Venezuela: Suspend Debt Repayments and Create an Emergency Humanitarian Fund
Venezuela: Suspend Debt Repayments and Create an Emergency Humanitarian Fund 11 March by Eric Toussaint There is no doubt that Donald Trump’s policies, those of the Lima group [1] and the European powers who s
Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run For President
Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run For President Δείτε και ακούστε το ιστορικό κάλεσμα του Μπέρνι Σάντερς στον αμερικανικό λαό (19/02/2019)
Contre les actes antisémites, contre leur instrumentalisation, pour le combat contre toutes les formes de racisme
Contre les actes antisémites, contre leur instrumentalisation, pour le combat contre toutes les formes de racisme mardi 19 février 2019 Nous soussignés associations, partis, syndicats, indépendants, sommes toutes e
GILETS JAUNES : APPEL DE LA PREMIÈRE ASSEMBLÉE DES ASSEMBLÉES / Commercy - 27 janvier 2019
GILETS JAUNES : APPEL DE LA PREMIÈRE ASSEMBLÉE DES ASSEMBLÉES / Commercy - 27 janvier 2019 Nous, Gilets Jaunes des ronds-points, des parkings, des places, des assemblées, des manifs, nous sommes réunis ces 26 et 27
Catalunya: Alargar la excepción para impedir la solución
Catalunya: Alargar la excepción para impedir la solución David Fernández Año nuevo con las viejas excepciones de siempre, la agenda política catalana arrancará en breve, a la sombra prevista de un 22 de enero m
The far right: A global phenomenon
The far right: A global phenomenon  by Michael Löwy In recent years, the reactionary, authoritarian and/or fascist extreme right wing has been in the ascendant all over the world: it already governs half of the
La révolte étudiante bouscule le pouvoir en Albanie
La révolte étudiante bouscule le pouvoir en Albanie  Par Jean-Arnault Dérens et Laurent Geslin  (Mediapart) Jamais les universités albanaises n’avaient connu de telles mobilisations. La hausse annonc
Appel : Amplifions les mobilisations pour la justice sociale et climatique
Appel : Amplifions les mobilisations pour la justice sociale et climatique Apparu pour refuser une augmentation inique des prix des carburants, le mouvement des gilets jaunes a mis dans le débat public l’ensemble d
La répression intense n’a pas empêché la mobilisation. Macron doit céder !
La répression intense n’a pas empêché la mobilisation. Macron doit céder ! -Communiqué NPA Samedi 8 décembre 2018, 20:09 Ces derniers jours, le pouvoir avait cherché à faire monter chez touTEs un sentiment de
Olivier Besancenot face à Jean Jacques Bourdin sur BFMTV- 07/12/2018
Besancenot: "J'appelle à la mobilisation générale... pour l’état d'urgence social et écologique" Olivier Besancenot face à Jean Jacques Bourdin sur BFMTV- 07/12/2018 Besancenot cite Dom Hélder Câmara,évêque
Gilets jaunes : apprendre de l’histoire et agir dans le présent
Gilets jaunes : apprendre de l’histoire et agir dans le présent Des propositions à ceux et celles qui luttent 5 décembre par Eric Toussaint Certains estiment que lorsqu’on engage un mouvement contre une taxe (
Gilets jaunes : premier recul du gouvernement, le mouvement doit pousser son avantage-Communiqué NPA
Gilets jaunes : premier recul du gouvernement, le mouvement doit pousser son avantage-Communiqué NPA mise à jour Mardi 4 décembre 2018, 19:03 Édouard Philippe tente d’éteindre le feu que le gouvernement a lui-m
Olivier Besancenot: Gilets Jaunes, une authentique révolte populaire!
Olivier Besancenot: Gilets Jaunes, une authentique révolte populaire! Olivier Besancenot invité à "On n'est pas couché", en défense du mouvement des Gilets Jaunes: Pour la grève générale, que tout le monde tire
Gilets jaunes : continuer la mobilisation contre la vie chère - Communiqué NPA
Gilets jaunes : continuer la mobilisation contre la vie chère - Communiqué NPA Samedi 1 décembre 2018, 19:29 Des dizaines, peut-être des centaines de milliers de personnes, ont manifesté aujourd’hui dans toute l

Αναζήτηση

Tunisia: “The promised economic miracle never happened” – A continuation of the uprisings of 2011

by Gilbert Achcar

2018 02 24 01 Gilbert AchcarFor the specialist of the Arab world Gilbert Achcar, the Tunisian revolt was “foreseeable”. And it is a continuation of the uprisings of 2011.

