Wed. Feb. 9th. Joburg, South Africa
Let us, for a start, observe a few patent surface characteristics of the current “uprising” in Egypt. There is to begin with the fact that it was a surprise. Not a surprise on the scale of the collapse of the Iron Wall between East and West in ’89, but nonetheless similar in that this surprise also shows how many worlds removed from any contact with reality our caste of high-priest politicians and economist seems permanently to be. A gamut of specific features are additional proof that the official rhetoric comes from wooden heads whose ears are sealed with wax. Not one of them would have predicted that an uprising could last as long as this one already has, none of them would have predicted that its support could be as broad – as trans-class, trans-cultural and trans-religious – as it has turned out to be. (observe the caleidoscope of costumes and dresses that the protesters wear.) Certainly, none of the mud-heads who we permit to rule us would have predicted that an uprising could be as disciplined as this one – despite provocations – has managed to remain.
Of course world-wide there are hosts of people who were not particularly surprised, but who were joyous and relieved and who in great choruses sang: “At last! at last! Perhaps, the beginning has at long last begun.” The hosts of those many have of course a thoroughly different understanding of the dynamic that moves our world, from the hypnotic trance ideas in which our leaders mumble their mantras. (“Economic Growth”) They full-well know that the abysmally deep problem, very especially, in the so-called Near East is the “monstrous split” between the minute cast of semi-god like financiers and the entire rest of us, i.e. the collapsed and barely still struggling middle-class and the billions that are officially the global poor. They know that this is the real problem, and in different shadings they already proclaim already now that getting rid of Mubarak, and even installing some window-dresssing of democracy “will not be enough!” And we of course know from countless examples, ranging from the United States across the whole spectrum to India, that they are dead right; that it will take a great deal more to close the “monstrous split.”
This perspective now allows us to summarize the dramatic significance that the Rebellion in Egypt has for New Work.
First: What is happening in Egypt shows that the monstrous split between those bathing in money and those barely surviving is not just a moral scandal, but can indeed become dangerous for the governments now in power. New Work has been saying this for years. Egypt proves that this true.
Secondly: New Work is so far the only organization that has an elaborated, tested, detailed and realistic plan for the closing and healing of the monstrous split. (The combination of a New Economy, New Work and New Culture.) Egypt shows that the roof is burning; that the split must be closed soon, before it is too late. So Egypt is also an opportunity: those who have connections to Egypt should help those who are developing New Work, to introduce New Work into Egypt. Getting rid of Mubarak, and hiding the real problems behind a curtain of democracy will not be enough. (Look at South Africa and India and a hundred other examples.) Maybe a version of New Work that fits Egypt could solve the real problems that Egypt has.