By Mohannad El-Khairy
If the 2011 Arab Revolution highlights anything, it is the Arab masses’ refusal to accept their disenfranchisement at the expense of the ruling corprotocracy, the corporate-political class that continues to aggrandize itself through the stability of economic capitalism.
This North-South divide, with its innately built-in disengagement between the masses on one hand and the elites on the other, is seldom reported in the mainstream media. The broadcast channels emphasize the use of social media as an important tool to organize on the ground and communicate information to the rest of the world, and whilst most rave about the “class-less” nature of the Egyptian revolution in particular, little has been mentioned of the potential “neo-liberalization” of Arab societies and economies, which would impose another more implicit form of corporate dictatorships throughout the region.
Battles Won, But War Just Begun
The new world order that George Bush Sr. famously declared in his 1990 state of the union address following the collapse of the Soviet Union was a turning point in world economic policies. In the United States, while freedom of expression, movement and religion continued to excel, the gap between poor and rich increased dramatically, according to census figures released in September 2010: “The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its largest margin ever […] That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968”. Indeed, the global financial model designed and led in financial centers such as New York, London and Zurich has furthered this gap with the utilization of debt, in the form of exuberant credit and fiat money, as the underlying basis to drive productivity in the form wage slavery. It has slashed pensions, released hundreds of thousands of workers from their jobs and destroyed businesses and livelihoods. “Income inequality is rising, and if we took into account tax data, it would be even more,” said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who specializes in poverty. “More than other countries, we have a very unequal income distribution where compensation goes to the top in a winner-takes-all economy.”
This unsustainable economic model now has the potential of further clawing its way into a Middle East freeing itself from authoritarian rule. The media continues to talk about the potential of Islamists filling in the power vacuum in the region, but there is no mention of the corporations that will attempt to ride the waves of freedom, liberty and democracy and re-format the economic status-quo into a “politically” correct one; that is: maintaining the concentration of wealth with the few rather than with the masses.
In fact, both the Islamists and the corporations present opportunities for the corprotocracy. As the winds of change carry the Arab Revolution through out the Middle East & North Africa, corporate and political elites will be looking to not only maintain but capitalize on the chaos taking place in the region. Anthony Wile, senior editor at TheDailyBell.com explains on RT TV the West’s role in the Middle East: “There’s been a great amount of connection going back several decades with [Western-backed] Saudi Wahhabism, and several of the leaders who are involved today in these uprisings […] are off-springs of that school of thought. That has deep connections in the Anglo-Saxon world and the international organizations that are consistent in their ability to create chaos and transfer power. We had both sides of the battle being funded by similar industrial and monetary interests and I don’t think much has changed today”. The world order structures (ie globalization, mass consumerism, neo-colonialism, debt-based economics, etc.) that exist for mainstream control require chaos through which fermented solutions can be delivered by the powers that be. “Western-style democracy is nothing more than a mainstream control mechanism through which the vast majority of the public who do not think are emotionally engaged in situations they don’t even realize what they’re voting for or approving of,” Wile adds.
For example, Palestinian statehood now appears to be a potential viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, the palestine papers revealed to what extent Palestinian Authority officials were willing to go to establish their state at the expense of more lost land, millions of neglected Palestinian refugees, and all of Jerusalem. We have argued that if the post-apartheid South African model is anything to go by, the majority of Palestinians (and Israelis for that matter) would be oppressed by the intensification and institutionalization of urban crime, ghettoization, substance-abuse and a widening disparity between rich and poor — irrespective of their ethnicity and religion.
With a “free and democratic” Middle East, corporate interests have a chance to advance the norms of mass consumerism and politically detached societal servitude to reap massive profits. The corprotocracy’s agenda is to weaken the Arab street and strengthen an Arab “mass market”. American historian Webster Tarpley describes this as the face-lifting of the US empire post-Bush era, moving away from right-wing imperialism to left-wing imperialism masked under a “pretense of human rights”. And as German thinker Wolfgang von Goethe once said, none are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
Need for Global Insurrection
An important story to monitor closely will be the future of the Arish-Ashkelon gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel, as it fuels the latter’s economy with cheap natural gas at the expense of the Egyptian masses who endure shortages on a daily basis. Mubarak’s corprotocracy benefitted tremendously from this pipeline and so it’s pivotal to see how the new government will undertake its operations. So far, matters looks bleak as Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure said in a statement that it doesn’t foresee any interruptions to the country’s electricity supply, according to a Bloomberg report. About 40 percent of gas consumed in Israel is imported from Egypt.
