Well over here in Lebanon, at a one point, I remember that one time that a member of the Future Youth came to me and told me that we are comrades, and both leftists. So as you see, there is no fixed criteria to label oneself as leftist. Rather, plenty would label themselves as leftists and ascribe themselves to a leftist school (say: Anarchists, Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Green, or simply leftists). The problem is they use the term as leftists, while a huge majority are ultra-nationalists. In my dictionary, Socialism + Ultra-Nationalism would equate to Fascism. Sadly the most exposed to become a fascist is the left-wing activist rather the right-winger. For example, plenty of members of Democratic Leftist Movement (or Harakit Yassar Democraty in arabic) focus on the issue of "Lebanon First", while they hail the prime minister's policies as building a state, PM Seniora who is known to adopt the free market policy (and indirectly representative of the Sunni block) is sometimes hailed as a Comrade. I am not saying that the other blocks are better, on the contrary they are all reactionary or right-wing.
Primarily, we get three major parties that call themselves as leftists.
The first and oldest is the Lebanese Communist Party, I will not dwell on its history of sacrifices as plenty of achievements took place, but I will return to those from time to time. Sadly the party deviated when it endorsed arab nationalism as an alternative and imposed it as a Marxist alternative. We have to keep in mind that the Party has a Stalinist infrastructure, while the party contains few Trotskystes. Sadly, the rigid hierarchy has killed the party. While the generaton of the founders were radical and dared to organize the first demonstration in the face of the French which included more than 7000 activist in 1925, currently it is in its worse reactionary conditions. The ideology has been dropped, and replaced with a figure head system with an Arab Nationalist perspective. To say the truth, ever since the 50s the party went on inventing its own Marxist ideology.
The Organization for Communist Work is in its worse condition as a single man dominated the party through out its history. Only difference that from the 60s till early 80s, the movement gathered the most powerful intellects who currently today are pioneers in academical life. Originally started as a mix of Arab Nationalists with Maoist mix (then later contained greater varieties), they are currently crippled while their intellects have become mostly free lancers. Currently, the Organization has totally withdrawn from the political arena after plenty of reform or rebuilding attempts occured.
The Third and Worse of All, the Democratic Leftist Movement, they were supposed to be an alternative to the Lebanese Communist Party and ended up as a similar party. Its members are ultra-Lebanese nationalists, while they seriously lack any ideological infrastructure. They celebrate that they do not have any ideology (something which makes me wonder on what basis they are leftists). They invite all kinds of leftists and argue that a person does not need books to be leftist. It is the intention that counts (which reminds us of the father of the Liberalist School Immenuel Kant). It makes me wonder if intention that all counts to be leftists, then any of those Saints that sacrificed their lives while fighting poverty have become Comrades. They gained success as Harriri's propaganda machinery supported their candidate to elections when their member, the journalist Samir Qassir (R.I.P), was assasinated, and wanted to establish a monopoly over the martyres.
I will deal with all in plenty of occasions, and plenty of updates (at least for my sake first), then see how this blog would go. Currently, my alternative is that the leftists gather up in a strong unified front with a strong ideological background, and belong to any of the Internationals (ISO, CWI, CMI...etc), because afterall to be a leftist is to be an internationalist and be part of something bigger on an international scale. Intentions are not enough to be labeled as the lazy reactionary & opportunists are justifying their ignorance of not studying the sciences of the left (some of Democratic Left Movement that Marx's books belong in the garbage because they are outdated). The logic is required, I myself belong to the Communist School, sometimes labeled Trotskyst as not be mistaken to Stalinist Soviet Union or Lebanese Communist Party or the ever repulsive Democratic Leftist Movement.
To Be Continued....