Egyptian protester kisses a young riot officer. Via
The system is completely fucked. The people revolting in Egypt are completely going around politicians, around the United States, around the ‘international community’, around Human Rights Watch, around Amnesty, because those are all part of the system. The people who are revolting were born as Mubarak’s regime began and they are breaking the system by simply ignoring and going around it. What’s most exposed here is both the paucity and the value of hypocrisy. The US and international media and international orgs have not really practiced what they preached, but young people have listened anyways. They’ve listened to the language and freedom of democracy and ignored the compromises that adults have made to maintain stability. This is, in many ways, youth remaking their society in the Middle East. It is them applying their hypocritical education, to uncertain results.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch. The people of Egypt are fighting oppression without terrorism, without violence, without even politicians or ideology. In the same way, random leakers pierced the veil of American diplomacy with WikiLeaks and generally the veil that the adults are in charge and know what’s going on is falling around the Arab world. Just as humanity itself must be restored with youth, so must human institutions. So, Middle Eastern networks like Al Jazeera are covering the revolution, Arab people are leading it, and people power is pulling conservative media and politicians unwillfully forward in its wake.
In the past people had to trust other people with their interests, politicians, journalists, or freedom fighters. Personally I think the system needs to change even more dramatically, I think representative democracy itself has to evolve beyond periodic votes to technologically taking constant feedback from the people. But not quite yet. But for now, this is the form it takes, a shapeless mass, asking for change, loosely networked, but ultimately peaceful, powerful and just.
The danger is that after the revolution there will be nothing to replace it, but that is a chance the Egyptian people want to take. They are not concerned about stability that benefits other states (primarily the US and Israel) but about making a dramatic change to improve their own lives. It’s an amazing thing to watch. I’m hooked on the Al Jazeera live feed right now.
Other great sources: