Monday 3 December 2012

The end of optimism

TV documentary maker Adam Curtis always has something interesting to say, and his latest blog post is no exception.

He analyses current events in the Middle East from an historical perspective and suggests that the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Israeli right enjoy a symbiotic relationship.

Western liberals find the situation in Gaza and Egypt incomprehensible. It is comprehensible, says Curtis, but only if you look at it in a wider context:
A context that western liberals really don’t like to think about because it makes them very depressed. It is the great shift of our time – the collapse of the dream that politicians could change the world for the better. A dream that was replaced by a conviction that politicians were untrustworthy and always become corrupted by power.
The collapse of that optimistic vision of what politics could achieve then left the way open for powerful, reactionary forces to take power who don’t want to change the world. Instead they want to manage the world and hold it stable – backed up by the threat of violence. A threat to which they have become increasingly addicted.
This has happened not only in America and in Britain – but all over the world. And I want to tell the story of how it happened in the Middle East. It is the intertwined story of the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Gaza strip and the reactionary right-wing nationalist groups in Israel.
All three groups are driven by an angry, pessimistic vision of the world, of human nature – and the inability of politicians to transform things for the better. It’s a fascinating story because it shows how the underlying similarities led those groups to become tightly locked together – helping each other cement their ruthless grip on their people – and freeze out any progressive alternatives.
Curtis’s blog is a long essay supported by video clips but it repays patient study. So pour yourself a drink first – you’ll need it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note before commenting: Please read our comments policy (in the right-hand column of this blog). Comments that break this policy will not be accepted. In particular, we insist on everyone using their real, full name. If you have registered with Google using only your first name or a pseudonym, please put your full name at the end of your comment.

Oh, and we are not at home to Mr(s) Angry. Before you comment, read the post in full and any linked content, then pause, make a pot of tea, reflect, deliberate, make another pot of tea, then respond intelligently and courteously.