The idea of communism is a concept that was initiated by famous scholars, such as Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. The name communism was given to the established systems of social organizations that believed in the non-existence of private ownership of property. Screpanti (2007) discusses that communism is the product of the rise of the capitalist’s society and the new conditions of oppressions. A communist society is characterized by the aspect of social equality, where the common ownership of all resources is the dominant phenomenon. The communist’s ideology entails thinking from the collectivist’s perspective, where the issue of social class is not accepted. There is usually a division between intellectuals, advocating for socialism, and communists, who are the critics of the capitalists’ movement. Screpanti (2007) has acknowledged that the main disadvantage of communism is that the civilians are treated as machines, and such an approach has the potential for the rise of dictatorship. Enforced patriotism and loyalty is the ultimate goal of the communist society. This paper critically examines the history of the communist’s party in Lebanon and the contribution of various activists in relation to the Marxist theory.
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Lebanon Communist Party
The Lebanon Communist Party was formed in 1924 by a group of intellectuals, who included scholars, journalists, and writers. Initially, the party had a insignificant impact on political matters in Lebanon. The party operated in both Syria and Lebanon for about twenty years. Later, the movement was established in each of the mentioned countries and operated separately (Baun, n.d). The party was established to cover the areas that were under the French Revolution. The party underwent various struggles since it had been declared illegal during its initial years. However, it became successful after Lebanon attained independence. Nevertheless, such a success was not to last for a long time as long as the party participated in several legislative elections but failed to succeed. The failure led to the abolishment of the party in 1948. LCP played a major role during the civil wars by providing highly trained militia. The soldiers were active and performed well at the beginning of the war. However, by the end of the war, the party declined since it was overtaken by more powerful movements (Baun, n.d). Consequently, LCP is a party that has existed in all political regimes within the Lebanon history. It has so far formed numerous organizations that assist in its operations to various regions.
Youth Political Party in Lebanon
The youth in Lebanon also contributed significantly to the process of democracy for the people. Thompson (2013) discusses that most of the activists have some affiliations to the Lebanese youth movements. A significant example is the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth ULDY, that has played a significant role in advocating for social equality and enhancing the concept of equality. ULDY was officially established in 1970 but had been operating secretly since 1945 (Knudsen, 2010). After the legalization of this party, it has been engaged in several activities that have played a significant role in the liberation of Lebanon. For instance, the party is recognized for helping the internally displaced people after the Israeli aggression against the Lebanese in 2006 (Thompson, 2013). Additionally, ULDY has certain political affiliations to the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), and it hosted the meeting of WFDY in 2006. Its affiliation to the mentioned organization made it captivate the attention of numerous communists and a respected youth organization. As well they engaged in mobilizing the youth groups in community activism in Beqaa. In 2010, the group initiated a program that trained the youth in the region about the leadership aspects and identifying community issues (Knudsen, 2010). Other issues that were addressed included the environmental conservaion, utilization of the sports facilities, music activities, and community health (Knudsen, 2010). The primary objective was to commence the developmental initiatives within Lebanon.
Masar is the organization in Lebanon, which also plays the role of strengthening the responsiveness of the local government. ULDY works in collaboration with Masar to supplement the local government projects by reinforcing each other (Knudsen, 2010). The mentioned organizations play an integral role in enhancing unity for the Lebanese political and social systems. For instance, the group developed a slogan that was meant to unite the people across Lebanon in 2009 (Knudsen, 2010). Similarly, they have been in the forefront while organizing campaigns supporting the Arab revolutions. Such campaigns evoked different emotions after various peaceful demonstrations that contributed to the significant diplomacy.
People Who Made Major Contributions to LCD
There are people who made contributions to the LCP Party remarkable. Firstly, it is Mahdi Amel. He was born in 1936 in Nabatieh city. After completing his Ph.D. from France, he joined the LCD Party in 1960 (Al-Saadi, 2014). Mahdi became one of the most influential leaders in Arab. His major contributions to the party were writing and magazines, and, therefore, he acted as their mouthpiece. Mahdi Amel would criticize the ruling parties on various issues. Furthermore, he taught people about the philosophy based on Marxist theory, and criticized any thoughts that were against Marxist. He fought against the social classes that were highly pronounced at that time and advocated for unity as well as equal treatment of every person, just as Marxist wrote in his theory. Mahdi was elected to the high ranks of the LCD movement and gained a lot of respect in Lebanon. However, Amel’s noble work did not last for a long time. In 1987, he was assassinated by two gunmen, who shot him as he was walking on a street (Al-Saadi, 2014).
