Friday, February 11, 2011

He who controls the past, controls the future

"Der Spiegel" reports that Mubarak has left Cairo in a helicopter. Well, that will be no thanks to the West the nature of which  Slavoj Žižek   revealed to us all too clearly in the in the 'Guardian' some eleven days ago when he wrote: "The hypocrisy of western liberals is breathtaking: they publicly supported democracy, and now, when the people revolt against the tyrants on behalf of secular freedom and justice, not on behalf of religion, they are all deeply concerned. Why concern, why not joy that freedom is given a chance?"..... and how appropriated that he added: "Today, more than ever, Mao Zedong's old motto is pertinent: "There is great chaos under heaven – the situation is excellent."

Yes, the West is hypocritical, with its preaching free speech, democracy and rule of law, while fighting illegal wars, gagging journalists and putting old wine into new bottles. Nevertheless, the hypocrites do not control the historical and political narrative. There is another side to the story. We have Howard Zinn and the "Myth of the Good War", we have Slavoj Žižek and we know all about the crimes of the West. Yes, our synthesis unmasks the hypocrites and in doing so we have the moral high ground and while we occupying that moral high ground something else is still possible.

..... and so back to Mao Zedong, the chaos under heaven and that "excellent situation" where no debate is possible. Where, the historical narrative is controlled. Yes, the Orwellian thesis "he who controls the past, controls the future" makes sense but in the West we might deny our political "masters"the opportunity to control our pasts are not and, while we can make sense out of the chaos, there is no chaos under heaven and,  as the people on the streets in Cairo are showing us, our futures are for us to decide.

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