Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I don't have a problem with the term "Arab Spring" like some people I know do. Yes, I appreciate their arguments about what kind of connotations it can have, but frankly I think there are for more important things to do than worry about the label for a phenomenon that is non-ideological and deeply rooted in the masses. I think  the only comparable period in modern history is the period of revolutionary change and collapse which followed the end of the First World War. That was the "European" spring, of socialist and communist activity, and which sprang from similar grievances, though of course we haven't got a "world war" in the Middle East - yet. As a matter of principle, I will probably not buy any books dealing with the Arab Spring until ten years from now, when we might start getting an inkling about the effect it has had. Anything written before then will be, in my opinion, opportunistic and premature.

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