Saturday, February 12, 2011

On naked emperors and other revolutionary learnings

Karim sent me the following email in relation with my previous post on learning from the Arab Revolutions (I post with his permission)

read your post this morning which brought me back to yesterdays conversation.

When I said it seemed a very bourgeois revolution, it is because it
seemed to me that the aspirations of those that where most visibly
vocal during the last month, and those who seemed to be the ones
framing the demands and desires of the demonstrators, where very much
left liberal - we want to be free to live our cultural identities as
we please - types. My interpretation is that this is still very much
in line with neoliberal -  consumption oriented ideals of the world.

Obviously I am simplifying here, but with the type of people that will
have dips to take over power, (that is the peeps that are structurally
favoured to mobilize popular support and to frame an agenda) will
still believe in orthodox economics and a liberal world order. The
google guy Ghonim or so seems to be a good example or my cousins for
that matter, they will make sure that their middle class lives will
not be too disrupted.

This is not necessarily incommensurable with a changing stance on
Israel, it seems that the military is aware of the people's
inclinations, and the the people have shown that they are aware of the
power they have to influence the leadership. So Israel is under
pressure. I imagine another war on Lebanon would be much more
difficult to pull off without endangering destroying very fragile
relations with Egypt.


So while i see the whole situation as very fluid and i would not dare
make predictions, I am not sure how the country would break out of WB
/ IMF / USaid grips so easily, there is still a public debt around 200
billion $ with 30 billion of it being external debnt and the
restructuring of an economy to be done to actually become a sovereign
nation.

I don't know, I also don't want to be too pessimistic, I think there
is great opportunity and obviously I understand only half of what's
going on.

Point being I'd like to hear what you think about it.

best

K

P.S.: the more i hear these international leaders reminding us or
rather egyptians about the neccessity to abide by the peace treaty
with israel, the more I think we should thank them for so obviously
showing what side they are on, it actually couldn't be better. It is
the emperor getting naked and saying to everybody: hey look i am
naked

2 comments:

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

I don't think you have a clue about anything when you say this:

When I said it seemed a very bourgeois revolution, it is because it seemed to me that the aspirations of those that where most visibly vocal during the last month, and those who seemed to be the ones framing the demands and desires of the demonstrators, where very much left liberal - we want to be free to live our cultural identities as we please - types. My interpretation is that this is still very much in line with neoliberal - consumption oriented ideals of the world.

*****************

You don't know what "liberal" is, you don't know what "left" is, you surely don't know what "neoliberal" is. The Mubarak regime supported by the US Government is/was ALL OF THOSE THINGS. In American parlance, "left" means Barack Obama, "liberal" means Barack Obama, "neoliberal" means Barack Obama. And Barack Obama means FASCISM.

I surely do NOT think the Egyptian revolution was inspired by continuing the fascist regime headed by Hosni Mubarak and supported by Barack Obama and each of his Presidential predecessors.

You should pay attention to what Crispin Sartwell says here:

http://eyeofthestorm.blogs.com/eye_of_the_storm/2011/02/dont-let-these-fucking-totalitarian-lefties-tell-you-that-freedom-is-bourgeois-first-of-all-its-not-an-argument-its-just-a.html

And you should be aware that "neoliberal" is fascist, it imagines that corporations should meld with the government in order to benefit the corporations under the guise of benefiting the people.

Anonymous said...

Wow: Hmm not quite sure what to say to this Charles.

It seems that everything is the same for you. From slightly left of center thru lib to neolib. Which seems to make thinking about things very difficult. Not that I don't sympathize, I prefer radical approaches to political problems.

Nor did i talk about freedom being bourgeois. All i said is that from what i have seen it might be a possibility that the revolution might stop some where between Anti-Americanism and a wish to uphold the same economic structures that are at the root of a lot of peoples misfortunes in Egypt. These being very much based in neoliberal ideology, which i would say is something different though connected to US / EU imperial machinations.

One can spout the same crap that OB is in terms of economics etc. and be Anti American. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive ideas for some, though i would argue that they are.

And i'll repeat it, it seems to me that it is a certain section of society (not to say class) with a considerable income - (for Egyptian circumstances) i.e. not those in of need their daily wage (on a daily basis) to feed themselves and those they support - that frames the demands and desires of the revolution.

And i think there is a possibility that as long as they can continue to go to the mall they'll be fine with the change but if more radical approach to economic restructuring etc were to threaten that, their support for the revolution might just disappear.
I am absolutely not sure that this is the case. But i think it is a real possibility.

So i would interpret Freedom also as having the means to be free. If i can't afford to send my kid to school or whatever well then the freedom to do so i worth just about shit.

I couldn't be more happy about Mubarak and Suleiman being out of power. And i have the greatest respect for all those that went out there to protest.

and a good day to you too.