The Colonels and the Communists:
The Social Roots of Nasser's Egypt
Westerners have long taken it for granted that Communism, in the Middle East as elsewhere, must necessarily begin as a revolutionary force from below, directly caused by widespread poverty or the denial of equal rights to the masses; that economic aid, industrial development, and “nationalism” are the best antidotes to Communist influence in “backward” countries; that Communism and Fascism are mutually exclusive doctrines; that Arab nationalism and similar movements constitute a response to colonialism and will disappear along with foreign domination; and that the slogans used by these movements have the same meaning as they do in the West. Yet an empirical study suggests that Nasser’s regime in Egypt (like nationalism in the Arab world generally) is mainly the product of internal political and social conditions rather than a reaction against Western imperialism.
About the Author