. So, Assad has far more backing in Syria than the imperialist media want us to know.

On the other hand, keep the events in Libya in mind. The Libyan rebels have been armed and paid by the West and the reactionary Arab monarchies as well. Nevertheless, they had never been able to beat the Libyan Army on their own. If the NATO hadn't interfered, the rebels would have been defeated and Libya would be still green. However, even with the support of NATO bombers it took almost half a year to beat the Libyan Army. And we mustn't forget that the Syrian Army is even stronger than the Libyan Army; furthermore, a war against Syria is far more risky than it was the war against Libya.

To sum it up: Assad still has a lot of backing, the Syrian Army is quite strong, and I think the West wouldn't dare to interfere.
Post 17 Jun 2012, 16:08
I continue to hope Syrian government will survive this mess. Even if they do survive though, Baathist ideals are long abandoned throughout the region. It's impossible to imagine a Pan-Arab socialist state in near future. I guess a new form of socialism/secularism is needed in Middle-East, for a fresh start. For instance, I don't know if anyone noticed this, Hamdeen Sabahi, the Nasserist candidate in the recent Egyptian presidential election gathered 20 percent of the national vote, finishing 3rd.
Last edited by newsovietunion on 17 Jun 2012, 21:28, edited 1 time in total.
Post 17 Jun 2012, 19:56
Let's not hop up onto Assad's and Saddam's dicks just over secularism imposed more to oppress the masses of their respective countries. Ba'athism is no friend of communism and has in all of the countries it controlled led to the killing off of communists. Also let's not fall into the ridiculous Western notion that the middle east is seething with fundamentalism barely kept in check by established powers. We insult ourselves by speaking such nonsense.

Secularism will win out in the ME, but not from above.
Post 18 Jun 2012, 00:45
I think however there's a significant danger that fundamentalism might be fanned by external interventions and pressure. If people feel threatened, they'll follow whoever will lead. And in a lot of cases, hardline religious groups are that leadership (because well, that's what their organizations are meant to do).

This isn't a specifically middle eastern thing as such, of course, but I think the conditions there make that a more likely outcome than similar pressures in other regions.
Post 18 Jun 2012, 02:01
Dagoth Ur wrote:
Secularism will win out in the ME, but not from above.
As much as I'd like to believe this I'm not aware of much supporting evidence. Is there something in particular which makes you think this way other than optimism?
Post 18 Jun 2012, 04:15
Baath'ism is still actually considered socialism? You guys are joking right?
Post 18 Jun 2012, 07:06
Shigalyov wrote:
As much as I'd like to believe this I'm not aware of much supporting evidence. Is there something in particular which makes you think this way other than optimism?

Presumably, once the oil runs out, Saudi and UAE will no longer be able to fund the fundamentalist movement and the middle east will de-radicalise to an extent.

RATM8 wrote:
Baath'ism is still actually considered socialism? You guys are joking right?

No, they are not socialist, but the national bourgeoisie + military strongmen combo is a bit more progressive than the alternatives.
Post 18 Jun 2012, 15:54
If Ba'athism were to fall it would most likely mean the end of secularism in the Middle East and the ending of Nasser's legacy. Islamism would spread as the "only way" for Arabs to resist imperialism. That's why I attach to much importance to the survival of the Ba'athist system in Syria.
Post 24 Jun 2012, 16:46
Dagoth Ur wrote:
Let's not hop up onto Assad's and Saddam's dicks just over secularism imposed more to oppress the masses of their respective countries. Ba'athism is no friend of communism and has in all of the countries it controlled led to the killing off of communists. Also let's not fall into the ridiculous Western notion that the middle east is seething with fundamentalism barely kept in check by established powers. We insult ourselves by speaking such nonsense.

Secularism will win out in the ME, but not from above.

Actually, the Syrian Communist Party is a coalition partner of the Baath, as a part of the National Progressive Front. I suppose that even if the Assad regime were to collapse, a secular socio-political movement would fill the vacoom. Such as what took place in Iraq, in regards to the iraqi National List. Also keep in mind that the Baathism of Syria is not synonomous with the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. http://www.enotes.com/topic/Ba%27ath_Party#The_1966_split
Post 24 Jun 2012, 17:14
Jason24 wrote:
I suppose that even if the Assad regime were to collapse, a secular socio-political movement would fill the vacoom.


This is true, although the strength and influence of the new movement would definitely be weak for a long time to come, and I think this is precisely what Red Armenian fears. After the destruction of the USSR, the CPRF and other parties came into existence to fill the Left vacuum in the post-Soviet space, but their new positions in society and politics were drastically weaker than that of the former CPSU. Hence my answer to the poll was option a: that extreme fundamentalism would come to dominate the Middle East if Syrian Ba'athism fell. Fundamentalism preys on the poor and the weak, and in so doing confuses them with regard to the causes of their situation, thus taking away potential supporters of secular Leftist solutions. Recent Western behaviour in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and throughout the Middle East has confirmed that the media project to 'combat Islamic fundamentalism' is effectively over, even if in reality we all know that the fight was always half-hearted and hypocritical. Given that there is presently no third force (in the form of a socialist superpower active globally), it would be very difficult for any newly risen indigenous secular Leftist forces to combat the powerful alliance of local Islamic radicals financed by oil kingdoms and supported by Western imperialism.
Post 25 Jun 2012, 02:01
Dagoth Ur wrote:
Secularism will win out in the ME, but not from above.
The Egyptian election result is very discouraging news for secular forces in the Middle East.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/24/muslim-brotherhood-egypt-president-mohamed-morsi
Post 25 Jun 2012, 02:19
The Muslim Brotherhood is preferrable to Mubarak's scum. The MB isn't even that radical for an islamist group.
Post 25 Jun 2012, 03:29
More than half of the people didn't even vote. Stop acting like this is relevant, the government will have like no authority or legitimacy at all.
Post 25 Jun 2012, 04:05
Dagoth Ur wrote:
The Muslim Brotherhood is preferrable to Mubarak's scum.
Maybe not, but it's hardly a triumph for secularism.

Dagoth Ur wrote:
The MB isn't even that radical for an islamist group.
So as long as they're not the Taliban we're good huh?


Mabool wrote:
Stop acting like this is relevant, the government will have like no authority or legitimacy at all.
I'm not sure what you mean.... that they lack some sort of "moral authority"?
The fact that they have power gives them all sorts of possibilities including the ability to generate "authority" and "legitimacy".
Post 25 Jun 2012, 04:28
You wouldn't believe it, but in functioning bourgeois democracies, a lot of the government's power rests on the fact that people do what they're told because their rulers actually have a convincing argument: "You voted for us - you want it to be like this".

It's different when most people don't give two shits about parliament. A government that tries to force itself on an unwilling population is usually met with popular resistance - especially in countries that are in revolt anyway.
Post 25 Jun 2012, 20:44
I have no clue but it'll probably lead to more sectarian strife than religious fundamentalism. I highly doubt that the majority of Syrians care about class identity and the only thing in their mind is how to dominate the Alawis again, just like they did before. Assad is far better than the Syrian National Council because although he practices Alawi nepotism, is far less likely to whore his country to international predators, so I support him over the rebels. I wish he could just annihilate this movement once and for all but the ICC crowd would probably charge him with 'crimes against humanity' or some other trumped-up nonsense.
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