Always shrouded in an aura of mystery, especially for western countries, the Syrian Nationalist Social Party has managed to arouse great interest beyond the borders of, what they define, Natural Syria.
Being one of the oldest political forces in Lebanon, having shed the blood of its «Toberllino Eagles» in the current war of the Sham (Syrian Arab Republic), the party has forged its own history and philosophy.
Together with Zainab Khierbeck., a member of the party, we study the ideology and philosophy of the National Socialist Movement. We talk about the SSNP doctrine, Antoun Saadeh’s thinking, his goals and the future; including the role of the individual, society, the armed forces and women in its construction.
1. When did you realize that you were a nationalist?
Every person, at the beginning of creating his independent personality and forming his interests, ideas, and inclinations, seeks to discover his identity and asks himself «who am I?» The answers vary according to the differences in interests and tendencies.
When I was 15 years old, I learned about the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. Its principles drew my attention, and I was infatuated with the whirlwind and its connotations, so I started following it on a permanent basis. Later, after the outbreak of the war in al-Sham (Syrian Arab Republic), and after I saw the chaos and people’s floundering in their ethnic and religious affiliations, the Party’s ideas were a safehold for me. So, after reading and answering all the questions and queries, and being fully convinced that I found myself in this Party, I joined the ranks of the Social Nationalist Movement in 2014.
2. When you talk about «Syria» what do you mean?
When we talk about Syria, we mean the Syrian Homeland, which was defined by Antoun Saadeh in the fifth principle of the Party’s fundamental principles: «The Syrian Homeland is that geographic environment in which the Syrian Nation evolved. Its distinct natural boundaries extend from the Taurus range in the northwest and the Zagros Mountains in the northwest to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the south. The boundaries include the Sinai Peninsula and the Gulf of Aqaba, and they extend from the Syrian Sea (Mediterranean) in the west, including the Island of Cyprus, to the arch of the Arabian Desert and the Persian Gulf in the east. (This Region is also known as the Syrian Fertile Crescent, the Island of Cyprus being its star).» Antoun Saadeh defined the concept of homeland and nation in his scientific book «The Rise of Nations».
3. Which role do Latin America play in the origin of the SSNP?
There is no primary or direct role for Latin America in the origin of the Party. Its role lies in it being one of the stations in the Leader’s life, as in 1919, he migrated to the United States and then to Brazil. In 1925, he tried to form a party to unify the people of the Syrian communities in Brazil under the name of «The Syrian Fedai Youth». In 1927, he tried again and founded the «Free Syrians Party», which its activity was ceased after three years, and then he returned home in 1930.
It is worth mentioning that the presence of a large Syrian community in Latin America played an important role as an experimental platform and intellectual space for Saadeh’s research prior to the foundation of the SSNP.
Later, after the founding of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, he left on a tour in 1938 to the Party branches abroad through a two-year party plan, to deliver the principles of the social nationalist renaissance and to unify the Syrian forces in the whole world. Then came WWII, which set up barriers and separators, and cut off the way for his return. He stayed in his forced expatriate in Argentina until 1947.
I would like to add that Latin America has embraced Saadeh’s work in exile, and Nationalist presence is continuous to this day.
4. Where does the swastika of the party come from and why did you choose those colors?
The party’s emblem is the «whirlwind», which means in nature a strong hurricane that moves in a circular way, generates from natural forces, and nothing stands in its way. There is no relation between it and the swastika. The whirlwind is an ancient symbol that was found on ancient Syrian artifacts that date back to several centuries B.C.
This emblem represents the Syrian Social Nationalist Movement, the continuous revival movement that deals with the national life in all its aspects. It also represents the constant conflict between factors of backwardness, which is a result of centuries of occupation of our homeland; old life manifestations such as dissociation, weakness, division, underdevelopment, and intellectual, value, and cultural decadence, and between well-founded factors of regeneration that are based on new principles, values and forces that overcome a situation in which there is no order or power, and contents of the new life that is based on four pillars symbolized by the four edges of the whirlwind (freedom, duty, order, power).
Colors of the flag: black: symbol of fortitude, diligence and solemnity.
White: a symbol of faithfulness and integrity.
Red: a symbol of determination, strength and commitment.
5. What do your greeting mean and why do you do it when you enter to the headquarters?
The party greeting expresses the essence of the idea and the movement.
In the greeting, we raise the right hand upward in a right angle to signify highness, work, and creation. We say, «Long live Syria, and long live Saadeh «.
Long live Syria: Because Syria is our homeland, in which we live and for which we die. We work for a life in our country and for the people of our homeland in this generation and in succeeding generations. We struggle to eliminate external and internal dangers, and we strive to build a nation-state with sovereignty, independence and freedom.
Long live Saadeh: i.e. the leader of the party who represents thought and embodies the Syrian national social doctrine, and whose blood was the redemption for this thought and the continuation of the renaissance movement and the stability of our struggle with the enemies of our nation.
The greeting while entering the headquarters embodies respect, and the complete belief in the doctrine and the values of freedom, duty, discipline and power, which are symbolized by the edges of the whirlwind.
6. Regarding the ideology, in the West many people confuse you with neo-Nazis and fascists. Which are the differences between those ideologies and social nationalism?
Since the inception of the party until today, it is compared and ideologically linked to the Nazi and Fascist parties. This arbitrary linking is a result of complete ignorance of the party’s doctrine, principles and its historical and combative scope of life, and a result of wrong comprehensions to Saadeh’s thought and character.
