headlines | about |

Tariq Ramadan and Slavoj Zizek on the future of Egyptian politics

Good point by Žižek

Žižek makes an interesting point (13:45) in his usual over accented manner, which is that decades of USA-enabled repressive dictatorships tend to weaken the very left/lib sectors - through torture, murder, intimidation, expatriation, etc. - that could form the seed of a new democracy once the dictatorship is finally overthrown, leaving the field open to Islamic fundamentalists.

This is the ultimate irony: that billions of misplaced dollars and betrayed ideals probably lead - in the long run - to empowering the very Islamist hegemony they hoped to prevent. The Iranian revolution of 1979, after three decades of installing our "strongmen", the Pahlavis, is the usual case in point. Despite a large secular, Westernized middle class, the ayatollahs came to power on the backs of the radicalized, brutalized, resentful and ignorant poor. And while Egypt is not Iran, three decades of Mubarak cannot have strengthened the power of the enlightened left, despite the thrilling events of the past two weeks.

CIA efforts to foster repressive regimes, siding with bullies, condoning torture and fostering resentment in the "Arab street", are undertaken with the rationale that this "dance with the devil" is preferable to allowing the rabid Islamists a power base. But the reality is that we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

demand al jazeera