The paradox is that Baathism is both pro-liberty and pro-state intervention. This is a key reason why you can either interpret it as being similar to Switzerland or being similar to China. Not only that, but Baathism considers the one-party state form of government to be strictly temporary and does not dismiss the idea of democracy. Nasserism, a ideology influenced by Baathism also incorporated many democratic ideas such as republicanism and also emphasized that the authoritarian form of government was also temporary.
There isn't a paradox between liberty and state interventionism. All states are interventionist in one way or another to some degree or another.
The only distinction that matters is whether or not you are a capitalist economy. Baathism is not a capitalist ideology and thus runs against every modern great power, including China. It is unlike Switzerland or China because it tries to resist the global market and ignore the unavoidable institutions of the world.
Temporary one party authoritarianism has a tendency to be less than temporary. People always cling to power whenever they are given it. Democracy is always forced on a government either from the outside or within, not simply handed to the people after a specified allotment of time.
It also harms economic development since all your institutions that were set up for simple one party authoritarianism now has to exist in the very different political environment of a democracy.
In the same way international institutions set up by the west are liberal, and will hurt an authoritarian or socialist government just because they work on such different principles and rules.
Therefore I cannot see which one it is. Like I said before it's probably more similar to China's model. However what I would really like to know is, does it have to be similar to China? Can there be a form of Baathism that does favor a Switzerland?
It isn't like either. It's more similar to the soviet union than anything despite being anti-communist. There too authoritarianism was supposed to be temporary. There too the state tried to control enterprise.
Switzerland and china both have capitalist markets, which are incompatable with baathist socialism.
You could modify baathism to some sort of state capitalism similar to china's but so long as baathism is authoritarian it can't be like switzerland.
You seem to admire switzerland, but switzerland is the definition of a liberal capitalist country. If you want to be like them you'd have to be a liberal capitalist country.
Then must it be that the West is getting weaker in terms of power rather than losing influence?
The west has plenty of power, NATO literally accounts for about 70% of the worlds military spending. We could probably simply invade the entire middle east and directly control it. Though it would be expensive.
However the west doesn't operate that way, we want to bring countries into our institutions and cement them as part of our axis through trade deals, multilateral institutions, alliances, etc.
We don't want to control the Middle east in the way that would make us look powerful or as having great influence. It's simply been an utter failure in the middle east because of the specific problems of the middle east. Elsewhere we have some measure of success using this method.
I don't why this is the case. The West has been more unstable before and yet many countries in the West still held extreme amounts of power. I think this is an internal thing rather than an external one. Fascism is becoming more popular in the West.
Not particularly, the west before WW2 was simply more directly colonialist which ended, and the cold war spurred us to do specific things to combat the reds. Nowadays those things are no longer necessary so we no longer feel that it is worth endless money and american lives simply to exert control over a region that will never become ours by our simple occupation.
Fascism is not more popular in the west than it once was. Most rightwing resurgence is just a stirring in the corpse of racialist politics that used to dominate our politics.
Of course that is the case. The US will continue to support Israel to it's very last breath. However if the West's power declines they won't be able to support Israel even if they wanted to. Of course I think Israel will be able to handle things by itself but I do think that the fighting ground will be much more fairer don't you think?
Israel is a strong diversified economy so we will continue to trade with them. It is unlikely that we will ever stop supporting them even if we lost general interest in the region. They are also a major ally to NATO, and have several trade agreements with the west. We will likely always sell them weapons and they will always ultimately be supported by the west.
Ah, I should've rephrased my statement to "It isn't a democracy which means there's less political ideological conflict". Iran is easier for China to deal with than Israel because their political systems have alot more in common with one another than Israel. And as I said before, Iran also is more closer culturally to China to an extent moreso than Israel. Iran has a much more similar culture to China while Israel is I think a combination of European and Middle Eastern Jewish culture.
Don't be so sure that China couldn't get along with Israel. China has long had the policy of not caring what goes on internally within a country and I'm sure israel would love an ally that wasn't constantly whinging at them to end the whole Palestinian conflict thing. Israel is just already too closely tied with western institutions for China to get a foothold.
For what it's worth, I do think the US and Iran could be allies in some far future. All we ultimately want is trade and cooperation. I had hopes that the nuclear deal would be a step forward (and the Saudi's were terrified that it would be a step forward). We see Iran as an enemy because we see a state that we can't work with on anything. The main thing really preventing it is the sunni shia divide and our unwillingness to cut lose the relationships we have in the region just to take a risk on a country we don't trust.
For all that we criticize iran as undemocratic the Saudi's are far worse. Most american's greatly dislike them and there are constant calls to cut ties from both sides of the political spectrum.
Pretty much the only reason it hasn't happened already is that we can't risk the threat to our oil supply on a country where there is so much animosity and bad blood.