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<nettime> Egyptian Revolution: 2nd decolonialisation for all
Armin Medosch on Tue, 1 Feb 2011 15:09:50 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Egyptian Revolution: 2nd decolonialisation for all



the silence on nettime regarding the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions
is really deafening. is it that the vanguard of net-criticism has
nothing to say when a genuine people's movement is rearing it's
hydra-like head? 

justifiedly a few voices have been heard here and on IDC condemning the
viewpoint that this is a #twitterrevolutuion or facebookrevolution. such
media-centric viewpoints, as much as they are propounded by Western
commentators, are old-hat indeed. 

more justifiedly it could be said that this is the moment of aljazeera.
but more about that in a second. 

what I find really exciting and what's going beyond all those tired
discussions is that the people of Egypt have sofar shown an amazing
degree of Mass Intelligence. 

the motley crew aka the people have seen through all the deceptive moves
of the regime and held their ground. they have made all the right moves
without central coordination and with those so coveted #socialmedia
actually been cut off by the regime. 

the mass intelligence of the people contradicts widely held views that
"the people" cant take care of their own affairs and don't know what's
good for them - which is the message constantly repeated on all news
channels. 

thus, time media pundits scramble to call for a recognizable figurehead.
so the western approved el-baradi is being touted as a potential
political figurehead. all they can say is to talk about an 'orderly
transition'. but this is not what people want.

#Egypt is an example of imaginative resistance, and events there
contradict conventional wisdom. It is an example for all, wherever we
live. We don't know the outcome, and it could as well be still
negative. 

But tonights announcement by the army signals hope that it wont be
another Tianmen. Which also, by the way, highlights the significance of
having a conscript army and not mercenaries who happen to be the people
who like to fight, within any given society. 

the West has not cut a beautiful figure throughout this. Reactions
always coming too late, behind events. and bound within the limits of
pre-conditions whose limits have been set out decades ago. 

the Truman doctrine and NSC-68 have locked the US and its vassal states
into policies supporting autocratic regimes wthin the bigger picture of
maintaining western hegemony against communism,  or newly, islamicist
movements.

the precedence has been set by the overthrow of the Mossadeq regime in
1953. Locked into its Cold War policies, the West has failed to support
genuine democratic movements in Arabic countries. Thereby it has only
helped, as the one of the available other alternative - besides
Stalinism - religiously motivated moevements. 

that chicken is now coming home to roost. 

the utterances of US and EU politicians have come late and sounded weak,
tied into policies decided long ago in the past. 

the voices of the (educated and english speaking) people who are picked
up by english.aljazeera.com tell a very different story. the lies have
fallen down, the emperor is naked. 

yet aljazeera is an interesting case in its own right. formally,
outwardly, it is utterly American, a better version of CNN. Yet in
content, it is against the US hegemony. One can only wonder what is the
rationale for the emir of Quatar supporting it. 

What this signals is that we are witnessing the long autumn of the
capitalist West. the ideological hegemony is slowly breaking down. But
this does not necessarily imply the end of capitalism at all. Other
capitals are rising. the causes of freedom and emancipation are not
necessarily helped by this in the long term. yet for now, we can note
the West is loosing its appeal, as Western societies themselves have
become increasingly more autocratic and servile to transnational
capital, which notoriously disregards democratic, egalitarian and
emancipatory impulses. 

people in Europe are slowly waking up to the final damage which is done
to the welfare states by the hegemony of financial capitalism with its
adjunct media regime, of which #twitter and facebook are an intrsinsical
expression, certainly not an escape route. 

It's autumn for Europe and the US and its most closely aligned allies
such as Japan. Yet the cries for freedom have few guarantees for
succeeding.

It is telling that the media-centric vanguards (netcriticism,
transmediale, IDC, etc.) have very little to say in this situation.

When all that counts is the flow of oil and Russian gas to keep you
warm, what have you got to say? 

The Mass Intelligence of the people of Egypt shows that there is an
alternative. Although the outcome is not yet clear, and any genuine
renovation of a grassroots democratic idea is bound to run into
organised resistance by capitalists and religious autocrats alike,  the
current example should invigorate all who are looking for genuine
change. It is definitely a 'moment in history' 

We are all Egyptians!

Go beat the system

A.

(some of the ideas and notions put forward in this posting have been
developed in collaboration with Brian Holmes in the technopolitics
project)


-- 
thenextlayer software, art, politics http://www.thenextlayer.org




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