Modern civilization began in the Middle East. Modern imperialism has blotted out much of what is valuable in a civilized society. Rather than being encumbered by the expense and responsibility of ruling such societies, the imperial powers have relied on corrupt and brutal dictators to enforce the needs of capital.
The people want to bring down the regime
Bleeding the country to maintain the lavish lifestyles of their families and friends, these dictators left ordinary people to languish. A few months ago, the expectation of revolutionary activity in the Middle East would seem highly unlikely, yet the people rose up with great courage. The numbers of protesters were great enough that violent measures would be unacceptable around the world.
“Revolution, People, Revolution”
The danger is that their revolutionary courage will pave the way for a dictatorship with a more human face; not the direct dictatorship of a brutal and corrupt individual, but rather the more insidious dictatorship of capital managed by obedient bureaucrats.
“This is the end of justice”
The present opportunity is too precious to have people’s rights snatched away under the pretense of democracy. The courageous people in the streets today deserve whatever support we can offer.
Michael Perelman’s latest book: The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism: How Market Tyranny Stifles the Economy by Stunting Workers, Monthly Review, 2011