As it is apparently not an easy task to get to the roots of our clichés instead of repeating them, many avoid it. As the inheritors of a multinational, multi-religious and multilingual empire, how do we perceive all those who are different from us as an enemy or threat?
How did Ba'athism, which caused state terrorism first in Iraq and then in Syria by turning Arab nationalism into ethnocentrism, emerge in this region? According to Bernard Lewis, the roots of Ba'athism can be found in the dependence on French administrations in Lebanon and Syria on Vichy France during World War II (B. Lewis, Foreign Affairs, May-June 2005).
As it is clearly known, the Vichy government of occupied France cooperated with Adolf Hitler and rejected the resistance that was represented by Charles de Gaulle. In this way, Nazism entered the Middle East and resulted in the rule of the pro-German Iraqi Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani. When al-Gaylani was toppled by the English in 1941, he went to Berlin and visited Hitler with Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
According to Lewis, Nazism died in Europe after the war, while Ba'athism was reborn in the Middle East. Ba'athism is a nationalist, socialist and totalitarian model.
If you examine this issue more thoroughly, do you not find "unionism" among the sources of inspiration of Ba'athism?
Or do you not say that an official ideology, which is the synthesis of Ba'ath and the Committee of Union and Progress, dominated us for many years? Additionally, we should not overlook the nuances of concepts.
Why does the concept of revolution mean something different for diverse peoples and nations? For instance, even if they change in type, great changes in France, China or Turkey are all called revolutions.
Two days ago, Süleyman Seyfi Öğün compared the French and Chinese revolutions in his column and said, "The courteous manners of an ordinary French man, like a ticket seller in a metro station or a waiter, shows that cultural aspects of the French revolution are not similar with those of the Chinese. It seems as if the French revolution was carried out to make everyone bourgeois rather than eliminating the aristocracy."
Öğün says this about the Turkish revolution: "Similar to China, courtesy in a Turkish man was state-originated rather than being based on class differences.
Courtesy in a government office was abolished by the state itself with the effect of a distorted modernism. From the Ottoman Empire to the Republic, it was the state itself that generated and killed courtesy in this region. The bureaucracy is the subcontractor of this destruction."
These types of matters are contained within the essence of democracy. But if you are engaged with them, you can jeopardize your clichés.