[Marxism] Gilbert Achcar on Syria

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 22 10:07:53 MST 2013

On the Left, you’ve had communists participating in the Syrian 
government. It’s a tradition that exists from the time of the Soviet 
Union, which used to have close relations with the Syrian regime that 
were continued by Putin’s Russia. But most of the Left, if not all the 
Left in the true sense of the term, is against the regime. The major 
left-wing party of Syria is represented in the Syrian National Council: 
it is the dissident wing of the Communists, which split in the 1970s and 
opposed collaboration with the regime.

To believe that the Syrian regime is on the left or, worse, that Assad 
is “a socialist, a humanist and a pacifist” as Chávez put it so 
embarrassingly, is at best ignorance. There shouldn’t be any hesitation 
for anyone on the left in standing completely on the side of the Syrian 
people in their fight against this brutal, exploitative, and corrupt 
dictatorship. Beyond that, in Syria as in every other country of the 
region, you find among the forces struggling against the regimes Islamic 
fundamentalists. It was the case in Tunisia and Egypt likewise. They 
should not be taken as pretexts to denigrate the whole uprising. In 
Syria like everywhere else, the Left should support the popular movement 
against the dictatorships unhesitatingly, and in doing so, all the more 
once the dictatorships are down, it should support the most progressive 
forces within the movement, along the process of radicalization within 
the revolution that Marx once called “permanent revolution.”


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