The revolt in the Arab world is not just about getting rid of authoritarian leaders and dictators. It is also about ending economic injustice and exploitation.

The media would have us believe that the popular discontent is solely due to the dictatorships and repression in the Arab world. But there is more to it than that. A lot of the disenchantment is also the result of people’s hopes being crushed by an exploitative economic system that undermines essential public services, reduces nations to little more than sweat-shops, and concentrates wealth in the hands of a wealthy elite and their well-connected or crony corporations.

As John Pilger writes here:

The revolt in the Arab world is not merely against a resident dictator but a worldwide economic tyranny designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries like Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with half the population earning less than $2 a day. The people’s triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism.

How did such extremism take hold in the liberal West? “It is necessary to destroy hope, idealism, solidarity, and concern for the poor and oppressed,” observed Noam Chomsky a generation ago, “[and] to replace these dangerous feelings with self-centred egoism, a pervasive cynicism that holds that [an order of] inequities and oppression is the best that can be achieved. In fact, a great international propaganda campaign is under way to convince people – particularly young people – that this not only is what they should feel but that it’s what they do feel.”

Like the European revolutions of 1848 and the uprising against Stalinism in 1989, the Arab revolt has rejected fear. An insurrection of suppressed ideas, hope and solidarity has begun. In the United States, where 45 per cent of young African-Americans have no jobs and the top hedge fund managers are paid, on average, a billion dollars a year, mass protests against cuts in services and jobs have spread to heartland states like Wisconsin. In Britain, the fastest-growing modern protest movement, UK Uncut, is about to take direct action against tax avoiders and rapacious banks. Something has changed that cannot be unchanged. The enemy has a name now

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Read the book ‘The Crisis of Islam’ by Bernard Lewis and you will understand to the middle-east problems. Bernard Lewis examines the historical roots of the resentments that dominate the Islamic world today and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and takes us through the rise of militant Islam in Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, examining the impact of radical Wahhabi proselytizing, and Saudi oil money, on the rest of the Islamic world.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Crisis-Islam-Holy-Unholy-Terror/dp/0812967852

  2. I think you are out of your mind, Anil Netto !

    I know that you are left leaning, but I never know that you are so out of your mind that you believe in all those “corporation exploitation” bs !

    The only reason of the Arab uprising is the extremist Islamic movement to take over the running of the Arabian governments.

  3. Sweatshops and economic enslavement by the west do not happen only in the middle east, it is all over the other 3rd world countries as well. So why have not the citizens of those countries apart from the Arabs revolt against their goverments? The answer is pretty obvious isn’t it.

    • Oh and just to add. This isn’t a ‘Middle East’ thing. It’s a North African revolution. North Africa NOT EQUALS Middle East.

    • Because Anil Netto is so desperate that he hijack the middle eastern uprising as his “proofs” that “corporations are evil” and that “people must topple them at all cost”.

      Anil Netto should go live in Iran because the Iranians must be in Utopia right now.

      They kicked out that evil corrupt filthy rich king, didn’t they?

      • I never said that “corporations are evil” and that “people must topple them at all cost”.

  4. Wonder who have been funding those militants, I mean tyrants, like that $1.5 billion of financial aid.

  5. One factor that could prevent a popular uprising in Malaysia is the relatively full bellies of the middle class, more concerned about their rice bowls than about national aspirations. But if the current trend of rapid inflation in the face of slow economic growth continues, then bellies may become hungry… With the rate at which national resources are being looted in anticipation of a loss of power, this may happen sooner rather than later.

    • Yes, the middle-class in the cities of Malaysia are deeply affeced by inflation. They are mostly high on credit, taking all sorts of loan to enjoy the lifestyle that they cannot afford (cars, housing, fancy gadgets). They are in trouble as interest rates will inevitably go up, while BN is withdrawing all kinds of subsidies and prices of basic items will continue to spiral as a result.

      The high number of unemployed graduates (increasing each year as the intake is kept increased) is another area of concern. Wonder how long the civil service can be bloated to absorb them.

      I think the true colors will emerge after the GE assuming BN will regain 2/3 majority thanks to the ignorant and gullible public who are sold to all slogans and acronyms of BN. It is therefore very important for young voters to vote for change.

  6. …religion (is used to) prohibit progressive thinking and is used to suppress human rights.
    The people bottled up their frustration all these years, and finally exploded (thanks partly to internetfacebook phenomenon) starting with Tunisia.
    I think more countries will follow.

  7. Anil, I cant believe that an educated person like you would believe everything John Pilger said without checking the facts. Come live in US to see what’s going on. High unemployment among the blacks are primarily due to their sense of entitlement and victimised mentality, lack of education… It doesnt help that public figures and organisation like Rev Al Sharpton, Rev Jesse Jackson, NAACP and John Pilger keep telling these people that mainstream population are responsible for their woes thus the blacks are entitled to benefits that others work hard for. For this reason, why do they want to work when they could just shout and scream discrimination, racism and bringing up the past and rehash the history of slavery eventhough slavery has been abolished hundreds of years ago and the slaves had been compensated? Family structure is deplorable with more than 40 percents of black families do not have fathers. Many of them live on welfare esp in this economy yet they could afford luxury that the working people couldnt. They got free money from their fellow black in the White House. Alot of the so called stimulus went to these people and bailed out sleazebags aka housing industry and financial institutions which were also problems created by Democrats aka Socialists being over zealous in correcting so called social justices. Many Americans were wondering where have those money gone to and why did the stimulus not working. When the majority Americans finally realized it, they decided to throw out the House Reps Democrats and Senate Democrats.

    Middle east has been having problems since 14th century. They are always eager to fight and settle the scores. Pride and Prejudice are abundance. No peace shall prevail unless the other party is eliminated. Go set up tent in middle east to know and understand the situation before making sweeping comments and blame US for everything. Leaders cannot exist without supporters. Who are those supporters? The Ordinary People !!

  8. Very apt quote for Libya and its popular democratic uprising (from playwright
    Bertolt Brecht):

    General, your tank is a powerful vehicle
    It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men
    But it has one defect:
    It needs a driver

  9. … Umno may have got the police and the armed forces on their side. It is only for a while more at most, very soon there will be a GE and the people will come out and kick (you) out… Got it ?

    • Thanks. Using the latest version of WordPress but the edit plug-in from a third party is still the old version, I think, and not compatible with the latest WordPress. Will have to wait for them to upgrade. Meanwhile, I will look for alternatives.

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