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, January 27, 2013

Tahrir and the undying spirit of revolt

Click here to access article by Jerome Roos from Reflections on a Revolution.
The future of humanity is at stake. This is the time to fight. If there is any message the revolutionaries at Tahrir have to tell us, therefore, it is this: burn your books, buy a gas mask, and learn to dance with fire. The forces of the counter-revolution are formidable — supported as they are by military might, Islamic mythology and the seemingly inexhaustible resources of the United States — but the flames of popular outrage will not be doused until the demands of the revolution are met. Bread. Freedom. Social Justice. There is no time to waste. Two years down the line, Tahrir — with its undying spirit of revolt — still leads the way.
This is a wonderful recognition of the vibrant revolutionary spirit alive, well, and fighting against overwhelming forces in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria. This is the human spirit that is conscious that this is a war to the end. Time is running out. Egyptians as today's revolutionary vanguard insist on justice and are prepared to fight until the bitter end simply because they are fully conscious of their humanity whose nature cannot accept the indignity of conditions similar to slavery, or even worse--being regarded as disposable human beings because capitalist economies have no use for them. They may not win, but they can never surrender to expedience, safety, and comforts that too many in the West are willing to accept.

The ideologues and subversive agents of the Empire have long sold their souls for a bit of power and wealth, and they cannot understand this deep affirmation of human nature because they have lost theirs at Wall Street and at the alter of superior weaponry.