After the Revolutions

There have been many revolutions in the world which have changed the government of nations or the means of choosing the government. In the Arab world there are series of events which may ultimately comprise some kind of revolution, with the old order changing and a new order starting. Even powerful and secure nations are not free from the possibility of revolution, which is why they support some factions in neighbouring countries, in the expectation that a change of government next door will bring in a government more sympathetic and less dangerous to them.

Promoting change in a nation which constitutes a fundamental change is always a dangerous business for the promoter and for everyone else. The Western democracies have promoted change of regime in Libya recently; today Libya has virtually stopped producing oil and is ruined by militia in fighting as the revolution continues. The hopes that people had of a stable democratic nation where the population had nothing to fear from the government have ended. Today the people fear from many factions each trying to become a government. There has been little reconstruction in Libya, and there is unlikely to be any significant reconstruction until the militias stop fighting with each other and until the civilian population is no longer threatened with death and injury by those who govern or who wish to govern.

The distress and economic collapse of Libya is the result of “action” by democratic nations against its former ruler. I have no reason to think that similar “action” against Syria will not have a similar result, as revolutions and attempted revolutions continue. Perhaps the revolutions will return the wheel to exactly the same position that it was in before the revolution started.

One thing is certain. Eventually the fighting will stop  and a government will be established in Syria and in Libya. Those governments may be more or less benign than the previous governments of those nations. They may protect or injure the people of those nations and indeed other nations will take different views of the quality of those governments yet to come. Another thing is also certain: as Franz Kafka pointed out “every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy”.

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