It’s been three years since a single protestor immolating himself in a public square in
Morocco Tunisia ushered in huge popular anti-government protests that, in the next two years, spread all over the Arab world. Now, at the end of 2014, many people argue that these revolutions turned out to be still-born. Iraqis won’t reconcile. Syria is a nightmare. Libya is in chaos, ruled by nobody and everybody. The Persian Gulf monarchies remain firmly in charge but resentment seethes just below the surface. In insult to injury, Egypt’s military government just released Hosni Mubarak from confinement.
Instead, in every country where the uprisings took place in 2011-12, dangerous and unstable forces are taking over. Mostly, these are ancient sub-state loyalties, like to religious sect (Sunni/Shiite), ethnicity (Kurds/Pashtuns), and even clan (Libya). In Syria and Iraq, radical Islamists are trying to build a kind of pan-Arabism fundamentalism. This seems like a good time to ask, is the Arab Spring over?
Due to a computer crash, I can’t write much of an intro post this week. Here are a few links to get you up to speed. I’ll see you Monday night.
- No, democracy will not come to the Arab world. (One – but not the only – conservative POV)
- …because the 6 conditions for democracy are not present in most Arab countries. Recommended.
- Elections don’t create democracy; institutions do. Recommended.
- The Arab spring happened because the paternalistic Arab state-centered model has failed. More on this.
- Let history be our guide: Historical analogies:
Next Week Atheism’s Future in the United States