What are your thoughts on Baathism? - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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He is using evidence Oxy, if you say something that is obviously wrong people tend to use evidence to demonstrate that you are wrong. Believe it or not it used to be even more common here for people to use evidence in their debates and it isn't usually frowned upon.

But what part of my post is he responding to? All he did was quote a question mark from my post and then spam a bunch of quotes that he already posted elsewhere in the same thread. He didn't even say anything. That entire post was just filled with quotes. Using evidence is great and all but evidence is a tool used to prove your point. It is not an end in it of itself. This is why ingliz cannot understand. Just posting quotes isn't enough. There has to be a reason, a point behind posting those quotes otherwise it's worthless.
There has to be a reason, a point behind posting those quotes otherwise it's worthless.

The point is you seem to know fuck all about Ba'athism. If you did you wouldn't be disputing the ideological role Islam plays in their 'ism or tediously wittering "Ba'athists are atheistic Marxists" every other post.


I never said Islam never played a role in the development of Baathism. Just that Baathism as an ideology is secular. I only mentioned the fact that Baathism is secular once since it's secularism isn't really relevant to Baathism as a whole. There's not much that is unique or debatable about Baathism's approach to secularism.

Also this doesn't support you at all. The only thing I know about your position is that you disagree with me. That's literally the only thing I know. Quotes don't explain your points for you, you use evidence to support your points not the other way around. That's what you refuse to understand. No one will understand you if you just use quotes and nothing else. At least now I understand what you're fucking saying unlike the previous posts where I had to infer.
Oxymandias wrote: Just that Baathism as an ideology is secular.

It is a secular ideology but its members are often of one religion or another, or atheists.
Ba'athism is socialism with Arab characteristics. As an ideology, it sees itself as representing the "Arab spirit against materialistic communism."


Secularism is the separation of public life and civil/government matters from religious teachings and commandments.

Syrian Constitution, Article 3, Adopted February 2012 wrote:The religion of the President of the Republic is Islam; Islamic jurisprudence shall be a major source of legislation; The State shall respect all religions, and ensure the freedom to perform all the rituals that do not prejudice public order; The personal status of religious communities shall be protected and respected.

Ba'athist Syria is not secular

Of course, you can always ignore common usage and choose to redefine 'secular' in an Arab context to mean any system not Islamist... but, no, that is a silly game.

Last edited by ingliz on 29 Jul 2017 13:40, edited 1 time in total.

Actually the only reason why it's socialist is because it seemed in opposition with capitalism which was associated with Western imperialists. In actuality Baathism supports socialism in varying degrees. Most Baathist texts describe socialism as a way to provide the basic needs of the population. There's no reason why Baathism is incompatible with social capitalism.

That's the Syrian constitution not the tenants of Baathism. Baathism states a separation between the state and religion but still adresses that religions such as Islam and Christianity are fundamental to Arab culture.
Actually the only reason why it's socialist is because it seemed in opposition with capitalism

No, feudalism.

Nuri Salik, The Emergence of Radical Parties in Syria: the SSNP, the Youth Party and the Baath Party wrote:In the wake of independence, the Syrian agricultural sector was feudalistic in nature owing to high level of inequality in land distribution. About 82 percent of the rural population did not own land and worked as sharecroppers or [were] small peasant owners who possessed individual lands less than 10 hectares. As a result of the dominance of the large land-owning class or the old-guards in the land tenure system since the Ottoman Empire onwards, inequality in distribution of lands, unequal distribution of wealth, and poor living standards of rural population living in the countryside, a new ideology emerged.

Western imperialists.


During its formative years, the Ba'ath party adopted an "ideological/doctrinaire neutralism" (Nehru). In the '50s, it pragmatically changed its neutralist stance to a "positive neutralism" (Nasser), to benefit from superpower rivalry.

Michel Aflaq (1947) wrote:aligning with either Soviet Union or Anglo-American bloc will do nothing but harm to the Arabs.

There's no reason why Baathism is incompatible with social capitalism

Ideologically? Yes, there is.

Read the 1947 Constitution of the Ba'ath party!

Wilber & Jameson, Socialist Models of Development, Ba'ath Economic Ideology wrote:The state dominates economic life. It administers public utilities, major natural resources, the principal means of production and transport (article 29); draws up comprehensive programmes that co-ordinate all economic activity (article 37); supervises the allocation of agriculture (article 30); and small industrial property (article 31); supervises as well internal and external trade (article 36); determines wage-rates (article 32); and interest rates (article 35); and decides on the propriety of property acquisition and inheritance (article 34).

Article 26 explicitly proclaims its socialism. Equality is a matter of policy (articles 27 and 34). Workers' participation in management decision-making is also affirmed (article 32). Concerns of exploitation are taken as points of departure (articles 28 and 36). Proportionality between people and resources is emphasised (article 30), while still...

etc, etc.


