The Arab world in the 2010–2011 period was subject to a massive and unprecedented process of ‘creative destruction’. Despite its highly pernicious effects at numerous levels, including the distortion of political life and the stark polarization and increasing disparities between rich and poor, creative destruction is the instrument of choice in the process of globalization run by the major powers, and functions in place of more costly direct military interventions but can be used to serve similar ends. Major western powers engage in trafficking in protection, and American policies impose international axes conflicting by design for the purposes of managing their concerns whether such be through playing off political rivals against one another or running low-intensity wars that serve vested interests or grander imperial designs. Savage capitalism is an overt instrument and consequence of authoritarianism and corruption that justifies chaos, which also, in the context of globalization, gives just cause for revolution when it affirms social–Darwinian concepts that suggest ‘victims deserve their fate’ and ‘whoever can save himself does’. The Neo-liberalism derivative of Adam Smith that is at the core of globalization and its logic vigorously promotes individualism at the expense of collectivism and group interests and encourages individual initiatives—all of which led to the major global financial collapse of September 2008, and it is this same logic that underpins the strategy of creative destruction. This article provides a theoretical framework as well as specific means for analyzing the process of creative destruction specifically in the Arab world during the period of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ and deals with the various social matrices and movements along with the role of Arab satellite media, electronic chaos and cyber-mobilization. Additionally projects, justifications for, and hierarchies of creative destruction are detailed across various axes and different modalities including the American mode, the Arab authoritarian state mode and the popular mode. The force of creative destruction in the Middle East, in the final analysis, is more than a US scheme for dismantling the old Arab order; the Arab revolts constitute the catalyst and central tendency towards taking responsibility—as a concept and plan for the unleashing of the tremendous power and mobilization that are permitting Arab peoples to do more than react, but to have their say in history.
War of Creative Destruction: the central tendency in the globalized Arab revolutions (a study in the formation of the future)
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Fatḥī al-ʿAfīfī; War of Creative Destruction: the central tendency in the globalized Arab revolutions (a study in the formation of the future). Contemporary Arab Affairs 1 July 2012; 5 (3): 427–447. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17550912.2012.676320
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