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WHITER THE CORPORATE STATE? February 10, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in North Africa, Social Environment, US Politics.
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The present in all it aspects, not least culture and technology, was created in the past. How did corporate and financial power become so dominant and was it inevitable?

Social systems are social constructs by definition and people who become part of those systems, as we are all induced to do whether whether by reinforcement or by scapegoating. Then behavior is framed by the assumptions of those systems, often beyond any allegiance to morality. Why are corporations authoritarian and not democratic in character. The proposition is unthinkable. Why would we imagine that undemocratic organizations would act in a democratic way?

The United States might be seen as the canary in the coal mine. Of course, canaries should be in forests and the US is rather a large canary. It would be unwise to ignore the forces at work there that also are having an effect here, in particular the importance of corporate funding for election campaigns.

Chris Hedges, via Truthdig, gives a remarkable historical background to the current development in US politics reviewing his book, “Death of the Liberal Class”. (The video runs for one and a half hours.)

The revolution in Egypt has global significance because while the immediate object is to remove the police state, that dictatorship is a function of international relationships and foreign policies going back thirty years and more. The racism and islamophobia evident in some establishment commentary is implicit in the War of Terror launched after 9/11, which has seen the erosion of human rights in the US for example, as illustrated by the incarceration and treatment of Bradley Manning. Egypt was one of the preferred destinations for extraordinary rendition.

Freedom and human dignity may not as yet have triumphed in Cairo, Alexandria and other places in Egypt but they have gained power and given expression. The song will resonate. The numbers in the streets seem to be progressively increasing and we can expect a crescendo tomorrow. At this point, the waiting game seems to have been the regime’s undoing. I may well be proved wrong, but I do not expect that the army can be now used to reimpose the dictatorship by violence, which is not to say that the forces of violence have lifted like a mist over the hills in morning as the sun rises.They are still there and may still be violent but that violence can no longer change the emerging picture.

In retrospect, there is likely to be revisions as to why the Egyptian Revolution happened when it did. Tunisia was a strong demonstration effect. However, I suggest the earlier case of Muslims gathering around to protect the Copts in Alexandria might be seen as significant in the sense that it demonstrated the power of social organization. As the police withdrew, people organized “neighbourhood watch” groups and the security provided is a factor in the increased numbers seen in Tahrir Square and now in front of the Parliament.

The regime controls the state apparatus and not the people. If it were to call out on the army that call may not be heard.

As a client state of the US, Egypt must inevitably reflect on the power elite there as well.

ELSEWHERE:

Mubarak has again refused to step down, on Thursday Cairo time, despite the urging of his international backers. Commentators on Al Jazeera are suggesting that violence resulting from anger and frustration may be used as a pretext for reimposition of military dictatorship. This is a more likely scenario than direct overt violence on the part of the dictatorship, although that cannot be ruled out.

The expectation is that the crowds will be massive today – now early morning in Cairo – but what happens then if nothing happens. Ongoing strikes by labor is another element in the mix. The regime can only continue on this path because it has international backing that believes it can finesse the outcome to preserve the status quo anti.

There is the possibility of nonviolent change that would introduce a genuine democracy, an outcome we have to hope for. The outcome will depend on the determination of the Egyptian people.

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