Monday, 6 July 2009

On The Culture, in Agriculture!

I've written before, that some among us have the characteristics of schizophrenic behaviour, and then, I was referring to the media.

Today, I'm actually wondering if this schizophrenic behaviour, is more common than I had already believed. I'm aware of the state's responsibility to keep "civil peace", with all the authoritarian toned rhetoric this statement entails, but facing unarmed protesters with wooden sticks reflects the very much alive martial law mentality, a patronizing and condescending belief in the ultimate virtue of the state against a "hidden ill willed enemy" among us, with a predetermined intention of confronting peaceful protests with force.

There has to be an enlightened approach to dealing with people's protests, the constant use of batons and tear gas here and there is a sign of weakness. People have the right to protest, and almost all the time theirs are peaceful protests until the police interferes. Bashing people's heads and faces is a childish defence, people have rights, they're not sheep, even if some believe and behave like they are. An enlightened approach to "security" has to be taken, away from the rusty old culture of rooting fear in people's hearts, and making an example of some, so that the rest wouldn't do the same.

We all care about Jordan; and I dare to say that those protesters outside the ministry of Agriculture care about Jordan more than many of us do, as their motives aren't driven by a government salary, a high ranking order or a promise of promotion, they are citizens who have decided to make their voice heard, and face the proverbial music on behalf of 5 million other Jordanians, who refuse to chip in and fund the Israeli economy, and in more ways than one, finance the killing of Palestinians, as they finance the killing of our own Agriculture.

The official nonchalant conduct regarding this matter though, makes me think that there's more to this than meets the eye, and if we dig out the names of the "importers", I'm pretty sure we'd be very much disappointed but not at all surprised.


  1. you don't want to buy some product is your personal choice, you want to protest something as an individual or an unofficial group that should be your right.
    But to go into a legal contract that limits your right and then go and protest in a political matter breaking the law governing your contract then you need to suffer the consequences... And i for one don't want that union to represent me because they are just a bunch of hypocrites ...

  2. I'm assuming you mean the workers union? well the contract also allows you to display your discontent, and not be beaten for it, of course the whole contract is open for argument.

    But one can't generalize with a collective judgement of hypocracy over everyone at the protest, each has their own reason, but the actual reason behind the protest itself, was valid, despite the individual reasons of those present.

    People shouldn't be beaten up, period.

  3. I am not aware of the particular incident you are referring to here, but I agree that people involved in a peaceful protest should not be beaten up. Written in the contract or not, their rights to protest, does not give anyone else any right to physically hurt them.

    There was, last year, a worker's protest here in the UAE, with workers who were unpaid for several months. They were all water-cannoned back to their lodges and most of them have been deported. Of course, the UAE press (and I am sure you are aware of the universal frown upon the UAE's press' lack of freedom of speech) covered it all up with an excuse that didn't even make sense.

    But there is an important point you make here, that is the root of this and many other problems: Fear is still used as a divine doctrine for discipline. Haven't we evolved enough by now? Don't you think that if this element was NOT introduced to our children, they wouldn't have to resort to it during their life?

    It's always amusing when I find the majority of the human race agree on one thing, but the controlling handful of baboons continue with their poignant methods of running things "in the public's best interest"

  4. K: The contract I mean here is the social contract between the state and the citizens.

    I'm aware of the incident in the UAE, it was covered extensively in the British press, unlike it was in any Arab media, but that's not surprising, to say the least.

    There's a certain type of mentality, particularly among people in uniform, all across the Arab world, where their own self esteem is based on their perception of people's fear, rather than respect, a psycological mini dictatorship of sorts, and people in most cases, really do fear those in uniform, and their fear is justified, more often than we'd like to admit.

  5. This mentality is vividly represented in Syria. My two cents on this is that people are insecure about their own abilities so they have the urge to make others feel they're powerful.

    It's a classic example of a school bully blown out of proportions.

  6. I salute you for this post.
    How do oyu protest something as an individual..Only collectives are capable of acting and influencing, epsecillay in a society where individuals are classified. This view might contradict the individualistic view that has been dominating our thinking latley, but to suggest that the whole is only the sum of the parts is not truly representative of reality.

    As for unions, I agree with you on the issue of membership. Why aren't there a critical mass of proponents of mandatory membership is beyond me.

    Also, the issue at hand should be simplified to the point where we are talking about side issues rather that the bigger issue which is freedom of choice, speach and the right to organize and protest.

    The solution to the "imports" from israel "dillema" is mandating posting the country of origin when selling products. Banning imports goes agains many of the treaties that were signed by the jordanian government. The legality and the issue of "do they really represent" us, is irrelevant when it comes to basic rights..

  7. "Why aren't there a critical mass of proponents of mandatory membership is beyond me."

    I meant opponents :)

  8. Muhanned: Thank you, I'm not very well versed in unions' membership, but I know enough to predict that the sole reason of mandatory membership is to control any "organized" dissent either political or professional that might reach the point of having to yield to any form of that organized popular demand, having that membership as a prerequisite for work guarantees the "good conduct" of all members.

  9. Let me just say that i do not condone the beatings, i'm just saying that repercussions are expected when breaking the law.
    The union law stipulates that if the union participates in an illegal activity the government holds the right to dissolve that union.
    We all know that to protest you need a permit that is rarely if ever issued, so when the union holds this protest they are breaking the law. This is not the first time that they break the law as well ... so my view is that they already forfeited their right to protest as the engineers association by being an association and they are not protesting that lost right.
    Mohanned, i'll cross post since u raised it here as well...
    example of protesting as an individual is for example the protests for gaza earlier on in the year, protesting as a legal entity is the engineers association protest against something do you see the difference ? one is people of different affiliation coming together for a cause while the latter is a legally recognized group sponsoring a protest so everyone attending the protest is the responsibility of that group regardless of whether they are a member or not. Even in the most peaceful countries protests have a tendency of getting ugly, thinking that nothing can happen is naive.