It is indicative that observers note a comparison with Nasser, but practically nothing is said about Nasser himself. Meanwhile, his political legacy is very interesting and, in many respects, relevant. The study of nasserism will help to understand a lot, making conclusions for the future.
The political evolution of Nasser is rather bizarre. Researchers often point out that his early views (1930-1940-s) were very confusing. The future Egyptian leader was attracted by Western democracy, dictatorship, nationalism and traditionalism. In this, however, one can also see the desire for the dialectical synthesis of various "fragments" that were once part of something holistic. It can be said that this whole was the Tradition, which should be distinguished from the doctrinal “traditionalism”, the adherents of which, at the socio-political level, try not to integrate, but to cut off. In a living, real Tradition, once the former basis of the existence of human communities, one can find democracy (veche, popular assembly), and socialism (predominance of the community), and "dictatorship" (military leader status of princes and kings). Of course, the Tradition itself is much broader than politics, even if integrated, but nevertheless it is this unity that distinguishes the notorious traditional society.
Let us return, however, to Nasser and his political evolution. In 1952, a revolution was taking place in Egypt that overthrew the pro-British monarchy. The Free Officers organization comes to power, in the creation of which Nasser plays a crucial role. At the head of the country is the Revolutionary Command Council (SRC), which in turn is headed by General Mohammed Naguib. It was a typical liberal with a "conservative" bias, who believes that classical, Western democracy is quite appropriate for Egypt. Nasser entered into a confrontation with him and achieved an opponent's bias. In 1954, he headed the IBS, and in 1956, he was elected president by direct vote. Liberal-democratic illusions were eliminated, however, Nasser was still at the national-bourgeois position, speaking mainly against foreign capital - in support of national. He nationalized the Suez Canal, triggering the aggression of Britain, France and Israel, which collapsed as a result of the firm "pro-Egyptian" position of the USSR. In addition, Nasser carried out a rather radical Egyptianization policy, expressed in a large-scale transfer of many foreign enterprises to the national bourgeoisie - the French 800 and the English 400 (by the 1957 year).
However, the president soon saw that, although the support of the bourgeoisie strengthened the country on the external front - against foreign capital, it led to a sharp aggravation of social contradictions. That is, ultimately, it still weakens Egypt. And then he takes a course on the construction of socialism - of course, not Marxist, but Arab. The very concept of Arab socialism emerged in the second half of the 1940s. It is curious that one of its leading developers (and the creator of BAAS - the Arab Socialist Renaissance Party) was a native of Damascus Michel Aflyak - an Orthodox Christian. He did not particularly delve into questions of politics and economics, but he developed a rather coherent philosophy of the “eternal Arab Message,” based on Hegelianism. She focused on the disclosure of the "Arab Spirit" in the past, present and future. Hegelianism was combined with traditionalism here, which was expressed in a special understanding of the revolution. Aflyaku, she saw it as a return to the “right past” on a new basis.
Ba'athism in many respects did not coincide with Nasserism, but one can notice some essential unity here. Nasser also emphasized the Arab community (Aflyak, in general, called it "Ummah"), being an ardent admirer of the creation of a single state of all Arabs. A foundation for this was laid in 1963, when Egypt and Baath Syria created the United Arab Republic (UAR). However, this state symbiosis did not last long.
Economically, Nasser emphasized the state and its regulatory role. In 1960-ies, large and medium-sized industries, banking, and insurance were nationalized. The public sector was 90%. (A characteristic moment - the electoral qualification “vice versa” was introduced in the country - people whose income exceeded the 10 thousand Egyptian pounds ceiling, were deprived of the opportunity to hold government posts.) In the village, state farms and cooperatives were actively encouraged. The Nasser regime was emphasized by the technocratic, progressive - which is worth only the Aswan Dam, built with Soviet assistance. During his reign, many factories, schools, hospitals, libraries, and peasants were built into comfortable dwellings.
But perhaps the greatest interest is the political transformation of Nasser. There was an attempt to combine the autocratic regime with corporate identity. Back in 1950, the president tried to create a political vanguard in the person of the National Union (NA), but he did not meet expectations. And in the 1960s, Nasser constructs a new party - the Arab Socialist Union (ASS). Unlike the avant-garde party of the Russian Bolsheviks (and many other parties similar to it, including the right ones), which from the very beginning were tightly centralized order-style structures, the party of Nasser was a broad popular front. It was allowed to enter to everyone, which immediately accumulated 6 millions. Thus, the party was conceived as a movement of all socially and politically active Egyptians.
Along with Arab socialism, the basis of the party was original democracy. Nasser himself decreed the guarantees developed by the ACC "respect for political and all electoral rights, as well as respect for the rights of trade unions, societies, communities, institutions and other organizations." It is significant that the rights are concretized here - these are the rights of not only individuals, but also various communities. Or here’s one of the Union’s position: “People’s organizations, especially cooperatives and trade unions, can play an effective and influential role in the development of a healthy democracy.” In addition, the need to develop industrial self-government was emphasized: “Egyptian workers were to participate in the administration of enterprises and become“ masters of the production process ”.
