Morocco: urgent real changes needed
By Ahmed Naoual
Morocco World News
Tunis, May 26, 2012
As an expatriate living in Tunisia, I heaved a sigh of relief as street demonstrations and thinly disguised calls for a violent regime change gradually died away in my homeland Morocco. I am not a diehard reactionary royalist hiding selfish pursuits behind false loyalty to the monarchy or a fat cat thriving on the rampant lawlessness and lack of accountability. I do not need to be defending tooth and nail the status quo to keep the undeserved privileges and illicit riches flowing.
I strongly believe that far-reaching, revolutionary changes are needed to transform Morocco from an archaic, medieval-like society into a full-fledged modern nation-state where all citizens are equal before the law and where nobody is entitled to a special treatment on account of their birth rights or loyalties. That said, I strongly believe that use of violent means to achieve this legitimate goal is not only doomed to fail, but it is likely to degenerate into a state of total chaos and endless mayhem, and the regime would only emerge hardened and more ruthless from such a bloody and long-lasting struggle for power (and survival), if it is not knocked down in the process.
Despite rampant corruption and crippling inefficiency, the Morocco state apparatuses remain largely functional and are geared up for a prompt and proper response to any existentialist threat from within, and once blood is spilled on the streets, the entire country would be caught in the vicious circle of violence and counter-violence.
Lives would be lost or shuttered, investors and tourists would shun the country and the economy would collapse. Even if the regime is toppled, “the Moroccan revolutionaries,” as they would be flatteringly called in the press, might never be able to agree on how to run the country, in the absence of traditions of non-violent confrontation of ideas and consensus. A worst-case scenario would be an all-out bloody civil war that may last for years or even decades.
To avoid such doomsday scenarios, some deep and honest soul-searching needs to be initiated in an atmosphere of peace and forbearance, setting aside any spirit of vindictiveness or resentment, in a move that should pave the way for the emergence of a new nation, proud of its rich traditions and culture and eager to embrace the values of freedom and equality. A spontaneous and orderly participation by all sections of society should lead to a broad-based consensus on the path to follow to achieve this goal.
As a first step, the high spheres of power will have to understand that phoney cosmetic changes grudgingly “bestowed” on a grateful people, coupled with the necessary use of force and intimidation to silence cheeky dissidents and disobedient mobs, are things of the past.
The late King Hassan II ruled over a nation of superstition-stricken malleable illiterates who looked upon the king as a demigod to be feared and adored. He was an overlord granting favors and privileges to subservient vassals in exchange for their fealty. When voices of dissent were raised, punishments were doled out behind closed doors in the pre-dot-com era.
Despite desperate efforts to keep this moribund feudal system alive with the usual fief-like rewards and ceremonial shows of servitude, sooner or later our rulers will have to come to grips with the country’s new social and cultural realities. The illiteracy rate has plunged to nearly 30%, people living in urban areas now account for over 60% of the country’s population, and internet penetration is close to 50%. To keep corralling the masses into accepting their plight as a fated doom, maintaining them at a constant zombie-like stupor of fatalism, these trends need to be reversed, not just ignored like some unsavory thoughts.
Ahmed Naoual is a Moroccan national. He is a Senior Equity Translator at Oddo Securities, a top player in European shares, corporate bonds and derivatives. He obtained a Bachelor degree in English Literature from Hassan II University in Casablanca and a Master degree in Translation from King Fahd School of Translation in Tangiers. Ahmed is an aspiring poet and essayist with regular contributions to online and paper magazines in the US and the UK.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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