On the other hand, many of the party’s opponents tried to distort its reality, which originates from sheer Syrian will, and which expresses a free and independent Syrian thought. That was through linking it to foreign Italian or German allegations, to be portrayed as a foreign party that expresses Western interests in the region, and that it is alien to the body and psyche of the Syrian nation. However, Saadeh clarified in many of his writings that (the policy of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party is not Fascist, not Nazi, but social nationalist.)
Among the reasons that claim for ideological confusion and misconception, which links the party with Nazism and Fascism:
First: similarities in some of its formal manifestations: such as the Party greeting, the red whirlwind flag, the authority of the leader, the party system, and the military parades.
We have made clear both the differences and the meanings of the Party flag and the Party greeting.
As for the authority of the leader and the system of the party, they were chosen for maintaining the safety of the Party and the creed, not merely for the sake of leadership and glorification that satisfies personal gain like in Nazism and Fascism.
«I made its system individual in the first place, central in a hierarchy (Hiérarchique) to prevent chaos inside it and to prevent the emergence of rivalries, animosities, partisanships, quarrels, and other political and social diseases, and to facilitate the development of the virtues of the system and duty».
Who reads about Saadeh, admires the fact that the man who was accused of individualism and the Führerprinzip («leader principle»), used to hold conversations with school and university students in an unprecedented way by leaders of other parties in his time. He was also on a friendly and unusual communication with the members and friends of the Party, and was an active interlocutor even with the Party dissidents.
Antoun Saadeh smiled in the face of his executioners and did not waive his creed, and confronted his execution with courage and strength, and this made his legacy more robust and made him more inspiring.
Regarding the accurate and organized military parades, Saadeh says: «The system in our convention does not mean external formal arrangements, but rather a system of thought and approach, and then a system of forms that achieve thought and approach.» He also says regarding the formal similarity between Nazism and Fascism: «We declared from the beginning our fight against foreign allegations, and we warned about the danger of German and Italian greed. From the beginning, we made it clear that there could be any relationship in formalities with Germany or Italy, this congruence in formalities does not mean in any way that the Party derived from these sources any idea of the thought from which it was based».
Second: the misunderstanding of many concepts and ideas that Saadeh clarified, for example: the issue of ancestries, and racial superiority, and the Party’s stand on Jews. Saadeh discussed these issues extensively, then ended up criticizing and rejecting them, and he launched a harsh criticism of the opinions on the relationship between the nation and the ancestry. He also condemned what he calls «deceptive linguistic evidence» which is the evidence adopted by the followers of the Aryan doctrine.
7. To what extent is nationality important to be part of the SSNP?
The issue is not related to the nationality as much as it is related to belonging to the Syrian homeland, as the Party members are Syrians, who were born on Syrian land (in Syria or Lebanon or Iraq or Palestine, etc.) or Syrians who lived in the Syrian homeland and shared with its people the unity of life across generations.
There are many examples of large migrations or exodus of groups that settled in Syria and merged with the Syrian society. With sufficient time, and as a result of sharing life and interests, and their social interaction with the people of the region in which they settled, they harmonized with the original Syrian mix, and their own fanaticism was gone, so they became part of the social fabric and united with the Syrian people.
8. Regarding foreign threats, how do the party position itself?
There are two main dangers that create a threat to the Syrian Nation, which are Turkey and the Jews. Antoun Saadeh was the first Syrian politician to explain Syria’s position, as he said in 1933: «Syria is facing two imminent dangers, one in the south and the other in the north. The first is the Jewish danger, and the second is the Turkish danger.»
History has witnessed the sincerity of his vision and the correctness of his opinion; we also saw the Turkey’s ambition to conquer the north of Syria and to seize territories of the Syrian homeland, the last of which was the Iskenderun.
The last war on al-Sham (the Syrian Arab Republic), was marked by Turkey’s main role in it, especially exporting terrorism, supporting and arming terrorists to Syrian cities, then the military intervention in the north, which was the best proof that the Ottoman ambitions in Syria are still growing. Moreover, since the beginning of the war on al-Sham, Turkey seeks to create a buffer zone to control it and later annex it to its territory. In one of Antoun Saadeh’s articles in 1938, he warns us from these ambitions: «The Turkish beast is hungry, and here he is opening his mouth. He started in Iskenderun and intends to end at Sannine.»
In another place, he says: «The Turkish danger is getting stronger and aggravating, as the Turkish ambitions are aiming first towards Syria, because Syria is divided and fragmented, and it is easy to manipulate the aims of its incompetent non-national groups «. That was exactly what we witnessed in 2011.
As for the Jews, they are a colonial group, masqueraded under the skullcap of the Jewish religion and through it claimed that they have the right in Palestine, and the falseness of this claim has been proven.
It is important to clarify that our issue with Jews is a national and not a religious matter, the danger lies in racial teachings that the Jews rest on as the chosen people of God and that the borders of their lands are from the Euphrates to the Nile, based on the Talmud and the Torah to claim the right in our land. Saadeh clarifies: “There is a group of elegant Jews who understands problems and their causes, and knows the futility of the Zionist vocation and fights it for the sake of Jews as for Humanity as a whole ”, and this is an affirmation that our conflict with the Jews did not arise due to religious considerations, but rather because the Jewish interest aimed at establishing a Jewish nation on the land of the Syrian homeland conflicts with the interests of the Syrian people and the Syrian nation that is above all other interest.