No article of the Constitution has been amended since it was approved by the Constituent Conference held in Damascus on 4-6 April 1947.

ingliz wrote:An addendum to Islam

Shaykh 'Ali 'Abd al-Raziq, al-Islam wa Usul al-Hum (Islam and the Foundations of Government) wrote:Allah does not impose upon Muslims a specific type or form of government, but they are free to choose what is better for the welfare of their society at any time.

The title of 'Abd al-Raziq's book explicitly suggests the link between religion and government in Islam. The title expresses that there is rule or 'government' in Islam and that the government has 'foundations'. In other words, Islam is Religion and State in one.


Capitalism was associated with Western powers at the time. Whether or not this ideology is feudalism doesn't disprove my point.

Please stop taking one word from my points and then making up one for you to counter. I may just end the debate now if you continue to do that. The only thing I can say here is that various Baath parties aren't a collective consciousness and do not represent Baathism as an ideology at all.

But Michel himself stated later and revised this sentiment by stating that the amount of state control and the amount of socialism doesn't matter to him:

Bitter Legacy: Ideology and Politics in the Arab World wrote:According to Aflaq, the ultimate goal of socialism's not to answer the question of how much state control was necessary or economic equality, but instead socialism was "a means to satisfy the animal needs of man so he can be free to pursue his duties as a human being". In other words, socialism was a system which freed the population from enslavement and created independent individuals. However, economic equality was a major tenet in Ba'athist ideology; the elimination of inequality would "eliminate all privilege, exploitation, and domination by one group over another". In short, if liberty was to succeed, the Arab people needed socialism.

I don't understand this last one. What does this have to do with Baathism? You're almost ingliz, you can almost make a coherent argument!
I may just end the debate now if you continue to do that.

Do as you please.

I don't understand this last one.

From the horse's mouth:

"But does this mean that Islam has come to be confined to the Arabs? If we say this we shall be far from the truth and so deviate from reality. Every great nation deeply connected with the eternal meanings of the universe, moves in its very genesis towards the eternal and universal values. Islam is, therefore, for the Arab people in its actuality, and for all mankind in its ideal objectives. The message of Islam is to create Arab humanism."

Michel Aflaq, In memory of the Arab Prophet, 1 April, 1943

"... so he can be free to pursue his duties as a human being ".

Socialism is a means to satisfy the animal needs of man but it is Religion, specifically "Islam... in its actuality", in an Arab context, that will free man to pursue his duties as a human being.

Michel Aflaq (1943) wrote:The message of Islam is to create Arab humanism.

taking one word from my points and then making up one for you to counter.


Oxymandias wrote:Whether or not this ideology...
it's an ideology...
as an ideology...
as an ideology...
a[n] ideology influenced by...


That doesn't mean it's inherently Islamic or Islamist. It's similar to how Aquinas thought of Christianity, as a way to create humanism. Michel simply thinks that Islam is the best way to get Arab humanism.

You take a portion of my post, usually one single word and then just write or quote a bunch of stuff just solely based on that word. Your worse than Zionist Nationalist at this point. At least he quotes entire sentences. :hmm:
Don't let anyone keep you down, Oxy. You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggonit, people like you.

I'm not an expert on the writings of Aflaq, but from what I remember reading over the years, I got the impression that Islam was as much an opportunistic tool to hook people in as much as anyone else who uses cultural-specific reference. Baathism was always intended as "socialism" with Islamic characteristics, albeit largely secular and mostly, from what I see, only paying lip service to Islam (similar to how Soviet leaders made some appeals and references to religion during WWII, rather than it being entirely a private affair).

I would rather see a Marxist party in power in Syria, but Baathism there is better than a Western-controlled liberal democracy and a privatized economy open for wide scale rape by Western business, as it was better in Iraq, and would have been better in Egypt. Its leadership in Syria, however, is nepotistic (even if Assad and his father have been decent leaders, despite the CIA-supported terrorism ongoing), but the Baathists have done their best in keeping Islamists and Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood either dead or disappeared, rather than allowing those groups to exist openly, which probably would have led to something even worse than Syria is going through right now.

The Baathists aren't perfect, and they have lost their revolutionary potential, but they know how to deal with Islamists (it just isn't their fault jihadists are receiving Western and Turkish and Gulf funding/weapons).
@Bulaba Jones

Well nothing in Baathism says capitalism is bad or is against Baathism or anything. The only reason Aflaq decided on socialism is because it seemed opposed to Western imperialism. The West at the time was characterized by it's capitalism. There's no reason why they couldn't have a sort of social democracy-esque system in terms of the economy not politically.

If Baathist states survived they probably would've had a government like China but I think politically it would end up like Hong Kong in a sense. Nasser Egypt was surprisingly free in terms of expression and so was Syria for a certain time. However as time would progress due to the internet and other innovations Baathist governments may feel that it is necessary to lower the freedom of expression. This, like in Hong Kong, would be obviously met with outrage. If the Middle East doesn't go into a full complete large-scale war with each other like Europe did and reforms work, we could see actual democratization in the Middle East and eventually full liberal democracy.

