Arab worlds of politics

hand and pencil
By Engin Isin · 25 January 2011
hand and pencil

More may have been written about the explosion of politics in Arab worlds in the past two weeks than about 1848 in the last hundred and sixty years. I will leave proving this hypothesis to Google Books executives and their calculators who have developed a penchant for quantifying knowledge. If true, what does it say about the overaccumulation crisis of words? Do we say too much? Unleashing an interpretation machine even before events become events do we not smother and stifle their potential meanings, possibilities and potentials? What is perhaps lost in the noise is insight. The will to interpret (and capture and subsume) is so strong that it may actually be symptom of a fear that we might actually understand what‘s happening. Anyway, the grand story about what’s happening in the so-called Arab world (assuming that there is such a thing) is apparently that Arabs have awakened. Lest you didn’t know, they have been in slumber. Alas, two centuries after the French and American revolutions the Arabs have finally woken up and smelt freedom stirred with democracy. It is as though the US (and its various coalitions of the coerced) did not invest in trillions of dollars (we will ask Google to get the right numbers here) creating and maintaining dictators so that the Middle East would serve its international interests. Does one have to be an avid reader of Noam Chomsky to figure this much out?

About the author

  • Engin Isin

    Principal Investigator
    Engin Isin
    The Open University
    Prof Engin Isin holds a Chair in Citizenship and is Professor of Politics in Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University. He is also a past... Read more

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