The Moorish Wanderer

Wandering Thoughts Vol.8

Posted in Flash News, Moroccan ‘Current’ News, Morocco, Wandering Thoughts by Zouhair ABH on February 26, 2011

When I read or listen to the official -and not so official- stuff pouring out of media and web outlets, I feel lucky. Lucky to be born and raised in the circumstances that made me what I am. Before the 20/02 row (over the pro-democracy demonstrations in Morocco) I always felt I had no right to take the moral high ground; After all, a middle class, cosmopolitan, (a bit, just a bit) clannish or cliquish, left-wing-y schoolboy is certainly not fit to claim moral superiority over those who happen to disagree with my opinions.

Markus Brigstocke. I now feel his rage (but I lack his wit to take on the stupid, the prejudiced and the wilful ignorant)

Whatever my academic achievements (including those pertaining to political history and sociology) I have no right to impose on my opponents my ideas. On the other hand, logic, buttressed with documented argument, should, in my Cartesian mind, make the difference in a high-brow debate.

But This February 20th came along. To be honest, I didn’t think much of the expected demonstration (but then again, that was more out of laziness, especially with bad weather forecast) but the cardinal item of their grievances, a constitutional reform, was very close to my mind and to my heart. But then again, I spoke to, and chatted with acquaintances of mine about this. I noticed many changed their profile picture on Facebook to that of His Majesty’s picture. I was a little bemused, but then I thought ‘These guys are into weird fetishism. But hey, that’s their life‘. Not long afterwards, I received emails (spam, really) and messages urging Moroccans to ‘Rally behind our beloved King Mohammed VI Allah Y Nessrou‘. I keep receiving invitations to events I can’t even stand reading. The cup was bare. And this was not entirely on internet; even off-line conversations with some Moroccan classmates on campus were puzzling. I knew they had no interest and no knowledge of Moroccan politics, but surely stupidity can’t reach these proportions?

I also think I have proven record of enthusiasm for debate. But there are two thing I can’t stand in a debate on Moroccan politics, the first is when people start faking post-1956 history: Green March, fine. King Mohammed VI is a nice monarch, yeah, why not. But Moroccan history of 1.200 years, or fairy-tales about how Hassan II was a good man, or claims we remain insular to all changes in the region, that I can’t stand. It drives me ape. The second thing is about the economic argument: ‘we are improving’. And the worse thing is that such statements are coming from people with little or no knowledge of economics. And even if they did have some knowledge of economics, the numbers they’re so keen on posting and summoning are meaningless when not put together with other figures thy don’t know about, or don’t want to. And whenever I go ballistic on these things, I almost immediately feel contrite afterwards, I should be open to debate. But then, I remember the days of my former high school Geography teacher used to say: “a debate cannot happen if one side is not up to it“.

So yes. I am sorry, but many people are not packing up enough to keep up with sensible debate, like that pokerface soon-to-be ex-minister for sports, Moncef Belkhayat (and that just gives an alarming glimpse to the kind of politicians supposedly leading our country, and worse, supposedly voted for democratically). This kind of people, the ones that flock to read and take for granted Big Brother’s, Robin Des Blogs‘ and Hmida’s half-witted posts, are the very people who can feel quite content with Manichean, simplistic ersatz thinking.

F**k politics. That's what the people want: glamour, frivolity and burlesque.

I have to admit my anger. And it’s out of disappointment really, because in my everyday life, especially with Moroccans I’d meet for the first time, I’d either try to hide or tone down my political opinions, or try -or to be seen to try- to have some understanding to opposite or divergent views, all of this just to keep social contacts I can usually dispense with. I am angry with young Moroccans that had the opportunity to get good education, to follow up their baccalaureate with higher education in the best schools, in Morocco and abroad; And yet, for all their academic records, they utterly fail to put two logical arguments together in order to make the case for ‘Al Maghrib Ya3mal‘ or some similar gobeshit. I understand that Civic Education can have everlasting damages, but come on!

I am also angry because it is most likely that my reader would agree with me, or share my angst (alternatively, they might be looking for entries about Dita Von Teese, as my blog statistics show…). Not that I hold anything against fellow nihilists (salt of the earth, these people) but because I genuinely try to hear the other side’s argument, and so do a lot of fellow nihilists. I’d even try to reach out and be less polarizing on many issues, including constitutional changes. Nothing. Zilch. I don’t think they would reciprocate. I’d love to receive a comment, or an email saying: ‘Sorry, I don’t agree with the following points you made on such or such post, and here’s why’. I’d truly respect that. Is it out of intellectual laziness? Or is it rather because of an intellectual inability to think complex issues as they are? If it turns out to be true, that proves my point: Reality can be distorted to please their half-backed weltanschauung. I try my best to be faithful to Edgar Morin‘s quote: ‘always apprehend things in their complexity’. It seems would-be thinkers cannot.

I can also provide a counter-argument to the expected reply: ‘You don’t abide by the democratic rules. Those very rules you claim to be defending’. Yes and No. Yes, because I surprise myself into considering the technicalities of a random sterilisation, just so as to control ‘la connerie‘ genes (the French word carries my anger more emphatically, I think).

No, because contrary to what one might think, democracy is actually the dictatorship of the well-informed. The underlying assumption of democratic institutions and practises, just like all other positivist inventions, requires citizens to be fully aware of all past elements and compute them in their decision-making process, before they take a stand on a particular issue.

