this post isnt too bad, so I put it also on the Kassandra.
Originally posted on nothing:
Sometimes a lot of value has been assigned to things or people which don’t really deserve it, in my opinion. I have about five obvious examples. When you examine each, you quickly see how it would be more valuable to quit putting energy into these fallacies and expand ourselves further.
1. Unliateral political action. This involves petitioning, postering, speeching, marching, striking, and one-sided dialoguing. In each case, the other side of the issue is shut out of the process completely. If the “other side” of the argument isn’t ignored, it is hauled out piecemeal and ridiculed. These events are almost always 100% “preaching to the converted”, self-congratulatory, non-transformative, all the usual suspects rounded up, divided among themselves for petty reasons, and accomplishing not very much at all.
Solution: more consensus-building. This involves including your opponents in your events. This involves carefully listening to what they have to say, perhaps even…
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Sometimes, nobody wants a solution except for outsiders. Picture the Roman Coliseum in the middle of a gladiator spectacle. Would anybody have listened to the human rights crusader at that point? “Stop it! Stop that right now! Somebody is going to get hurt.”
No, the participants and the spectators would have silenced the crusader right on the spot. They have different reasons for wanting silence however. The Emperor wants the show to go on – good show! The gladiators want to concentrate on their fight without distraction. Nobody’s interested in what the human rights crusader has to say, during a gladiator battle.
Same goes for Cairo, Egypt right now.
A representative of the Muslim Brotherhood (sorry brother, I did not catch your name) went on to CNN by telephone last week saying this: “The Egyptian Constitution says that in case of government failure, power gets handed over to the chief of the Egyptian Supreme Court.” Wow, I thought – what a great solution! It’s all written down. It’s right there in their constitution. What is a constitution, but a contract between a government and its people? Well, according to this contract the government has failed and so Mubarak now needs to step down and hand over the keys to the top lawmaker in the land.
This makes sense – hand over control to the law, in times of lawlessness. Makes a hell of a lot of sense doesn’t it. Let the law handle it. Let the law step in. But wouldn’t you know it, CNN proceeded to studiously ignore this legal solution proposed on their show. They had Arab, and western and Israeli guests on … politicians and educators and pundits galore weighed in. And it seemed that none of them would touch this “constitutional solution” with a ten foot pole.
The cynic in me likes to think that this is because they recognized a good solution when they heard it, but no way was this solution going to be coming from the Muslim Brotherhood. No way! Not those guys. So, on and on it went. The cynic in me thought, well, the media want this conflict to continue, don’t they – great story! So why should they help to resolve it? That’s why they ignore the solution when it’s right in their face, I figured.
But there was also another part to the solution which nobody seemed to get – except for the remaining 95% of Egyptians. “Be nice! Be polite! Don’t be so rude! He isn’t leaving unless you stop being so rude first.” Yes, the average cabbie on the street got it – but the reporters on the ground didn’t. “Mubarak is a good man, but we need our comforts – we need food, and a job,” said the wise Cairo cabbie on CNN. That was the primary sentiment among most Egyptians, while the young folk were getting their yayas out at the square.
So obviously, this is a very hard thing to ask people who are misbehaving to do – stop! It doesn’t normally have the desired effect, does it. If teenagers are busy at trashing their hotel room, what happens if the manager approaches their room and asks them to quit it? Does that work? Has that ever worked in the history of mankind? No, it hasn’t. So just try telling the Egyptian protesters to quit it and be nicer.
Yes, we would be asking the young Egyptians to do something HARD. Stop it and go home, the matter is in the hands of the law now. Yes, they are pissed off, so politeness is a lot to ask. But – think about what they are asking their leader to do. They are asking him to quit in a haze of humiliation. His effigy has been hung, rude and clever signs drawn up in English for the reporters to consume. Newsflash: you can’t humiliate an Arab into doing what you want. Oh sure, you can scare him off like they did in Tunisia. But if he can’t be scared off, due to a strong army and U.S. backing, then you’re stuck. Different strategies are called for. Sticking out your tongue and saying “I hate you!” isn’t going to do it.
So, after two whole days of everybody ignoring the solution proposed by the Muslim Brotherhood rep on CNN, I tweeted my proposed solution: Mubarak, step down graciously and put the matter into the hands of the law, and protesters, stop being so rude and hateful towards him. For all I know, I was just tweeting into the wind, twittering into the abyss. I have no idea. But the fact that matters are still not resolved over there means that nobody heard me. Oh well.
Now, back to our original scenario of a gladiator fight and the human rights crusader hilariously trying to stop it. Who plays the part of the Emperor, you ask? Why, that would be the people in media who want this protest to continue to its ugly conclusion. I’ll call them, um, Media Ghouls … half-dead, sinister, dried-up old men whose job is to ensure a supply of gruesome violent stories for the public to consume. These are the “spectators” of Cairo. Every television network, every cable company, every daily newspaper has at least one Media Ghoul. Even Al-Jazeera English has one of them on board. The rest of the staffers are none the wiser. These Ghouls are the folks who do NOT want a solution to this stand-off in Egypt.
