Anyone know of anarchist books/thinkers in arabic?

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spaceman spiff
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Nov 20 2014 23:37
Anyone know of anarchist books/thinkers in arabic?

Salaam shabab wa shaabbaat,

It occurred to me recently that i don't know of any prominent Arab anarchists. I live abroad and my library on anarchism has always been exclusively in English.

Can anyone introduce me to any prominent arab anarchist thinkers? What books have been written in Arabic on anarchist theory or practice?

Thanks in advance!

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bakuninja
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Nov 22 2014 16:03

http://www.ahewar.org/m.asp?i=1385 (Mazen Kamalmaz' blog)

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Nov 22 2014 20:14

Mohamed Sail, but he wrote mostly in French and strongly rejected "Arabishness":

- http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Sa%C3%AFl#Textes

- http://libcom.org/history/mohamed-sail-1894-1953

spaceman spiff
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Nov 23 2014 00:01

Well Mohamed Sail was from a Kabylie region in Algeria and was clearly an Algerian nationalist, so it's unsurprising that he'd be against "arabishness". I, myself, have tended to support Nasserists and Baathists, although I think both movements have been tainted by their authoritarianism. I think a new pan-Arab platform needs to emerge that rejects these two currents and resets pan-Arabism within a non-authoritarian socialist framework.

Mazen Almaz though is a good find. I'll check out his writings

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Entdinglichung
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Nov 23 2014 19:43

some authors in Germany were linking Mahmoud Mohamed Taha to anarchism, he was definitely an interesting and iconoclastic thinker but as far as I know never claimed to be an anarchist or something similar

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Entdinglichung
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Nov 23 2014 20:56

I always perceived pan-arabism as a kind of imperialism in waiting/(sunni) arab supremacism

Leo
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Nov 24 2014 19:07
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Well Mohamed Sail was from a Kabylie region in Algeria and was clearly an Algerian nationalist, so it's unsurprising that he'd be against "arabishness". I, myself, have tended to support Nasserists and Baathists, although I think both movements have been tainted by their authoritarianism. I think a new pan-Arab platform needs to emerge that rejects these two currents and resets pan-Arabism within a non-authoritarian socialist framework.

So you're actully an Arab nationalist? Interesting.

Though not really anarchist, I've always found the Arab surrealists to be politically incredible: https://libcom.org/history/surrealism-arab-world

Battlescarred
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Nov 25 2014 09:46

Sail Mohamed was certainly not an Algerian nationalist
https://libcom.org/history/mohamed-sail-1894-1953

As regards anarchist writings in Arabi Daniel Guerin's Anarchism was translated into Arabic by a Lebanese libertarian group and should still be available. In fact:
http://insoumise.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B6...

spaceman spiff
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Nov 29 2014 17:03

@Leo, yes I am. Have you not met any Arab nationalists before? It's quite common...

If you look at large-scale opinion polls such as this one conducted of 14 Arab countries (>21,000 ppl) by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Doha, you'll see that 79% of respondents answered that "Arab countries are one nation". 44% said "they are separated by artificial borders". This shows that the attitude is very prevalent across the region, it simply isn't represented politically for obvious reasons - no one in power wants to share power with anyone else. You'd never get results that strong for the EU in a million years

@Entdinglichung, how is it different than the EU? Or the US? Or India? Or China? These are all very diverse groupings. Arab nations share common historical, cultural, and linguistic characteristics from Morocco to Iraq. It's very natural for them to be federated into a union of some sort. Certainly every Arab nation has more in common than Finland and Italy or Spain and Sweden, etc.

