Over the course of the 20th century, most of these struggles developed under a sectarian, ethnic or regional banner, despite their economic roots. Notwithstanding this, most analyses in the nascent Arab states have ignored the intersection between economics and religion, for various reasons.

The first of the reasons for this is, of course, the encroachment of socialist thinking which came to the fore via military coups in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and the Sudan. According to this ideology, a planned economy would eliminate social and regional differences.

The approach failed, mainly because of structural problems, due to the brittle and unsustainable ideology underlying Arab socialism. But it also failed because of external factors, the biggest threat being the presence of Israel at the heart of the Arab world. It still hasn’t abandoned hope of fulfilling the greater dream of a state stretching across all Palestine and much of the Arab world, in accordance with the prophecy of the Torah.

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Libyaʹs Muammar al-Gaddafi (photo: dpa/AP)
A failed social experiment: the planned economy approach should have overcome both the classist society and the economic disparities between different regions. However, the approach failed, mainly because of structural problems, due to the brittle and unsustainable ideology underlying Arab socialism

The second reason is the monopolistic control of the ruling classes over the sources of wealth, be they trade or natural resources such as oil and water. This was especially true in Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, where the ruling classes all belonged to particular religious or ethnic groups.

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Comments for this article: The economics of Arabellion

Not bad at all! I wonder what does the author think of the section of the Sunni Syrian bourgeosie that stayed loyal to the regime or chose passivity? Do not class and sect overlap? Could we include "fettered or uneven development" within the region as well as globally? Whereas UAE and Qatar, for example, have been incorporated in the international finacial circuit of capital, other countries have been neglected by the very same capital.

Nadeem05.10.2018 | 14:43 Uhr

Looking at the revolutions from the perspectives of revolution and counter-revolution, shouldn't we name the counter-revilutionary forces that have played a crucial role in the balance of forces?

Ndeem05.10.2018 | 14:47 Uhr