[Marxism] "49 armed factions in Syria" was: Syria rebels, activists denounce IS attack on Paris - Yahoo News

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 15 10:15:36 MST 2015

On 11/15/15 11:51 AM, Lüko Willms wrote:
>   For me, this says that there is no revolution, but the opposite.

You have made this mistake before. The schisms in Syria have a lot to do 
with a crisis on the left in general, particularly in the Middle East 
with the collapse of the USSR. Under Baathism, the CP became part of the 
political establishment thus discrediting the image of socialism even 
though it was Stalinism that the average Syrian had encountered. 
Furthermore, Syria lacked a civil society. If a student became an 
opponent of Baathism, he or she could be tortured, imprisoned or killed. 
So this meant that an independent left had little chance of getting 
started. Furthermore, this meant that oppositional politics tended to 
gravitate to the Sunni mosques that like Black churches in the south 
could function as organizing centers. It also meant that the Muslim 
Brotherhood could become a pole of attraction for anti-Baathist 
dissidents until it was smashed in 1982 at Hama. Robert Fisk said that 
the Syrian army killed 20,000 people there in less than a month to give 
you an idea of the savagery of the Syrian government.

But the biggest problem of all was Assad's turning the conflict into a 
sectarian one from the very start. He calculated correctly that it would 
sucker a large part of the liberal left, including a lot of people who 
mistakenly view themselves as revolutionaries, into taking his side as a 
symbol of pluralism, tolerance and all the other bullshit.

There are still many people in Syria who have politics that are 
revolutionary even if they don't quote Karl Marx. Marx and Lenin fought 
for democratic rights and even for the replacement of dictatorial rule 
by parliamentary democracy, despite capitalist property relations 
remaining. The admiration for Assad by so many on the left in defiance 
of what the founders of our movement believed is a stain on socialism 
that is almost too deep to remove at this point.

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