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The Economist Book of Isms by John Andrews

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b

Ba’athism The ideology of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party (ba’ath being the Arabic for renaissance). The Ba’ath Party was formed in the 1940s in Damascus by Michel Aflaq, a Syrian Christian, and Salah al-Din al-Bitar, a Muslim compatriot, and merged with the Syrian Socialist Party in 1953. Ba’athism espouses, at least in theory, non-alignment, pan-Arabism and anti-imperialism (in practice, Ba’athists aligned themselves with the Soviet Union during the cold war). Ba’athists have been in power in Syria since 1963, the same year in which they briefly took control in Iraq, regaining it there in 1968. Despite their shared and non-religious advocacy of Arab unity, the Syrian and Iraqi regimes never joined together. The Syrian branch of Ba’athism ...

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