[Marxism] The Syrian state spreads 'fitna'

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Dec 4 05:37:11 MST 2014

Actually, the forty-four years of the Assad state constituted a 
continuous cold war, waged by a military security complex against the 
general population. Through sectarianization of the security apparatus 
and succession of power based on lineage, and the stripping away from 
the people of any kind of claim over their country (the official name of 
the country became: Syria of Assad), the state built by Hafez al-Assad 
in Syria became in essence a slavedom. This state has monopoly over 
‘fitna’ (sectarian civil war), an expression that Bashar al-Assad used 
sixteen times in the first speech he gave on 30 March 2011, two weeks 
after the beginning of the revolution. This ‘state’ spreads ‘fitna’ when 
faced with popular protests, a method of deflecting the struggle of the 
population against the ruling elite away to a fight among confessional 
communities. I would call this the ‘neo-Sultanic State. It is built on 
personality cult, patrimonialism, sectarianism, fitna as an elitist 
technology for aborting political change, and the crushing of all 
independent social and political organizations and institutions. Thus 
throughout 44 years, the only political institutions experienced by the 
population were the infamous security agencies and prisons.


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