We do not acknowledge a state called «Israel» and the recognition of its existence represents normalization of the enemy and betrayal of the homeland, and there is no Jewish right on the land of Syrian Palestine.
The Jews will not stop there, rather they seek to seize all Syria and turn it into a national home for the Jews. Therefore, Saadeh said: «The worst mortal enemy that fights us in our religion, homeland and right are the Jews.»
It is normal that any external group that occupies part of a homeland, as it colonizes its land, fights its people, and commits the most horrific massacres against them, is an aggressive group that must be pushed away, and its aggression must be ended. We, in the Syrian Social Nationalist party, have a clear attitude towards those threats and the blood of our martyrs embodies our only response against the colonial ambitions in our homeland. We also believe that in Palestine there is a struggle of existence, which will not stop until the departure of the last Jew from the land of Palestine. The same applies to the lands in the Syrian north that are occupied by Turkey, and to each seized land from the territory of the Syrian homeland.
«We have one policy in war, the policy of fighting; this is our one policy in war. As for the policy in peace, it is for the enemies of the nations to give up on the nation’s right and rise.»
9. Antoun Saadeh talks a lot about a philosophy of life. Which is that philosophy and it’s meaning?
Saadeh talks a lot about the new and thorough vision that the social national philosophy offers to life, the universe, and art. The full understanding of this philosophy needs, with no exaggeration, the reading of all Saadeh’s intellectual legacy, in order to clarify the meanings of this philosophy, because there are no specific philosophical texts to be presented.
However, we can identify the most important features of this social national philosophy:
1. The social national philosophy starts with the society and ends with it.. «Man – Society». This is the new philosophy for the human.
«The Leader looks at the human from a new level of thought, and raises the human in his view from the limits of his individuality, which is curbed in its abilities, to his complete social openness to the universe.
Saadeh’s view of the human is a new philosophical opening and a stepping-stone towards a new human highness. Saadeh’s view raises the human subject from the sophistry of particles to the philosophy of wholeness. It is a new, thorough understanding of the human reality, knowledge and values.»
Society is the highest purpose and the individual is a social ability that is achieved in its social context. That is when social awareness ascends, its social character emerges, the individual features vanish and dissolve, and the intentions and ideals unite to become the ideals and values of the overall movement of society. Besides, this is not an abolishment of the individual existence, as Saadeh accentuated on the characteristic of the social concept of the individual. «Full existence is social existence.»
Furthermore, social nationalism in its principles in which the spiritual-social-cultural factor is manifested, found a solution for social disintegration and dispute due to racial and religious differences. So, the Social National Movement expressed the one movement in society that removes barriers between various sects and doctrines, dissolves racial boundaries, and breaks the restrictions of the nation’s vitality.
Saadeh was certain that «No survey in the unity of Syria and its rise that does not consider studying its ontological formation, reaches a successful result.», and we see this lesson clearly in his book «Islam in the Christian and Mohammedan Messages» which unified the spiritual heritage in natural Syria.
2. The social national philosophy is the essence of the unity of life, unity of direction, unity of public destination, and unity of the higher interest of the people, and this philosophy becomes a solution for uniting people in all countries and nations of the world.
The second feature of the creed’s philosophy is its adoption of the mind as a supreme reference «The mind is the supreme law in human.», and it has the real impact on the life of human and society. The Party is distinguished by a scientific basis for its creed and for laying the foundations for the release of thought, tools of research and knowledge… as it transferred thought from the superficial and the issues of normal perception to the fundamentals and the issues of the scientific and philosophical mind. The mind and knowledge were adopted instead of intuition and guesswork to reach the truth, which represents an intellectual value that occurs in the mind through knowledge only.
3. «The basic law in human, as the Leader declared it, is the mind that no other law should disable. So, if God had given the mind to the human to know and apprehend with it, He did not give something to abolish it and abolish the value of giving.
The philosophy of Saadeh reveals new lofty concepts and issues, and it needs many studies. It opens abilities for new intellectual productivity that takes society a dangerous step forward towards the peak of power and overcoming death!.»
The ethical message and the moral building of this philosophy. Virtues and morals are a deep conscious and a cultural perception that requires the interaction of mind and will to reach an embodiment of virtues and morals, and working with them to become part of society’s cultural identity.
4. «Every system needs morals; rather morals are at the core of every system that could be destined to survive.»
The forth feature is that it is a philosophy of a movement in which matter and spirit interact.. «The Social Nationalist Movement refuses the endorsement of adopting the base of the conflict between the material principle and the spiritual principle as the basis for human life. The Syrian Nationalist Movement does not stand at this limit, but it announces to the world the principle of the spiritual-materialist basis of human life, and the necessity of transforming the lethal conflict to a homogeneous interaction that revives, builds, raises culture, and directs life towards the highest level.»
This is the philosophical theory that Saadeh brought up, for which he created the term «Al-Madrahiyyah«, and he explained that the spirit is the human soul with all that it consists of mind, emotion, feelings and talents. This philosophical vision interprets and justifies the social human existence, the evolution movement, and history and creation movement, which is the outcome of the interaction of soul and matter. Hence, through it, we understand human values and the motives that prompt the individual and society, and we understand science, mind, art and human existence.
