“I am not concerned with when or where I die; All I care about is for the revolutionaries and their chants to continue filling the earth until there is no more injustice, built on the bodies of the poor and the helpless.”
– Taftanaz, Idlib, #Syria
These words resonate very much throughout Syria today and gave me the will to speak about the issue of the dream.
It’s not the upcoming arrival of Christmas that made me want to write about dreams, but the necessity to remind everyone that utopia and dreams are necessary for anyone who struggles for radical change in their societies towards more democracy, social justice and international solidarity against all forms of imperialism. You may say that it is hard today to dream of radical change, regardless of the place you are, but especially in the Middle East and North Africa. In this region, the revolutionary masses must face the old regimes and the Islamists in their will to implement democracy and social justice. In Syria, many have given up the revolution in front of the double threats of the criminal and authoritarian Assad’s regime on one side and on the other side the jihadists and islamist reactionary groups. Both represent the counter-revolutions by opposing the objectives of the Syrian revolution and by attacking the revolutionary masses in their struggle. However, this dual vision very much reduces and betrays the Syrian revolutionary process. The Syrian revolution is still very much alive, the Syrian revolutionary masses are still present and are struggling for their initial dream of a new and democratic Syria with social justice and no discriminations. We can still see people demonstrating in the streets on a daily basis, people self organizing in their villages, neighborhoods, cities and region to assist local population, provide necessary services, welcome refugees and people in need, and above all carry on with the resistance against the Syrian regime and the jihadists elements. In addition, the democratic sections of the Free Syrian army, despite the lack of international support and its own limitations, is still present in many locations and continues to struggle militarily against the Assad regime.
Despite the difficulties, activists can’t and must not abandon their dreams of radical change, unless they give up the fight, or harm it by joining a so-called realism or by accepting harmful policies, opposing the interests of the working classes. Of course, the dream must be connected to the material reality of its society and the daily struggle for change, because if this is not the case, the dream loses its meaning.
This is what the Geneva II Conference is all about and this is why it is supported by the Assad regime and by all the imperialist powers from the USA to Russia: to make Syrian revolutionary masses forget and abandon their initial dream of radical change.
The dream is the beginning of any action, the commencement of any work undertaken in the hope of change. The dream allows activists to imagine and to project another society than the one in which they live, and in which they shape their struggles. The principle that ” The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles ” is and will remain the glaring reality.
Indeed, it is necessary to remember that history is not a destiny already written or sealed because, as noted in Marxist’s theory that rejects fatalism, even if human choices are predetermined by material and social constraints, which they can not escape , humanity can shape its own destiny within these constraints. If they are the product of material conditions, they are also the product of human social practices.
Also, we must be aware that victories do not mean the end of the influence of counter revolutionary and reactionary ideas and thoughts of the ruling classes: they need to be constantly fed by the struggle and revolution over time. As Antonio Gramsci said, subaltern groups are always subject to the activity of ruling groups, even when they rebel and rise up : only permanent victory breaks their subordination, even if it is not immediate .
If the dream is prevented, what stimulus could push men and women to undertake and engage in a struggle for another society? At the same time, one can’t ignore the facts. The dream begins to take shape from the study of the material conditions of our society.
In this logic, we can only oppose intellectuals lecturing, dreaming aloud of great deeds and of another society, but who are detached from the real world, participating often in struggles only by the way of criticism, when they are not opposing them.
Activists should seek the bridge between the real and the possible.
The peoples’ struggles for emancipation against dictatorial regimes, the struggle of the working masses for decent working conditions, the mobilization of women against patriarchy and sexism, the fight against racism and sectarianism, an evil always present, and the struggle of oppressed minorities whether ethnic, religious or sexual, against discriminations… all these struggles are not dreams, but a tangible reality wherever one goes.
These struggles continue despite all the obstacles in front of the revolutionaries, guided by their refusal to submit to any form of domination and servitude, but also lead by the dream of a better life, in a perspective of general emancipation. We owe it to them, to everyone suffering in Syria and everywhere, to keep this dream alive.
One more time we say and repeat it: knowing that the revolutionary process and its dynamics will last for many years, we will not withdraw from the revolution and we will stand with those who remained, the revolutionaries that continue to struggle and carry the popular revolution with the principles of freedom, equality and social justice in the face of all enemies.
You can not make a revolution without the vision of a dream: in other words, it is “to have the two feet on the ground and the eyes reaching for the stars.”
Viva popular revolutions! Viva the peoples in struggle!