It is a strange game of bluff being fought out in the the arab world - a game that the west has played ever since the end of the cold war, and the belief it gave the west that it was the end to all history. a game that reads the West is that- democracy plus capitalism is the thing and freedom - our one real sword, or at last says it with the one hand- and yet is terrified of the results, the possibilities that freedom might then breed. We want the arabs to have democracy.... quite- well as long as it matches our regional power play- as long as that means the ARE our allies or possibly supplicants or even colonies... And if not we will call you Maoists or terrorists, extremists or Islamists - or any other insult that comes our way.
In this freely used and rolling accusation, we joyfully cobble together a whole sequence of very different movements and protests,. Friends and enemies or potentially rivals , all crush together in a Foucault stigma machine- they are made by us to all be saying the same thing. They are made then into our enemies or at least not our friends, and so we do not have to face the unconvient truth that other democracy might not be like or like our own. Nor that other democracy might have some very pithy and provocative things to say about our power, and its abuses- that is the way we impress them with our might and force our will upon them, and all their doings. Heaven forfend they might make us feel real bad about ourselves and challenge our smug assumption that we are both best and the only option history has if it is going to end nice and neatly. And what is certain we keep the history, and the story of our monopoly of democracy clear simple and sacrosanct.
Better still from our point of view, by creating a single villan for us to tilt at we cobble together mesalliances in other lands, forced oppositions full of utterly incompatible individuals, and bound together in associations that cannot ever really work (or provide sensible opposition let alone government). We create then a force to resist us were moderates and extremist are caught in the same group- and fight. A group where failure is almost certain (as a single policy is a challenge) and the only utterly cogent view is of the 'extremists' (or perhaps purist) anti-western voices - groups that will take over purge out the other elements - and which the west has been over the years rather good at marginalizing (for the maoists onwards -).
or at least the West knows that it is the master of the script in this conflict.
Or at lest it did feel it was - until the Maoist state that got away from script became a world power. China really does destablize, not merely by being their an being an economic powerhouse, but also by proving that one can escape a western paradigm at least once- or at least appear to - and then be free to bank role other resistance movements. OIt is no wonder that the whispering walls of the world economic forum (self-creating-truth-mongers) are looking to China to fail in the medium terms economically at least. When all else fails, our whispering walls -seek to enforce the rigours of western capitalism to humilate a nation.....
And yet in all of this something is being lost- and lost at the very heart of democracy. It makes no sense after all to say that their is only ONE FREEDOM and we all must be forced to accord to it. or rather this statements is or course the single buttress for all tyrant and all oppression. The great creed of the tyrant. Democracy is only different if it actually allows the myriad voices within different cultures also to speak- and accepts that it might have different forms (maybe not simply parliamentary- maybe that is a historical form?) and different was to actually think its own nature (and its links to the worlds it finds itself). That is democracy without the self confidence to revel in the differences of other lands- in itself as different is worth not nothing (in some cases it is better than the alternative, sometimes- but many Pakistanese but beg to differ).
Unless then this other democracy - the one that does not confuse voices and allows for their differnces even articaltes them and follows something where they lead, actually happens, then the system anything but the end of history. it is indeed merely a name for the way the West encourage certain aspect of the Mafia to cease control in certain nations (under a banner of a political manifesto or social movement) . i defined then not power structures so much as ways the West will behave to both nation and rulers, ways of justice and injustice corruption and influence. It defines then not freedom, so much as political strategy. In demanding nations be a democracy - we demand then open to our influencing. WAs such we debase our own notions, warping them into a mere cipher
In short democracy becomes a mere brand- will of glossy shots and great promise, which is actually when to but it all hype, and merely yet another sugary caffine drink to melt you teeth with (but feel modern in the process). It is no wonder then ti is opposed to other brands (Al queada, or moaism ) that are similarly composed.
This yearning to expand democracy (via vulgar vox pop shows, or the National-'IDOL' shows is clearly active in west but aborted (what else is the otherwise dreadfully Tea-party?)- and in the east but suppressed and confused with other movements. the yearning then is their, and the suppression by confusion and trivia real - which raises of course three further questions. First What price democracy unless it is free>? what is the point of it unless it can all this debate? Is anything than oppression (lightish) under a different name. Secondly What exactly is capitalism running from - for tis hands are caught in the suppression. It fears democracy as the other voice the other freedom it doe not master, and fights hard against it - and often, we need if we are really going to peddle our freedom wares, to be aware of that fact. Finally there is a real sense in which the West is having to face down what it is - squalid player of global power politics, apostle for freedom, nor repressed colonalist - it is make up our minds time again (or the world will make them up for us).