Blog post

"I used to watch television, now television watches me"—Peter Hallward on the Arab uprisings

Tamar Shlaim23 February 2011

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.

Hallward also makes reference to his contribution to The Idea of Communism, 'The Will of the People' and quotes a recent article by Alain Badiou who states

Once they cross a certain threshold of determination, persistence and courage, the people can indeed concentrate their existence in a public square or avenue, in a few factories, or in a university. In the wake of a transformative event, the people are composed of those who are able to resolve the problems posed by this event

Visit the Guardian to read the full article, and Le Monde to read Alain Badiou's article (in French).

Filed under: articles