Friday, February 25, 2011

A new idea (for many)...

"A considerable part of our intellectual and journalist class still thought poorly of resistance to dictatorships other than fascist ones. I happened to be watching the [November 1989 scenes of people breaking through] the Berlin Wall on TV, in a house where the company included several writers, publishers and critics of apparently progressive inclinations. They watched the images of people embracing in Berlin with long faces, as if viewing the broadcast of a funeral."

[Pointing out a clear example of hypocrisy, Spain's Antonio Muñoz Molina comparing his own joy at the Cairo revolution with a similar historical event, in El País. ]

I share his feelings but there is one problem here. Liberty is a universal desire for mankind, including the men and women of the Arab world. But (unlike the Western world) democracy is a new idea, an unknown experience and barely understood in an Arab society that instinctively regards the strong leader as the best kind of leader, maybe the only kind of leader.

[La libertad es un deseo universal de la humanidad, incluyendo a los hombres y las mujeres del mundo árabe.

El problema es que (a diferencia del mundo Occidental) la democracia es una nueva idea, una experiencia desconocida y apenas entendida en una sociedad árabe que instintivamente considera al líder fuerte como la mejor clase de líder, tal vez la única clase de líder.]

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