I'm personally against flag-waving nationalism and song-singing. But anyone who has even the faintest knowledge of modern Middle East history will know that the modern Arab nation states are colonial-era jokes. It makes zero sense to be nationalistic about Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, Saudi, etc. I would much rather see the region split up into local regions federated with one another

As for it being sunni supremacism, that depends on the individual. There are many kinds of arab nationalism and certainly one kind has always been driven by Rashidun-style takeover of non-believers... but this is increasingly overshadowed by socialist pan-arabism that has learned from the mistakes of Nasser and Baath.

spaceman spiff
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Nov 29 2014 17:09

@Battlescarred,

Thanks for the Guerin book. That's very helpful. Although we should oppose the use of the term "فوضوية". It's a piss-poor term for anarchism that just means "anarchy-ism". I prefer اللاسلطوية or مجلسية or تحررية or some such term that accurately describes the ideology

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Nov 29 2014 20:07

spaceman spiff,

I get the impression that you are (maybe deliberately) playing with the terms 'nationalism' and 'nation' (which are usually understood as identifying "people" within a country or countries as having a shared interest with the functionaries and institutional apparatus of capitalism and the state of that specific area) and conflating these terms to be equal to culture (eg. shared customs, common language, etc).

Anarchism and communism are inherently anti-nationalist.

spaceman spiff
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Nov 30 2014 03:39

Anarchism and communism are inherently federalist. I use the terms nation and nationalism loosely, as no communes exist in the area. According to polls pan-arab feeling is very high in Kuwait for example. That doesn't mean that Kuwaitis want to get rid of the idea of Kuwait altogether. What term should I be using to describe Arab states and pan-Arabism? I use these terms because they are the most commonly used terms. I didn't think I needed to clarify that I'm not talking about a union like the United States with a central government.

How exactly am I conflating capitalist institutions with cultural institutions and traditions?
I specifically stated that Arab states share common cultural characteristics, language, and history, and most importantly, share a common sense that their current nations are flawed colonial creations. Pan-Arabism is inherently anti-nationalist, much the same as pan-Islamism, in that they both desire to remove the current formation of states created in the last 100 years. What form would follow in the future depends on the ideology of the person. I'm aware that most pan-arabist socialists favour the creation of a centralized state. I stated clearly that I favour the federation and unionization of the region into small local areas according to the people's choosing. This is what I meant by people having learned the lessons of Nasser and Baath.

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Nov 30 2014 12:02

It seems to me that you give a platform to ethnic nationalism, racialist populism.

spaceman spiff wrote:
Anarchism and communism are inherently federalist

Actually, the former South African boer race supremacist regime, known as Apartheid was also "federalist" and 'organised' an entire population according to race - in fact, most racists and fascist populists / autonomists use "federalism" - which means nothing...

... unless if federalism means the self-organisation of the working class with no power above it.

spaceman spiff
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Nov 30 2014 12:33
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It seems to me that you give a platform to ethnic nationalism, racialist populism.

Arab is not a racial term. Go find out what it is first if you're going to call me a racist populist. Arabs are multi-racial. This is the most elementary topic that any Arab person can tell you about

Quote:
Apartheid was also "federalist" and 'organised' an entire population according to race

Oh wow, amazing. Now you're comparing me to apartheid South Africa? This is hilarious. I specifically stated several times: a federation of small local regions. If I'm a racist arab nationalist, then what ethnic groups am I proposing to put into these regions in my apartheid worldview? And are you also denying that anarchism and communism are inherently federalist?

Quote:
... unless if federalism means the self-organisation of the working class with no power above it.

"self-organization" doesn't automatically mean zero distinctions between communities or ethnic groups or religions just so you're aware. People will always divide themselves into such groupings. Again, this does not mean that they are not self-organized or that there is a hierarchy. The IWA is currently split into smaller groups based on their location and country of origin, such as the Confederação Operária Brasileira, the Norsk Syndikalistisk Forbund, etc. Any syndicate will be split into similar groupings.

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Nov 30 2014 13:33
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabs wrote:
Arabs (Arabic: عرب‎, ʿarab) are a major panethnic group.[10] They primarily inhabit Western Asia, North Africa, parts of the Horn of Africa, and other areas in the Arab world. Arabic groups which inhabit or are adjacent to the Arabian plate and Arabic speaking people include the Lebanese, Syrians, Emiratis, Qataris, Saudis, Bahrainis, Kuwaitis, Iraqis, Omanis, Jordanians, Palestinians, Yemenis, Sudanis, Algerians, Moroccans, Tunisians, Libyans, Somalis and Egyptians.

