How neoliberalism created an age of activism

“Decades of neoliberal economic policies have concentrated wealth and are now spurring a global backlash.”

Full article available here.

This article by Juan Cole provides a exemplary illustration of the argument currently being developed by this blog. Cole describes how in countries all over the world, like Egypt and the United States, young rebels are reacting to a single stunning worldwide development: the extreme concentration of wealth in a few hands thanks to neoliberal policies of deregulation and union busting.  This is in a sense the exact argument I have been researching.  The connecting tie among social movements around the world is that of inequality. The polices of neoliberalism enacted after capitalism’s structural crisis of the 1970s have concentrated wealth in the hands of less and less.  The uprising in Egypt was not only an attack on an unruly dictator but also attack on the policies that that dictator allowed to occur. It was an uprising against repression, including repression of labor power.  It was a revolt against corruption, including the ties between the ruling elite and economic elite. Neoliberal reforms were at the heart of the complaints of the Egyptian revolution, as they are with social movements around the world.

EGYPT: Water challenges forcing a rethink on usage

Article available at IRIN/Middle East

SHARQIA, 18 October 2011 (IRIN) – Leaking water pipes, evaporation and a rapidly growing population may be significant concerns for those trying to manage and plan water supplies in Egypt, but compounding such problems – and forcing Egyptians to rethink how they use water – is the threat posed by downstream countries which also want to take more water from the Nile, say observers.

“Egyptians have to adapt to less water every day,” said Rida Al Damak, a water expert from Cairo University. Continue reading

Egypt’s Political Turmoil Drives Foreign Tourists Away

To listen to the story or read the full article visit NPR.org

An article published today by NPR’s  discusses the turbulent post-revoultion economic atmosphere faced  by workers in one of Egypt’s largest industries: tourism. Before the revolution, the article explains, one in every 7 Egyptians worked in the tourism industry. Unfortunately, that industry has been hit hard as a large percentage of foreign tourists are steering clear from the country’s post revolution atmosphere.  Egypt has a population that exceeds 82 million, that means this slowdown has the potential to affect over 11 million jobs in the country.  Tourism in the country has dropped 35 percent overall since January compared to the same period in 2010, which accounts for an approximate $3 billion loss for the Egyptian economy.  This drop in economic activity is an unfortunate consequence of the revolution, which had economic grievances, including unemployment, at the heart of its origins.