Controlling Instincts: Middle East Politics

I had a great TEDx talk about my Controlling Instincts. I tried to show how the concept impacts “Organizational Personality” and “Educational Dynamics”. In this post, I will try to apply some of these ideas to the politics in the Middle East.

If we look at the Middle Eastern countries up until the start of the Arab Spring, we recognize that there were three types of governments: the Royal Monarchies (Morocco, Jordan, Gulf States), the Military Regimes (Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria) and the democratically elected government (Lebanon and Iraq).

If I want to apply the controlling instincts concepts to countries, and create “Country Personalities”, I can understand many of the dynamics of what is happening there.

The military mentality belongs to the Industrial instincts: structure, mass production, norm for all, one objectives. The majority of the population that stayed in their country and did not emigrate belong to the agrarian instincts group: family/tribe based, possession oriented, follow the norm mentality and so on.

The military regime created what I will call “tamed tension”. Most revolutionary political parties (Communists, Baath, Greens in Libya) aim at moving the country to the industry age. This means replacing agrarian instincts with industrial instincts. However, they failed to make the real change, because in my opinion religion influence was dominant. Something similar to the demise of communism in Europe. But this is another post. So, the military regimes created a “fear” driven society disguised by “the big family mentality” through the creation of ONE party that governs the country by thought monitoring means. I think it was a brilliantly vicious plot. Since agrarian instincts cherish solidarity and dying in defend of the brother, the military regimes brilliantly used the Palestinian cause as the glue that gives the “big family” its identity, cause and survivability through living for the cause and readiness to die for its solidarity. They had controlled media, controlled education and strong vicious intelligence services that assumed the role of monitoring their thought. Brilliant vicious concept that worked well until 2010.

So, the presence of the military regime was a means of imposing industrial instincts on a community that is driven by agrarian instincts. There was a tamed tension but the agrarian instincts survived.

[side note: many individuals left the country during the military era… I suspect that the majority of those who immigrated were industrial in nature… but now I am wondering: were they knowledgian in nature?? Worth a research.]

Obviously, the monarchies follow the rules of the agrarian instincts. This matches their own people drive. This is why the monarchies are experiencing a relative calm in this turmoil period of history. The only skirmishes are caused by “industrially driven parties” who are miscalculating the dynamics.

As I outlined in an earlier post, the present Egyptian revolution is the only turmoil where the knowledgian factors are playing a major role. All other Spring Revolutions are caused by Agrarian-Industrial tension. The Egyptian is Agrarian (assumed by the Islamists), Industrial (played by the Military Government) and Knowledgian (assumed by the Wikipedian lead by Wael Ghoneim) tension. We need to keep an eye on it.

The Syrian Revolution is bit more complicated. Most of the revolutionists on the ground are agrarian in nature. They are revolting because the modern media (FaceBook, Internet, Saltallite,…) made the strong glue keeping them united (the Palestenian Cause) melt. They recognized that their government is not fighting for the cause (leaving Lebanon, staying silent when Israel hit Syrian targets, staying neutral in 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, etc…) In previous eras, the Syrian population would never hear stories like this because the government media would twist it. But now, in the modern media age, these truths are well known and spread among the Syrian. So, the glue that kept them together became weak, consequently made the people revolt. This is why I believe the Syrian case is another agrarian-industrial tension and Knowledgians are not playing any rule, so far. Similar analogy could be extrapolated to the Tunisian, Libyan and Yemeni examples.

I feel great when the small pieces of facts add up to the big picture.

[Another side note: The Arab population are famous for believing in the Conspiracy Theory. They were right. But the conspiracy was not plotted by Israel and the Capitalists… but by themsleves on themselves. Worth a thought].



CI: Wikipedian Controlling Instincts

I have talked before about my experience with Wikipedia. As well, I mentioned in a couple of previous posts (here and here) that the Middle Eastern Revolutions should not be considered a FaceBook revolution, but a Wikipedian Revolution.

In this post, I will outline some terms that reflects the controlling instincts of a Wikipedian:

  • Stubbing: the drive to contribute
  • Idling: Make use if Idle Time
  • Tolerance: accepting difference
  • Collaboration: work with others without expecting return
  • Non-personification: can work with strangers
  • Contribution: sense of giving
  • Vim: taking initiative
  • copyleft: does not believe in copyright. Believes ideas are contributors to other bigger ideas and it does not matter who started it
  • manytasking: can work on more than one task at the same time.
  • Everchanging: change world around him is the norm.

I am still working on the right choice of words. And I will explain them in another post.

Politics: Syrian Revolution… again

I am with the Syrian people who are screaming for freedom, dignity and the right to live decent life. I have survived Syrian system brutality and understand what the young Syrian are passing through. Still, I do not see the Syrian revolution as elegant as the Egyptian revolution. There are many differences. The one I want to highlight in this post is “life”. When I witnessed the Egyptian revolution, I admired how much they valued the life of every single Egyptian person. I have not seen them advocating martyrdom to win the revolution. They called for each one to preserve their life so that they can enjoy the coming freedom. The multitude would cry dearly if ONE person got hurt. On the “We Are All Khaled” website, which has more than 1 million participants, thye lamented every hurt or agony an Egyptian passed through even if it was hunger.

The Syrian revolution is another story. On their website, they call for the Syrian to die for the sake of the revolution. They encourage them to die. I feel so sad when I see someone videoing a hurt person instead of helping him, only to show the world the brutality of the regime. I understand the rationale of their act. I do not agree with it. They want the world to see the brutalities to support the revolution. This is wrong. They should not reply on the support of the world to overthrow the regime. They should rely on themselves. They should protect every Syrian soul. Otherwise they prove that their values are in the wrong place. They will be the new tyrants. They still use the old archaic methods of playing on the nerves, the guilt feeling, the artificial heroism.

This is why I see the Egyptian revolution is more elegant. And this is the difference between the “culture of life” compared to the “culture of death”.

Again, I wish the Syrian get their freedom. They deserve to live in dignity. They are a great people.

Politics: The Syrian Revolution is not a FaceBook Revolution

The Syrian revolution has reached a critical mass needed for its success… but it is not a FaceBook revolution. The people administering their FaceBook pages do not show any type of a Wikipedian nor Facebookian mentality or attitude. They still use the same methods of the traditional revolutionary thought that focuses on history, religion, sympathy, guilt feeling, traditional tribal feelings etc.

The young people on the streets might have that kind or mentality. But you cannot tell because the communication from inside the activists are controlled and limited. My gut feeling tells me that the Wikipedian/Facebookian in Syria, if any, would be in the larger cities like Damascus and Allepo. But neither of these two places have moved effectively on the ground.

All I wish is the the Syrian people get their freedom to soar. They might need another generation to get to where Egyptians are now, but it is worth the wait.

Politics: Why Darraa?

I have been wondering why the revolution in Syria started in Daraa… the southern-est city in Syria. Why not Hama,  Homos, Damascus or any other town? Then it hit me: it is the closest city to Jordan… it has access to Wireless telecommunication from Jordan! in other words, access to the Internet from a non-Syrian source!

My next question: does this means the Daraa people had access to the FaceBook page, thus they knew about the revolution before the other cities? Or, does this mean that the revolution in other cities is way underway, but Daraa is the only city that can broadcast what happens because it has access to non-Syrian controlled internet?

I will keep watching for an answer!