The Conditionality of some Intellectuals

Although the author directs this article toward “elitist” and “recalcitrant” Arab intellectuals the Free Syrian Translators Team feel that the same criticism can be directed towards many international “experts” and “analysts” on the Arab region, for their lack of support of the Syrian Revolution and or “neutral” opinions.

Ziad Majed

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Arab intellectuals have grown accustomed to contempt and disdain of their own societies as well as focusing their criticism on these societies under the pretext of their backwardness, them succumbing to tyranny, and their susceptibility to oppression. Yet as soon as these societies have risen in revolutions and uprisings (some of which are legendary by means of grit and courage) to overthrow tyranny and confront its consequences, those intellectuals have gone silent or started to dictate the conditions upon which they would decide whether to support these societies while they face the guns and knives, or remain “neutral”.

Thus, for example, some intellectuals have demanded that the revolutions adopt what they have written in their articles and texts on the values of individuality, secularism and modernity. Yet, when the revolutions have not done so (in their chants and the rituals of death they entail), they considered these revolutions unworthy of their sympathy. Also as such, other intellectuals have decided that the revolutions not only have to overthrow political regimes, but also change societies, in order to be eligible for their support and backing. Which means that those who they have branded with retrogression, submissiveness, and obscurantism for decades have to change themselves, their “values”, and their cultures prior to overthrowing the authoritarian rule that works daily on committing massacres and inflicting pain upon them, or else, there is nothing worth being considered revolutionary in what they are doing.

As for the issue of how to bring about change, free thought, and pride in one’s dignity to create a citizen out of an individual, under a rule that suffocates every word, prevents every expression, and launches missiles at the people if they stand in its way, then that is an issue that does not seem pivotal to those intellectuals. Just as it does not concern them to revisit the history of revolutions, especially the French revolution that is revered by so many of them, and which was followed by wars, political conflicts and Imperial projects for more than a century prior to setting on the shores of freedom, the State of law, and individuals’ rights…


The ones who outdo the above-mentioned “elitist” intellectuals in their hypocrisy towards revolutions, especially the Syrian one, are the intellectuals of the “progressive” and recalcitrant movements. These intellectuals, so-called “the vanguard of the masses”, adamantly claim their adhesion to their people and the organic nature of their belonging to the people. Yet, at the same time, they loathe the people coming out of mosques and their chants, and they do not like any revolutionary structure or body. Moreover, they are impatient and do not hold theirs breathes for more than 24 hours before ridiculing the emerging elected authorities (in their first term) after the overthrow of tyranny, and the failure of those authorities’ to deliver reforms and start locking horns with imperialism.

In conclusion, it seems that the “elitist” intellectuals prefer tyranny and oppression under the pretext of the “backwardness” of the societies and their inability to change themselves. Meanwhile the “recalcitrant” intellectuals are never impressed by anything and are only interested in digging up conspiracies and tilting at windmills. They both are in agreement in their anti-revolutions position claiming it is deficient and backward on one hand and “salafist” or driven by the US on the other… Fortunately, their collusion this time does not count for anything more than just being plain talk in extra time. The shining era has returned to the Arab region, and people in the squares are discovering their routes and seeking (albeit with extreme difficulty) their footsteps while warding off all parasites that have claimed to guide them but instead contaminated their minds, just as tyrant regimes used to do.


Ziad Majed’s blog 

One response to “The Conditionality of some Intellectuals

  1. This also happened with Occupy here in the United States. Leftists complained for decades that the people were passive and apathetic and when they woke up, rose up, and marched, the old leftists didn’t join and lead them but mostly denounced them from the sidelines.

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