January 21, 2009
The Election of Obama: A Revolution.
It is crucially important to have an un-abiding belief in ones capabilities to achieve and to make things happen. But it is even more important to act on such a belief in order to transform the idea from the field of the purely hypothetical to that of the real. Barak Obama set up a challenge and then proceeded to deliver on it. That is how YES WE CAN became YES WE DID.
The real implications of the election of Barak Obama to the office of the presidency of the United States of America cannot be understood clearly unless the process is viewed as a continuation of what started more than two centuries ago, the American Revolution. Yes, the American Revolution lives on in order to demonstrate that revolutions never fulfill their promise if they allow their vision to become static. A revolution, ironically in the best Marxist tradition, must maintain its ability to reinvent itself and to evolve with the changing circumstances. Hegelian dialectics as borrowed by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Luckas speak to a revolution philosophy that refuses to become content for its initial successes. As Paulo Freire, the greatest educator of the last one hundred years has spent his life teaching, if we are to truly liberate ourselves then we must also liberate the other. What good is there to be gained if we are to settle for merely exchanging positions; the exploited become the exploiters and those that did the exploiting become the victims of the new rulers. If we allow that to happen then we would have failed to advance the cause of liberty and justice.
It is precisely in these terms that the election of Mr. Obama, to the highest office in the world is to be understood. This election is not a culmination of a dream as much as it is a continuation of a belief that a better and a more just society for all can be created. The United States has managed to surprise itself and the world by demonstrating its dynamism and by refusing to let its previous accomplishments hold it back from reaching for new heights and opening new vistas. The real genius of this revolution, and it is a revolution, is that it has sent a message to the world warning those that cling to old bygone fossil ideas that time has rendered obsolete and irrelevant have no one to blame but themselves for their inability to grow , change and move towards a more perfect structure. After all we must recognize the importance of the old Buddhist concept of impermanence. We need to accept that nothing is permanent except change itself.
This has got to be the lesson to the Arab countries in general. The world is best characterized by flux and if our societies are to survive and prosper then adaptation and evolution are two ideas that we should embrace rather than fight.