10. Do you think that in Lebanon/Syria actually people know about your party?
Of course, since the inception of the Party until today, it did not stop growing despite attempts of restricting it and obscuring its work and achievements. There are representatives for the Party in the Syrian, Lebanese, and Jordanian Parliament. It also has a good mass base in most of the countries in the Syrian Nation.
11. Do you think if it is possible to create an Arab front from the Arab nations? Or is it something more philosophical?
In the aim of the Party, we seek to create an Arab front, which is not a philosophical idea, but rather represents a practical need and a realistic fact. That is for the importance of the establishment of this front that forms a strong barrier against foreign ambitions, and leads to Arab countries standing on one side in the face of colonial and domination attempts. It also facilitates commercial, industrial and agricultural exchange, scientific cooperation, and joint development to serve Arab peoples and help each other liberate, build, and advance in all fields.
Establishing an Arab Front has been actually achieved in 1945, which is the League of Arab States. It came as an affirmation to what Saadeh was calling for from the importance of the cooperation of Arab states in all main common interests and in a public policy that provides those interests and helps every nation from the Arab world nations to advance in the course of life.
But the question is: did the League of Arab States succeed in achieving the role it was supposed to achieve? Or did it contribute in conspiracy, perpetuating fragmentation and expanding colonial influence and domination on Arab countries?
12. What is the difference between the pan Arabism and the pan Syrianism of the SSNP?
There is a big difference between Arab nationalism and social nationalism.
The Arab nationalism was included within two schools, the first one: was included under racial approaches, as it considered all Arabs from one origin (Ya’rub bin Qahtan) and it fell with science development, among the most important was the emergence of genetics (the science of genes) after the nineteenth century. The second: was included under the cultural national approach that considers that every society has a golden stage embodied by a certain civilization in its history, which must be returned to. So, the golden stage to the Arab civilization manifested itself with the establishment of the Arab Empire (in the Umayyad and Abbasid eras) and this is what links Arabism to Islam, because the Arab Empire reached its peak in the Islamic Mohammedan era.
But each society has several civilizations, as the Syrian society contains in its history dozens of cultures and civilizations such as Assyrian, Chaldean, Arab, Syriac and Kurdish. So, evoking the history of each group and returning it to its golden stages generates a clash of civilizations which generates conflicts in the region, and this idea is based on illusion. Culture is manifested in social values and the values of today differ from the values of the past, so this is what refutes the cultural national approach.
As for social nationalism, it differs from all other national schools. The author of this approach is the founder of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Antoun Saadeh. What distinguishes this approach is that it is not a projective approach. That means Antoun Saadeh did not think of an idea then tried to project it on society, rather he started from studying the reality of those societies, how they are formed and their network of relationships, and from this, he defined the links that define concepts such as homeland and nation.
Social nationalism does not express two terms, but one term based on defining the nation starting from society. Saadeh considers society a group of individuals that are present on a certain geographic location, and have groups of people forming relationships between them.
Saadeh distinguished between two types of relationships:
1. Communication Relationships: like travel, aviation, and trade. These relationships, if broken, do not threat human existence because it does not provide the unity of life.
2. Interactive Relationships: they provide what we call the unity of life i.e. the unity of the interests of existence and development.
The interests of existence are represented in (security, food, and housing). The disappearance of one of them threatens humans with extinction, and are directly linked to the environment «land, geography, surroundings, atmosphere».
So, there is what is called interactive relationships between individuals, and Saadeh called the smallest network of interactive relationships of a group of people on a certain geographical location «the Community» which means connection in existence and unity in life. There are interactive relationships between communities which appear in daily transportation between geographic communities and regions. This daily transportation forms part of the interactive movement between communities.
Then, Saadeh distinguished between two types of interactive relationships:
1. the level of individuals.
2. the level of institutions.
The level of institutions is a higher level that raises interactive relationships to the level of individuals and enhances interactive relationships between communities. (Such as universities, hospitals, and big companies).
The extension of interactive relationships between communities stops when the urban extent stops, which ends at the huge geographical barriers (high mountains, seas, great deserts).
But is that enough to create a nation? According to social nationalism «no».
There is a third factor manifested in collective memory that does not embody a single stage of civilization in our history, but rather reflects all stages of civilization society has gone through (all civilizations including their victories, wars and defeats ..etc).
So, social nationalism defines the nation starting from three points:
1. Interactive relations that provide the unity of life.
2. The urban extent, which ends at the huge geographical barriers.
3. Collective memory.
As for islands, there are two types:
1. Islands that are able to provide the unity for life and interests, so they become independent and form a nation, such as (Britain, Australia)
2. Islands that do not have the basic factors to provide unity to their life and interests, so they connect with the nearest land.
Social nationalism is based on the principle of interaction and not on race or culture and civilization. It is based on enhancing the unity of life between a group of people that are present on a certain geographical location and connecting their interests for the future, not on searching in the dust of the past.
13. What has caused the breakdown of national identity of the countries?
This question brings me back to the beginnings of the establishment of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, when Antoun Saadeh asked himself: «what brought my people all that distress». Social, political, economic, and historical lessons had led him to an accurate appointment of the nation and its vital interest.
Before the inception of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party there was no rights base that clarifies the personality of the Syrian nation and assigns its national rights. Therefore, the first main principle of the Party was: «Syria is for the Syrians and the Syrians are a complete nation», which was a declaration of a basic truth that ends confusion and chaos, and guarantees the integrity of the Syrian nation’s unity.
