A few months ago, when I started work on ‘The Great Rebellion’, an uprising by the Arab people was equally difficult to forecast as its outcome is now, as we go to press.
Media coverage in the West immediately suggested that the fate of the Egyptian people must rest in the hands of the US Government, which has funded the Egyptian apparatus of repression for so long. But despotism has been justified once too often by the ignorant and deceitful fantasy that the people of the region are wedded to Islamic extremism.
The truth is that the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings were just the most recent in a sequence that began in Latin America, continues through much of Asia and is a response to the despotism of free- market fundamentalism and corporate globalization. Because of this response, the ‘Third’ or Majority World has largely avoided The Great Recession and is now in the economic driving seat. And because of this – if for no other reason – the Western physician would be well advised to heal itself. It could do worse than begin by abandoning the prescriptions of the corporate media, which failed just as miserably to diagnose both the Great Recession and the Great Rebellion.
Elsewhere in the magazine we peep inside the paranoid minds of conspiracy theorists, give the humble honeybee a much-needed helping hand, and applaud the global mobilizations of Avaaz.
David Ransom for the New Internationalist co-operative.
The Great Recession may have stunned the Minority World, but the Majority World has survived more or less unscathed. David Ransom investigates why, and traces the outlines of a future that might just be worth having.
‘It’s unprecedented!’ So said many people in Cairo during the dramatic recent uprising, that began in protest against ‘austerity’ measures and turned into a full-blown revolution. They were proud of being able to say so.
The contrast could hardly have been more stark than with a spin doctor I recently heard advise a British politician never to say ‘unprecedented’ at all. It sounds like an excuse, he said, and during these difficult times no-one is in a forgiving mood. Far better to say ‘inhe...