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THE FLOWERS OF "JASMINE" REVOLUTIONS TURN TO THE EAST

THE FLOWERS OF "JASMINE" REVOLUTIONS TURN TO THE EAST

There are two views on the "Arab spring" that prevail at present: democratic and conspirological. The "democratic" version is spread by almost all Western and some Russian media outlets. It’s simple, unpretentious and easy to be accepted by liberal intelligentsia. Indeed, how can people used to cell phones, dozens of TV channels and the Internet (that is closely acquainted with what has become part and parcel of contemporary European democracy) tolerate authoritarian rule of homegrown sultans and pharaohs? Of course they hit the streets to defend their civil rights.

The conspirological version is popular in Russia and among Western dissidents (like well known blogger Allen Julle). It’s explanation of the phenomenon of all jasmine and date revolutions is rather simple. Spiteful Western special services and non-governmental organizations got young people excited using "twitters" and "facebooks" and made them go to the streets. Now they get rid of out of favor regimes with the help of the unsuspecting, or sometimes simply bribed, demonstrators.

The both versions presuppose clearly opposite ethical assessments of what’s going on. In one case it’s open uprising of the "forces of good", in another — clandestine operation of the "forces of evil". Still the democrats and conspirologists are of accord on one point: the "Arab spring" appears to be the expansion of the Western sphere of influence, the involvement of North Africa and Middle East into the orbit of the Western civilization. Is it so in reality?

Some time ago Lev Gumilev introduced a very productive metaphor while studying the history of Great Steppe peoples. He said there were three views on history — from a mouse hole, from the top of a burial mound and from the height of birds flight. In the first case (near the ground, amid the street noise) we perceive the events, subtly feeling their emotional tints, but we don’t see the interconnection between cause and effect; in the second case (up on the mound) we can see immediate causes and near term consequences; but only flying over the land and seeing the space from one horizon to another we can understand where the history goes.

The democratic version of the "Jasmine revolutions" — it’s a look from "the mouse hole". Yes, indeed, there are thousands of individual protesters longing for civil rights. Suppose I’m a young Egyptian and the unchallenged Hosni Mubarak got my goat — will I care who is behind the protest? The very Ahmed who sent a message to my social net page, was he disinterested or did he do it on errand from overseas emissaries? It make no difference to me — he expressed my coveted wishes in any case. Thank you, Ahmed and away with Mubarak!

Getting on top of the mound the picture is significantly changed. Now we can see the activities of special services, coordinated information support, financial flows to opposition. We can obviously see the usual "export of democracy" in exchange for profitable shares of North African deposits. That’s what the Western society is like. Wherever there is a chance to get a profit it never lets it slip away. But it doesn’t mean the "Arab spring" is all about the westernization of the Arab world with Western agents of influence controlling the process.

The conspirologic pattern advocates actually make one major mistake: they seriously believe that some, perhaps very powerful, groups of people could be more mighty than God. It’s not to start a theological dispute that I mention God for — a reader can substitute my words about God the Highest Judge by reference to the objective laws of historic development. The main thing is to remember the world we’re living in is far more complex than a machine controlled by an individual or a group of men. No matter how tough are the guys presiding in the CIA, NATO, the European Commission or the Capitol Hill — their will is doomed to collide with the will of billions of others. Any dollar flows will come in confrontation with the way the events naturally unfold. Money cannot stop even the hurricane Irene subject to primitive physics laws, how come much more complex troubled human souls could be influenced by money bills?

It’s the impotence of cabinet projects that the "Arab spring" shows us today. By coming to help to Middle East revolutionaries trying to break the thin ice of authoritarian regimes, the West doesn’t let out the outwash of Westernization but rather hot magma of Islamic renaissance. Even in Tunisia — educated and comfortable for dwelling according to Western standards, soaked in Western culture since the Carthage days! — Islamists win the "first free and democratic" elections. What about Egypt with the Islamists gaining about ten times more votes that the Liberals? Egypt is the heart of Arab world, some say, it’s the heart of the whole Muslim civilization (ibn Khaldun and his poetic hymn devoted to Cairo — "the center of the universe and the garden of the world." come to mind). The Banner of Islam over Cairo is a signal for millions of followers of prophet., from Indonesia to Louisiana.