The loss of the national identity in the countries of the Syrian homeland is the result of chaos, confusion, and confrontation to partial issues, circumstances, politics or time. It is also the result of unclear identification of our truth and of fixed and specific concepts such as the nation, homeland and nationalism.
Saadeh says: «for others, character can change with the change of circumstances and symptoms. As for us, the social nationalists, this is not possible no matter how fragmented our country got and in whatever manner it was formed, occupied by foreigners or remained free and predominant. There is one fact that remains, and it is that Syrians are a complete nation, and the Syrian country is for the Syrian nation.»
14. Do you think that religions and sects have divided the Arab nations?
The main reason for the division of the Syrian nation is the many political forms that occurred in the Syrian homeland, from colonialism, occupations, treaties and colonial agreements such as Sykes-Picot Agreement, San Remo Conference, and Balfour Declaration that led to Jews stealing Palestine..etc.
The confusion of character and the chaos of determining «who we are» led, as we clarified, to ignorance in defining our national rights in our Syrian homeland, which contributed in perpetuating divisions and political fragmentation to the Syrian nation.
Religions and sects are not a cause for division, however, religious intolerance and the interference of religion in political issues, parties, and state matters result in social problems that are exploited to increase discrimination, provoke sectarian strife, and ignite internal wars in the states of the Syrian nation.
15. You say that “Syria is for the Syrians and the Syrians are a complete nation,» According to the number of ethnicities and sects in Lebanon, do you think that this statement, according to the recent history of the region, can make people not understand your party and feel excluded from it?
The extreme state of national decay that we see in Lebanon is a result of the modern Lebanese psyche that formed during a quarter of a century of the culture of colonial occupation.
Foreign wills and renewed reactionism have created issues that are based on several denominations (Maronite, Sunni, Orthodox, Shiite, Druze…). These conglomerates established parties that augment with the diversity of doctrines, and these conglomerates, parties, and sects started being disguised as national colors.
«The Lebanese issue is partially justified. The basis of the Lebanese issue is not in the existence of an independent Lebanon, nor in the existence of a separate Lebanese country, and not even in the existence of an independent Lebanese history. The basis of the Lebanese issue is one thing – religious parties, the religious state» and the modern Lebanese psyche depicts Syria and the Syrians to some of the Lebanese as «beast».
«In Lebanon politicians of isolationist sectarianism hung on to a great weapon to fight the Social National Party with, and this weapon is nothing but the beast!
The Social National Party: beast, Syrian nationalism: beast, natural Syria: beast, national unity: beast. Do not forget the religious massacres! Look at religious intolerance. We cannot live with the «brutes» outside Lebanon!»
The Party in Lebanon is facing the permanent attacks of Mohammedan and Christian politicians, because the movement of this Party threatens their interests and destabilizes their parties and sectarian conglomerates, which their influence is based on.
The sectarian system in Lebanon is deeply rooted, where the sect has become a political, social and economic entity. Citizens has been congregationally and denominationally sorted and that led to deep political, security and economic crises that are difficult to be solved, which we see their effects getting clearer by the day. Nevertheless, there is a group of people who realized the illusion of religious allegations and sectarian parties and were ascertained of the lies of their representatives from politicians and leaders of these parties. So, they started searching for what represents the reality of the people, their pride and benevolence, and found in the Social National Movement their purpose, and joined the ranks of the Party.
«The Social National Movement in Lebanon is a movement of conservation and welfare to Lebanon and the Lebanese, and its Syrian nationalism is nothing but a beast to the ignorant and swindlers!»
16. You say that the homeland belongs to the nation as a whole and that no one, not even individual Syrian citizens can endanger the integrity of the country. Is the homeland more important than man itself?
Regarding the first part of the question…
Antoun Saadeh clarified in his explanation of the first principle, which means from the internal standpoint, that the homeland is a public property that not even Syrian individuals should deal with an inch of its land in a way that cancels, or could cancel the idea of the one homeland and the integrity of the unity of this homeland, which is necessary for the integrity of the unity of the Syrian Nation.
This is an obvious matter and a main rights basis upon which all countries in the world are based. Otherwise, the general right would be violated and the unity of all countries of the world would be endangered.
As for the other part of the question, is the homeland more important than the human?
This view on the relationship between man, society, the homeland, the level of awareness to the social character of the individual and the sense of national conscience is what distinguishes those who belong to the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
Our nationalism is social because its goal is the man – society combination, and its reality, growth and optimal life, and that the larger society is the nation.
Our social doctrine looks at man from the angle of the greatest reality of man – the reality of society, not from the angle of the individual, who is and within that limit is merely a human possibility.
One of our principles is that Syria’s interest supersedes every other interest and it is the basis of national work in all its aspects.
«Syria represents our social character, talents, optimal life, our view to life, the universe and art, our honor, pride and destiny, so it is ours above every individual consideration and every partial interest.
17. All those who deny that Syria is for the Syrians are guilty of the crime of depriving the Syrians of their right to sovereignty over their own homeland. Your party declares those, criminals. How serious is it not to recognize the country above all?
The intention is not the non-recognition of the state politically, but rather the recognition of the nation’s reality as land and people in freedom, sovereignty and independence.
Those who deprive Syrians of their right in sovereignty over themselves and their homeland are criminals and traitors to their reality, their people and their homeland.