Of course this won't happen. Authoritarian governments don't go down without a fight. Even after WW1 and 2 and Europe rebuilt itself there were still glimpses of authoritarian bureaucracy there. I just think that the difference between Europe and post-Baathist governments would be that post-Baathist governments would be alot more open? Europe can't help it because once you create a bureaucracy and institutions you can't fully destroy it but Baathist governments have the advantage of creating institutions in a region that had no institutions so they could start completely from scratch.
That doesn't mean it's inherently Islamic or Islamist.

If you look at the 'real world' you will see that the Assad's had little choice but to embrace the Islamic contradiction inherent in Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party ideology

Under the leadership of Salah Jadid (1966–70), the neo-Ba’aths’ were enthusiastically atheistic, angering the Sunni majority.

Dr. Liad Porat, The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the Asad Regime wrote:With regard to uprooting religion from politics, the Syrian regime demonstrated a tenacity almost unparalleled in the Arabic world.

At the forefront of the popular Sunni-urban struggle against the atheistic regime were the Islamic circles, an inseparable part of the dominant social forces that made up the traditional Sunni-urban political power structure, headed by the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan).

ibid wrote:Violent clashes between the Ikhwan and the regime ensued a short time after the Ba’th came to power. In April 1964, violence erupted in Hamah, led by Marwan Hadid, which ended in the demolition of its central mosque and the death of dozens of activists. By January 1965, the events in Hamah had ignited violence in Damascus as well. Subsequently, in April 1967 riots erupted among the Sunni population all over Syria, but the regime managed to suppress the violence...

In 1970, in an effort to stem the violence, Hafez al-Assad, ever the pragmatist, President of Syria from 1971 to 2000, cooled the rhetoric, scaled down the anti-Islamic policies, and began to stress Syria's adherence to Islam.

The policy worked after a fashion (The rebels never garnered the mass support necessary to topple the regime).

Twelve years later, the Syrian Brotherhood were a spent force.

But, as you have no interest in the material world (most probably because you wish to peddle your vision of Syria as the Singapore of the ME), we discuss ideology.


Well nothing in Baathism says capitalism is bad or is against Baathism or anything.

Michel Aflaq, a socialist, as Amid (leader) was responsible for ideological affairs in the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party.


Saying it's inherent doesn't mean it is inherent. You haven't given me proof that Baathism is Islamist. It remains to be seen whether or not Assad is truly Baathist. However if he is it isn't because Baathism has it as a tenant but because a majority of the population is Muslim.

And you have proven my point. You can't be atheistic if your population is religious.

This entire discussion is about ideology of Baathism and you knew this. If not why would you state that Baathism, as an ideology, is Islamist when this is really not the case if you look at it's tenants. This topic was about ideology from the beginning and I stressed this before you even posted.

I don't have a particular vision for the Middle East or a particular set of political beliefs. I usually just like to speculate. That isn't the material world, that is history. Y

China calls itself communist. Does this mean China is communist? Every developing world party had socialist slapped onto to it's name.
if he is it isn't because Baathism has it as a tenant [sic] but because a majority of the population is Muslim.


Article 5 of the Ba'ath Constitution wrote:The Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party is a people’s Party which believes that sovereignty is the people’s, and they alone are the source of every authority or leadership, and that the value of the state comes from its stemming from the will of the masses. The sacredness of the state is dependent on the masses’ will in choosing it. Therefore, the Party, in performing its mission, depends on the people and seeks to contract with them closely and works for lifting their rational, moral, economic and upright standards in order to allow them to sense their character and exercise their rights in individual and national life.

Ba‘ath ideology rejects the economic determinism of Western models: it sees socialism as a solution arising from the conviction of a majority of society, not a single class. This explains the opposition of Ba‘athists to communism as exclusively secular.

And why the Syrian Constitution of 1950, '53, '69 (not promulgated), '73, and 2012, made Muslim law the main source of jurisprudence and conceded Islam to be the religion of the president. The provisional constitution of 1964 (immediately suspended after a coup) made Islam the state religion!

opposition of Ba‘athists to communism as exclusively secular.

Example: Iraq

In 1966, the communist party was undergoing a revival in the south of the country. This prompted concern among religious conservatives that Islam itself might be in danger. When street demonstrations began in 1967 to “save the country from unbelief”, the Ba‘ath aligned themselves with this movement.

Politics over principle: Neo-Ba'athism (1966–70)

Michel Aflaq (1947) wrote:aligning with either Soviet Union or Anglo-American bloc will do nothing but harm to the Arabs.

Under Salah Jadid's rule, Syria aligned itself with the Soviet bloc. This version of the Ba'ath Party, known as the neo-Ba'th Party, saw itself as part of the "World Communist Revolution" and subscribed to radical secularist (sometimes atheist) politics.

why would you state that Baathism, as an ideology, is Islamist

I have not said Ba'athism is Islamist.

The not so subtle differences matter.

Islamic: relating to Islam.

Islamist: advocating, or supporting Islamic militancy or fundamentalism.



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