Libmonster ID: UZ-726
Author(s) of the publication: A. D. SAVATEEV


Doctor of Historical Sciences

Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences

Keywords: Arab revolutions, globalization, Arab-Muslim culture, Russia, Russian political elite

The Arab so-called revolutions (which should more accurately be called riots, coups, anti - authoritarian actions, and perhaps uprisings) reflected, on the one hand, the processes of globalization in their Western version and, on the other, the traditional paradigms of Islamic civilization. Their bizarre interaction, which manifests itself in both confrontation and symbiosis, rivalry and mutual adaptation, perhaps with more evidence than any other criteria, can explain the causes and essence of the upheavals experienced by Arab countries. Moreover, taken separately, economic, social, demographic and even political factors, as shown by a detailed analysis conducted by direct witnesses of the events in Cairo in January 2011-Russian researchers, Doctor of Historical Sciences A. V. Korotaev and Candidate of Historical Sciences Yu. V. Zinkina 1, cannot give an exhaustive answer to the question of the prerequisites for the speeches in these North African countries, which stand out for their relative well-being against the general background of the Muslim world.

Arab Africa and the Middle East, which have turned into a zone of violent anti-government protests, have long been part of a global world, the reality of which is largely determined by the action of modern mass media - the Internet, television, newspapers and radio. The prevailing Western socio-cultural images and models of behavior (in particular, democracy in its formal expression, the emphasis on the law as a total means of resolving all issues, respect for human rights to the detriment of obligations to society) run counter to the prevailing attitudes in the local environment - traditional morality, faith, and collective perception of the world. They also contradict emotional value characteristics, existing norms, and, finally, communication.

Western political and legal culture is most consistent with the ideals and aspirations of the young, educated part of Arab society-often those people who, having higher education, including those obtained abroad, remain unclaimed at home due to unemployment and blame this (quite rightly), first of all, the traditional order and power, not appreciating them as specialists.

The desire for renewal, dynamism - qualities inherent in young people, which are spurred by the lack of basic social responsibilities due to unemployment and the inability to start a family due to the exorbitant cost of marriage. They associate their future with going beyond the dominant-Islamic-socio-political and cultural conditions, with the replacement of the moral and value scale with formal-legal, Western standards of relations in society.


In this regard, many values of Eastern society are rejected, which, especially power relations, are beginning to be perceived (to a large extent justified) as backward, preserving stagnation, incompatible with development - primarily economic. The supreme ruler is seen as the embodiment of stagnation, and the ideal is Western, primarily American, legal and political culture. But the end result is the erosion of the fundamental, civilizational foundations of the individual and society, which gradually develops into the rejection of some educated youth from domestic values in the name of Western ones. It is much easier for these people to go out on the street to demand the departure of the national leader: "I'm tired of it!"

However, what are the moral attitudes, values and business aspirations of those rebellious young people who took to the streets of Tunis and Cairo, Benghazi and Sanaa? Who are they? Silverless, thirsty-

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Do we want justice, freedom and equality for all, especially the wronged and oppressed? Cynics and careerists who have sensed the weakness of the authorities and hope to become rulers themselves with the support of the West? Marginals who have nothing to lose but their poverty, and therefore willingly join in the riots, hoping to finally find ground under their feet in this "muddy water"? Cold-blooded villains, eager to snatch their own piece of property and power in the name of their own selfish interests, beyond which they are not interested in anything, including the public price of their personal well-being? Obviously, the answer to these questions can not be obtained: such studies have not been conducted.

We can reasonably assume that the mass of people who protested and took up arms to overthrow their ruler - whether they were Libyans, Egyptians, Syrians or Yemenis-invariably includes all the above-mentioned categories of people. It is likely that the decision of which of these groups will prevail in power structures in the future, determining state policy, will depend, first, on the degree of organization (if organizational structures exist). and the consolidated position of this group; secondly, from its focus (which despises any restraining norms) on the authorities; and thirdly,from the support of the general population.

In the course of the revolution, as our compatriot Pitirim Sorokin convincingly proved in the Russian revolution of 1917, society is demoralized, almost all moral foundations are destroyed, incentives to work are weakened, economic activity is disorganized, and, most importantly, the best part of society - the most honest, uncompromising, courageous and open people who take responsibility for themselves-is destroyed. responsibility for what is happening in your country. The most skilful and unscrupulous are promoted to the top, having honed adaptive abilities, adjusting the achievements of revolutions to suit themselves.2 In this row, in our opinion, and the statement of the Minister of Defense of Egypt M. H. Tantawi, who went over to the side of the rebels. In response to a desperate rebuke from outgoing President Hosni Mubarak that he owed his entire career to him, the Egyptian president, he said: "Yes, it is true. But Egypt is more precious to me! " 3

In Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain, those who are ready to realize their own liberal expectations are coming to the fore, not even stopping at direct betrayal of the interests of their country, their society, and the state. The global system of instilling democracy by force, implemented by NATO in Libya under the pretext of "protecting the civilian population" and clearly planned for Syria, allows the category of local liberals-cynics, careerists and money-grubbers-to justify their actions by "restoring human rights, creating a state governed by the rule of law" , etc.

