Excellent reading and thinking links

Pathways to power is the latest post on the essential-reading “Leaving Babylon” site. Lots of useful musings on the various tactics “aggrandizers” have used to snatch power….

There’s a good piece about the psychology of revolution (Iran 1978/Egypt 2010) and how people have to judge if others will participate. Also good throwaway line on “hindsight bias.”

Because the drama will end, and when it does, the outcome, whatever it is, will feel far more likely than it does now. Psychologists call this phenomenon “hindsight bias.” It’s a big reason why people think the future is more predictable than it is.

Thanks to Chris “Activism is my rent” Johnston for the heads up.

And there’s heaps of interest in the Guardian’s “A revolution in our minds”

Amira Ismael, however, is in the square with her three-year-old son, Taha. They have been camped there for five days. Ismael’s husband, Ahmed Awad, makes periodic trips out for food, but other than that the family does not intend to move until Mubarak has departed.
“I am doing this for my son,” said Ismael, an accountant. “Mubarak has to go because with Mubarak my son has no future, no life. We can’t afford to send him to the good school and Mubarak makes the government schools bad because he wants to keep the people stupid…..” [emphasis added].

And someone else says “People have changed. They were scared. They are no longer scared. We are not afraid of his system any longer and when we stopped being afraid we knew we would win,” he said. “We will not again allow ourselves to be scared of a government. We will not be afraid to say when we think the president is wrong or the government is bad. This is the revolution in our country, the revolution in our minds. Mubarak can stay for days or weeks but he cannot change that. We cannot go back.”

A few days into the protests, a wave of looting was unleashed. The pro-democracy movement suspected that the regime might be creating disorder in the hope that ordinary Egyptians would welcome a crackdown that could be used to clear the anti-Mubarak movement from the streets. But Cairo’s residents took matters in to their own hands, policing their neighbourhoods, and the protest movement grew stronger.

And finally, Paul Mason has a really really really interesting set of theses about what the various “eruptions” (Tunis, Egypt, UK etc) have in common. It, like the other pieces here, is a “must read.”
Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off everywhere.

The specifics of economic failure: the rise of mass access to university-level education is a given. Maybe soon even 50% in higher education will be not enough. In most of the world this is being funded by personal indebtedess – so people are making a rational judgement to go into debt so they will be better paid later. However the prospect of ten years of fiscal retrenchment in some countries means they now know they will be poorer than their parents. And the effect has been like throwing a light switch; the prosperity story is replaced with the doom story, even if for individuals reality will be more complex, and not as bad as they expect.

About dwighttowers

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1 Response to Excellent reading and thinking links

  1. Antonio Dias says:

    Leavergirl has done us a great service! This is useful information!

    Looking forward to stirring some Hayden in with Illich to see what comes out!

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