If you endorse "arab nationalism" you are being an ethnic nationalist - racialist populist, because the premise from which you advocate nationalism is panethnic.

Your comment about federalism is empty (without substance), unless if it has clear principles (1) is working class oriented (2) has no power above it.

Racial 'federalism' was used by the South African Apartheid regime, which organised the entire basis of social life (including organisation of corporate apparatus and state policy on race grounds) starting with local "municipal" government.

Apartheid legislation in South Africa wrote:
NP leaders argued that South Africa did not comprise a single nation, but was made up of four distinct racial groups: white, black, coloured and Indian. These groups were split into 13 nations or racial federations. White people encompassed the English and Afrikaans language groups; the black populace was divided into ten such groups.

IWA affiliates are working class organisations structured by industry and geography - not race. No war between "nations", no peace between classes!

spaceman spiff
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Nov 30 2014 14:38
AES wrote:
If you endorse "arab nationalism" you are being an ethnic nationalist - racialist populist, because the premise from which you advocate nationalism is panethnic.

Your comment about federalism is empty (without substance), unless if it has clear principles (1) is working class oriented (2) has no power above it.

Your comment about my federalism is empty because I wouldn't be on this board if I didn't believe in working class oriented non-hierarchical organization. I didn't think I'd need to specify on libcom that I don't want to segregate people by their ethnicity. But it seems that you're a particularly combative person who enjoys throwing about accusations and calling people racists on a libertarian forum.

Your comment on nationalism is incorrect since I stated I am not a nationalist. Pan-Arabism is not always equal to Arab nationalism. I do believe that people organize themselves according shared cultural and linguistic characteristics, which is why I pointed out the IWA affiliates.

Quote:
IWA affiliates are working class organisations structured by industry and geography - not race.

Wrong. IWA affiliates are currently organized by industry, geography, and perceived nationhood. If it was industry and geography alone then you wouldn't have separate organizations for France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Nor Argentinian and Chilean and Brazilian. Tell me what geographic regions these are representing. And how exactly does my own proposal differ from a German or French syndicalist ogranization given that "German" and "French" have far more ethnic connotations than the word "Arab", which is, as you now know, a pan-ethnic term.

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Nov 30 2014 14:59

I spent my childhood years fighting apartheid in South Africa and I have suffered a lot of violence because of this concept, which is why I am asking questions (despite your defensiveness) about the common characteristics of apartheid race theory and ethnic nationalism, racialist populism, or "pan-arabism".

spaceman spiff wrote:
Your comment on nationalism is incorrect since I stated I am not a nationalist.

This is not true, because you did call yourself nationalist.

Leo wrote:
So you're actully an Arab nationalist? Interesting.

spaceman spiff wrote:
@Leo, yes I am. Have you not met any Arab nationalists before? It's quite common...

You are mistaken, none of the IWA affiliates organise by 'nations' or perceived nationality. The IWA specifically have only one affiliate in each country (or countries), which has everything to do with working class organisation against the nation state, and nothing to do with nationalism. Your arguement is on the same level as suggesting that internationalism is a collectivity of nation states.

spaceman spiff
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Nov 30 2014 15:35
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This is not true, because you did call yourself nationalist.

And then I qualified that statement by explaining it. You cut that quote short. This is precisely why I mentioned Nasserism and Baathism multiple times. You don't seem to know what Nasserism and Baathism are, which is probably why you missed the reference entirely and called me a racist. I assumed I was talking to people who understood the reference.

Quote:
the IWA specifically only has one affiliate in each country (or countries), which has everything to do with workers organisation against the nation state, and nothing to do with nationalism.

Seems like an odd way to destroy the nation-state by adhering to it to identify yourself. If syndicalist organizations wanted to destroy all aspects of nationhood then they should be organizing by actual geographic regions and not by countries.

Realistically speaking, anarchist organizations will organize themselves into such regions, and will likely be subdivided according to language and ideology. A council/assemby of Islington will send a delegate to the commune of London, which will send a delegate to the confederal council of southern England (or something), which will send a delegate to the confederal council of the British Isles. This confederation would then send delegates to a larger regional confederation such as a European confederation, or western European federation or something similar. This makes particular sense since we already have the EU, and any future body would likely be some sort of descendent of the EU. On an economic level, industrial syndicates would be organized in a similar fashion.

