Bourguiba, Habib
July 1957
Foreign Affairs;Jul1957, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p646
The article focuses on the question that is frequently raised whether nationalism particularly Arab nationalism fosters the expansion of Communism or serves rather as an antidote to it. If one may judge by the experience of Tunisia, there is no doubt that the struggle for national independence served as a restraint and a deterrent. Under the French Protectorate many young Tunisian Intellectuals had been attracted by Communist ideas. In them they found relief from the colonial yoke, which weighed so heavily upon them, and a hope of future freedom. These young men, whose ideals were primarily patriotic received encouragement from the French Communists, who in 1944 led them to set up a Tunisian Communist Party (P.C.T.). In spite of its Tunisian label, the P.C.T. failed to acquire strength. It sought in vain to associate itself with the Destour Party and share some of its prestige. But Tunisians knew that the policy of the Destour Party was more in harmony with their aims than was that of the Communists; they rejected foreign ideology and rallied around a movement, which was genuinely based on the national interest.


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