Free Tunisian voices, do not clash with the international outcry against neo-liberal drift, which is based on an unfair mercantilist globalisation. One should not, therefore, speculate on the theory of the dominoes in the Arab world, because we are dealing with something deeper, complex and global.
Beyond the nature of the overthrown regime in Tunis, which is for the Tunisian society to judge, the question that remains is that of a neo-liberal system based on commercialism and patronage. A system, which is not really liberal and which is capable of displaying rates of human development and economic performance, which can seduce and confuse the most rigorous of experts from international financial institutions.
For decades, the Republic of Tunisia, has been listed in the Top Ten human development indicators from UNDP, for the Arab world. The average growth rate is between 3 and 4% and the success of the tourism industry as well as education is unquestionable.
It is obvious that the lack of freedoms, human dignity and democratic choices are not among the criteria for those who usually go around handing out left and right notes of good behaviour. The final curiosity of this kind is Moody's Ratings which, in record time, decided to downgrade the sovereign rating of Tunisia immediately after its president was deposed. Awaiting the "sentences" of Standards and Poor's, Fitch and others, it appears that these "mediums" of finance, know more about punishing popular aspirations than about the prevention of economic and financial crises.
It is surprising to achieve a better rating, when an economic system prospers based on monopoly of business, corruption and shady tenders, a system in which the businessman is Master and always richer, with a tendency to ostentation and show of power and which leaves the outsider doomed to remain poor and excluded.
But what is more dramatic is when governments eager for external ratings continue to publish statistics and patterns, convinced that they are achieving their objectives of growth and poverty reduction while the harsh reality of the people shows the opposite .
The Tunisian system was a faithful follower of Western standards of economic governance that, without doubt, was to benefit both parties. But unlike the countries of the south, as in the case of Europe, for example, where people were guaranteed, at least so far, a sufficient social security coverage that, in general, made them safe from insecurity and exclusion.
This is without taking into consideration the effects of the financial crisis and the International Monetary Fund assistance, that despite the ineffectiveness of its potions, proven in many third world countries, remains committed to prescribe smaller government formulas, balanced budgets at all costs and cuts in social spending, in this case to the northern Mediterranean countries.
What draws our attention is the fact that U.S. economic policy, does not prescribe to this formula. In contrast, the Obama administration, has increased its social health coverage, lowered its interest rates and increased its public spending in order to stimulate the economy and create employment. The result is that Americans are gradually regaining their vitality and welfare state, when European countries are still under the turmoil of the Euro and the "social reforms", despite the good results achieved in Germany.
It's time for the financial gurus to remember that you cannot put into a mathematical equation something as sensitive and unique as a human being. In that sense the geographical location is not a serious argument, but the sense of dignity and justice is.
Therefore, free Tunisian voices do not clash with the international outcry against neo-liberal drift, which is based on an unfair mercantilist globalisation. It is, therefore, not about speculation on the theory of the dominoes in the Arab world, because we are dealing with something deeper, more complex and global. Rather, it would be the creation of a new, just and humane world order, which may have started at the edge of the Mediterranean.
May God protect the Tunisian people and guide their steps.
25- 01- 2011
Translated by Abderrahim Loh