Socialism Instrumentalised in 'Unity' Desire: The Essence Of Socialist Thought in Ba’ath Party

Cem Oğuz

One of the significant political movements that dominated Middle East in 20th century, without doubt, was Ba’ath Party. The Party, which doesn’t restrict itself with a national border and choose its impact region as all Arab geography, had the ultimate aim of re unification of all Arab nations that were separated by fictional borders and so were being hostile to each other, under a central government. Party treated active imperialist powers in region as enemies and targeted Monarchs who govern via these powers, also Party adopted socialist ideology which is compounded by nationalism. This socialism emphasised not on anti-capitalism, but on anti-imperialism and refrained from basic concepts of socialism such as 'class' and 'dialectic'. Party, also, recognised Arab people as an oppressed nation and therefore exchanged 'class' with 'nation', besides; it accepted nations as the actors of history. According to that, nation is sometimes acknowledged as an organism and some times as an spirit in an irrational manner. Thus, contrary to its charter principles, Unity, Freedom and Socialism Party, ultimately, devalued socialism principle and instrumentalised it under the unity principle, which means to salvation of Arab Nation.

Keywords: Ba’ath Party, Michel Aflaq, Arab nationalism, socialism