Conditions of malnutrition, conflict, or a combination of both characterize many Arab countries, but this was not always so. As in much of the developing world, the immediate post-independence period was an age of hope and relative prosperity. But imperialism did not sleep while these countries developed, and it soon intervened to destroy these post-independence achievements.
The two principal defeats and losses of territory to Israel in 1967 and 1973, as well as the others that followed, left in their wake more than the destruction of assets and the loss of human lives: the Arab world lost its ideology of resistance. The reversal in economic and social performance between then and now requires an even-handed and theoretically coherent explanation that steers clear of the hallucinatory constructs of individual freedom and choice. Considering such choices is utterly superfluous in a situation where the important choice is often a single one—that is, no choice at all—imposed by the power of history on the unfree majority.
The Unmaking of Arab Socialism is an attempt to understand the perplexing reasons for the Arab world’s developmental descent—its de-development—from the pinnacle of Arab socialism to its present desolate condition.Kadri focuses on the concept of Arab socialism in general and its application to Iraq, Syria and Egypt as he explores the deleterious effects of redundant labour expelled by dispossessions in the hinterland and the persistence of permanent war.
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