government-repression

Coup d'état in Venezuela

This is important and needs to be broadcasted all across the globe. This should be trending. Please reblog.

The Venezuelan Supreme Court actually took over the responsibilities of their Parliament, making it powerless. Maduro, the Venezuelan president, is said to have ‘couped himself’ by the opposition (who were majority in the parliament).

As you may know, the South American nation of Venezuela is going through a horrible economic and social crisis. Necessity products can’t be found there, money is basically useless, public services are shit. The government repressed all forms of protests, even the more peaceful ones. This, using the Supreme Court to dissolve the Parliament, is the final straw.

As a fellow South American (Argentinian), I empathize with their situation deeply, so I’m asking you to share this because the world needs to pay attention. Something needs to be done.

The people need to rise up, and the international community must support them through their transition into democracy. They need medical, financial, and all kinds of aid. Let’s stand by them.

Yale historian, professor, and Holocaust expert Timothy Snyder shared the following powerful thoughts:

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.

7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

12. Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.

18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)

19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.

20. Be a patriot. The [new] president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.

If a country is governed with tolerance,
the people are comfortable and honest.
If a country is governed with repression,
the people are depressed and crafty.

When the will to power is in charge,
the higher the ideals, the lower the results.
Try to make people happy,
and you lay the groundwork for misery.
Try to make people moral,
and you lay the groundwork for vice.

Thus the Master is content
to serve as an example
and not to impose her will.
She is pointed, but doesn’t pierce.
Straightforward, but supple.
Radiant, but easy on the eyes.

—  Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

anonymous asked:

"Econblr" means edwad standing in a field at night and screaming

econblr means austrians complaining that marx never had a job while he was publishing books and writing as a journalist after being chased out of half the countries in europe and forced into absolute poverty by repressive governments that these Logical and Consistent libertarians seem to enthusiastically support simply for giving marx a hard time

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.
1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.
2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.
3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.
4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.
5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.
6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.
7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.
8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.
10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.
11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.
12. Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.
13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.
14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.
15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.
16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.
17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.
18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)
19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.
20. Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.
— 

Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History, Yale University, 15 November 2016.

This blog is no longer attempting to be an apolitical entity. Silence is complicity. Knowledge is power. And now is the time for historians to take a stand and speak out against dangerous precedents, official erasure, presidential untruths (or “alternative facts”), and the histories of authoritarian movements and oppression as they relate to our national and global realities.

2

Saint Mateo Correa Magallanes (also known as Mateo Correa, Fr. Correa; 23 July 1866 – 6 February 1927) was a Knight of Columbus, of Council 2140.

Correa was born at Tepechitlán, Zacatecas, Mexico. He attended the seminary at Zacatecas on a scholarship, in 1881. He was ordained as priest in 1893 at the age of 27. As a young priest, he gave first communion to Miguel Pro who also became a priest and was later martyred. Fr. Correa was assigned as a parish priest to Concepción del Oro in 1898, and then to Colotlán in 1908. Following the government’s repression of the Catholic Church in 1910, he went into hiding. He was assigned to Valparaíso in 1926.

In 1927, during the government’s continuing persecution of the Church, Fr. Correa was arrested by soldiers as he was bringing Viaticum to a woman invalid. Accused of being part of the armed Cristero defense, he was jailed in Zacatecas, and then in Durango. On 5 February 1927, Fr. Correa was asked by General Eulogio Ortiz, to hear the confessions of some imprisoned members of the Cristeros, an uprising of Catholic men who decided to fight back against the persecution of the Church led by Mexico’s president Plutarco Elias Calles. Father Correa agreed to administer the Sacrament of Confession to these prisoners, but afterward General Ortiz demanded to know what the condemned prisoners had confessed. Fr. Correa refused. General Ortiz then pointed a gun at Fr. Correa’s head and threatened him with immediate death. Fr. Correa continued to refuse, and at dawn on February 6, 1927, he was taken to the cemetery on the outskirts of Durango and shot through the head.

Hello people! This was my country Venezuela, my city Caracas today, 2.5 million people protest against the regimen. We have been protest for several days against the government, a dictatorial government who represses us in this way. They use tear gas pumps and guns against disarmed people. This protest was all around the country, in all cities in all the states and the protest were repress in the same way, 8 young people died in diferentes cities so far today and there are many injured people because of repression. We have eighteen years under this regimen please help us to inform that this is happening in my country. The world has to know. We need help!