Financial analyst Max Keiser describes the reasoning behind revolution on RT TV as well: “In Madison Wisconsin, they are seeking a regime change to get rid of the dictator who’s been in charge of transforming that economy in ways that are completely outside the scope of what Americans are used to […]. They want to bring the same kind reforms that America is famous for doing in foreign countries [which is] to gauge those economies and bring in the neo-liberal model that has been privatization and banking cartels running wild. Tens of thousands have joined this global insurrection against banker occupation. So Americans are joining with Tunisians and Egyptians and the people in Athens and Dublin”.
Because the global economic system is essentially bankrupt due to the actions of “terrorist bankers”, as Keiser puts it, unemployment continues to grow and there is therefore no basis for taxable revenue to be generated. “This is why you have Revolution. The governments are out of money and they’re trying to lean on the people through these austerity measures. They want to go back to feudalism — 400-500 elite running the world and everyone else is suppose to be a serf. That’s not going to work for these millions of people who are on the streets telling these governments and these corporations and these bankers to stuff it. [They’re] going to revolt and the cheapest thing for [them] to do is to stage a global insurrection against banker occupation and not comply with [their] phony austerity non-sense”.
The good news is that Arab nations are well aware of the corprotocracy’s attempts to capitalize on their revolutionary efforts. A correspondent for TheRealNews revealed how Libyans’ are rejecting any form of American military intervention in their uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. “The entire Libyan population is insisting against US intervention or any involvement of foreign powers in Libya,” one demonstrator said in Ben Ghazi. Despite the hundreds of Libyans murdered by Gaddafi’s regime, the masses are well aware of the US government’s recent rapprochement with the Libyan dictator and his son Saif, proof that what’s a stake are the country’s huge oil fields and not its human rights. They are even rejecting calls from US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman to send the liberated territories weapons to fight Gaddafi’s forces, according to the reporter.
Similar actions have been taken in Tunisia and Egypt. In his inspiring article, Larbi Sadiki — senior lecturer in Middle East politics at the University of Exeter — says as Western ‘democracy promoters’ misunderstand the region, citizens are taking their future into their own hands: “Two revolutions have already transformed the face of the Arab region. The prophets of the “New Middle East” wished to construct an order ripe for business communities at the expense of values of equality and self-determination, especially for the Palestinians. Now, a new order is unfolding: the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions are moments of sovereignty – Arab magna cartas written with blood, tears and courageous resistance against tyranny by Arab men and women”.
Revolution Means Real Change
It is imperative to beware of the corporate dictatorships studying how to further consolidate their control of the new Middle East. So-called political experts show concern with the region’s economic performance, unwilling to reveal that it was the disenfranchising agenda of the economic system itself that led to the revolutions in the first place.
From the Middle East and North Africa to Asia, and from Europe to the Americas, the human spirit has an uncanny ability to reject oppression whether in the form “neo-liberal” economic policies, austerity measures or blatant corruption. Tunisian hero Mohamed Bouazizi sparked a revolution of epic proportions through out the region, and woke up the dormant Arab masses to stand up against the economics of greed and exploitation, peacefully, justly and in organized solidarity against sectarianism, religious extremism and government violence.
Indeed, Christians and Muslims, Shias and Sunnis came together to demand real liberty, real justice and real dignity. For despite the massive challenges ahead, the revolutionary road does not only lead to democracy and freedom of expression, it paves the way that empowers the masses with a better life to live, for themselves and for future generations.
– Mohannad El-Khairy is a Palestinian writer and commentator based in Dubai. He researches and writes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the wider socio-political situation in the Middle East, and their contextual significance on the international political stage on his blog Money & Mud Uncensored. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.