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Morbid Symptoms: Gilbert Achcar on the counter-revolution in the Arab world

In his Prison Notebooks of 1930, the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

In his new book, Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising, published by Saqi Books, Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, argues we are witnessing precisely such an interregnum unfold in the Arab world.

Will the counter-revolution triumph, or are we likely to see successive waves of revolutionary ferment continue to break out across the region? Only time will tell.

Indymedia’s Alex Whisson began by asking Professor Achcar to outline the key events in the northern summer of 2013 that consolidated the counter-revolution – the Iranian-backed al-Qusayr offensive by the Assad regime in Syria, and the July 3rd military coup d’etat in Egypt – events which contributed to the horrific landscape of multiple wars and massacres that characterise the Middle East today, five years on from the Arab Spring.

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