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Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Occupy Wall Street: Is Madagascar the Inspiration?

In French, L'Observateur Viewpoint- Other Sources, Politics, Society on October 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Occupy Wall Street is growing. Interesting enough, would Madagascar be the inspiration of the movement? It is reported that David Graeber, one of the initiator of the movement, spent nearly two years in Madagascar and wrote a book on the people of Betafo in 2007: “Lost People.” Reading the article  of  Joseph Knippenberg who refers to Occupy Wall Street movement in terms of  anarchy, democracy, equality, and disdain for the rule of law” I cannot help but remembering the 1972-75 Madagascar frightening period . Maybe it was Madagascar defining period, when everything started changing…for the best or the worst.  “Intellectual roots of Wall Street”? In transposition does the name of Manandafy ring bells? He is known as a political figure but was a powerful intellectual figure of the department of  Sociology at the time with his spreadheading force for proletarian power in Madagascar.

My daughter told me last week that there is a major resemblance between Occupy Wall Street and the issues I observed in Madagascar through Dago News Reader. She turns out to be right…


Life Goes On…A Far Cry from Democracy

In Economics, Elections, French, Politics, Society on October 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Amid recurrent crises life goes on in Madagascar. Nothing changes despite talks, again and again, infinite local and international talks. Among the major speculations and possibilities: a military Directorate...again, or Rajoelina winning his coveted presidential bid! Sadly, there is no news, just a relentless repeat of the past. When will Madagascar learn despite efforts from various groups? What has Madagascar learned?

Some concerns about Madagascar sovereignty, let alone Madagascar’s future seem legitimate. But aren’t today’s sovereignty concerns just a circumstantial  shift of foreign influence from one continent to another that Madagascar had endured over the decades? Isn’t it also the result of the remapping of world politics? Remember when Madagascar lost its sovereignty for the first time? It resulted from a quarrel between France and England, caused the end of Madagascar Kingdom, the exile of its leader, the emergence of a new era: colonization, independence, a myriad of regimes and administrations that had no respect for or made a priority of the sovereignty of the Malagasy people. One regime tried to restore Madagascar sovereignty: The Ramanantsoa regime. Although nationalist, it was viewed as too conservative, too “aristocratic.” Ravalomanana also calls himself  a nationalist.

Today, it was announced that the prime minister of the HAT resigned in line with the “road map”” to bring an end to the long standing crisis. And again, today, life goes on and nobody dares to dream of a better life anymore: survival has been a daily struggle for nearly the last three years. So what has Madagascar  learned? Maybe the question is how could you hear and see and think of your country’s future when you are overwhelmed by the present? The power of democracy lies in information and an educated population. Although the young generation is catching up with social media, life goes on…still a far cry from democracy. Concerns remain.

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