The People’s Spring: The Future of the Arab Revolution

Samir Amin. Pambazuka (IPG, dist.), $24.95 trade paper (220p) ISBN 978-0-85749-115-2
Egyptian political economist Amin (Maldevelopment: Anatomy of a Global Failure), in a treatise originally completed in May 2011, analyzes the 2011 Arab Spring and what these uprisings could mean for the future of pan-Arabism and the rise of true democracy and modernization. He conceptualizes the movement as essentially opposed to the “contemporary imperialist globalization” promoted by the “US-Europe-Japan Triad,” supported by close allies Saudi Arabia and Israel. Amin argues that the choice is between an emancipation of peoples and “generalized barbarism,” and suggests that the kind of Western-supported democratic progress marked by multiparty elections, co-operation with Islamic moderates, and the war on terrorism aims to keep Arabic countries on the periphery of the world stage and shunts the energy of the Arabic population from developing a truly alternative “socialist democracy.” Amin presents a guarded hope that “‘the spring of the people,’” in which a “universal and pluralistic socialist perspective... respecting diversity in the invention of the future” will be able to emerge from the “decline of senile capitalism to challenge Western imperialism,” while he suggesting that overall, the people themselves may not be sophisticated enough to rise to this challenge. Though Amin’s Marxist lens may make Western readers uncomfortable, his ideas are supported with intellectual rigor. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
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