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].