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觉醒的人民粉碎专制体制:阿拉伯革命

觉醒的人民粉碎专制体制:阿拉伯革命

   

   THEBIG THINK BEHIND THE ARAB SPRING

   

   By LYNCH, MARC[1]

   

   

   编按:作者是乔治华盛顿大学政治学副教授,兼任《外交政策》杂志中东专栏联合主编。本文着重阐述了阿拉伯异议人士,人权活动家,知识分子,法学家,作家,诗人等十年来在唤醒民众方面的重大作用。阿拉伯之春革命并非心血来潮,学者,知识分子,诗人及媒体人早在十年前便开始不断揭露专制政权的腐败罪孽,冰冻三尺非一日之寒。那种不要揭露中共暴政的罪恶,民众不要与政府抗争之论,是严重误导公众的谬论。因为自由从来不是免费的,如果没有彻底揭批中共暴政的深重罪孽及民众长期坚持不懈的英勇抗议争权,根本不可能会有大众的觉醒,也不会有中国政治民主革命的到来。因此揭批中共极权专制暴政的罪孽越彻底,国人觉醒越早,暴政终结之日也越快。

   

   

   

   

   

   "Whydoes every nation on Earth move to change their conditions except

   for us? Why do we always submit to the batons of the rulers and their

   repression? How long will Arabs wait for foreign saviors?" That is how

   the inflammatory Al Jazeera talk-show host Faisal al-Qassem opened his

   program in December 2003. On another Al Jazeera program around that

   same time, Egyptian intellectuals Saad Eddin Ibrahim and Fahmy Howeidy

   debated whether it would take American interventionto force change in

   the Arab world. Almost exactly seven years later, Tunisians erupted in

   a revolution that spread across the entire region, finally answering

   Qassem's challenge and proving that Arabsthemselves could take

   control of their destiny.

   

   Throughout this year of tumult, Arabs have debated the meaning of the

   great wave of popular mobilization that has swept their world as

   vigorously as have anxious foreigners. There is no single Arab idea

   about what has happened. To many young activists, itis a revolution

   that will not stop until it has swept away every remnant of the old

   order. To worried elites, it represents a protestmovement to be met

   with limited economic and political reforms. Some see a great Islamic

   Awakening, while others argue for an emergingcosmopolitan, secular,

   democratic generation of engaged citizens. For prominent liberals such

   as Egypt's Amr Hamzawy, these really have been revolutionsfor

   democracy. But whatever the ultimate goal, most would agree with

   Syrian intellectual Burhan Ghalyoun, who eloquently argued in March

   that the Arab world was witnessing "anawakening of the people who

   have been crushed by despotic regimes."

   

   In March, Egyptian writer Hassan Hanafi declared that the spread of

   the revolutions demonstrated finally that "Arabunity" -- long a

   distant ideal in a region better known for its fragmentation and

   ideological bickering -- "is an objective reality." This unified

   narrative of change, and the rise of a new, popular pan-Arabism

   directed against regimes, is perhaps the greatestrevelation of the

   uprisings. Not since the 1950s has a single slogan -- back then Arab

   unity, today "The People Want to Overthrow theRegime" -- been sounded

   so powerfully from North Africa to the Gulf. This identification with

   a shared fate feels natural to a generation that came of age watching

   satellite TV coverage of Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon over the

   previous decade. Al Jazeera, since its rise to prominence in the late

   1990s, has unified the regional agenda through its explicitly Arabist

   coverage -- and its embrace of raucous political debates on the most

   sensitive issues.

   

   That pan-Arab popular identification extended to the democracy

   movements that multiplied across the region -- whether Egypt's

   tenacious street protesters, Bahraini human rights activists, or

   Yemenis (including this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol

   Karman) protesting President AN Abdullah Saleh's nepotismand

   corruption. A decade-long, media-fuelednarrative of change is why

   Arabs immediately recognized each national protest as part of their

   own struggle. As Wadah Khanfar, the network's recently departed

   director-general, put it, "That was AlJazeera's role: liberating the

   Arab mind. We created the idea in the Arab mind that when you have a

   right, you should fight for it."

