Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Egypt march, the 60s and Brzezinski's global awareness

Today will be the million man march (what about women?!) called by the Egyptian popular revolt against the dictatorship. The name and in many aspects the meaning of this march is reminding of the march lead by Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington D.C. in 1963.

But actually I see even more resemblances with May 1968, when the French Mubarak, Gral. De Gaulle, had to flee to Germany to be reassured by the occupation forces of their backing in case of direct conflict with the people.

It was after these revolutions of 1968 when the Situationist International decided its own dissolution, for a good reason: their ideas had become mainstream so they were not needed anymore.

However the effect of 1968 or the 60s in general (which should effectively impede any lasting dictatorship for lack of interest in leaders or discipline anymore, a property of advanced/late Capitalism) has not been the same through the world. I'd dare say that the effects have been concentric and in most areas belated by decades or even more.

For example, I'd say that the 60s of Iberia did not happen before the 1970s. In Latin America, these social advances would not happen till the late 80s, the same as in Eastern Europe (after the aborted attempt of 1968, which gave decadent Stalinism some 20 years more of pathetic survival... but also an abrupt uncontrolled end).

In the Arab World they are only happening now, more than 40 years after the original explosions in the core Western countries.

Andrew Gavin Marshall writes these days at Global Research that maybe we are witnessing a global revolution. Possibly the best of that article is not Marshall's but a highly informative quote from an enemy of the people, the ideologue of Imperialism Zbigniew Brzezinski (originally published in NYT 2008):

For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive... The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination... The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening... That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing... The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches...

The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well... Their potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious "tertiary level" educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiary educational level, there are currently worldwide between 80 and 130 million "college" students. Typically originating from the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred...

[The] major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.

Notice how surprised and scared the ideologue of US Imperialism sounds. However this acknowledgement of a reality that cannot be anymore controlled, much less by police or even military means (other than nuclear genocide, if this is an option) actually honors Brzezinski, because he's among the few on the ranks of the oppressors really able to understand this change, a change that has happened in the last decades, that is global and that defines the new revolutionary subject. 

Or actually the old revolutionary subject elevated to a power never seen before. Brzezinski reads this as "insecure lower middle class" but it is actually more like intellectually apt and hyperconnected working class.

This and no other is the revolutionary subject, the social worker, as described by A. Negri, for instance, the only intellectual I know of who has been able to re-read Marxism in 21st century terms: terms of a perfected Capitalism (Toyotism) and terms of a perfected Working Class that is finally able to realize the dream of direct democracy at all levels, with emphasis on control of production. 

Back to Gavin Marshall, his article is too centered on the Middle East to really dig into the matter that inspires his headline. But certainly he has a point: the Empire, any empire, cannot control the People of the World anymore and these intifadas that are shattering North Africa and maybe beyond are a clear symptom, together with, for instance the revolt in Greece and other European countries, of an ongoing global class consciousness awakening. 

I think it is still soon to allow for a global revolution but it is something that may well happen along this decade in one way or another.

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