Saadeh says: «I can forgive and tolerate one of my citizens if he infringes one of my rights as a citizen, but it is not possible for me to tolerate any citizen that infringes the right of a whole country» (or society)
Betraying the homeland in the norm of all countries in the world is a dangerous matter that cannot be tolerated, and criminalization is the least that can be considered towards traitors.
18. According to the SSNP, you declare that you do not recognize the right of any non-Syrian person or organization to speak on behalf of Syria and their interests, whether internal or international. Can only those born in Syria affect the Syrians? Are you against foreign citizens living in Syria or against foreign injections?
We have previously explained that Syrians are the ones who belong to the Syrian homeland either by birth or by participating in the unity of life over a sufficient period of time to affiliate in society fabric.
We are not against foreign citizens who live in Syria, but we are against interfering in Syrian internal and external issues. No non-Syrian person or organization has the right to speak in the name of Syrian interests in internal and external issues, and only Syrians have the right to represent their cause and decide the fate of their interests and lives, hence, we are certainly against foreign interference completely.
Saadeh affirmed that is it possible for countries that have historical and cultural links and similar interests with Syria to help Syrians abroad, but it is not possible for anyone to decide, no matter how close to us, an issue that belongs to us. Rather, he must wait for us to decide so he could approve our report, so we must take responsibility of our national issues and to keep self-determination to us only.
By this, we see that there is no need to accept any kind of foreign interference outside the will of the Syrian people, for the people are the most worthy of their destiny.
19. Why do you think that people believes that the SSNP claims racial purity? Why is it a mistake?
The party arose at a time when national rhetoric in the West and East was resorting to fundamentalist, strict and inflexible elements, which are dominated by intolerance, separation and racial discrimination. According to that, there was an arbitrary understanding of the Party’s nationalism and a wrong image was portrayed showing it as a fascist and anti-Semitic Party that derived his spirit from the National Labor Party, and they claimed that it adopts the idea of racial purity in natural Syria.
We have made clear that the party has nothing to do with Fascism or Nazism and that its ideology contradicts those two ideologies. It does not carry hatred to any group of people and does not have charged emotions against the Jews. We reject the project of the Jewish state or the «national home for the Jewish people» in Palestine because Palestine is a Syrian land and it has the right in national sovereignty.
Saadeh also rejected the idea of the nation’s ancestral unity and said that it was a homogeneus ancestral mix.
«The nation is not one human subject nor one racial group, and the indisputable fact is that every nation is made up of various racial groups, which means, it is a mixture of different human ancestries… Therefore, it is necessary for us to remove the idea of the nation’s physical unity from our minds, and the majority of scientists have reached a unanimous agreement that the racial unity of the nation is a fictional matter that cannot be accepted scientifically.»
In this way, Saadeh eliminated all the accusations that claimed that the party bore the idea of racial purity.
20. As for the superiority of the races over the mixed ones, you say that the Syrians have been superior over their neighbors. Why? Are you still thinking the same today?
Talking about human ancestries, the origins of the human species, human sociology and its developments to the present era of nations requires the studying of the book «The Rise of Nations», which constitutes a revolution in modern sociology.
But we will briefly explain what is appropriate for the raised question.
Ancestries are a real physical matter and there are differences between ancestries in upgrading and civilization, where science found civilized cultural ancestries and degraded ancestries. However, it should not be concluded from psychological or mental characteristics that there are specific ancestral mental talents acquired from the ancestral form and are limited to and inherited by the ancestry.
Saadeh demonstrated that when the ancestries were mixed in the past, the civilization was more advanced and he gave an example «Sparta prevented mixing with foreigners, preserving the purity of its blood, but in civilization it was below Athens, in which mixing increased in stages.» He also explained that the reasons for the psychological superiority of Syrians are not due to the absolute mix but to the quality of the homogeneous mix»
«The nation is not a physical blood unit but a traditional mental unit… The ancestry is a general physical form, whereas the nation is a general mental conviction. The reality of the nation is in its «spirit», in its general thoughts and general feeling, not in the shapes of its skulls and the type of its blood.»
The Syrian nation was distinguished throughout history by its spirit and psyche that appeared in its history of civilization, its cultural exploits, and its intellectual and scientific productions.
History shows that Syria is the cradle of civilization in the World. On this land, the alphabet was invented, which formed the greatest intellectual cultural revolution in the world. The creation of the first civilized law and the Code of Hammurabi are best proof of this. Syrians created the methods of agriculture, irrigation, dams and canals, and they spread their urban character in the Mediterranean Basin.
Syrians excelled in physics, chemistry, medicine, and astronomy. In Mesopotamia, the first seven planets that accompany the Sun were discover. They understood the movement of Earth around the Sun and the movement of the Moon, so they created the organization of time and set the division of the year into 365 days and the day into hours.
When we say that Syrians are better than their neighbors are, this does not express wishes or create historical concoctions or exclude other civilizations in the world… but rather this sentence expresses historical facts and the achievements of the Syrian nation in its various stages of civilization.
When we talk about Syrian spirituality, this indicates the practical direction in life, not the psyche that relies on the unseen and on forces outside human existence.
The rational, practical, Syrian psyche is manifested in the philosophy of Zeno of Citium, who says: «O man, you have the mind, and with the mind you can solve problems and dilemmas and go forward.»