In some anarchist circles, the initial onset of the Green Scare was met with a panic that rivaled the response to the September 11 attacks. This, of course, was exactly what the government wanted: quite apart from bringing individual activists to “justice,” they hoped to intimidate all who see direct action as the most effective means of social change. Rather than aiding the government by making exaggerated assumptions about how dangerous it is to be an anarchist today, we must sort out what these cases show about the current capabilities and limits of government repression.
— 

- Green Scared? Primary Lessons of the Green Scare.

Really important. A lot of online anarchism is either a casual ‘share all’ attitude or a paniced ‘don’t say anything ever’ attitude that imagines the state to have all the power and eyes everywhere. Neither is realistic and those spreading hypercaution and paranoia can be as harmful as those advertising their rebellions too recklessly.
The rational advice should be: The state is not all-powerful or all-seeing but it can seriously fuck up your life. Just make a realistic assessment of the capabilities of the state you live in and the local police force. The best source for that is local experienced anarchists.

theguardian.com
Forget protest. Trump's actions warrant a general national strike | Francine Prose | Opinion | The Guardian

One reason that Saturday’s protests were so effective was that, while peaceful, they were disruptive. Terminal Four was closed, incoming flights were delayed. One traveller wrote, on Twitter, that his fellow passengers applauded when their pilot announced the reason why their plane would be landing an hour behind schedule.

Taxi drivers went on strike in solidarity with the detainees, and arriving passengers were forced to find alternate ways on getting home. Many used Uber, a company whose CEO, Travis Kalanick, serves on Trump’s economic advisory board, and which thoughtfully suspended “surge pricing” to make it easier and cheaper to subvert the taxi strike.


#DeleteUber: how social media turned on Uber
Read more
The struggles for civil rights and Indian independence, against apartheid and the Vietnam war – it’s hard to think of a nonviolent movement that has succeeded without causing its opponents a certain amount of trouble, discomfort and inconvenience.

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And economic boycotts – another sort of trouble and inconvenience – have proved remarkably successful in persuading companies to cease supporting repressive governments. Of course, nonviolence has often been met with violence, but one can only hope that our hearts have not so hardened that we, as a nation, would not be troubled and shamed by the spectacle of peaceful people being arrested and bloodied, as they were in Selma and Birmingham.

So what can we do to protest our current government’s callousness about our environment and our health, its rampant greed, its disrespect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

I believe that what we need is a nonviolent national general strike of the kind that has been more common in Europe than here. Let’s designate a day on which no one (that is, anyone who can do so without being fired) goes to work, a day when no one shops or spends money, a day on which we truly make our economic and political power felt, a day when we make it clear: how many of us there are, how strong and committed we are, how much we can accomplish.

reading the articles of faith for the southern baptist convention they oppose government religious repression in favour of private religious repression

washingtonpost.com
CDC abruptly cancels long-planned conference on climate change and health
The agency decided to cancel the summit after the election of Donald Trump, raising concerns about government agencies silencing their own work.

Another science disaster.

Shame on the CDC. The people who made this decision should both be utterly ashamed of themselves and they should also resign from their position.

I will quote my friend xray (who got a dedication in a Dance with Dragons - she famous I know) directly. She was talking about the "rule # 1 of resisting authoritarianism”:

Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

Women take to Caracas streets as crisis deepens

Thousands of people are once again taking to the streets of Caracas, as the Venezuelan capital braces for another day of rival protests amid escalating tensions over the country’s political crisis. Opposition leaders called for women to march on Saturday dressed in white, a traditional show of defiance, against what they brand a repressive government led by President Nicolas Maduro.  Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman, reporting from Caracas, said the march had started in the eastern part of the city and was heading towards the foreign ministry. “There is no doubt that they will never make it [to the ministry],” Newman said. “Riot police are out in force, already armed with water cannons and tear gas to make sure that the opposition march could not got from eastern Caracas to the western part.” In contrast, the government announced it would be organising its own women’s march in the western part of the capital, a traditional pro-Socialist stronghold. Speaking from Caracas, Phil Gunson, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, told Al Jazeera that the situation on the ground is a “battle of resistance”, with neither side seeming to give in at this point.