Globalists, for their part, present examples of liberation from any moral norms. According to the Director of the Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences A. M. Vasiliev, in November 2010, at a meeting of the leaders of the African Union with the heads of the European Union in Tripoli, the latter fawned over Muammar Gaddafi4, and after 3-4 months they began bombing cities in Libya, hunting for the Libyan leader...

Rejecting such binding moral guidelines and norms of society as compassion, mutual assistance, respect for elders, honor, courage, defense of the fatherland, and replacing them with another-legal or legal system of regulating behavior, the liberal, Western-oriented part of educated youth breaks with the traditions of Islamic society.


At the same time, appealing to the West and NATO for help (as the posters in English clearly say), declaring their democratic intentions, the Arab revolutionaries are trying to throw off their leaders who have grown tired of their decades, have grown overgrown with connections, have lost contact with society, are largely corrupt, etc., in the usual ways that, as the St. Petersburg Arabist E. I. Zelenev, are referred to by the term al-Fitna (turmoil) and which are reduced to the overthrow of the political elite under the control of-

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backstage guidance of some external forces 5.

Al-fitna as a phenomenon is very common in the history of almost all countries in the region and is a stable form of political struggle. The term al-fitna is found 35 times in the Qur'an, and always in a negative sense. It can be translated as "temptation", "madness", "delusion", "rebellion"," turmoil","rebellion".

What is turmoil in Arab political practice? These are mass expressions of protest against the existing power of people of different social backgrounds and political beliefs, which the official authorities are not able to cope with. The emerging political uncertainty of the development of events is designed to hide the interests and goals of behind-the-scenes political figures, who often try to manipulate the consciousness and actions of participants in events: the term al-fitna, first of all, characterizes the state of consciousness of the indignant masses involved in the events. Attempts by powerful individuals to channel the elements of protest in the right direction also constitute a special aspect of al-Fitna.

In any case, al-Fitnah is regarded as an evil, and all means are justified in combating it, including the destruction of the carriers of unrest. For the first time under this name, the events of 656-661 entered the history of the Islamic world, when a fierce battle for supreme power unfolded in the caliphate.

Nevertheless, in each of the countries where anti-authoritarian actions have broken out, there is a specific feature, the analysis of which brings to the surface factors of civilizational nature. So, in Libya, the protests against Muammar Gaddafi did not accidentally begin in the eastern part of the country - Cyrenaica. This area is the fiefdom of the Muslim spiritual and religious order of Sanusi, created by the authoritative North African Ulema Muhammad al - Sanusi in the first half of the 19th century. Socially consolidated, the order adopted a number of Wahhabi ideas, in particular, the restoration of the early Islamic state, and put up a stubborn resistance to the French and Italian colonizers (1901-1912, 1916-1918), described in detail by a number of scholars.6 In World War II, the order took the side of the Allies, with whose consent, in 1951, its then leader Idris al-Sanusi, a descendant of Muhammad al-Sanusi, proclaimed himself king of Libya. But already in 1969, he was overthrown by a group of officers led by the future leader of the Libyan revolution, Muammar Gaddafi.

The restraint of Islamist organizations (with the exception of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood), which, it would seem, should have taken advantage of the turmoil to seize the initiative and bring their own people to power, is noteworthy. However, by and large, none of the rather numerous groups, with the exception of scattered Islamist demonstrations in Algeria, intervened in the conflicts. The belated statements made by Al-Qaeda representatives probably only confirm the assumption that the development of Islamist ideas is cyclical.

So far, it can be stated that the beginning of anti-authoritarian protests in the Arab world was unexpected for both the West and Islamists. It is quite possible that after serious upheavals, formally democratic changes will take place in the troubled States. However, they are unlikely to become irreversible - one has only to recall the "Islamic revolution" in Iran: the civilizational basis in these regions was and remains Islam, and it will certainly regain its position.

Western intervention on the side of the Libyan rebels, to whom NATO clearly declared its intentions to purge the "civilized" world of "uncivil elements" represented by the regimes of Muammar Gaddafi and Bashir al-Assad, dramatically changed the course and essence of anti-authoritarian protests: from now on, they lose the right to be called national, and the forces at their head are increasingly likened to collaborationist regimes. world War II, who betrayed the interests of their fatherland.

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On the other hand, with all the authoritarianism, the figure of Gaddafi, especially given his martyrdom, inevitably develops into the image of an "indomitable fighter for the national interests" of a united Libya, and the resistance of Libyans to NATO takes on a just character.

The West's intransigence is evidence of its desire for a new geopolitical hegemony, in which the most firmly defending peoples, including the Arab ones, are denied the right to call themselves "enlightened", "modern", and "civilized"7.