   

   So while the Arab uprisings generated a marvelousrange of innovative

   tactics (uploading mobile-camera videos to social media like Facebook

   and Twitter, seizing and holding public squares), they did not

   introduce any particularly new ideas. Therelentless critique of the

   status quo, the generational desire for political change, the yearning

   for democratic freedoms, the intense pan-Arab identification -- these

   had all been in circulation for more than a decade. What changed with

   the fall of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia was the recognition

   that even the worst tyrants could be toppled. Itshattered the wall of

   fear. That is why hundreds of thousands ofEgyptians came into the

   streets on Jan. 25. It's why protests broke out in Yemen, Bahrain,

   Morocco, and Jordan. It's why Syrians and Libyans took unfathomable

   personal risks to rise up against seemingly untouchable despots

   despite the near certainty of arrest, torture, murder, and reprisals

   against their families.

   

   The uprisings came in the wake of years ofinstitutional and political

   decay diagnosed acutely by Arabintellectuals such as Egyptianjurist

   Tariq al-Bishri, by the prescient 2002 Arab Human Development Report,

   and by nascentpolitical leaders like former International Atomic

   Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei. Beneath the edifice of

   stability, they warned, state institutions were crumbling, their

   legitimacy faded in the relentless drift of corruption, nepotism,

   casual brutality, and indifference toward their people. Elections

   became ever more fraudulent (with the Egyptian and Jordanian elections

   of late 2010 among the worst), security servicesmore abusive, graft

   more flagrant.

   

   All this greatly contributed to the economic underpinnings of this

   year's discontent. The previous decade sawneoliberal economic reforms

   that privatized industries to the benefit of asmall number of

   well-connected elites and produced impressive rates of GDP growth.

   But, as ruthlessly dissected by Arab economists like Egypt's Galal

   Amin, the chasm between the rich and poor grewand few meaningful jobs

   awaited a massive youth bulge. For many leftistactivists, the

   uprisings were a direct rejection of this neoliberalism -- and those

   ideas and the technocrats who advanced them have likely been driven

   from power for the foreseeable future.

   

   But the uprisings were not only about jobs andbread; as Sudanese

   intellectual Abdelwahab El-Affendi wrote in January, echoing a famous

   slogan of the 1950s, the revolutions were needed so that the people

   would deserve bread. The theme of restoring thedignity of the people

   pervaded the Arab uprisings. The police abuse that drove Tunisian

   fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation and killed the young

   Egyptian Khaled Said struck a chordwith populations who experienced

   daily the depredations of uncaring states. Thegross corruption of Ben

   Ali's in-laws and Hosni Mubarak's efforts to groomhis son for the

   presidency simply insulted many Tunisiansand Egyptians -- and they

   were ever less afraid to say so. A fiercely independent and articulate

   rising generation would no longer tolerate brazencorruption, abusive

   police, indifferent bureaucracy, a stagnant economy, and stage-managed

   politics.

   

   Egypt's Kefaya ("Enough" in Arabic)movement was in many ways the

   forefather of the Arab uprising. Originally drawn together for

   state-sanctioned protests over Palestine and Iraq, the organizers of

   the loose movement courageously turned theirfocus inward to challenge

   the succession of Gamal Mubarak. Kefaya broughttogether an

   astonishing range of ideologies with revolutionary socialists

   protesting side by side with Muslim Brothers, and liberals with

   Nasserists. It pioneered the use of social media,mastered the art of

   symbolic demonstrations, and pried open a space in the Egyptian media.

   

   That opening was seized by an increasingly aggressive press, led by

   figures like the irreverent editor Ibrahim Eissa and liberal publisher

   Hisham Kassem, as well as determined newInternet citizen journalists.

   Independent newspapers such asEissa's al-Dustour eviscerated the

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