Choice of Texts

Michel Aflak

The Humanitarian Role of the Arab Revolution



The Arabs are doing harm to humanity by their weakness, for they do not occupy an effective place among nations. In this state they jeopardise themselves as well as the others as they are a battleground of rivalries, greed and imperialism, which has entered the Arab lands.
The greatest service the Arabs can render to humanity is to rise with their nationality to the level of humanity.
(The abstract thinking, 1 1943)

Thus things will reassume their natural form and reveal themselves as they are. The Arabs will then be convinced, as will the whole world, that in the living and healthy constitution, that of the Arab nation, will be realized what has escaped being realized in many: the harmony of the freedom of the individual and the community with the unity of the nation, the consonance of the right of the citizen with the power of the state.
The expression of this idea is the formation of one Arab party, unified in direction, leadership and planning over all the Arab regions, for the Arab nation is in dire needs of unity so that it can completely bring up all its potentialities and powers.
These powers and potentials will not only guarantee the liberation of the Arabs from all kinds of imperialism but will also establish for the world a new Arab culture.
(For one Arab nation there is one popular action, 4 A1-Baath -March 11, 1947)

It was neither imaginable nor reasonable that the crisis of the nationalization of a navigation company should take such large proportions and international importance were it not that behind it lies the history a whole nation in state of constitution and fermentation and were this state not synchronized with a state of constitution and fermentation over the whole world. Behind all this there was a grand cause, wanting to express itself. This is at the same time the Arab cause and the cause man.
(No going back, no retreat, 2 -September 14, 1956)

This increasing and deep interaction between our struggle for liberation and the destiny of the peoples and their freedom is apt to open up before our fight, with its ideology and horizons, new horizons, which are rich in significance. Our liberty appears to us today as bearing the responsibilities for the liberties of other peoples.
It has for this reason become more mature, more pro found and more realistic.
(Our revolution on the road of maturity, 2 -October 5, 1956)

The Arab Baath could either be nationalist or be nothing at all, for its nationalism is the guarantee of its humanity. The dependence of the Baath movement on the struggle of the oppressed masses expresses our faith that these masses represent, as a result of the injustice they have suffered, the guarantee of the sincerity of the nationalism of Al-Baath, for our humanity is not idealistic, lacking the sense of suffering and the blood of life. It is the outcome of our hard struggle and the summing-up of our sufferings and tragedies as well as our shouldering the responsibility of our destiny as a nation with a past, for all its good and bad points, and a nation with a present, for all its cruelty and gravity.
(The battle between superficial and genuine existence, 2)

It is neither strange nor accidental that our relation to humanity should become clear and at the same time the constituent parts of our Arab unity become solidified as we become increasingly more eager to achieve this unity. The closer we get to ourselves, the nearer we get to humanity, the more we become confident of our identity, the more this identity becomes open to others.
(The human nationalism, 2 -December 28, 1956)

Humanism is in nationalism. It comes neither before nor after it. There is not nationalism and humanism, only human nationalism that is the correct one; the other is deviationist and distorted nationalism because it is separated from humanism.
(The human nationalism, 2 -December 28, 1956)

Nationalism is not, as shallow thinking misrepresents it, a rung in the ladder of development and evolution. It is wrong to maintain that between it and humanity there is a fundamental barrier and a disparity in the degree and value of each. Nationalism is the soil of humanity and it is the living space for impregnating it. Humanism is not a social or political condition that can be achieved materially in history, but a spirit, direction, ideals that take root in the constitution of the peoples and nations, color their cultures and orient their conduct and morals. Humanism, therefore, accompanies nationalism and is not its follower.
(Nationalism is a living reality with a humanist and positive content, March 22, 1957)

The deep and genuine needs of any nation, and particularly our nation in its present condition and historical stage, inevitably involve the necessity for solid and clear cooperation between that nation and other nations. To put it more precisely, the necessity for an international cooperation in which that nation is an effective part. We consider that the movement from within outwards is the sound direction and not the reverse, for enforcing on nations and peoples a certain rule from above or from the outside remains, to a great extent, in practice and action, and in the present world conditions, whatever the checks and restrictions, a manipulation of those nations and peoples in the service of the direction of a certain nation embodying that rule.
(The Baath is a revival from within, 2 -March, 1957)

