Friday, February 04, 2011

Mubarak, simply don't get it.

Perhaps one of the more pressing challenges facing Mubarak's generation of tyrants, is the fact that they simply don't get it. Some might argue that he is trying his best: He appeared in his toy TV station, all dressed up and ...well... nowhere to go. He send in the police, the army, the veterans, the mobs to restore peace, but the people in Liberation Square is simply going nowhere. It's obvious: he didn't get the message, its time for him to go.

I would however want to probe deeper, because here's a lesson to be learnt. The issue is not simply that another dictator is being shown the door. Of course that is the main thing happening here and like many other tyrants, its clear, they don't simply hand over power to their people. Let's remind ourselves of the words of Biko,
'We must accept that no group, however benevolent, can ever hand power to the vanquished on a plate. We must accept that the limits of the tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppressed....the system concedes nothing without demand'
We must therefor salute our sisters and brothers up in the North, the Egyptians and Tunisians for standing up for their (our) freedom and indeed this struggle will continue, in many other parts of the world.

But there is something else. Its something that I pick up from the responses to the uprising, also in traditional media. Its not clear in my head yet; its just a gut feeling. Its seems to me that the constant frantic speculation about which parties are involved, about Islamic fundamentalism and about which leaders are waiting in the wing, etc...suggest something else. These commentators seemingly know what will happen and expect more of the same. They think (like Mubarak and his generation) that they know this game. They know the passionate youth and yes, 'this too shall pass'. After this, everything will return to 'normal'. Folks, I'm not so sure about this. It seems to me that this 'organic' and indeed social phenomenon is something different and yes, we will have to wait and see how it will pans out. For now there are some indications of what's to come: They don't march under anyone's or party's banner; political parties were left behind or wake up very late and still don't get it. Its clear, the traditional mediahouses are still playing catch-up. They follow, dazed, these movements and expressions; These often morph into new expressions, whether it be organising, social care in the streets, in houses of worship, volunteer community groups protecting the vulnerable, family-based carnivals, prayer meetings, quick-mix self-protection units and protections units for the cultural heritage, etc... The list goes on and here we see it will continue to invent new ways in which humanity's urge for being, grow through the ruins of an old world.

For me this is fascinating, this is life evolving...its something that cannot be controlled, let alone crushed. What Mubarak and his ilk don't get is that the game has not changed; but that there is another game at play and he simply don't have the capacity to be part of it. This will happen with Mugabe as well.
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