Deadly protests

At least 37 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in more than a month of anti-government protests, with demonstrators blaming Maduro for growing food shortage and the world’s highest inflation rate. The state prosecutor’s office, which keeps an official count of deaths since protests began in early April, confirmed that a 20-year-old protester had died after being in a protest on Friday.  READ MORE: The art of surviving a Venezuela on the brink Fatalities have included supporters of both sides, bystanders and members of the security forces. Gunshot wounds have been the most common cause of deaths. Activists accuse the security forces of using excessive force. including firing tear gas canisters directly at people and allowing pro-government gangs to attack demonstrators. The opposition, which won parliamentary elections at the end of 2015, is demanding a presidential election and for Maduro, whom they accuse of trying to create a dictatorship, to step down. “The regime is falling,” said Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, outside the prison near Caracas where she was demanding to see her husband. READ MORE: Why is Venezuela in crisis again? The opposition is also boycotting Maduro’s constituent assembly process, aimed at re-writing the constitution, saying it is a ploy to keep him in power by setting up a body with mechanisms to ensure a government majority. “We’re not going to participate in this fraudulent process. it would validate a fraud. I confess that I’m extremely worried, because we’re witnessing a country that’s increasing falling into chaos. The crisis is deepening by the day and Venezuela is plunging more into anarchy,” Capriles told Al Jazeera. Polls show the ruling Socialists would badly lose any conventional vote due to four years of economic crisis that has led to debilitating food and medicine shortages. Despite massive oil reserves, Venezuela slipped into the worst economic crisis in its history. Maduro blames the situation on falling oil prices, and says the crisis is due to a US-backed capitalist conspiracy. READ MORE: Rumours over Venezuela opposition figure add to tension The protests on Saturday come after some controversy surrounding the alleged arrest of 85 Venezuelan military officers for criticising Maduro’s government - an announcement that was made by opposition leader Henrique Capriles. "There is discontent in the armed forces,” Capriles said, adding that he had been told about the number of arrests by the military directly, who asked him to make the information public.  Yet, Venezuela’s defence minister later denied that any military officers had been detained.
4

Sanja Iveković, Triangle, 1979.

In Sanja Iveković’s Triangle (Trokut, 1979), four black-and-white photographs and written text capture an eighteen-minute performance from May 10, 1979. On that date, a motorcade carrying Josip Broz Tito, then president of Yugoslavia, drove through the streets of downtown Zagreb. As the President’s limousine passed beneath her apartment, Ivokevic began simulating masturbation on her balcony. Although she could not be seen from the street, she knew that the surveillance teams on the roofs of neighboring buildings would detect her presence. Within minutes, a policeman appeared at her door ordered her inside. Not only did Ivekovic’s action expose government repression and call attention to the rights of women, it also called attention to the relationship of gender to power, and to the particular experience of political dissidence under communist rule in Eastern Europe. 

7

13 photos show a side of Cuba you’ll never see in the media

Cuba has been undergoing a fascinating and important transition over the past six years, when Fidel Castro relinquished power to his younger brother Raúl: a series of unprecedented reforms. Make no mistake, the Cuban government continues to be repressive and undemocratic. But while Cuba may not be very big, there is more happening on the island that you may think.

Read more | Follow @policymic 

2

October 5th 1988: Constitution of Brazil promulgated

On this day in 1988, the current Brazilian Constitution was promulgated. Emerging from twenty years of military dictatorship, the South American country sought to enshrine citizens’ rights and establish democracy. Brazil’s woes began with a military coup in 1964 which ousted the sitting president. The new military leadership swiftly established a repressive state, issuing a series of military decrees suspending habeas corpus and disbanding congress. Groups opposing the government, notably the Communist Party, were forced undergroud and formed armed resistance movements. Dissent was harshly repressed, and a 2007 report found that 475 people ‘disappeared’ during the twenty-year dictatorship, with thousands imprisoned, tortured, and murdered. Brazil’s military and police officers were trained in torture techniques by American operatives from the CIA, intent on eradicating communist influence in the region. The dictatorship in Brazil was followed by similarly repressive governments in Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina. These Latin American dictatorships violently suppressed opposition to their governments in the US-sponsored Operation Condor. In the 1970s, with the dictatorship at its peak, Brazil’s economy boomed, reaching annual GDP growth rathes of 12 percent. In 1974, the more moderate Ernesto Geisel came to the presidency, and began relaxing the autoritarian aspects of the regime. It was under his leadership that exiles were allowed to return, and habeas corpus was restored. However, the era of military dictatorship did not come to an end until a declining economy and frustration with the lack of democracy caused public protest to reach a fever pitch. In 1985, the electoral college elected a new leader, and the process of dismantling the military dictatorship began. A year later, a Constitutional Congress began drafting a new constitution to end dictatorship and establish democracy. The constitution, which was promulgated two years later, restricted the state’s ability to curtail civil liberties and suppress the democratic process. In 1989, a democratic presidential election was held, and Fernando Collor de Mello became Brazil’s president. The painful memories of the repressive dictatorship continue to haunt many Brazilians, including current president Dilma Rousseff, who was among the 30,000 people tortured by the government.

