Kalfat, Khalil (dir.), Mapping of the Arab Left, Tunis, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2015, 187p.
The Arab Left acquired the features that distinguish it from the Left in northern and western industrial countries, from the social, economic and political conditions under which it grew. Political developments in our region and in the world, over more than a century, created the distinctive features of the Arab Left.
The Left arose in the political and economic framework of colonial dependency in Arab countries, most of which were colonies or semi-colonies. All were controlled by British and French imperialism, with some exceptions such as Italy in Libya. It was imperative for direct and indirect colonial dependency to impose certain issues. The socio-economic structure which was dependent on the global capitalist economy gave rise to the two dimensions of the national issue: liberalization from economic dependency and the creation of a modern capitalist society, a path blocked by the iron colonial cage; and political independence through the expulsion of military occupation and the removal of the colonial administration.
It was in this context that dependent Arab capitalist regimes emerged. Under their leadership, nationalist and independent movements and parties appeared as well as national/pan-Arab movements and parties of small petty-bourgeois classes as well as other classes that seemed to have contradictory interests not only with regards to imperialism but also to dependent national capitalism. Moreover, in the context of the issue of national independence military coups took place, which seemed anti-feudalism and anti-dependent capitalism. When the time of independence came, in the wake of the second world war in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, these movements, parties and coups gradually became ruling capitalist classes, such as capitalist states, private capitalism or a partnership between the two. The Arab countries were doomed to remain within the framework of economic dependency by virtue of their economic structures despite the slogans of independence, because of the direct colonial obstacle, and the mentality of the dependency school, in which these new capitalist regimes, formed from the ruins of previous colonial capitalist regimes, were cultured. Independence and even socialist slogans were raised and misled the people.