Friday, 24 June 2011

A Drowning Victory.

 Man overboard.

Egypt struggles to keep afloat: Titanic votes of nearing elections will not be counted or will they overrule?

The arena is muddy and the wrestling continues, debates left, right and centre with slippery outcomes and unsteady results; sabotage and espionage when derailment fails.

But politics aside and it’s the conditions that stare us straight in the face; the certainties that existed before the revolution:
Apathy of all dimensions: poverty highlighted by obscene wealth, hard-nosed bureaucracy presenting itself every side of the counter, tormenting the tormentors themselves. Police brutality when their incompetence alone doesn’t cut it. Calamitous traffic, severe congestion, extreme frustration and road rage all acceptable norms and the bane of every hard-working citizen. 
Not to mention famine; bread strikes and insurmountable inflation.

But treats are aplenty; for all those who manage to dart the pollution, to survive architectural mishaps, to dodge the toxins of banned products and to endure the general stress there is always a little pièce de resistance in a seriously broken pavement, a literal configuration of destruction and hindrance. A pavement specially designed to trip up its victims and send them hurtling along with all the other afflicted into health care systems that pose as hazards unsurpassed in themselves. 
The most vulnerable sectors of society always most at risk but nevertheless high risk unconfined and unlimited.

These certainties are most likely to remain with us for some time to come. Arguably politics cannot be put aside but the muddy arena must harden before any changes can come about.

Egypt’s uprising may appear a drowning victory insofar that it  has yet to achieve its primary goal of change for the better. Perhaps wealth of economy preoccupies the world, perhaps blatant lack of democracy stings and blisters the nerve of each and every protestor, perhaps fear and apprehension of what may befall a nation of such great spirit and resoluteness seeks to overshadow everything else. 

The nation rides bareback and must resort to clinging to the horns of its drive, its aspiration. Whichever way Egyptians turn there is man overboard and no life jacket in sight. 
All the while, certainties remain: Poverty, thugs, spies, extremists, embezzlers, police brutality, police apathy, suspicion, abuse, torture, famine threats and so much more, all still there, multiplying like worms unleashed from the proverbial opened can. 
AND YET, the spirit of the revolution remains in the veins of all who felt a hint of pride, a modicum of accomplishment through little other than sheer determination and envisaged hopes.

Hard hats are mandatory.

True, the ousting of a dictator was never more than symbolic at best, however we mustn’t underestimate the power of allegory; its ethereal cloak tends to remain with us. It entertains the imagination; one of the most basic necessities for a people awoken, inspired. A people wishing to aspire to a more dignified existence, a more just and balanced world.

Nations can only exist as free worlds when they are accepted.
With reference to Pithouse, Richard (2005) Report Back from the Third World Network Meeting Accra, 2005. Centre for Civil Society : 1-6. 
“…some things are very clear. I arrived expecting Third Worldism (the idea, popular among Third World autocrats and many American and French leftists in the late 60s and 70s, that - contrary to orthodox’s Marxism’s view that the Western working class would deliver the world from the tyranny of capital but still within its spirit in that it searched for one particular agent of universal redemption – Third World elites were the privileged historical actor.) Third Worldism is always, in its Western versions, a species of racism. It takes the colonial Manicheanism that presents Africans, or Chinese, or whomever, as an undifferentiated hoard opposite to the enlightened civilising white West and reverses its moral hierarchies while retaining its logic with, among other pathological consequences, the result that it is unable to understand that Third World societies are sites of internal contestation…”

Third world countries cannot join in the race unless endorsed, unless viewed as entitled to an equal standing.
And yet, the treasure trove of third world countries are unarguably present in some form or other; Egypt leads many another in its unparalleled cache of history and civilisation, its contribution to academic, literary and scientific prowess and artistic interpretation: Individuality, integrity and achievement all part of its very core, past and present.  
But only recently has its finest treasure of all, recognised long before by those close to its heart, become highlighted and visible to the world at large: the people's spirit.
The uprising has achieved that if nothing else.

World economy rules autocratically, in the hands of a select few. Subjugation of even giant powers to its will is irrefutably apparent. The President of even a super power can only lead people to unite in thought and is rarely capable of delivering more than just that, however individually inclined. Obama's recent brave yet futile speech advising Israel withdraw from Palestinian borders occupied since 1967 serves as a prime example.
This being the case, Egypt is nevertheless on the map and cannot be blotted out even if hard hats do come with the territory.

The Egyptian uprising may appear as a foetus aborted; a minor unable to reach the age of majority; its heroic burst of fearlessness and courage fast-expiring ~ 
It may be criticised as naïve, idealistic and unrealistic; all that and more ~

 But for all those who care, for all those who share something with its course and an affinity with its essence: so long as there’s blood flowing through its veins, flatlining is not an option. 

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