Mumble Freedom!

Yes, we will mumble freedom first, to spell it out letter by letter, before we can shout it out. After all being free is a learning process. In practical terms, people are born neither free nor bonded, but with an internal readiness for both. Whatever happens to them next is a process of nurture and learning. Should society inform them that they are slaves, their learning could inform them otherwise. We are in essence but creatures of this ongoing interaction between what we are taught and what we learn from our own individual experiences in life.


So far, our historical experiences as in the contemporary Middle East have afforded little chance to learn much about our individuality and about the legitimacy of individual expression of difference and nonconformity.

We are still in the early phases of a long learning process, and not matter how we attempt to speed it up, and there is no reason to think we cannot do so, we still need to give it time. People need to crawl before they can walk and to mumble before they can talk, and to purge themselves of all the wrong answers before they can open up their minds and souls to accept the right ones.

And the next wrong answer that we (i.e. we as a people, and, more importantly, as a liberal elite) need to purge our souls of is Islam, not necessarily Islam as a faith system, but Islam as a holistic sociopolitical ideology. This is why we need to let our societies experiment with political Islamism, regardless of the heavy costs that will be involved. Indeed, and rather than spend ourselves in useless attempts at trying to stem the tide, we need to learn how we can roll with it, survive it, create niches and havens for ourselves within it, check its potential sweep of our societies, and ride it out, all while preparing ourselves for the eventual task of assuming control over the management of our pre-modern societies and of paving their way for eventual integration into the folds of modern states.

Crisis management, our ability to survive the upcoming phase of regional mayhem requires that we learn the fine art and sophisticated science of crisis management. We were born in crisis, and the best we can do to survive it is to learn how to manage it.

Perhaps this is more of a commentary on the human condition itself, but, and be that as it may, it seems pretty clear at this stage that we seem to suffer from a more acute manifestation of it, and although, we tend to export our crisis to others, and hence to globalize it, the real solution of it, still lies in our hands. The world will attempt to “manage” us, but, it will eventually be up to us to learn how to manage ourselves, so that we can end up being part of the solution, and not part of the problem.

My musings might seem a bit too weird today, but hey, have I ever appeard ordinary?

5 thoughts on “Mumble Freedom!

  1. Ammar, I freely admit that I am a hopeless neo Hegalian. As a result , I am unable to understand and internalise most phenomenon without subjecting them to a dialectical approach. That is why I am in full agreement with your expressed view regarding Political Islam. It arose as a logical historical necessity to the world development s over the past 150 years or so. Once we view it as such then the so called war on terror and the questions of what we could have done to avoid 9/11 become naieve. A clear understanding of how history unfolds suggests that the apparent conflict between Political Islam and democratic institutions will be resolved by a total defeat of the Islamists vision since it is not forward looking. This does not imply a passivist outlook but it says that we should follow a policy of containment and not confrontation.May I also suggest the view that we are born free and it is society that makes it posiible to unlearn these freedoms.

  2. The major problem is deeply rooted within syrias society and its family structures. The paternalistic society will always be represented by dictators. He rules in the same way as the leader in extended tribal families does. If children learn to obey, finally they obey in any case without thinking.The father again punished his heretical kids and jailed them.Read Franz Kafkas Letter To The Father.

  3. Gina, for a person whose own writing style has been occasionally described as Kafkaesque, I really need to brush up on my Kafka, thank you for reminding me.

  4. It’s depressing but I have a horrible feeling that you are right. The trouble is that time is not on your side. If Syria were to go through a period of radical Islam, sure it would all end in disaster, but how long would it take to get it out of the system. Optimistically 10 years, but if you loook at the Iranians (whose mismanagement has admittedly been underwritten by oil) they have been at it for over 30 years now and look set to sink deeper into the abyss before any potential recovery. People in the ME seem to take a long view of history , not so surprising given things have gone so slowlu there, but the rest of the world is speeding up, in 20-30 years IT developments may well have transformed the world inb a way which makes the issues that people in the ME tend to focus on irrelevant.In any cade, many thanks for an excellent Blog

  5. Thank you for your comment, Wade, and I definitely agree with the gist of your argument, we will surely be overtaken by events all around us, and in our midst. Still mentalities cannot change overnight no matter what. That is our dilemma.

Comments are closed.