A careful examination of the communist movement in the Arab world clearly reveals two major features. The first is an initial and relatively long-lasting rigorous adherence to a Soviet Marxist-Leninist ideological doctrine. 1 This adherence manifested itself in an uncritical acceptance of Soviet Marxism as expounded by the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and - until the 1960s - a failure to formulate an independent social analysis of the conditions within the Arab world without reference to the canons of Soviet Marxism. This was largely due to the influence of the Comintern, which assisted the development of all the region's communist parties, with the exception of Sudan. Indeed, the history of the Arab communist movement can be seen as one of gradual, and until the very end, just partial emergence from the penumbra of Soviet ideological influence into a movement which, nevertheless, has had a fundamental impact on the political discourse of the Arab world.
The second feature of the communist parties' existence has been their superior party organization when compared to other indigenous Arab political parties. The communists, particularly during the 1930s and 1940s, were able to produce better, and more regular, clandestine publications, had better contacts than other parties in the nascent labor movement (especially in Egypt), 2 often had sympathizers among teachers, civil servants, university students, and even within army and police circles, 3 and were generally more resilient in the face of concerted government repression than the other parties. All of this constituted a considerable long-term political advantage. In turn, much of the Arab communists' organizational strategy can be traced to the Soviet Union, which provided both an organizational model (Lenin's concept of a revolutionary party), and much of the material, political, and ideological support for communist activity in the Arab world. 4 As the Secretary General of the Palestine Communist Party, Bashir Barghouti, admitted, “The organizational forms that we had were taken from the Soviets. However, not all Marxists accepted the Bolsheviks' type of organization. It is enough to mention Rosa Luxemburg, who stressed the necessity for democracy in the party and society.” 5 In fact, after the initial successes, the strict and bureaucratic organizational model, as well as the
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Publication information: Book title: The Communist Movement in the Arab World. Contributors: Tareq Y. Ismael - Author. Publisher: RoutledgeCurzon. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 1.
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