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Class, nation, and socialism

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  1. Gamal Abdul Nasser, Falsafat al-thawrah [Philosophy of the Revolution] (Beirut: Dar al-Qalam, 1970), 183–184.

  2. See for example, the Syrian intellectual Adib Nassur who condemned a focus on class as being divisive to the cause of Arab unity Adib Nassur, Al-Naksa wal-khata’ (Beirut: Dar al-katib al-’arabi, n.d.). Or, Michel Aflaq, one of the key founders of Ba’athism, who called on Arabs not to “lose their nationalism nor to confuse it with the felonious notion of class interests, so as not to endanger national unity.” Cited in Abbas Alnasrawi, Arab Nationalism, Oil, and the Political Economy of Dependency (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1991), 40.

  3. For important accounts of this state-class dialectic and the process of class formation in Egypt at the time, see Abdel Malek (1968), Zaalouk (1989), Hussein (1973) and Abdel-Fadil (1980). There are interesting parallels to be drawn here with comparable state-capital relations in mid-twentieth century Latin American countries, particularly Peru and Argentina.

  4. Indeed, I think this fundamentally ‘pro-capital’ orientation is a key explanation for the organizational structure of the ASU that Salem identifies, one marked by the over-representation of ‘national capitalists, academics, and professional syndicalists’ and the under-representation of ‘workers and peasants’ (Salem 2020, p. 129).

  5. For an excellent account of this process in relation to the Egyptian student movement, see Abdalla, The Student Movement and National Politics in Egypt (London: Saqi Books, 1985).

  6. Some important exceptions to this include Batatu (1978), Beinin (1990), Ismael (2005), Budeiri (2010), Botman (1988), Franzen (2011), Takriti (2013) and Sadeghi-Boroujerdi (2018).

  7. For a similar argument, in the Peruvian context, see José Carlos Mariátegui’s 1929 submission to the First Latin American Communist Conference in Buenos Aires in June 1929, “Anti-Imperialist Point of View,” in Harry E. Vanden and Marc Becker, eds., José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2011).

  8. Thomas (2009) provides a persuasive account of both the theoretical and political context for Gramsci’s thought at this time. On the debates in the Communist International, see the remarkable work of Riddell (2011) and his colleagues’ multi-volume translation of the proceedings of these congresses.

  9. For more information on this, including primary documents, see the two-volume anthology on the Iranian Left, published by the journal Revolutionary History, Volume 10, Numbers 2 and 3 (2010).

  10. She mentions, for example, the Pan-African and Pan-Arabist movements that viewed the “international as a space in need of decolonization” (Salem 2020, p. 88), the geopolitical struggles around the Suez Canal and building of the Aswan Dam (Chapter 2), and the reassertion of international diktat during the onset of neoliberal reform under Sadat (Salem 2020, p. 147).


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Hanieh, A. Class, nation, and socialism. Int Polit Rev 9, 50–60 (2021).

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