Saturday, 19 March 2011

What kind of democracy for the Arab world?

Reflections on the significance of the current Arab revolts and their implications for revolutionary theory, particularly with regard to the debate on democracy and popular power.

In a previous article, I said that the events shaking the Arab world today are as relevant as those that shook the world in 1989 [1]. Not only can parallels be made on the extent and depth of discontent over a vast geographical area, but also because this whirlwind of popular fury places a question mark over a particular geopolitical architecture that was hitherto believed to be as strong as steel.

In this case, these long-standing dictatorships were fed, promoted and installed by the geo-strategic interests of the USA (and its junior partner, the EU) in an area of critical concern as far as oil is concerned.

In 1989 the political consequences of the demonstrations were deep and long-lasting - the fall of "real socialist" regimes not only meant the fall of a few unpleasant bureaucratic dictatorships, but because of the relative weakness of a truly libertarian and revolutionary Left, represented the fall of a set of political values ??and horizons that were incorrectly associated with the Soviet bloc, and the overwhelming rise of neo-liberalism as the unquestioned system in the economic, political, values ??and ideological field.

It was the end of history, according to quite a few crusty apologists of the "New World Order". But history did continue to be written, as was dramatically demonstrated by the anti-globalization protests in Seattle in 1999. And if further demonstration was needed, there was the cycle of open struggles between 2000 and 2005 in South America, which challenged the foundations of the model, with the people, the oppressed and the exploited classes as the protagonists of history. 

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