I have maintained that our ambition does not finish with ousting the imperialists from our soil and stopping the exploiters inside the country. It does not stop at the stage of securing liberty and prosperity for the people.
All these are but means for the release of what is genuine in this nation toward creation, toward serious participation in shouldering the burdens of humanity.
(The ambition of AI-Baath, 1 -March, 1957)

The struggle of the peoples against imperialism, and especially the struggle of the Arab nation, which constitutes today the greatest power in the Middle East, would not have arisen with this strength, and this surge and would not have gained the support of the Arab masses and the sympathy of the peoples of the world, had it confined itself to hate of foreigners and the mere desire to be delivered from foreign rule. Its strength lies in its positive goals, which are felt by every Arab, and every Arab is anxious to expedite realizing them for his own good and the good of the world.
(The experience of the Arabs is a fundamental factor in the formation of the new world, 2 -November, 1957)

This conference is valuable in the estimation of the Arabs for it brings them, as representatives 0 the Arab people, together with the representatives of the European peoples, big and small, but especially the big ones whose states have exercised their imperialism on us in the name of these peoples. We have therefore endeavored to make this conference an opportunity for reciprocal understanding among free men so that the Europeans will realise that the experience of the Arab and the Oriental peoples is fundamental, and that the struggle of oriental peoples is closely linked with the progress of the peoples of Europe itself, and that the continuation of imperialism in our countries will force Europe to be isolated from the revolutionary current therefore it will, become stagnant in reaction, and consequently cease its cultural participation.
(The experience of the Arabs is a fundamental factor in the formation of the new world)

This unity, reviving our se1-confidence, has started our reconciliation with the world and eradicated vestiges of negativism which distorted the clarity of our vision and stifled the spontaneity of our urge to bear the burden of our human mission. This unity is surely capable of removing our negative view of ourselves so that we increase our confidence in the genuineness of our people and the richness of its potential and consequently become more in harmony with our revolutionary principles and more daring in their application.
(This unity is Arab and world revolution, 2 -February 8, 1958)

We no\v see that after the real revolution has arisen, the peoples 0 the world and its states come to know and to know themselves, their identity and their future through the attitude they take vis-a-vis the revolution 0 Arab nationalism.
(The Algerian revolution and the revolution 0 unity, 2 -April 4, 1958)

The similarity between the West and us is in fact very remote or non-existent. The West has not passed through the ordeals, tragedies, sufferings and subjection to imperialism and fragmentation etc. The nationalist movements in the West emerged in different conditions, and was accompanied by ambition and the discovery of new riches and the discovery of the new science. From the beginning, from birth they were afflicted by the diseases of expansionism and hegemony. Our nationalist movement, however, started as the most humane response to the oppression of man by man..., to the human condition as a whole. This nationalism has emerged ripened by all the sufferings sustained by us as if we sustained them on behalf of all the peoples of the earth; the possibility that this nationality may end up to where the West ended up is very unlikely.
(The humanism of the struggle of the Arab nation, 5 - Baghdad- Late -July, 1958)

Nationalism is the real theatre for the realization of humanism. Humanism which side-steps nationalism and becomes imaginary will not find a soil on which to establish itself. It remains in the mind rather than in reality.
More often it ends up in narrow fanaticism, bigotry and regionalism.
(The landmarks 0 progressive nationalism, 1 -1960)

The Arab future will not be built except by science, by objective scientific thinking, liberated, daring and exploring. You refer, as you must now, to the fact that the Arab future will not be realized as we wish it, except through Arab unity and the feeling that we are a great nation that has a humanist message, and that if we do not occupy our place in this world and among nations, the whole world will remain lacking in balance and wanting in a fundamental factor of its constitution.
(The future will not be built except by science and through the Arab unity -Baghdad, 7 -June 20, 1974)


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