Sunday, 25 May 2008

The Hamzaism Code 1: Decoding the Jordan Political Spectrum(s)

Politics 101
Right to Left and Left to Right to Find Nothing

Part A- the Boring Facts
A desperate position I frequently trap myself in is when I have to introduce the local political spectrum of Jordan to non-Jordanians, and even to the Jordanians as the definition of the right to mainstream to the left is quite clear and articulate in the most of the countries including those developing, and those in transition, to add to the already developed nations.

Jordanians who tend to speak politics during big share of their daily lives lean to be least in practice, and it is almost a Mission Impossible to draw the numbers of those belong to political parties, or movements, summon by those active civil society agents.

This is not an attempt to understand why Political Parties are not generally the major outlet for political activism or people participation in civic life, it is more of a shot taken to frame what is available at this point of those, if existent, politico.

The Global Trends of Right and Left
I would first echo the American traditional definition of Rights and Lefts, and as many of the world citizens are aware US politics consists of the GOP or Republican Party, and The Democrats, famous for the elephant and the donkey respectively.

The GOP represents the traditional social conservative with Free-Market oriented policy where it contrasts the traditional Liberalism of Free Market and Free People, though it high values the individualism and spirit of entrepreneurship when it comes to business, and low taxes. Yet, it is quite relatively hostile to minorities and others, and lately started to be more of religion-driven to be said style of governance. The Democrats at the same time are those, generally speaking, pro-choice pro- liberties which who favor liberal social agenda (Gay Marriage, Abortion, minorities rights and empowerment), and advance a certain degree of separation of State and Church. In Economic terms it encourages Government spending, high taxes, and a State-Universal Health Care. Clear Math: Republicans to the right and Democrats to the Left. The main debate in traditional American Politics: Role of the Federal Government, Republicans historically stood for a least Federal Government power in comparison to the Democrats.

In the British Islands we can still see the same positioning between the Labors and The Conservatives, and it is understandable to have another factor when it comes to the Scotland, Wales, and Ireland politics to see a pro-union or independence advocate movements that can redefine the politics.

In Europe the course of political history has been to a degree or more a production of two major historic milestone: the French Revolution which indeed contributed to the World Wide Politics we witness in general terms, and later the Red October Revolution less than a century ago in Russia, which installed violence as a major reality-change factor, and since communism is only literally can be seen in Cuba I would have the guts to leave the Eastern Europe Communism for a while, and go deeper with the Western Socialism style that was a peaceful socialism movement led to the social-welfare States we can still trace in Europe, both in the West and the North, and at the same time has the platform that was generally created and supported as a Communism-counter to the Christian Democrats Parties (i.e. conservatives) to grow and prosper under the socialists Economic terms, and allowed a great space to the Elite who were literally the minority who represented the traditional Liberals; those who favor Individualism, Secularism, and a century ago would be generally seen more to the left part of the spectrum.
Now, the European Socialists withdraw more to the right spectrum of economic agenda, went together with the Today Liberal Parties in Europe in the same social rights, advocate for the Entrepreneurship leaving the space for a new trend of communism and a youthful movement of the Green Peace advocates, and to the right wing left the CDPs generally framed as least friendly to the migrants and the aliens in a technical term. And again the spectrum is quite clear from to left to right:
Communist – Green Peace- Social Democrats – Liberals – Christian Democrats- and the ultimate right of basically migrants-haters and fear-mongers.
So, in Comparison
World Wide Political Right Stream: Republicans and Christian Democrats (neo-liberals in Europe)
World Wide Political Left Stream: Democrats and Social Democrats (green peace and anti-globalization activists)

This trend can still stand in Latin America with the Exception of the Catholic Communists during the 60s and 70s, and can be the same in other democracies and perhaps other in transition nations.

In conclusion:
Right shares conservatives’ social agenda, not the best friend for migrants, hard free-market driven economy, and low taxes and low government role. And the left can certainly echo the opposite with the world’ today reality of Free-Market.

The Jordan Politics
The History of Jordan, its Geo-political reality, demography, the waves of refugees, the brain-drain, Education, and the long undergoing conflicts in the region have shape the political spectrum of today.

The Pan-Country Political Groups
Traditional Communism: which shared the same global message of the Mother Party, and had taken controversial positions in the course of history (the Palestinian Communist Party was an ally of the Israeli counterpart and still) , though events and course have dramatically changed. The Communists were strong in Iraq and Syria, and were hostile to the Arab Political Groups in general.

The Arab Nationalists: A Group started with two major themes: Arab nations Unity and Liberation (including the liberty of the Palestine) developed later into the People Front and the Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine.

The Baathists (Baathi): similar to the The Arab Nationalists and advocates the socialism as an economic platform, Liberty and Unity for all Arab Nations
The Naseris: in ideology and in theory the echo the message of the Baathi with a difference that it is more connected to the Egyptian Leader Nasser, and it is quite interesting to see how hostile were the two groups in both Iraq and Egypt
The Arab Socialists: later merged with the Baathi providing the Economic Plan. And installed revolution and violence into the principles of once liberal movement.
The Society Syrian Party: which advocates the idea of larger Natural Syria, and though was active for sometime it is very hard to trace its members and advocates at least in Jordan today.
The Islamic Brotherhood: which started as a social back-to-religion movement and turned to become one of the major political stream of today in Jordan and across the Arab nations.
The Jordanian Nationalists: this would spark another analysis and I can imagine a debate later ( could echo the old traditional liberalism school of liberties)

What was in common among all those groups back in the 20s-60s periods?!
Note: we even had a parliamentary Arab Socialists-Baathists-Nationalists Government in the 50s!

For the exception of the Islamists we can draw a one major platform:
They are all to the LEFT. In a way or other groups were socially progressive, secular in terms of State and Mosque, Socialists in economic term, and Pro-Arab Unity but who was not one in the 50s?!

Note: all these groups (including the Islamists) and (exception the Communist) shared the same position of The Arab Israeli Conflict, though I would argue the Islamists to be least engaged.
END of PART A- the Boring Academia in action!

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