A note on Eygpt – since I’ve said very little

Since this is a left wing blog you’d expect a lot of coverage of Tunisia, Eygpt, Yemen, Algeria, etc.

Well, I can tell you that I’ve been watching avidly since the first stirrings in Tunisia, and that it has been tragic and joyful and horrific and beautiful, by turns.

But, I don’t wish to add to the deluge of leftist, centrist and right-wing bullshite. Moreover, I have a feeling that, even at the best of times, there’s something “spectatorly” about this sort of attention. I.e. lots of the middle-classes and arm-chair leftists, celebrating something happening a long way away, whilst doing very little about their own backyards. Although, of course there have been protests here since the situation in Tunisia and Egypt began: and the direct comparisons are so vacuous and contemptable they turn my stomach. Because, this is infantilisation of both the middle eastern protesters and of our own protest.

Moreover, I always feel uncomfortable saying “solidarity”, when the only active solidarity I can give is the odd blog post and perhaps a few tears. And I can’t pretend I have any special insight into the struggle: the social formations involved; the political problems of translating mass movement into effective political opposition; the separation of peoples from parties; the hidden details of mass detentions and torture, etc. I can’t even offer a witty poster or a snap of some gappy toothed bloke holding up: “Mubarak GO!”

So, I’ve stayed silent. But, that’s not to say it has passed me without stirring great waves.


In other news: alongside an analysis of Lukacs’  History and Class Consciousness and the Frankfurt Institute’s critical theory, and political agitation of various kinds on campus (on which, more later), I’m currently trying to write something more extended about my own backyard, which should appear here soon.


~ by Wit on February 14, 2011.

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