Did the Arab revolutions fail?

Did the Arab revolutions fail?

January 05, 2021 - 12:34
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By Abdullah Al-Kabir, a Libyan writer

Abdullah Al-Kabir

This question is re-asked in each anniversary of the Arab revolutions. The question itself implies doubts about the feasibility of the revolution as long as it did not achieve its expectations. By following the developments of the revolution in all countries, the direct answer is yes.

The revolutions failed because the situation got worse than it was in the Arab countries before the outbreak of the revolution in Tunisia and spreading later to other countries. And large number of the Arab peoples is taking nostalgia to the pre-revolution time and the fall of some tyrannical regimes. There is no problem in describing an event whose chapters have been completed with success or failure, but is it correct to ask this crucial question about an event that is still interacting, and its repercussions are continuous?

A student may fail and exhaust the repetition times in a given stage of study and be forced to leave and change course or specialization in pursuit of a new opportunity. A sports team may fail to win the championship in a competition and the title goes to another team. Here we can talk about failure without a dispute, because the event was completed with failure for the student or the sports team. But an event that has not been completed is absolutely unfit for final judgments. The Arab revolutions that opened the way to change are still waging their various struggles at all levels in all Arab countries, even those that remained untouched by the drizzle of its waves, and the regimes in them were forced to take measures to delay the explosion of protests by various means, such as amending the constitution, making some reforms, or using the surplus rentier revenues to improve people's income levels.

There are many evidences for the continuation of the revolutionary movement despite all the pitfalls and failures, demonstrations demanding change continue without interruption in the countries of revolutions, and attention to public affairs has become at the core of the Arab citizen’s interest, and the ferocity of the remaining repressive regimes has increased and this is evidence of fear of a repeat of the explosion moment.

Perhaps the most prominent evidence of this continuous process of the revolution is the outbreak of protests in Sudan, Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon eight years after its first wave. And still the rest of the authoritarian regimes tremble in fear and panic as they carefully await the next waves.

So what happened? Why did the revolutions relapse? With Tunisia as an exception, Syria, Libya and Yemen slid into wars, and the military returned to power in Egypt. The relapse of the Arab revolutions cannot be limited to one reason because many factors have combined to disrupt the process of change, some of them are related to the social and economic structures in the countries of the revolution, and some of them concern external interventions and conflicting regional and international projects, in arenas that have become exposed after the collapse of the ruling regimes and the weakness or absence of institutions capable of filling the void and confronting external interference.

There is a major reason that should be taken into account when talking about revolutions, as history tells us that the stages of change take a long time beyond expectations. It has never been before people reaped the fruits of their sacrifices on the massacres of revolutions before decades after the revolutionary time. But man was created of haste and wants to see the effect of transformation as soon as possible.

There is no doubt about it that change has taken place, and that what is after 2011 is completely different from what came before it, as for the path of change and its acceleration or slow pace, it will remain dependent on all the conflict interactions between the new, which the dreams and aspirations of the people seek, and the tyrannical forces of the past that allied with the enemy to abort any resurgence that would change the power equations and end external hegemony over the Arab region.

 

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Libya Observer