The Egyptian trend will stand its ground in Libya, Syria or any other Middle East country, the established hierarchy will not hold against the energy of anger of woken up people. Even the dictators hostile to the West are more Westernized than the common people, that’s why any expansion of democracy in the Muslim world doesn’t mean Westernization but rather Islamization. The recent resignation of mayor of Benghazi is a clear evidence. Even at the cradle phase of the Libyan revolution the yesterday’s democracy fighters demand to recognize the Sharia laws as the basis of the future constitution and seize by assault the headquarters of the National transitional Council, it becomes clear: no NATO bombs and missies can implant European values into the Libyans souls.

Many advocates of atlanticism are convinced that the only thing the "barbarians" around do is dream about joining the Western peoples family as diligent disciples. One of US Republicans leaders Newt Gingrich said so with irreconcilable American optimism. According to his words if the USA had a more aggressive program defending the right of people living in North Korea, Iran o Syria to take their own decision on their respective governments, the dictatorships would change by themselves in a peaceful way.. He said the USA managed to do it in Eastern Europe.

Mr. Gingrich doesn’t realize that by supporting "velvet revolutions" in Eastern Europe the USA was engaged in European Reconquista. By the end of 1980s it was about taking the traditional Western habitat away from the Soviet Russia and bringing the East Germans, Hungarians and Poles back into the mould of Western civilization. Ukraine was a bit different, the Western ambitions got bogged down in the alien cultural environment, the "Orange revolution" ended up in hopeless failure for Victor Yushchenko. Spreading its mission to the Muslim countries, the Western culturologists break into an absolutely different world that doesn’t want and will not play by the "kafir" rules. Here any intervention doesn’t evoke a thankful response but rather rejection.

It’s exactly a hundred years ago the West suffered a cognitive geopolitical defeat. Back then the European public opinion pinned hopes on the Russian revolution that strived to put an end to the authoritarian "barbarian" monarchy and bring liberal elite to power. But the widely praised elite happened to be just a thin cultural layer of the stormy sea alien to the West. The Russian society democratization led to the most radical anti-West regime in the world history coming to power instead of the Romanov dynasty (very loyal to European powers). It shook the whole Atlantic civilization to its foundation. Something very similar is taking place in the Middle East.

So what the "Arab spring " is like from the byrd’s flight altitude? What is the significance of these events from global historic perspective? The height of the mound is enough to see the West is much richer and stronger than the Arab states, it has rich experience in the use of political and information technologies. It appears to be quite capable of imposing its will on a weaker society. But a broader view from expanding historic horizon makes obvious the fact that the powerful West is going through a period of decline unlike the Muslim world that, to the contrary, starts to vigorously prosper.

Just a hundred years ago there were only four relatively independent Islamic states: the Ottoman empire, Persia, Nejd and Afghanistan representing 3% of the world population and less than 1% of global GDP. Now there are at least 50 Muslim states representing one fifth of global population (1bilion 427 million in 2010) and over 10% of global GDP ($7,55 billion of total 74 billion in 2010 according to the IMF estimates). To the contrary the Western world displays quite different dynamics since the second half of the past century. That’s why the Islam civilization is subconsciously aware of its growing might and potential superiority over the West. It cannot reconcile with the role of a spiritual colony. The Atlantists intervention into the Muslim world looks like a sortie of a retreating army, any success may become a Pyrrhic victory.

The flowers of "jasmine revolutions" inevitably turn to the East, no matter all the hopes of Arab liberals and Western influence advocates. The main driving force of these revolutions is growing energy of Muslim peoples that strives to spill over the established social framework. The crucible of Middle Eastern changes doesn’t engender diligent disciples but rather serious competitors of Western civilization.

 

 

 

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