Hussein was one of those that made significant contributions to LCP. He was a great intellectual and a field fighter, who fought for the rights of the people. Hussein would write articles aimed at enhancement of people’s rights through educating the citizens and criticizing those that were in power. He was an influential leader in LCP until he was assassinated at his home. He remains to be the movement’s martyr.
Jamal Al-Sati is another leader, whose legacy in LCP will be remembered forever. His brave actions were brought about by the humiliation he had experienced at his village. The incident occurred in 1978 when Israel had occupied a part of the Lebanon land. The zionists had forced the people of Lebanon out of their houses and towns through merciless wars (Bharucha, 2014). Henceforward, Jamal Al-Sati decided to join the LCP to liberate his people. He helped the movement to come up with strategies to overcome the foreigners, who had shown continued resistance for a long time. However, the war was so severe that the enemies started aiming at killing the most influential leaders in LCP. Eventually, LCP became prevalent and powerful across Lebanon. In consequence, some of the LCP members decided to commit suicide as a heroic sign. At this point that Jamal decided to bomb himself, and this made him among the most popular martyrs of the LCP, whose efforts to save the country from the civil wars are remembered to date (Bharucha, 2014).
We Were Communists Documentary
The documentary begins by introducing the famous activists, who give a brief narration of their stories on how they endured the Lebanon’s civil war (Samra, 2010). The comrades reveal how the Palestinian revolution influenced them to join the Lebanese Communist’s Party. In addition, the doocumentary explains the domination of the Syrian people in Lebanon and how the crisis contributed to the massive displacement of individuals and the development of the national liberation movements, so that they were forced to leave the country. We Were Communists presents a reflection of prevailing ideologies that bound the activists together as friends. Their stories in the battlefield represent the struggle of the comrades in pursuit of the liberation of the Lebanon. After the war, the companions agreed not talk about what they had witnessed during the war. Each of them chose their native lands as the place where they could achieve maximum relaxation after the psychological torture they had faced. Such sentiments implied that revealing what they did on the battlefield was a potential threat to Lebanon’s peace. The conservative defensive elements were mostly confined to the Syrian occupants rather than the local people (Samra, 2010). Such an aspect led to the rejection of the European values and achievements. The socialists became isolated and were given meager opportunities for the Ottoman-ruled Syria. The engagement of the comrades in retaliatory attacks was mainly to reject the oppression. Their approach did not only emphasize on the social practice but a combination of the social ideas and the reformists aspects.
The Marxist theory
The Marxist theory on the social class states that everyone belongs to a certain class. It argues that a person’s class directly affects how he or she relates with people from other classes. as long as the society had to categories people. The capitalists controlled the society’s economy, and they had all the resources to start up large enterprises, roads, and factories. On the other hand, the communists had to work for the capitalists (Marx, K. & Engels, F, 2008). They would receive low wages while the business owners would keep huge profits for themselves. In Marxist view, the social classes bring unfairness in the society while the communist continues to live pathetic lives. Such state of affairs leads to frustration among the working class. Consequently, the communists start forming rebellious groups that advocate for equal distribution of wealth and resources in the society. Such situation occurs in all societies since people can never be equal. The present stage is thus referred to as socialism. The success of socialism would translate to whereby nobody is a slave to another. Both the capitalists and the communists would work for themselves at equal levels hence sharing any profits equally.
Additionally, all forms of government administration would end as there would be no completion. People would aim at treating each other as brothers without competing for power (Marx, K. & Engels, F, 2008). Likewise to the Lebanese Communist Party, the founders fought for fairness in their country. The ones that were in power would mishandle the national resources. The citizens of Lebanon were denied their rights and received humiliation particularly during wars from the ruling regimes. Therefore, LCP was formed to bring unity and equal treatment of every citizen. However, their efforts have been ineffective since the greedy leaders have been leading the country.
In conclusion, Lebanon Communist Party has played a significant role in the struggle to liberate Lebanon. Nevertheless, they have not yet been successful since most of the leaders have been assassinated, and tremendous destruction of property has been experienced. The mentioned acts represent a clear indication that leaders are not ready to embrace equality in the society. They are only interested in achieving their personal desires and undermine the citizens. The civilians have not yet acquired the peaceful co-existence that these activities have been striving to achieve. Nonetheless, the activities of the ULDY have sparked the attention of the youth in the region, and they have also contributed to democracy in the country.