The following is an interview I did for Apatris (Greek anarchist newspaper)
What was the social, economic and political situation in Syria before the uprising?
The Baath party came to power in 1963, following a military coup. At that time Baathism was a mixture of Pan-Arab, Arab nationalist and Arab socialist ideology. Hafez Al Assad came to power in 1970 through an internal coup and ruled for 40 years. He dismantled much of the socialist outlook of the party (the coup was against its left-wing faction) and he built up a patriotic capitalist class. Under his rule a leadership cult was formed, Syria became a totalitarian police state and there was mass persecution of political dissidents. Whilst the Baath party formed a coalition with 6 small mainly communist/socialist /nationalist parties to make up the National Progressive Front the Baath party dominates and in effect it is a one-party state. Continue reading