Sunday, March 06, 2011

Roots of the Arab Revolts and Premature Celebrations

by James Petras, Dissident Voice,  March 3rd, 2011


Most accounts of the Arab revolts from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Iraq and elsewhere have focused on the most immediate causes:  political dictatorships, unemployment, repression and the wounding and killing of protestors.  They have given most attention to the “middle class”, young, educated activists, their communication via the internet 1 and, in the case of Israel and its Zionists conspiracy theorists, “the hidden hand” of Islamic extremists.2

What is lacking is any attempt to provide a framework for the revolt which takes account of the large scale, long and medium term socio-economic structures as well as the immediate ‘detonators’ of political action.  The scope and depth of the popular uprisings, as well as the diverse political and social forces which have entered into the conflicts, preclude any explanations which look at one dimension of the struggles.

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