We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Roundtable on the Language of Revolution in Egypt
I recommend especially the first two discourses regarding the nature of the political and social changes brought about recently in Egypt. The treatments of the subject vary basically around the objective versus subject aspects of the events that have occurred in Egypt since early 2011.
As I have always argued, what happened with the ousting of Mubarak was only a battle in the ongoing struggle of the Egyptian people for substantial revolutionary change. If the latter is to happen, it depends on the strength of a revolutionary consciousness persisting in spite of the more superficial changes. This consciousness will depend to a great extent upon the prospects for the material improvement of the lives of ordinary Egyptians under the new regime.
But therein lies the rub. The new regime is still wedded to the US Empire and neoliberal policies, and therefore they cannot improve the lives of ordinary Egyptians. Thus, in the years to come the Egyptian military will further oppress their populations.
This, of course, is happening nearly everywhere in the world. The dynamics of neoliberal policies will bring ever greater concentrations of power and wealth in the face of diminishing resources and the social chaos created by disasters related climatic changes. Thus, the One Percents of the world will have to rely on their instruments of violence to sustain their system and rule.