Changes to the capitalist machine
As I said before, since the invasion of Iraq I envisaged the events that are taking place in Syria now. The reason being that life in most Western countries has, since 1945, bowled along quite happily with a mixed economy that is dependent on a system of taxation used by the state or government to finance all sorts of services from welfare provision to war; but that is changing.
I would describe Syria as a state socialist regime, much like Britain was until recently. The previous president was committed to a system of government that was nationalistic in so far as it favoured ”Arabism”. The ambition of the current president was complicated by British influence derived from his living here, from having a British wife and from the threat of attack. President Assad had taken steps to ”modernise” though things were not moving quickly enough for Britain and its cohorts.
Vlog and the part it plays in President Assad’s defeat
After listening to a programme on radio 4 about Harry Potter ”activism” I listened to an offering on vlog which claims it can explain, in part, the situation in Syria in 5 minutes. The video is ultimately an appeal for charitable donations for displaced Syrian people. Its content is categorical, good versus evil and of course the presenter is on the ”good” side with reservation, he did criticise America for not intervening and was adamant that whatever the result of an intervention, it should happen.
On top of this the video has all the other ingredients of a neo-liberal/liberal stance; that Russia was in dire need of a miniscule piece of coastline and that modern Western power is responsible for the creation of nation states. As to the first point there was no mention of how Russia lost what it considered its oil rights after it agreed to bomb Iraq. The second point is true within a limited definition and as an admission it serves both as a disclaimer and an excuse to interfere in order to put the situation ”right”.
I got really carried away on this one because the presenter has such a large and young following but more so cos of a lack of historical context and even more so becaused the sweeping style of the presentation suggests that life is simple.
More about the capitalist machine
The change in the world order means that increasingly goverments use the taxation system to finance big companies who in their turn finance public services. Part of the deal is that companies can buy and sell each other as well as the world resources. This buying power results in big companies monopolising each other as well as whole countries and their resources. This process not only creates masses of wealth for a few but relies on every country to play the game. As such any government that wishes to trade locally or with particular partners has to go.
This might seem obvious but is it? (next time folks)
As people listen to and watch the vlog and other news coverage of Syria they might get the impression that the country is full of religious phenatics led by a mad dictator and an equally mad opposition, bereft of ideas and principles; this could not be further from the truth. The view that the Assad dynasty represents the view of a minority of Syrians is controversial as the philosophy of Pan Arabism continues to be important to generations of Arabic people.
This entry has gone on a detour, will have to wait for the next one for an account of Pan Arabism.