Agh. I missed making a post yesterday because I was way too involved in Sunday activities – snow shoeing on Mt. Seymour, playing music, cleaning the house, making dinner for friends, finishing the Žižek book, drinking a little too much wine, ranting and hot-tubbing (not necessarily in that order). On the other hand, I had a super-awesome day with very little screen time – which is also necessary to my well-being – so, whatever. I wish it was postaday2011exceptforSunday because that would be more realistic in terms of my desires on the weekend.
One of the big focal points in our house at the moment is Egypt (of course) because that’s where all the really interesting action is at the moment, and because I am having a peculiar set of emotional reactions that are difficult to articulate in the time I have to write here today. Basically, my feelings can be summed up as thus:
Liberation struggles are exciting, but with no ideological direction are very quickly taken up by opportunists (political, religious, criminal). What fills the void here remains to be seen.
There is certainly analysis out there which points to the CIA being a major player in not only Egypt and Tunisian uprisings but also what happened in the Ukraine and Iran post-elections a couple of years back. My gut instinct tells me that these are all “revolutions out of the box” in which foreign operatives (US mostly I would guess) trigger existing discontent which is grounded in legitimate concerns (poverty, oppression, police brutality, misogyny etc). If this is the case, we have to wonder what the end game is in the Middle East (increasing control over the region’s resources as they dwindle I suppose – but through what mechanisms).
There is the very real potential that this climate of destabilization could lead to cataclysmic warfare in the Middle East as Israel gets increasingly nervous. Israel has an itchy trigger finger and a huge amount of collective trauma which makes them more apt than others to act on it. A fully engaged Middle East war is not an option ecologically or morally at this point and would quickly burn through what few resources are left for sustaining life on the planet (and don’t get me started on the looming potential for war in the Arctic).
Part of what is triggering recent uprisings (and a lot of people seem to be missing) is food scarcity and rising prices as a result. This scarcity is the result of massive crop failures due to flooding (and fire) last summer – which of course is climate-change triggered. Even if a people’s revolution is successful, the global food crisis is upon us. This is not simply a matter of redistribution anymore – we are in food store freefall and have been for the past decade. Further carbon-burning in the form of warfare will only worsen the crisis.
There is little global infrastructure for supporting progressive revolution at this point – Venezuala and Bolivia may be shining beacons, but there isn’t an International in place to broaden that. Not that I’m a fan of monolithic ideological structures, but the fact is – we’re fighting one and we need some solidarity tools in our belt.
So there it is – my concerns that even though we see this great upswelling of people in the streets calling for freedom and dignity – somehow we are still missing the point. Globally, that is. And it’s not hard to understand why – the issues here are enormous, complex and the potential outcomes hard to grasp. There is a fabulous quote in the book I just finished that sums this up, but of course I don’t have it with me at the moment so it’ll have to wait for later. In any case, I’m experiencing a little global anxiety at the moment – something I hope will pass with more time spent in forest and garden.