"future social organisation must be made solely from the bottom upwards, by the free association or federation of workers, firstly in their unions, then in communes, regions, nations and finally in a great federation, international and universal." In other words, "the federative Alliance of all working men's associations . . . will constitute the commune."
- Michael Bakunin: Selected Writings, p. 206 and p. 170

The objective obviously is to avoid nation-states or their descendants competing with one another for resources and land. I always supposed that this would not be a problem if these groups were organized in certain ways, with local assemblies given the choice to which commune they belong and send delegates, whilst industrial unions are pan-regional. Realistically speaking, I expect that there would be communes organized by religion. I don't think in the near future that people will stop identifying as Shia or Sunni, for example. I think you can convince people of the merits of direct democracy and organization from below. But it will take several centuries/millennia more to get rid of any religious or national or ethnic identity in many people.

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Nov 30 2014 16:42

Nasserism and Ba'athism does not distance you from nationalism.

Nasserism - ideology wrote:
Nasserism is an Arab nationalist and pan-Arabist ideology, combined with a vaguely defined socialism, often distinguished from Eastern bloc or Western socialist thought by the label 'Arab socialism'. Though opposed ideologically to Western capitalism, Arab socialism also developed as a rejection of communism, which was seen as incompatible with Arab traditions, and the religious underpinnings of Arab society. As a consequence, Nasserists from the 1950s to the 1980s sought to prevent the rise of communism in the Arab World, and advocated harsh penalties for individuals and organizations identified as attempting to spread communism within the region.

I am not a Bakuninist, nor a Marxist, nor adhere to anyone. I consider theoreticians as secondary at best and only supplemental to understanding the internationalist history of revolutionary working class organisation.

spaceman spiff
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Nov 30 2014 16:44
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I don't see at all how Nasserism and Ba'athism distances you from nationalism.

Because I stated that I supported a socialist pan-arabism "that has learned from the mistakes of Nasser and Baath." And I assumed that was enough for an audience on libcom that knows what Nasserism and Baath represented. I also stated that they were tainted by their authoritarianism and mentioned a federated region of local areas.

If you do not think that there will be any federations or confederations created by people that resemble or are contiguous with current nation-states, then please take a moment from calling me a racist supremacist to explain how exactly you expect a future society to look like.

I speculated on how I think a future society would be organized. From Islington>London>southern England>British Isles>Europe>International

If you do not agree, then please explain how you think areas will be organized.
I think that anarchism will not be achieved all over the world overnight, and that the future will likely look like a mixture of capitalist states, social democracies, fascist states, etc. With hopefully some areas that are organized from the bottom up. There will probably even be regions within anarchist areas that voluntarily choose to be capitalist/fascist/whatever. I expect anarchist confederations to be made up of bodies descended from nation-states, just like the IWA is today. This doesn't preclude some sort of allegiance between anarchist regions, for example, an anarchist region in Iraq may "join" an anarchist region of Turkey for self-protection. However - I still see them broken down by language and culture, language being the most important factor.

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Nov 30 2014 16:59

If you want to know about industrial unionism then check the Preamble of the IWW, if you want to know about anarcho-syndicalism then check the Statutes of the IWA

Please explain this to me?

Quote:
I support a "socialist pan-arabism that has learned from the mistakes of Nasserism and Ba'athism"

spaceman spiff
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Nov 30 2014 23:02

I asked you a specific question and you linked me to the preamble of the IWW?

How helpful and patronizing

And btw, the statutes of the IWA mention national organizations repeatedly.

Quote:
IV. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE I.W.A.

To give the economic unionist organizations a national and industrial base

You have also neglected to explain why the IWA affiliates are organized by their countries of origin instead of by regions or any other method. You claimed they were organized by "industry and geography" which is patently not the case.

Quote:
Please explain this to me?

