After Upsurge, Chaos

President Zine El Abidine Ben  Ali was ousted in the Tunisian revolution in January 2011. And that was the beginning of what they call ‘Arab Spring’. Suddenly all Arabs looked the same, sounded the same and were expected to duplicate each other’s collective action. Outside players were interested in regime change and they got it. Right now Syria is witnessing a bloody civil war, again for a regime change with the covert backing of the same outside players. If the change is being delayed for the time being it is because Russia and China openly oppose the western game-plan. An Arab Spring is becoming a fading memory as various Arab countries are facing hard truths.

The West that was eloquent about spring festival in Arab world is itself now in turmoil. Europe is swept by popular protest marches against austerity measures that reflect economic downturn and its adverse consequences on job market and social security.

The French election result influenced by the ailing French economy has already put pressure on the entire European politics of austerity. Local election results in Italy have not favoured austerity policy also. Shifts of German political plates caused by the recent election results are shaking Angela Merkel, the most powerful European statesperson. But power of her mighty touch is losing power. A government in the Netherlands has collapsed while financial measures in Ireland and Portugal are being questioned.

With losing 922 jobs a day, unemployment rate 21.7% in February, 54% unemployed in the 15-24 age group, a near-livelihood-disaster, the mainstream political leadership's obligation to troika dictation, sale out of democratic principles, weakness in political education, are fuelling rise of Nazis in Greek politics.

Now, it seems, Europe's central bankers are divided over the Greexit question. Bloomberg has found in a poll that 57% of its 1,253 investors, analysts and traders assumed that at least one country will abandon the euro by year-end. 

People in Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Germany, and the UK joined the Indignados in respective lands, in respective capacity and forms. But all united in common call: resist brute austerity.

Protests by police officers and members of public in Britain have once again invalidated bankers' policy: cut down spending for public. Near-unprecedented police protest in England and Wales has questioned profit as banners proclaimed: "Police for public, not for profit". The protesting police officers demand: halt cuts and privatisation of the service, and full industrial rights. Citing the participants, the British press said: There is anger as the rank and file officers face cuts to their pay, pensions and changes to their working conditions.

Economy and politics, in usual way, react with each other everywhere. Europe is no exception. The developments there are not the concluding parts of the incidents in the continent as capital there still occupies space for manipulation. A lot of dramas still are to be staged there as contradictions are yet to sharpen further.
Arab or Europe, everywhere people are restive. But in the absence of organised leadership and a popular goal to reach, soon all these huge mass uprisings are losing momentum only to become footnotes or quotes in academic exercises.

Vol. 45, No. 4, Aug 5-11, 2012