And finally, the most important thing: how are anti-authoritarian actions in Arab countries projected on Russia, and what lessons should our Oriental science, society, and political elite learn from what is happening in the Middle East?

Events in the Arab East clearly indicate that the world has entered a phase of evolution where new forms of social and political organization play a decisive role. Mass, spontaneous associations of citizens that are connected not so much by professional, class or economic interests as by cultural, common symbols and ideas about justice, duty, power, and society are brought to the fore.

It is obvious that the party and trade union organizational structures are relegated to the second or third place. Emerging social structures are a product of civil society, albeit in spontaneous forms. Their activities are facilitated by new mechanisms, technologies of civil association - social Internet networks, but they become effective only if their visitors are spiritually and culturally related people united by common experiences and political and cultural views. This cumulative phenomenon will have to be seriously studied in our social thought, without being confined to a single scientific approach. Here, the need to use interdisciplinary methods is obvious.

As for the lessons for the Russian political elite, they should finally understand from these events: the weak are beaten! They are beaten regardless of whether the political order in a given country is democratic or authoritarian.

Unfortunately, judging by the actions and statements of the Russian political leadership, it does not have a firm position in this case. Suffice it to recall the vote in the UN Security Council to close the airspace over Libya, where Russia, as its permanent member, did not exercise its veto power on this issue. And NATO, by its brusqueness, once again confirmed that the essence of this military-police organization remained the same. Moreover, on request (demand?) NATO Russia has sent a special envoy to Libya to persuade a reluctant colonel to surrender to the victor.

In the same Arab and African states, they are probably now discussing the feasibility of maintaining close relations with the former powerful power and its political elite, which is rapidly losing credibility. Obviously, there are also doubts about the thoroughness of politicians, whose actions sometimes arouse suspicion in terms of calculating their consequences in advance... Alas, the validity of these arguments is confirmed by the statements of some overseas responsible persons that, they say, Russia will also wait for its "Arab spill revolution"...

But it is already clear that Russian companies will have to forget about the billions of dollars that could have been earned on various projects under Gaddafi. And the losses in Egypt and other countries of the region, from where we are also being diligently pushed out by our Western "friends", not forgetting to crack about the "reset" in relations with Russia? Who will be responsible for these mistakes, or the results of weakness?

We are losing influence in this important region, losing the support of a number of Arab and other States, as well as access to much-needed natural resources in this region.

Yes, it is necessary to recognize the validity of the statements of the late political scientist A. S. Panarin that the Russian political elite has largely lost its understanding of national interests and the role of Russia.8
Korotaev L. V. 1, Zinkina Yu. V. Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Structural and demographic analysis / / Asia and Africa today. 2011, N 6,7.

Sorokin P. A 2. Sotsiologiya revolyutsii [Sociology of Revolution], Astrel Publ., 2008. He also gives unflattering typical portraits of pseudo-revolutionaries, identifying three types: "esthetic-sadists", "speculators and tartuffs of the revolution", "Bobchinsky and Dobchinsky revolutions". Without being able to reveal in detail the content of these metaphorically named groups, I would still venture to attest to a certain affinity between the Russian revolutionaries and the Arab revolutionaries.

Vasiliev A.M. 3 Tsunami revolyutsii ne spadaet [The tsunami of revolutions does not subside]. 2011, N 6. P. 7.

4 Tsunami revolyutsii: novye geopoliticheskie realii [Tsunami of Revolutions: New Geopolitical Realities]. Moscow, Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2011, p.11.

E. Zelenev And 5. Arab political culture: turmoil as a form of political struggle // "Modernization and Traditions": XXVI International Conference on Source Studies and Historiography of Asian and African countries. April 20-22, 2011 Abstracts of reports, St. Petersburg, 2011, pp. 23-25.

6 See: Savateev A.D. Muslim Spiritual Orders in Tropical Africa, Moscow, XXI vek-Soglasie, 1990, pp. 86-91; Evans-Pritchard E. The Sanusi of Cyrenaica. Oxf., 1964; Triaud J.-L. Tchad, 1900-1902: Une guerre franco-libyenns oubliee? Une confrerie musulmane, la Sanusiya face a la France. P.. 1987; он же: La legende noire de la Sanusiyya. Une confrerie musulman saharienne sous le regard francais (1840-1930). P., 1995; Djian J. Etude sur les Senoussites et leurs actions dans le Centre africain // Islam et societes au Sud du Sahara. 1991, N 5; 1992, N 6.

7 See, for example: Panarin A. S. Pravda zheleznogo zavesa [The Truth of the Iron Curtain], Moscow, 2006.

Panarin A. 8. Narod bez elity [People without elite], Moscow, 2006.


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A. D. SAVATEEV, ARAB SPRING: A SYMBIOSIS OF GLOBALIZATION AND ISLAMIC TRADITIONS // Tashkent: Library of Uzbekistan (BIBLIO.UZ). Updated: 10.09.2023. URL: (date of access: 25.07.2024).

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