What do we mean by democratic elections when less than half of eligible electorates vote in politicos to power, almost on a regular basis (usually it is less than 40% in places like US, UK, etc.,)? In such cases why should one assume the elected are representatives of the whole? What are we to make of a situation when income per capita triples in only ten years and yet, there prevails a palpable pre-revolutionary situation in a given country? Why should so-called democratic nations gang up against their own close allies, by determinedly conducting massive spying operation in almost everything they do? It seems we are entering a new phase of collective existence where our usual expectations/predictions, etc., are proving increasingly inadequate, to say the least. In short, we are living in interesting times! See Wallerstein’s article next column.
Political leaders in Turkey, Brazil, Chile, etc., have situations on their hands. Naturally the politicos in the above countries are baffled by what is happening on the streets of their cities/towns; after all, they have visibly delivered some benefits to the masses, including economic growth. For example, the incumbent Brazilian leadership (Lula+) can boast of lifting close to 50 million people from abject poverty. The Turkish Islamic-ally inclined leadership claims to have increased average income by three fold in the past ten years. But Turkish cities/towns are displaying (visibly) massive dissatisfaction with what is going on. Though Chile is another dandy of the global economic system, its students seem to be more determined than ever to challenge decisions imposed by their ruling entity. Even the developed world has not and will not be spared. The expanding chaos across Europe ultimately demands fundamental change, however unpalatable! Today Greece is no more a member of the club of rich nations, and has been demoted to the unenviable category of developing nations! It is inevitable other neighbors will follow suit, not only those in the right of her, geographically speaking (facing north)!
In our opinion, Egypt’s recent experience probably captures the major problems underlying the prevailing world system. Apathetic voters that facilitated non-democratic elections, albeit inadvertently, (by allowing winners to take over power with less than 50% of eligible votes) refused to swallow decisions rammed through their throats by the leaders of the active minority! Such a reality should have weighted on the mind of the now departed Mr. Morsi! As we have been saying repeatedly, Egypt’s revolution will not find satisfactory resolution within the existing mind set of the ruling entities & their archaic set-ups; be them in politics, economics, social, (including religion), etc.! Again there has to be fundamental change in the country’s polity and policy. Just like Egypt’s policies of the 1950s and 60s, which galvanized ‘Arab Nationalism’, or even the Non-Aligned Movement-NAM to some extent, (under Gamal Abdel Nasser) the world-inspiring Egyptian revolution of today is expected to become a trailblazer, not only for the Arabs and the broader Moslem world, but also for the rest of humanity! We would like to take this opportunity to salute the Egyptians, particularly their determined and vigorous youth!
Dignity is one word the Egyptian revolution never tires of repeating. This word captures a whole lot. Amongst other things, it means the freedom to practice one’s creed without the interference of the state. By the same token, it also means the right to have your privacy, without government agencies spying on you continuously, i.e for as long as you live! When the governments of the Anglo Saxon countries, namely the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada take it on their own to monitor the activities of all the other people on earth and their institutions, just because they can and want to, one cannot help but be outraged by this contemptible act. Such acts obviously undermine the basic human rights of entire humanity. Mark our words; sooner than later, there will be a universal outcry for dignity!
Incidentally, it would be naïve on the part of conference participants all over the world, be them on businesses of states, private, civil society, etc., to assume all the various conference venues are free of electronic surveillance, including hotels, etc.! Frankly speaking, today the technology exists to literally save all electronic communications of all individuals/institutions on earth on a daily basis. Certainly the enthusiasm has always been there, particularly amongst empire’s core countries! The Anglo Saxon countries have a clearly outlined project to this end, i.e., to save all communications (telephone, e-mails, snail mail, credit/debit cards transactions, etc.,) of all the peoples/institutions of the world in their data storages, for all eventualities. This doesn’t mean these countries will monitor, individual’s communications/conversations on a daily basis. What it means however, is; there will be a record of everything one has been saying (electronically communicating) in the course of one’s entire lifetime (e-mails, telephone, mail, etc.,) at their custody and this information can be accessed at any given time by these powers. Even those communications that cannot be deciphered/decoded today will be stored, awaiting future advancement in cryptography. The Orwellian Big Brother would have been very proud!
It is probably the same theme that is reverberating all over the world, though permutated differently. The global beast (human mass) is not comfortable with what is going on in the world of politics, economics, social, etc., and their impacts on humanity as well as the natural world. At the same time, the beast seems to have lost confidence in the sincerity and competence of the institutions of global governance. One of America’s founding fathers deciphered our predicament centuries ago when he said; ‘the liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.’ Concerning dignity, the revolutionary was even clearer: “Give me liberty or give me death.” Patrick Henry (1736-1799) Good Day!