In 1962, elections to the National Congress of People’s Force (NKNS) were held. They were conducted in curiae - from workers, peasants, intellectuals, “non-exploiting capital”, students and women. The composition turned out to be such - in the NKNS 375 deputies represented peasants, 300 - workers, 150 - entrepreneurs, 225 - trade unions, 105 from universities, 105 - students, 105 - women's organizations. Thus, the representation was tied to specific social and professional groups, which made it impossible for the dictatorship of party political mediators.
In the second half of the 1960's, the ACC entered into a confrontation with the state apparatus. On this occasion, an open and mass discussion flared up in the country, which has already shown that Egyptian socialism is by no means a bureaucratic system. Although Nasser himself was well aware of the danger of bureaucratization, which could even threaten the frontline party. “A great danger for the ESS was created precisely because many leaders do not know how to communicate with the masses,” the president noted. - They sit in their offices and send out general instructions. So you will not achieve success. Others speak at meetings, but they are not prepared to draw useful experience from communication with the masses. ”
The discussion began in 1967, and a year later, Nasser announced his “March 30 Program”. It announced the transfer of the center of gravity from the administrative apparatus to the ACC. The general national congress of the party became the highest political body of all of Egypt. At the same time, the ACC itself had to undergo reorganization with re-elections at all levels.
A similar system looks similar to the Soviet one in which the party apparatus towered above the state. However, it is hardly possible here to talk about identity. In Russia (USSR), the party monopoly was formed almost instantly, immediately crushing under itself elected Soviets (a separate question - could this have been avoided). It was the party nomenclature that was the main breeding ground for bureaucracy. In Egypt, the administrative bodies of power were such a hotbed, and the front-party acted as an organized popular alternative to bureaucracy, supported by a charismatic socialist president.
The beginnings of Nasser were buried after his death in the 1970s. Anvar Sadat, who came to power, hurried to dismantle the thin, avant-garde construction built by Nasser. Already in 1971, the Constitution was adopted, in which the party was deprived of the right to control any state body. Thus, the bureaucratic caste was rid of popular control. Five years later, she generally performed the ACC mutation. Three platforms (“stands”) were created in it. T. n. The “Arab Socialist Organization” united a pro-presidential majority consisting of state officials. In the "Organization of the Liberal Socialists" shoved the "right" wing, and in the "National Progressive Organization of the Unionist Bloc" - the "left" group. Subsequently, the Arab Socialist Party was founded on the basis of the ASO, which was later renamed the National Democratic Party (NDP), which had a political monopoly under both Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. The new name did not at all remind of the socialist choice proclaimed at the time as a national hero, the legendary Nasser. Yes, and inappropriate were references to socialism. Large-scale capitalization unfolded in the country, accompanied by a massive influx of foreign capital.
Liberals (all over the world and among us) strongly criticized the Mubarak regime for authoritarianism, bureaucracy and corruption. However, they close their eyes to the fact that the Mubarak, military-financial, bureaucratic regime arose precisely during the times of the Sadatov liberalization and was the result of a departure from Nasser's socialism - towards capitalism.
They also don’t like to say that it was the “progressive” capitalist West that provided full support to radical Islamism (many of its structures, such as Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, were created with the support of Western intelligence services). And thus most seriously archaized entire regions of the Islamic world. Referring to the threat of “terrorism”, cultivated by them, the West organized several “liberation” military campaigns, which threw the “liberated” countries far back, almost into the Stone Age. Take, for example, Afghanistan, which has plunged into the real feudal anarchy. “It is the field commanders who today provide control over the situation in each Afghan province, receiving from Kabul - more precisely, from the US, because the Afghan budget for 91 percentage consists of international investments -“ loyalty fee ”, - I. Korotchenko. - Before us is a typical control scheme of the British colony of the XIX century. Tribal leaders receive a "reward for loyalty" from the colonial administration, the right to dispose uncontrollably in the territory entrusted to them the life and death of the native population and, most importantly, to earn those means that are most suitable for them. Heroin production? Please, according to the NATO classification, this is a “traditional craft”, which cannot be touched, because the economy of the provinces will collapse, the incomes of the leaders will fall. But they need a personal militia to maintain ... Racket on the roads? No problem, create a "private security company," and Kabul will sign a contract with you for "cargo escort." This is not an exaggeration, but the everyday life of an Afghan province. ” ("Here comes the Taliban")
The “Arab Spring” was also aimed at archaizing, arousing a powerful fundamentalist wave. A key role here was assigned to such a large country as Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood came to power. Their rule provoked the indignation of wide urban strata, dissatisfied with the archaization creeping into the swamp. At the same time, these circles refused to trust the popular liberals yesterday. This situation took advantage of the army, which took everything into their own hands. (The development of events did not go much the way the Western puppeteers had planned - it was not by chance that the United States stopped financial assistance to Egypt, clearly expressing its attitude to what happened.) Her activity aroused nostalgia for Nasser. It turned out that he is remembered, and Nasserism is claimed by the Egyptians, who reject both fundamentalism and liberalism - forces are equally regressive, acting, in fact, at the same time (as it was in Libya - also cast off into the “stone age”). Military, alien to the ideas of Nasser, at the same time forced to flirt with them. And flirting with the idea can lead to very different results. It is quite probable that in these favorable conditions a political subject will arise that will return the country to the path of national-socialist, original and modernization development.