Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nature of the Beast

"In India, the word public is now a Hindi word. It means people. In Hindi, we have sarkar and public, the government and the people. Inherent in this use is the underlying assumption that the government is quite separate from 'the people.' ...Even today, fifty seven years on to the day, the truly vanquished still look upon the government as mai-baap, the parent and provider. The somewhat more radical, those who still have fire in their bellies, see it as chor, the thief, the snatcher-away of all things." --Arundhati Roy, Public Power in the Age of Empire

"I discovered that in our country [Pakistan] there's a tiny elite who has usurped the resources of the whole country. The whole country panders to this tiny elite. By the way, I belong to them. And the rich are getting richer. And the vast majority of people don't even have basic rights.... what is happening is, the elite has basically captured the government. Whether it's one party or the other, basically the interests are the same. And so, they come into government, and they plunder the country. They usurp the resources. And so, common people are deprived of all the basic needs..." --Pakistani Opposition Leader Imran Khan, January 30, 2008

"Government is not eloquence, it is not reason; it is force, and like fire, makes a dangerous servant and a fearful master." --George Washington

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

The revolution HAS been scheduled

It's Februay 6, 2011, Super Bowl Sunday.  The middle-east uprisings are in full swing. Especially in Egypt.

The Egyptians are poorer than we are, had  undergone Mubarak for 30 years, and believed they would never escape the totalitarian yoke. But that was 12 days ago.

In 1987 I was traveling with Monica, a Polish girl from behind the "Iron Curtain...." We had many discussions about the, at the time, Russian "Evil Empire." She believed the hated "soviets" were solidly in control -- and would stay that way for the foreseeable future, perhaps 1,000 years.

I'd read "Can The Soviet Union Survive Until 1984" by a Russian dissident and so I questioned her  assumptions. She held firm.

About two years later in Nov. Dec. 1989, the Germans tore down the most prominent expression of the  "Iron Curtain," the "Berlin Wall." Monica told a lot of her friends about our discussions, and as a result, I got the mostly undeserved reputation among my Polish friends of being a savvy if unconventional social historian.

I just recorded John Kerry, appearing on Meet the Press, trying to explain why the CIA was caught flat-footed in anticipating the timing of the Egyptian uprising. He correctly observed that it's impossible to predict such things.

So, the Second American Revolution HAS been scheduled - - - it's just that no one knows exactly when.

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