Can angry men build states?

Yasser al-Ghaslan

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I have an inherent conviction that rebels in their nature do not possess the tools that help in dealing with politics as per the game's rules. In their nature, they are angry, rebellious and confrontational. They reject all means of dealing with others upon the principle of interests, negotiations and attaining the possible. They reject dealing with others according to the circumstances they can over overcome.

The countries that emerged victorious from WWII like the Soviet Union, with its revolutionary ideology, did not stand their ground for long.

Yasser al-Ghaslan

The Soviet Union failed to sustain itself as a political regime because the basis of its ideology was revolutionary. That's why it stood its ground for a while and later reached the brink of the abyss. Thus it collapsed amid a confrontation with an international pragmatic political wit, and countries, within the union and outside it, which lobbied as per their interests. And so we were left with a group of independent countries where each adopted the political regime it saw best. These regimes served the interests of their politicians who worked in secrecy to dismantle the union from within.

Revolutionary mentality

In Lebanon and the occupied territories, the revolutionary mentality continues to fail in ruling the public and in agreeing on the best policy to build the state. Hezbollah is busy facilitating circumstances that protect its continuation by counting on the support of the Velayat-e faqih, and Hamas continues to defy the world by using a language of rejection and challenge. Its defiance is not one based on politics and camouflage. Its basis is that of the warrior stifling with how his case is unjustly treated and who ends up lamenting to achieve liberation instead of seeking to gain political sympathy.

So imagine how the situation will be in the brotherly country of Egypt which is currently ruled by a revolutionary regime that has worked in secret for many decades. We currently see how rejecting others due to differences in political visions has become a systematic approach and how silencing the media has become a daily act.

Sunni velayat-e faqih

What is scary in Egypt is that the situation has reached the point of arresting a journalist under the excuse of insulting the president and religion. It is a very smart incrimination that linked criticizing the president with criticizing religion. We have thus discovered a new Sunni velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurisprudent) which reference is the logic of the suspicious rebellious revolutionary dogmatic man attempting to export his revolutionary approach through clashes and confrontations by hijacking religion and its truth.

It is not strange that countries which are successful on the global level, like Germany and Japan, are those which overcame the failure they suffered from during World War II by looking into their people's future in a political pragmatic way where interests and not slogans came first. Such successful countries took a realistic path based on ambitions to build in order to eventually restore a respectful place for themselves in the world. The countries that emerged victorious from WWII like the Soviet Union, with its revolutionary ideology, did not stand its ground for long. It ended up where all ideologies rejected by sane minds end, in the dustbin of history. Its experience remains a lesson for those who seek to learn.

This article first appeared in Saudi Arabia’s al-Watan on April 1, 2013

Yasser al-Ghaslan has worked as a reporter and editor in several Saudi newspapers and is the founder of themedianote.com, a website focusing on Arab media issues. He has previously been a director at the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting in Doha and now is the head of Media & Public Relation at Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University in Saudi Arabia. He can be followed on Twitter: @alghaslan.

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