Well, if the Ghouls win and have their way, here’s what is going to happen in Cairo. The government will continue to make concessions except for the KEY step of Mubarak stepping down. Given these various concessions, the rest of the country would then turn upon the protesters: “We want our country back!” The citizens are thus effectively divided. Then, out would come the water cannons and some nifty new American technology – the cluster taser, tossed into a crowd tasing dozens at a time; the ear-splitting sound cannons; and various other cool non-lethal “crowd dispersant tools”. This would, of course, predictably cause mayhem, chaos, and violence, which would in turn allow the army to come in with their guns.
That is how the Ghouls want this thing to end. This is why the Ghouls did not pick up on the solution discussed during the interview with the Muslim Brotherhood. This is why Mubarak continues and does not resign – he is being told by the Ghouls to stay right where he is, so that the bloodiest outcome imaginable will come to pass.
By the way – the Media Ghouls have friends in politics. One particular former US president is among them. They have friends in banking – one of them helps to run the IMF. They have friends in multinational chemical and pharmaceutical companies. Their friends run the weapons manufacturing companies. This group of people think that they control the world. They will stop at nothing to maintain control. They don’t care who dies – just like the ancient Roman Emperor didn’t care which gladiators died either. They don’t care who suffers and they do some ridiculous logistic, ethical back-flips to justify their damaging policies all over the world.
The Ghouls are the same ones who didn’t want Aristede to return to Haiti. The Ghouls are the people who sit on and squash every uplifting news story that comes along which might lead to ACTUAL CHANGE. The Ghouls are the ones who make sure that any pure original voices are silenced as quickly as possible.
These Ghouls do NOT want you growing your own food. They do NOT want you to be healthy – they want you to keep taking medications and drugs and alcohol. They do NOT want people to band together. They divide people up every chance they get. They decide what information you hear, and they decide what opinions you get to have. They have charted a future course for our world involving TONS of conflicts and wars. They envision scenarios where many people are slaughtered. These Ghouls are the face of evil in our world. What can stop them?
Well, it’s up to the people to take a stand. Sometimes, taking a stand means thanking your leader for years of service, asking them politely to bow out in a dignified manner, and going home when he says “OK, I am quitting right now, here I am handing over the keys in a ceremony”.
Here’s the best part of what’s happening in Egypt right now. Provided that we do not have mass chaos, violence, and slaughter in Tahrir Square, provided that the sensible solution proposed is actually taken up by all parties, then we may be looking at a new phase in human society unfolding. And believe you me, the Ghouls don’t want this!
The way that governments are run in the western world is funny. Nothing really ever gets done. People are fooled into voting for the puppets of the Ghouls, because the media shoves fake polls down their throats for months ahead of time. Every second year is an election year, in some places, rendering the government tantamount to useless. In most western governments, representatives yell at one another and do stupid tricks rather than govern the country. They spend millions of dollars on “attack ads” which tell the people nothing important. Acrimony and bitterness always rule the day. The whole thing is just a huge charade and that’s the way the Ghouls like it.
But hey – maybe there’s a better way? Maybe competition has no place in politics. Maybe elections should simply be the people deciding who are best qualified to do the job, and nothing else – not a gladiator battle. Can you picture a government run under the principles of COOPERATION rather than conflict? Can you picture a functioning government consisting of a coalition, rather than warring parties at eachother’s throats?
Well, if you can’t, then maybe Arab nations can. They did complex works of art before the rest of the world was drawing in pencil. And maybe, once again, they are going to invent something new – a new way of doing democracy. Maybe the Arabs are going to show us how it should actually be done, rather than the way that we westerners are currently doing it. Maybe a new day of “cooperative democracy” is being born in Egypt.
At this point, all we can do is sit and watch them do it, and hope that the well-meaning Egyptian protesters get to live, to see their grandchildren flourish in the new world that they have created.
P.S. the latest: the media have now released some more inflammatory material designed to keep things rolling in Cairo towards a bloody conclusion. It seems some “leaked cables” have linked Suleiman to Israel, which is designed of course to ensure that the protesters will not accept him. Mubarak (oops spelled it wrong up there) is apparently still refusing to step down. Each concession made by the Egyptian government will further divide the people. The protesters are just pawns being played in a bigger game, but they don’t realize it yet. The people who think they run the world would NEVER allow the common people to displace one of their puppet leaders – that would set a very bad precedent. So we are on a shaky road down to an unknown conclusion. If the law was employed as it should be, if Mubarak would only hand over power to the Supreme Court Chief as the constitution dictates, then all would be resolved peacefully. But for some reason he refuses to do as the law demands he do. This must be because he is listening to the wrong advisors. Mubarak must ask himself, should he keep listening to these Ghouls, or should he do what’s best for his people? Everything will come down to that decision.
P.P.S. I hear that Mubarak is close to being spirited away to Germany for a “heath check up”. This must mean that he has come close to resigning. If Mubarak did the right thing, listened to his constitution, listened to the law, acknowledged government failure & handed over power to the Surpeme Court Chief, then the Ghouls would lose. That’s because the Ghouls do not control the Egyptian Supreme Court Chief. So, rather than allow this, they are planning to spirit Mubarak away to Germany, to prolong this stalemate and then get the bloody massacre they are planning for. What kind of stuff is Mubarak really made of? I guess we shall see ….