Five years after the popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and elsewhere, a bleak, apocalyptic strain of post-revolutionary literature has taken root in the region. Some writers are using science fiction and fantasy tropes to describe grim current political realities. Others are writing about controversial subjects like sexuality and atheism, or exhuming painful historical episodes that were previously off limits.

In a literary culture where poetry has long been the most celebrated medium, writers are experimenting with a range of genres and styles, including comics and graphic novels, hallucinatory horror novels and allegorical works of science fiction.

“There’s a shift away from realism, which has dominated Arabic literature,” said the Kuwait-born novelist Saleem Haddad, whose new book, “Guapa,” is narrated by a young gay Arab man whose friend has been imprisoned after a political revolt. “What’s coming to the surface now is darker and a bit deeper.”

Science fiction and surrealism have long provided an escape valve for writers living under oppressive regimes. In Latin America, decades of fascism and civil war helped inspire masterpieces of magical realism from authors like Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende. In Russia, the postmodern novelist Vladimir Sorokin has published disturbing and controversial futuristic novels that surreptitiously skewer the country’s repressive government.

Dystopian themes are not entirely new in Arabic fiction. But they have become much more prominent in recent years, publishers and translators say. The genre has proliferated in part because it captures the sense of despair that many writers say they feel in the face of cyclical violence and repression. At the same time, futuristic settings may give writers some measure of cover to explore charged political ideas without being labeled dissidents.

“These futuristic stories are all about lost utopia,” said Layla al-Zubaidi, co-editor of a collection of post-Arab Spring writing titled “Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution.” “People really could imagine a better future, and now it’s almost worse than it was before.”

In the turbulent months after the uprisings, when the promises of democracy and greater social freedom remained elusive, some novelists channeled their frustrations and fears into grim apocalyptic tales. In Mohammed Rabie’s gritty novel “Otared,” which will be published in English this year by the American University in Cairo, a former Egyptian police officer joins a fight against a mysterious occupying power that rules the country in 2025.

Mr. Rabie said he wrote the novel in response to the “successive defeats” that advocates of democracy faced after the 2011 demonstrations that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. While there are parallels to present-day Egyptian society, setting the story in the near future allowed him to write more freely, without drawing explicit connections to Egypt’s current ruler, he said in an email interview translated by his Arabic publisher.

Nael Eltoukhy, whose darkly satirical 2013 novel, “Women of Karantina,” takes place partly in a crime-ridden Alexandria in the year 2064, said he felt that a futuristic farce was the best way to reflect the jaded mood in Egypt.

“In Egypt, especially after the revolution, everything is terrible, but everything is also funny,” he said in an interview. “Now, I think it’s worse than the time of Mubarak.”

Gloomy futuristic stories have proved popular with readers, and several of these novels have been critical and commercial hits. “Otared” was a finalist for this year’s prestigious International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Publishers say the books have caught on with the public in part because they distill a collective feeling of frustration.

This new body of post-revolutionary literature shows a sharp tonal shift from the ecstatic outpouring that arrived immediately after the Arab Spring, when many writers published breathless memoirs or dug out old manuscripts they had stashed away for years.

— 

Alexandra Alter, Middle Eastern Writers Find Refuge in the Dystopian Novel

The defining emotion of our time, the postnormal, is world weariness: weltschmerz. The sense of deep sadness when contemplating the evils of the world’s systems.

Postapocalyptic novels are a great medium for untangling and retangling the threads of weltschmerz. And of course, the hope and joy of the Arab spring led to a steep crash after the movement was co-opted.

There is a worldwide Human Spring coming, though. The outcome of that movement might define the fate of the world.

PS ‘Everything is Terrible’ would be a good title for a book.