Originally from Lebanon, which he left in 1983 for Paris, Berlin and now London, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he is professor of international and political relations, Gilbert Achcar has been observing the upheavals of the Arab world for two decades. The author of The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (London, SAQI, 2013) and Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (London, SAQI, 2016) takes a Marxist approach to the analysis of the uprisings of 2011. According to him, the current protests are a logical extension of them.

CÉLIAN MACE AND HALA KODMANI – How do you analyse this new Tunisian revolt?

GILBERT ACHCAR – It was quite predictable. Because all the ingredients of the 2010-2011 explosion are still there. Some factors, such as youth unemployment, have even worsened. In the last two years we have seen localized eruptions occurring all over the place, in small towns in Tunisia and in neighbouring countries. These are the beginnings of a second wave of regional protest. In Morocco, anger has been rising since last year. In Sudan, there has been a protest movement of unprecedented magnitude since the beginning of the year. Even Iran has had a social revolt. All these events have as common denominator the implementation of the measures recommended by the IMF: the reduction of public expenditure, the reduction of the number of civil servants, the abolition of subsidies on fuel or basic commodities, etc.

Why does Egypt, which applies these same measures, remain silent?

Because it is coming out of a terrible repression. Al-Sisi maintains a climate of terror. People are confronted with a catastrophist discourse, they are told that in the event of a revolution, their country will turn into Syria or Libya. But this threat only works for a while. It is not impossible that the Egyptian people will succeed in overcoming this paralysis. The fear of a scenario like Syria is not a dissuasive argument in itself, except in the face of a very brutal power that can carry out a massacre. Fortunately this is not the case in Tunisia. The social discontent is stronger than anything else. Repression can stifle movements, but it doesn’t solve anything. All it does is postpone the problems.

In 2011, the Arab Spring combined social anger and democratic aspirations. The political demands, this time, seem to have been relegated to a secondary role...

The explosion has always been social and political. From the moment a social movement takes on a certain magnitude, it inevitably becomes political. But it takes a variety of forms. In the time of Ben Ali, the protest was aimed at the overthrow of the dictatorship. Today, the discontent is more social because there is a political vacuum. The Tunisian left has jumped on the bandwagon to present itself as the leader of the protest, but the disappointment of the youth regarding the parties is obvious. The General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) could have played this role, but the Union did not fulfil its function of counter-power, it rather sought accommodation with the government. In Tunisia, however, the trade union movement is historically powerful and, at the grassroots level, has a real autonomy with regard to government. It was a unique case in the region. The unfortunate thing is that this force, instead of pushing strongly towards a radically different socio-economic policy, has made the choice of concertation and compromise. As a result, the UGTT has now been overtaken by events.

2018 02 24 02 Tunisia

2011 - (CC - Flickr - khaled abdelmoumen)

Things have not advanced quickly enough since the revolution?

The Revolution of 2011 was a revolution of the young... and it produced the oldest president in the world (Béji CaÏd Essebsi is 91 years old).There’s something wrong! Without even talking about age, he is a man of the old regime, who applies the same methods, with the same circles as in the past. With Ben Ali, the Tunisians eliminated the tip of the iceberg. No one is fooled in Tunisia: the old regime is back. People only wanted to see a peaceful and successful revolution, but there are obvious symptoms of a deep malaise in Tunisia. It is the country in the region that has the greatest number of young people engaged with the Islamic State, for example!

Why has Tunisia failed for years to reduce unemployment?

The IMF retains the mastery of the broad economic guidelines. However, these guidelines allowed the development of the conditions of the explosion of 2011. The IMF has timidly made its mea culpa, but has not changed anything fundamental. Since 2011, there have been even more restrictive austerity directives, drastic reduction of public expenditure, support for the private sector... Tunisia did it, Egypt did it, Iran is doing it. But from these shock therapies, the populations have had only the shock and not the therapy! The promised economic miracle never happened. This can only cause frustration, and an explosion.

Should other eruptions be expected in the coming months?

What was called “Spring” in 2011, imagining that it would be a passing phase, is in reality a revolutionary process of long duration, with ups and downs, accelerations, confrontation, sometimes even civil wars... There will be no stability in the region in the medium term as long as socio-economic policies are not radically altered.

INTERVIEW WITH GILBERT ACHCAR BY CÉLIAN MACE AND HALA KODMANI

This interview was first published in the French daily Libération on January 14, 2018. Translation IVP: http://www.internationalviewpoint.o...

scroll back to top