Syria’s anti-imperialist mask: unveiling contradictions of the left through anti-capitalist thought
This article, written in 2016, aims to historically situate the neoliberalization of Syria and global and regional relations of power in relation to debates on the current Syrian uprising. It aims to highlight and challenge leftist debates and positions on the Syrian regime and revolution by using leftist analytics to debunk political positions. This is done by drawing upon the thought of Syrian leftists who are active agents of the revolution and juxtaposing them against the thought of a strong leftist current that shows a spectrum of support for the Syrian regime. The current situation in Syria serves as an example of shifts in leftist thought. This article argues that the predominant left position that is rooted in struggles of the 1960s and 1970s has shifted to analyses based solely on political position as opposed to being situated within economic analyses. As such, this article argues that the left is void of Marxist analysis. In addition, by engaging in questions of (anti-)imperialism, this text argues that in the postsocialist temporality, the struggle of imperialism, and specifically US vs. Russian power struggle, is no longer organized around competing global ideologies, but is rather organized around power within the capitalist system. In this regard, you can see Russia as not offering an alternative as the Soviet Union once was, but is rather engulfed in the system of global capitalism. Finally, this article seeks to highlight alternative articulations of leftist and left-leaning grassroots intellectuals and young people in regard to the Syrian uprising.