Today and yesterday are alike [Archives:2008/1130/Opinion]

February 18 2008

Ali Naji Al-Ra'awi
'Today and yesterday are alike' is a famous saying usually used for comparing between the similar cases, which are sometimes repeated to reproduce the same ideas again and again, or due to shrinkage of the course of time and some people's reliance on the ideas and concepts they had stored during the past days of their life.

As far as I am concerned, the best description for connotations of such a famous saying is the one uttered by Dr. Hamoud Al-Awdi, a man that needn't be introduced to the readers, when he diagnosed the situation of political, partisan, intellectual and educated elites following the Yemeni revolutions against the rule of Imamate and British occupation.

In reverse to what was expected, these elites became highly interested in setting out at nightfall, speculating and riding over the waves of sophistical controversy. These elites also enjoy listening to the repeated chanting of nationalist and Islamic slogans.

And, each party deliberated to defend what it believes to be appropriate and applicable for Yemen without feeling the role those elites were expected to play for the sake of enhancing and deep-rooting course of the Revolution, and having its contemporary moves replace heritage of the past, which the Revolution broke out to change.

Under influence of that coma, those elites had been distributed over different directions. We turned to see Socialists without Socialism, capitalists without capitalism and Islamists without a rule of thinking while the result, according to Dr. Al-Awdi was the conflict between Yemeni people themselves on behalf of those who embraced their political and intellectual methodology and theories.

Undoubtedly, these political and intellectual methodology and theories had left negative impacts on the factor of correlation with the national identity and cultural affiliation with the Yemeni reality, as well as with establishment of the Reunification on May 22, 1990, accompanied by the democratic and pluralistic course.

There was a great hope that those elites may develop their awareness until reaching the level of civilized achievement in the frame of which the relation between the rulers and the ruled became regular through the move from the revolutionary legitimacy to the constitutional legitimacy.

Despite the political and democratic development so far achieved, regretfully some of those elites remained dealing with the concept of democracy, based on its ancient heritage, thereby making democracy and its practices victims of arbitrariness.

The prominent evidence of this violation is manifested by some political parties whose positions, in one way or another, contradict the higher national interests. This is also clear in the behaviors that deliberately confuse between opposing the government and opposing the homeland, as well as between what is public and what is private. The situation led to poisoning climates of the political life and weakening the rings of confidence between its components.

It is not a false accusation to say that some people had joined the political battle armed with one of the two options: 'to rule' or 'to oppose those who rule'. This behavior contradicts nature of the role of a politician, supposed to be always an ideal example of commitment to addressing the national and social issues.

All the above-mentioned are some of the factors leading us to understand that many politicians and partisans learn from experiences of the past with their positions seemingly hesitant more than decisive. As result, some of them turn to be nationalists overnight but regionalists in the morning, urbanized today but villagers tomorrow, or preachers of ethics and morals in the Friday Prayer but defamers of those opposing their viewpoints outside the mosque.

This contradiction reaches its climatic point while we see that those who once used to consider Josef Stalin their first guide, from whom they learned the philosophy of justice and equality between layers are those who say today that Stalin was illiterate who never read even a single book throughout his life since he dropped out of school at an early age. They say about Stalin today that he couldn't master the Russian Language except for its slang because Georgia is his ancestral land.

Source: Al-Thawra State-Run Daily

The author is the Daily Editor-in-Chief