If you want to learn about Nasserism then check the wikipedia page on Nasserism.
If you want to learn about Baathism then check out the wikipedia page on Baathism.

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Nov 30 2014 23:37

I'll bite, spaceman spliff. Why do you think anyone on libcom would be particularly interested in your socialist pan-arabism, whether it's learned from Nasserism or Ba'athism's mistakes or not? It's no more relevant than Chavismo, the Naxalites or the Mujahadin Khalk... i.e. not very, unless we're criticising the shit out of them. I'm not with the IWA but your attempts to equate their geographical organisation with some form of nationalism makes you sound a bit daft. Quoting Bakunin doesn't give you wisdom points either.

spaceman spiff
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Dec 1 2014 00:16

Then I'll be sure not to quote Bakunin ever again, as it was purely to gain "wisdom points" and not because I thought it may be relevant to the conversation. Quoting important theoreticians is always a sign that someone's a snob, after all.

Thanks. A++ response.

Quote:
Why do you think anyone on libcom would be particularly interested in your socialist pan-arabism

This thread wasn't about that. It got derailed. You can readily observe that by reading the title of the thread as well as the comments. Good luck

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Dec 1 2014 00:47

Shukran mate. Derailment duly noted. I remember this Lebanese group in the 1980s with a publication called Al badil al taharrouri. I think they may have been platformists and connected to the French UTCL (now Alternative Libertaire). Dunno what happened to the Lebanese group. Also, I seem to recall the French FA having connections with anarchists in North Africa. You might want to ask them.

And that's all the things I know.

Leo
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Dec 1 2014 15:59
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@Leo, yes I am. Have you not met any Arab nationalists before? It's quite common...

In the Arab world, yes, of course. It is, after all, the main ideology of the Arab bourgeoisie, it's natural that it has a number of followers.

I don't think many Arab nationalists claim to be anarchists though.

Personally, I'm with the Arab surrealists when they say: "We spit on the fatherland to drown in it the fumes of death. We combat and ridicule the very idea of the fatherland. To affirm one's fatherland is to insult the totality of man."

Quote:
Because I stated that I supported a socialist pan-arabism "that has learned from the mistakes of Nasser and Baath." And I assumed that was enough for an audience on libcom that knows what Nasserism and Baath represented.

Yes, I hope it was. I hope the majority of the posters here know that Nasserism and Baathism represented the brutal, murderous, anti-working class and in some cases genocidal regimes of the Arab bourgeoisie in the context of a global imperialist cold war.

Quote:
Quote:
Why do you think anyone on libcom would be particularly interested in your socialist pan-arabism

This thread wasn't about that. It got derailed.

By none other than yourself.

It's a shame for anarchism in the Arab world if all who spoke for it were Nasserists and Baathists.

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Dec 1 2014 16:17

basically, prominent thinkers of both Baathism and Nasserism stated, that their "socialism" was distinct from Marxist concepts of socialism in three main points: 1.) philosophical idealism instead of materialism, 2.) respect for private property instead of expropriation of the expropriators, 3.) rejection of the principle of class struggle ...

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Dec 1 2014 16:28
Serge Forward wrote:
Shukran mate. Derailment duly noted. I remember this Lebanese group in the 1980s with a publication called Al badil al taharrouri. I think they may have been platformists and connected to the French UTCL (now Alternative Libertaire). Dunno what happened to the Lebanese group. Also, I seem to recall the French FA having connections with anarchists in North Africa. You might want to ask them.

And that's all the things I know.

https://albadilaltaharrouri.wordpress.com/ ... but last updated 2008 ...

Battlescarred
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Dec 3 2014 12:21
Serge Forward wrote:
Shukran mate. Derailment duly noted. I remember this Lebanese group in the 1980s with a publication called Al badil al taharrouri. I think they may have been platformists and connected to the French UTCL (now Alternative Libertaire). Dunno what happened to the Lebanese group. Also, I seem to recall the French FA having connections with anarchists in North Africa. You might want to ask them.

And that's all the things I know.

Yes they were connected to UTCL-now Alternative Libertaire and were Platformist. It was them that translated Guerin book.
They seem to have disappeared some years ago.