I’ve been rather astounded and amazed that the media has consistently referred to the revolutionary events in various Arabic countries as an ‘Arab spring’. If we look at the consequences of these events and the shifting powers that have resulted, it would be equivalent of having called the Bolshevik, Maoist, and Nazi revolutionary shifts as, respectively, Russian, Chinese, and German (and Austrian) ‘springs’.
Of course a move towards democracy is to be commended, but democracy itself is not what is intrinsically of highest political value. Rather, what is of high merit and value is individual personal autonomy and freedom: when these are taken away, whether through a democratic or an autocratic regime, there is something amiss.
Celebrating the revolutionary changes in the various Arabic speaking lands is akin to celebrating those disastrous changes that occurred in those three areas previously mentioned in the early parts of the 20th century. If we simply take a look at the changes that are taking place in the respective countries in which the Arab revolutionary forces have been successful, what is evident is that what is taking place is more akin to the revolutionary changes that took place in Iran with the fall of the Shah in the late 1970s.
Until, and unless, there is a deep sense that someone, irrespective of their birth, can legitimately renounce the negative forces inherent in communism, islam, or fascism, the Arabic landscape will not be able to have its deserved ‘Spring’. Surely 1400 years of Autumn and Winter is enough!