The Syrian State since its second establishment by late president Hafez Assad, father of current president Bashar, had the main target on its agenda: Provide the Syrian people the highest possible level of life at the most affordable costs, while keeping it far from communism.
Syria adopted a mixture of socialism and partnership with the private sector and allowing the private sector its own freedoms in non-strategic essentials of the economy where it can complement the state-run sectors but cannot rely merely on the private sector for that. This came after years of the more socialist system introduced by Gamal Abdul Nasser during the short-lived Syrian – Egyptian unity where the nationalization of the private sector harmed the Syrian economy and many wealthy Syrians moved to Lebanon since.
Though Baath party had in its own name the word ‘socialist’ and was empowered in the constitution to be ‘the leading party in state and society’, on the ground it was pushing for more partnership with other parties politically and with the private in the economy, despite the western and their regional stooges propaganda against it. The confusion comes when comparing the Syrian Baath party with the Iraqi version, and that was one of the main reasons the parties split, even the main founder of the Baath party himself had to join the Iraqi division because he and Saddam couldn’t consider the aspects of the complex mosaic composition of the Syrian society.
To prove the above, during the years of Baath (Ba’ath) party dominance in Syria, it turned a coalition with 11 other political and community parties in what was known as the ‘The National Progressive Front’.
In addition to the 12-parties National Progressive Front were 7 other political parties and a considerable number of independent individuals not members of any party in the Syrian parliament. Think of how the USA and UK are ruled and how many political parties they include in their governments in comparison.
This inclusiveness of the largest possible number of parties in the political life in Syria ensured the stability of the state since the end of 1970, despite a number of breaches with the most known one led carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood 1976 – 1982, which is an international radical organization formed by the Brits in order to control the fast-growing Islamic religion by very radical, very violent groups of Muslims that would also serve to distort the image of the ‘peaceful’ religion with acts of terror carried out by members of this group. Al-Qaeda is a variant of Wahhabism and Muslim Brotherhood, the current leader Zawahiri is an MB, former founder OBL was Wahhabi. Wahhabism itself was invented by the Brits as well.
In order to achieve its agenda, the Baath party and its coalition introduced two concepts: Self-sufficiency and Strategic Balancing with Israel.
Self-sufficiency, especially in essentials, means the Syrian state would support the production of all needed essentials and will control the most strategic sectors of the economy like electricity, communications – which was relaxed with mobile communications, and agricultural produce. We lived in the early 80s when the West and its Arab minions in addition to Turkey were imposing a real blockade against Syria from all sides because Syria decided to stand by Iran in the Iranian – Iraqi 8 years of useless war. Topped with the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist wave to destroy the Syrian state since then.
Making sure all sectors of the society are represented in the decision-making circle and in the armed forces which also saw the diversification in the state security apparatus, and providing the population with the most needed essentials made the Syrian state very resilient to outside pressure.
The West needed to Fake a revolution under the guise of the Arab Spring because the Syrians wouldn’t see a need to revolt against the country that was providing them their needs at 1/5th of the cost in any neighboring country and most Syrians were already represented in the political system. The so-called Syrian Revolution or Uprising was ironically led by former long-serving most corrupt officials in the state with enormous foreign support and astronomical finance – Saudi Arabia and Qatar alone paid $138 Billion to finance Syria’s version of the Arab Spring until 2017, former Qatari PM confessed in a TV interview. Where have you ever saw a revolution depending merely on foreign support from enemy countries?
It’s because of that and after 7 years of the US-led ‘War Of Terror’ waged against the Syrian state we still see that Damascus tops the list of the lowest cost of living in the world for the year 2017. Some might argue that the Syrian income is low compared with the neighboring countries, true, but there was no Syrian sleeping hungry, there was no Syrian without shelter, there was no Syrian without a dignified life, and there were many ways a Syrian can earn a decent living, even if had to work two shifts a day, most other countries forbid that but it was very legal in Syria.
The US and its stooges until today still didn’t give up on their dream to destroy the Syrian state completely and divide it into tiny ever-fighting cantons, is now resorting to the most heinous parts of their plot to starve the Syrian people by increasing the level of their attacks on the Syrian wheat, the most essential portion of the Syrian food.
Syria did not only manage to become self-sufficient in producing a variety of the best wheat in the world, but it was also storing the needs for 5 years ahead and exporting the surplus. With the current ‘War Of Terror,’ the production of wheat dropped from 4.5 million tons a year to 140 thousand tonnes last year and 245 thousand tones this season. And because that’s also not enough, the US has now ordered its armed militias in the Kurdish SDF and ISIS to burn the Syrian farmers wheat fields in areas under their occupation, with Turkey asking the farmers to sell it their produce which is not yet burned at one-quarter of its price in the Turkish Lira to deprive the Syrian state from that produce, or else the fields will be visited by the Kurds and ISIS armed groups.
I didn’t mention the cost of Electricity and providing before the current crisis started to that last remote village in the country at a very low cost and exporting the surplus to Lebanon and Iraq, making this sector a top priority for the US-led terrorists to sabotage, systematically and repeatedly.
Also didn’t mention the health sector providing health care to all residents in the country from relief from headache to treatment from cancer – FOR FREE.
Didn’t mention the free education system from 1st grade to high school and at very minimal cost to Ph.D., and grants and paid education and living expenses for students achieving top grades in a number of countries around the world including very costly western countries.
This way of lifestyle is a large danger for the capitalist west that enslaves its people by drowning them in debt for healthcare and education, and at the same time drying their income with large taxes while not providing a decent welfare in return due to the priorities of the ruling ‘elite’ are bailing themselves out and financing wars abroad, not the welfare of their own people.
At the same time giving them the illusion of ‘free speech’ which is obviously not there anymore, and ‘free elections’ which is, in reality, a controlled selection process, not elections, among a few chosen candidates and at the end small groups of people, in the US they call them the ‘electoral college’, to determine who leads. Yet, even after that if the person selected to the post has an awakening and tries to fix the system there are always scandals coming out of nowhere synchronized with massive synchronized mainstream media onslaught and if that doesn’t work there’s always a JFK ending.
Most Syrians prefer their lifestyle over that provided in the west to their citizens, most Syrians working 8 hours a day earning what’s enough to live a decent life – like the pre-crisis, and paying a cap of 15% taxes and social welfare contribution which covers the welfare provided to them and their families during their working span and to them and their families when they go on pension and to their families until the last grandchild dies.
Now you know why Damascus topped the chart in the Ten Least Expensive Cities in the World cost of living index, and why New York is among the most expensive cities in the world in that index.
Guess what? Damascus might be the most expensive city in cost of living among the other Syrian cities.