The Party today is working on achieving social national renaissance that works on reactivating the collective conscious of the people in the Syrian nation. It also works on freeing the Syrian psyche from the domination of external factors and foreign psyches, so that the real independence that we lost can return to Syria and the ideals upon which true, benevolent and beautiful life is based.
21. One of your fundamental principles is based on the separation of the church and the state. Why is that fundamental to the functioning of a nation? To what extent is religion in politics dangerous for the state? Watching the actual power of the sects, do you think this kind of separation is feasible?
The first reform principle of the Party is the separation of religion and state.
It is necessary to explain that the separation of religion and the state does not mean canceling religion, it means separating religion from politics and not separating a person from his religion.
The comparison between the eras of decadence in Europe and the Renaissance and what it carried from scientific, industrial, legal, political, cultural and social developments are the best proof of the importance of separating religion from the state and its civilizational reflections.
Combining religion with the state offends religion itself in the first place, and separation between them removes religion from the state’s corruption and faults.
There are many religions, sects, doctrines, and races in natural Syria, so how can a religious state be constituted, and the people are of different religions and sects?
The danger of not separating religion from the state lies in the case of fragmentation, in which society falls because of dividing it religiously, which is contradictory to social national unity. In addition to foreign dependency due to each group’s feeling that it belongs to a religious center responsible for it, and that it belongs to the religious association transient to nationalities and nations instead of feeling the unity of its national society.
We assure that this principle is not against the spiritual standpoint, but sees danger in the religious political association and its interference in practical affairs of life.
The second and the third «Debarring the clergy from interference in political and judicial matters» and «Removal of the barriers between the various sects and confessions» to fully define what is meant by the separation of religion from the state. Therefore, the matter does not end at the political standpoint, but goes beyond it to the legal standpoint that guarantees achieving equality between the people of one homeland on the basis of national unity.
This kind of separation is possible, essential and necessary if we want to get out of cases of chaos, confusion, internal problems and sectarian wars that destroy the body of the Syrian nation.
22. You defend the abolition of feudalism. To what extent does it still exist? Is there a great division between rich and poor in Syria?
The fourth reform principle states «The abolition of feudalism, the organization of national economy on the basis of production and the protection of the rights of labor and the interests of the nation and the state.»
Saadeh asks in his explanation of the principle, «Is there in Syria feudalism or a feudal system?» and he answers «no, and yes. No, because feudalism in Syria is not legally recognized, and yes, because there exists in different parts of Syria a feudalistic condition from an economic and a social standpoint.»
Today in the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq, traditional forms of feudalism do not exist, but feudalism appears more in Lebanon and Jordan. In Lebanon, there are controlling sectarian feudalities and big feudal families that own lands and are partners in all major projects in their areas of influence, and it may control the state’s institutions and society.
In al-Sham (the Syrian Arab Republic), we can find one of the forms of feudalism in performance, behavior and lifestyle.
Feudalism is a form of development of society that follows the disintegration of empires. Europe lived a thousand years of religious feudalism in the dark ages in which indulgences were sold.
We work for the development of our country from feudalism towards nation-states as a natural development of human sociology.
Regarding the second part of the question… In today’s natural Syria, the differences between wealth and poverty vary according to each country.
In the Syrian Arab Republic before war, the socialist system provided social stability and food security to all people. There were cases of wealth of course but the differences were not big and huge, and the cases of poverty and hunger were rare. The level of welfare increased significantly in the last ten years before the war, incomes rose, and basic and primary needs were provided for people, so they tended to provide luxury life supplements.
Then terrorism came and it destroyed the state’s infrastructure, and many factories that employ thousands and provide huge incomes and large production were lost. So, the state lost the productive capacity, and the agricultural capacity, thus lost the ability to provide food security. It also lost many hard currencies, liquidity, money and oil..etc. from the capabilities of life and providing the interests of existence for the people.
So the war generated rich profiteers, which is normal, and led to an increase in poverty due to the weakness of the state and the loss of many of its agricultural, economic, industrial, and commercial components and its primary resources in favor of terrorism and its supporters in Western countries.
Differences before the war were small, and the Syrian Arab Republic witnessed great growth and industrial and economic openness even on the political level, whereas today, the situation has changed and the differences have increased due to the war.
As for the rest of the states of natural Syria, matters varied from one entity to another, but there was general social and economic stability in the region in general, and relations developed and strengthened to before the American occupation of Iraq in 2003.
23. According to the SSNP, the national economy based on production is the only way to achieve a balance between the distribution of labor and the distribution of wealth. Do you think that the importation of the product is largely the fault of the impoverishment of the nation? Why is the national economy based on production so important?
Saadeh says in his explanation of the economic principle:
«Production is the important basis of national economy, and without production, the welfare of people can never be thought of. If there is little wealth and many people, it will not benefit the people to distribute a small amount to them, as production is the key to the whole economic issue.»
This principle is not confined with agricultural and industrial production only, but also includes scientific, intellectual and artistic production, etc.
The Party emphasizes building national economy on production sectors and not on service sectors, because they are weak foundations, while the production sectors are solid and stable and are not subject to international fluctuations. Also, in the case of the growth of the production sectors, trade and service sectors become complementary to the production and serve it as it grows with its growth.
