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.
Ross Perlin gives a potted history of the import of internships to the UK from America for the Mail on Sunday. Warning "Britain of what may be ahead", Perlin lays out his argument against the ever-growing practice of exploiting young people for cheap labour and its social cost:
Writing for the Guardian, Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation, argues that "internships are the face of privilege, restricting opportunities to those able to work for nothing or for a pittance - or sometimes even pay the price in cold hard cash." He sees the auction of internships at the Conservative Party's recent Black and White party as evidence that internships are "a morally bankrupt free-for-all, a new glass ceiling in the making."
In his article "Egypt's joy as Mubarak quits" for the Guardian, Tariq Ali quotes the Arab poet Nizar Qabbani, remarking that he would have been happy to see his prophecy fulfilled:
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains.
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Don't read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case,
As worthless as a water-melon rind.
Don't read about us,
Don't ape us,
Don't accept us,
Don't accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation that will overcome defeat.
Paul Mason analyses the worldwide wave of protests for his Idle Scrawl blog, picking up on some "common threads" including the centrality of secularised, westernised young people and how social media and technology has "expanded the space and power of the individual."
We've had revolution in Tunisia, Egypt's Mubarak is teetering; in Yemen, Jordan and Syria suddenly protests have appeared. In Ireland young techno-savvy professionals are agitating for a "Second Republic"; in France the youth from banlieues battled police on the streets to defend the retirement rights of 60-year olds; in Greece striking and rioting have become a national pastime. And in Britain we've had riots and student occupations that changed the political mood.
What's going on? What's the wider social dynamic? ...