Read an English translation of Alain Badiou's recent article for Le Monde. Translation kindly provided by Cristiana Petru-Stefanescu.
The Eastern wind is getting the better of the Western one. How much longer will the poor and dark West, the "international community" of those who still think of themselves as masters of the world, continue to give lessons of good management and behaviour to the whole planet? Isn't it laughable to see certain intellectuals on duty, disconcerted soldiers of the capital-parliamentarism that stands as a shabby paradise for us, offering themselves to the magnificent Tunisian and Egyptian peoples in order to teach these savage populations the basics of "democracy"? What a distressing persistence of colonial arrogance! Given the miserable political situation that we are experiencing, isn't it obvious that it is us who have everything to learn from the current popular uprisings? Shouldn't we, in all urgency, closely study what has made possible the overthrow through collective action of governments that are oligarchic, corrupt and—possibly, above all—humiliatingly the vassals of Western states?
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri write in the Guardian about the Arab uprisings and their hope "that through this cycle of struggles the Arab world becomes for the next decade what Latin America was for the last - that is, a laboratory of political experimentation between powerful social movements and progressive governments."
Peter Hallward writes in the Guardian on how the recent Arab uprisings may mark the end of the era of "resigned submission" to neoliberalism:
In different ways in different places (including most dramatically some places that until very recently were often taken for granted as among the most "docile" and "stable" countries around), people all over the world are rediscovering a principle at work in every revolutionary sequence: if we are willing to act in sufficient numbers and with sufficient determination, we already have all the power we need to devise and impose our own alternative. If we are determined to pursue it, we now have an opportunity to help change the world.
This isn't to say that either the neoliberal order or the imperial power that protects it are in any imminent danger of collapse. An opportunity is nothing more, or less, than an opportunity. The governments led by people like David Cameron and Barack Obama continue to press an agenda of "reform" that amounts to little less than a form of class warfare.
Drawing parallels with Europe in 1848, Tariq Ali, writing for the Guardian, remarks that like those European rebels, the
Arab people are fighting against foreign domination (82% of Egyptians, a recent opinion poll revealed, have a "negative view of the US"); against the violation of their democratic rights; against an elite blinded by its own illegitimate wealth - and in favour of economic justice.