The importance of the productive economy is that it ensures wealth and prosperity to the people and the state. It also achieves self-sufficiency and provides stability, tranquility, progress, and increasing the good that guarantees prosperity of life and the non-deterioration of the national economy in case a country or a group of countries tried to besiege us and to impose economic sanctions on our country. Hence, from the wealth that we have such as oil, gas, wheat, cotton, olives and others, we are able to open other markets, break any siege, and impose exporting our agricultural production to countries that need strategic wealth.
The participation of citizens in production is the basic condition in their participation in the proceeds of production and their rights in public wealth. Therefore, the Party believes that it is necessary for every person to be productive in some way.
«Man must produce and the more his demands and needs increase, the greater becomes his need for production. Production is basically the key to the whole economic issue, and without production we cannot solve not even one problem from the economic problems in our society.»
As for importing as a type of external trade, it must be in accordance with internal and external interests.
Internally to meet the needs of the citizens in general, and abroad to ensure the interests of societies and their balance in their friendly relationships with each other in a way that guarantees the maintenance of the nation’s basic and major materialistic and psychological interests, which effect its existence, life and future in its external relations with other nations.
24. How important are the army and the armed forces in your party? Do you think that civilians must be part of the army on a mandatory basis?
From reading the fifth reform principle, thimportance of the army in the nation becomes clear: «Formation of strong armed forces that will be effective in determining the destiny of the country and the nation.»
Saadeh says in explaining this principle:
«The national right is not a right in the battlefield of nations only to the extent that it supports the strength of the nation, for power is the final say in proving the national right or denying it.»
«Our reliance in attaining our rights and defending our interests is on our power. We are preparing for continuation in the struggle for survival and supremacy in life, and survival and supremacy will be ours»
History bears witness that our nation used to have strong armies in some of its stages, which imposed control over the Mediterranean Basin and the East many times. Great leaders came from our nation such as Sargon of Akkad, Nebuchadnezzar, Sennacherib, and Hannibal, the greatest war genius of all time.
The army in our doctrine represents a material power to the nation. This power expresses high psychological power and supports it. Therefore, the army is one of the basic pillars of the state.
Life is an ongoing struggle, which is why I believe that every citizen must learn how to defend himself, his family and his land. We live in a homeland whose security is in permanent danger, its wars are numerous, and a big part of the nation’s land is suffering directly or indirectly from colonialism.. Occupied Palestine, the Americans in Iraq, the lands Turkey has seized, the wars that took place in Lebanon, and finally the war on Syria in 2011. All of that affirms the necessity of every citizen being a soldier to defend his right and protect his homeland.
Soldiering is not only through the army, as there are those who cannot bear arms. These citizens become soldiers through realizing their responsibilities inside society. They face external dangers with their work and actions and they preserve the nation and protect it from internal conflicts and chaos in times of war and peace.
25. Which is the role and relevance of women in your party?
Since the beginning of the last century, the party gave back to Syrian women their leading role in society, a role that connects to a storied past in which women were free and sovereign in their society.
From Syria came the goddess Ishtar, Queen Zenobia rules Palmyra and was the commander of her army, the city of Carthage in Tunisia was built by the Syrian princess Elissar, and in the city of Homs, Julia Domna, who became Empress in Romania, was born.
We have roles in our society that we want to achieve and rights that we do not give up.
Although the role of the Syrian woman in Syria has been reduced due to the ages of decline and backwardness because of continuous occupations, this did not kill the spirituality of the real Syrian woman. Many women were able to impose their presence in history after that era. We see women today being efficient in various fields and reach the positions they seek.
In the Party, the role of women is not different from the role of men.. Saadeh says: «National work is not reserved for men. Work will never be national the woman participates in it and becomes an active member in it.»
The role of women complements the role of men, as we work side by side in various fields, even the military. Many of the Party’s martyrs are women, the first of which is Sana’a Mehaidli, the first martyr in modern times. Also, the leader’s wife, the first Amina (a high rank in the party) Juliette Al-Mir Saadeh, was a role model in sacrifice and struggle.
National work, rights and duties include all members of society regardless of the gender.
Women in the Party embody all truth, goodness, beauty, freedom, strength, trust, sacrifice and work, and that is what we strive for, to be the future of all women in Syria.
26. On which fronts and how many people do you have fighting in Syria?
We are present on many fronts in natural Syria and our military activity depends on the need for intervention.
When terrorism struck Lebanon in Aarsal and Ras Baalbek we stood beside the Lebanese army.
In Iraq, the Party participated in the Popular Mobilization Forces formed by Iraqi government.
In Palestine, during the aggression against Gaza, a faction from the Eagles of the Whirlwind emerged in the name of «Al-Fedaa al-Qawmi» and carried out specific operations against the Israeli enemy.
In al-Sham (Syrian Arab Republic), we participated with the Syrian army and we were on the first lines in the battles and confrontations against terrorism and along the borders of the Syrian Arab Republic.
27. Is your party growing?
If the Party had stopped growing, its activity would have ended long ago. The Party is growing constantly with a difference in frequency, as we are witnessing great demand and expansion in the mass base during the crises and wars that the nation is going through.
Because during crises and wars, the people distinguish between the workers for their cause in which the real interests of their life is represented and those working for their own benefits and manipulating their emotions for the sake of their own interests, squandering the vital interests of the nation for fictional issues.
During adversity, the people search for hope.. and the only real hope to save the Syrian nation is the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
28. Which is the future of this party?
We believe in our ability to rise with our society and to achieve the Party’s fundamental and reform principles and its great goal. We work for this and will not stop from working until the final victory.