'I'm a nice guy. See, even the younger generations think so too'.

The wet pants I knew from secondary, high, prep schools and university (and many of them are still very average) that rise up and claim that ‘demonstrations are bad’ or ‘constitutional reforms? parliamentary monarchy? Vade Retro, soulless republican !’ When asked about the constitution, 9 times out of 10, they didn’t go beyond the preamble.

It’s high time I took up a hobby, because it is unbearable to stand Moroccan politics, squeezed between childish pseudo-patriotism from ignorant intellectual toddlers, and the frustrating debate on policy-making issues.

I should apologize. screaming words of abuse, justified or not, and these are better kept locked away. I should apologize for the burst of anger and ranting, but, as a friend dubbed it: ‘it’s worse than Stockholm syndrome, it’s Hassan II syndrome’. I’d agree; I didn’t know individuals can go to such length in masochism.

One word: grow up. [and don’t take this seriously. I have gone off the rails, nothing to worry about]

8 Responses

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  1. Réda Chraïbi said, on February 26, 2011 at 11:57

    The job of people who know more about reality of the country is to share information and help fellow to start “packing up” in order to be able to act in a better way for the sake of all. We are counting on you, so keep on debating please.

    • The Moorish Wanderer said, on February 26, 2011 at 18:27

      I should try and keep up. But when some close their ears as hard as they can… 🙂

      nice of you to drop by !

  2. Tikchbilol said, on February 26, 2011 at 13:38

    Warning: Rant

    I share the rage you feel. Believe me I do. I get frustrated when I see the so-called “well educated” bac+5 and the self-proclaimed (coffee-shop)”intellectuals” resort to a bunch of spoon-fed Makhzenist/MAP arguments when you expect them to hold rational discussions. Forget about Socratic questioning, the very basic form of debate, around these idiots who spit out “Respect my opinion” everytime they’re corned. No fuck you! That’s my opinion. Support your opinion with reason and facts, otherwise your opinion is shit and deserves absolutely no respect from any rational human being.
    But who’s to blame? Can we blame Libyans for enduring 42 years of Gaddafi’s regime or should we blame the system who produced that mentality? Truth is, lack of political awareness is typical in an authoritarian regime. Political power in this PluboPaysDuMonde resides in the hands of a very small elite, so why bother expanding your awareness when our destiny is “safe with Sidna” (im currently writing something about this). This explains the extremely low voter turnout, and not even a campaign lead by Dita Von Teese is going to change this reality (although it might change it for me i have to admit).
    Admittedly, authoritarian regimes capitalize on dumbed down populations. In a democratic country, a kid can aspire to be the president, what can a Moroccan kid aspire to be? A useless minister like 3bibiss?

    • The Moorish Wanderer said, on February 26, 2011 at 18:28

      Fucking A.

      what can a Moroccan kid aspire to be? A useless minister like 3bibiss?

      Worse. A minister like Moncef Belkhayat.

      Looking forward to reading your post !

  3. mouka said, on February 27, 2011 at 20:38

    I blame the extremely well oiled propaganda machine of the monarchy and the makhzen.
    Citizen X is bombarded with royal activities every day. At the end of the day, s/he can only draw one conclusion “Sidehoum Med 6 is doing a lot of good for the country”.
    Blame it on misinformation and lack of critical thinking. Do you ever remember being taught critical thinking in our public schools or even universities? The moroccan educational system instructs people rather than teach them to be critical.
    Blame it on completely distorted facts about the state of the economy in morocco. The figures are always spun in such a way as to show that all indicators are on the green.
    Blame it on our religious education that teaches us to be sheep rather than question the wisdom of decisions taken by our parents. We were never taught to question the wisdom of the decisions of teachers, parents, and generally elders.
    There are so many other factors that can explain the moroccan state-of-mind. It is actually a miracle that some of us are questioning everything and trying to challenge the official narrative.

  4. MisterA said, on February 27, 2011 at 21:21

    J’ai beaucoup apprécié la référence au syndrome de Stockholm, et je pense que c’est l’absurdité et l’irrationalité des arguments (ou plutôt de leur absence) qui fait naitre cette colère que nous sommes nombreux à partager.
    Une absurdité en apparence, que des gens comme La Boétie ont tenté d’expliquer(Le discours de la servitude volontaire).
    Le débat argumenté qui te tient à coeur n’a malheureusement jamais été enseigné dans les écoles marocaines, apparait rarement à la télévision, et c’est donc normal qu’il soit absent des esprits de la plupart des marocains.

    C’est un bien désagréable sentiment que de se sentir impuissant face à l’injustice quand on a l’impression de détenir la vérité.

    Bonne continuation (en français peut-être ?)

    • The Moorish Wanderer said, on February 27, 2011 at 22:21


      je ne prétends pas détenir la vérité. Loin de là. Ce qui me met en rage, c’est que dans certaines discussions, lorsque des faits documentés sont présentés à ‘l’autre camp’, ces arguments sont rejetés par ignorance; soit parce que ‘les chiffres ne reflètent pas la réalité’ (véridique !) ou ‘mais malgré tout, on s’améliore’. Quant aux faits historiques inconnus, je n’ose pas décrire l’incrédulité de certains.

      Non, le plus triste dans l’affaire, c’est l’état de zombie intellectuel qui celui de beaucoup de jeunes étudiants en Grande Ecole (au Maroc comme en France)

      Merci pour le commentaire !

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