« OMB Needs a Union Now? |
Blog Home Page
| Miami Taliban Imam's Son Damning Wiretaps 'A Misinterpretation of Language' »
May 15, 2011
Friedman on Camus and the Arab Spring
Friedman sees the spirit of Albert Camus as the real force behind the Arab Spring. "It's existential. It is much more Albert Camus than Che Guevara." The Arab spring is more about Existentialism than Communism? Okay. Since it is not about Communism at all, it is much more about anything than Communism. Point granted. The real question is whether and to what extent it is about Existentialism. The existential element that Friedman sees is that the Arab Spring is about individuals rebelling against years of being ruled by autocrats. It is a call for human dignity and individual rights.
All these Arab regimes to one degree or another stripped their people of their basic dignity. They deprived them of freedom and never allowed them to develop anywhere near their full potential. This is the same Friedman who extolled the virtues of the autocratic planned economy of China? But that aside, is it the case that rebelling against dictators is thereby a rebelling for human rights and freedom of thought and expression?
The Salafists in public demonstrations were militating for individual rights? The crowds who cheered and participated in the rape of Lara Logan were claiming their individual rights? In a country where, according to Pew research, 85% favor stoning and other punishments of Sharia law, the motivation behind the street demonstrations was desire for freedom of thought and self-determination?
Islam means submission. It is a religion that tells you how to think and act. Now how about Friedman arguing that the Arab Spring is much more about Existentialism than Islamism? Setting up the analysis of the Arab Spring as being only either about Camus or Guevara is an empty juxtaposition.