Casablanca – We all have seen how the abrupt political transformations in the Arab World did not bring the development and stability that many had promised.
With the exception of Tunisia, the countries that experienced the ‘Arab Spring’ are currently facing bigger catastrophes than those caused by the removed tyrannical regimes.
One does not have to be a political analyst to logically deduce that the general conception that prevailed before the ‘Arab Spring’, in which dictators are the only barriers to the advancement of the Arab World, is ultimately erroneous.
In Morocco, the political reforms initiated by the king in 2011, though welcomed by the majority of Moroccans and applauded by the West, did not realize the progress needed at any level. Since neither revolutions nor political reforms succeeded, searching for the means to achieve development has haunted the collective consciousness of the Moroccans.
As a number of philosophers and intellectuals have argued , what the Muslim World needs today is a cultural revolution. In this respect, culture should be both a means and an end. Arts, literature, and imagination should be reclaimed and instrumentalized to wash out the remnants of colonialism that imposed alien life styles, percepts and values, and perplexed Muslims’ culture and intelligence. The ideal is that regaining Arab and Muslim cultural coherence, will allow both the community and the individual to develop a sense confidence, moderated by self-criticism, that will create a healthy atmosphere for work and production.
Europe itself woke up after centuries of passivity and did not need to overthrow its regimes. Emmanuel Kant, the prominent Prussian philosopher, in his famous essay “What is Enlightenment” explains that development is not the responsibility of politicians or leaders but rather produced and worked out by the common man. “Sapere audi !” — Dare to know, Kant says to the layman, encouraging him simultaneously to produce and activate his sense of critical reasoning. Consequently, the works of philosophers, artists and men of letters, followed by the common citizens, enriched the European cultural repertoire, and dragged leaders in its wake. It is a historical reality that the most effective revolutions are the silent revolutions.
Going back to the Moroccan context, one can truly sense in society and social media a promising readiness among the youth to catch up with the developed nations. The truth is that we are not as passive and irresponsible as the older generations accuse us of being, and the proof is that we have brought a battalion of sterile social understandings and practices to an end.
I assume that one of the most significant problems that we are currently confronting, however, is a widespread tendency amongst us to passive, unproductive criticism. We are all able to detect, by dint of our unprecedented openness to other cultures and horizons, our internal deficiencies and handicaps, but we do very little to remedy them. Instead of, at the very least, suggesting solutions to our society’s problems, we give shallow remarks that are easily swept away and forgotten. We all wish to click on a magic button and wake up the next day to find that the Earth has metamorphosed into heaven. However, the unfortunate reality it is that only work and production that can improve our situation.
The most substantial problem that we are facing, I believe, is the absence of models to follow. We all want to become significant actors in our society but the reason why we are so reluctant about it is because we lack models that stimulate our imagination. One would argue that when we have the intention to change, anything will do. But stumbling in every which way can be quite discouraging and besides, the intention is already there.
Unfortunately, the few channels that monopolize national television and radio pay absolutely no attention to this aspect. In lieu of presenting Moroccan success stories to the public and spotlighting the elements that lie behind their success so that people can follow their paths, the local media further bring to light YouTube sensations that poor youngsters watch due to the lack of alternatives.
Given that the issue at hand is very complex and multifaceted, I do not attempt to prescribe any particular model of development. My intention is to encourage the reader to reflect on the topic, for I am extremely optimistic about the potential of the young generations and their capacity for genuine transformation in all respects.
As I alluded to earlier, it is paramount that we learn from history that mobilization against regimes and violent revolutions are not what will permit us to catch up with the developed nations and participate actively the global culture.
Change comes from within and unless we become more active and productive, we will keep wallowing in our negativity. Change is contingent on investing in culture and developing its constituents through great and effective production. And that, in turn, will be possible if we shed light on and understand what makes the dynamic participants in society achieve what they have achieved.
Edited by Manon McGuigan
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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