by Marcelo Lopes de Souza and Barbara Lipietz, December 2011
‘Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa, das Gespenst des Kommunismus’ (‘A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of communism’): thus Marx and Engels captured the zeitgeist at the turn of the 20th century, beckoning in the process revolutionary changes and brighter tomorrows for Europe’s working class. Today, it is as if those very words were being revived—adapted by numerous observers to fit the current socio-political processes in the Arab world. This time around, it’s the Arab elite being haunted and the spectre is that of democracy. However, is such a depiction remotely accurate?
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