Why Do I Write?

طارق حجي Ýí 2008-10-19

In the seventies, I wrote my first three books (published successively in 1978, 1980 and 1983), which together form a comprehensive critique of Marxism in theory and in its practical application. Although they were written more than ten years before the sudden and devastating collapse of the socialist temple, my books not only predicted the collapse but also described the mechanism by which it would come about (the political and social erosion of socialist regimes as an inevitable result of their economic failure).

From 1986 to 1995, I published six books giving a detailed diagnosis of Egypt’s political, economic and social problems, most of which I attributed to the way the country was administered during the ’fifties and ’sixties.

Starting 1997, I have been writing about the imperative need for a complete overhaul of Egypt’s educational and cultural systems as a prerequisite for the country’s link-up with the modern age, with scientific progress and with the rest of humanity.

Why do I write? The reasons are many:

- I write to urge Egyptians to accept criticism and to engage in self-criticism because, unless they are willing to do so, they will not discover the root causes of the ills they complain of today.
- I write in defense of the values of knowledge and imaginative thinking, of linking up with the collective human civilizing experience, of accepting the Other and of opening wide the doors that were kept tightly shut throughout the ’fifties and ’sixties.
- I write to warn against the debilitating disease of self-aggrandizement that has come to afflict us. Its most obvious symptoms, vainglorious posturing and a tendency to regard ourselves as distinct from and superior to everybody else, are manifested constantly in our written and spoken words. This overweening self-satisfaction is not only unhealthy but totally unjustified, based as it is on an inability to distinguish between the glories of our past and the realities of our present. Moreover, it is to be questioned whether it is truly indicative of a sense of superiority or of something altogether different. And what is the role of the Goebbels-style information media in engendering and fostering this negative phenomenon?
- I write to promote my basic idea that Egypt must concentrate on putting its own house in order by building a strong, successful socially stable and modern educational and cultural infrastructure, instead of continuing to give priority, as it has been doing since the ’fifties, to its external role. For no country can play an effective external role in the absence of a strong and stable internal structure.
- I write in defense of freedom of belief, but not in the context of a theocratic culture that places our destinies in the hands of men of religion. No society should allow its affairs to be run by clerics who are, by their nature and regardless of the religion to which they belong, opposed to progress.
- I write to advocate a new culture of peace, one in which the countries of the region will learn to live together and Israel and its neighbours can work out settlements along the lines of what the French and Germans succeeded in doing less than fifty years after the end of World War II. In promoting the notion of peace, I point out that it is only when the region moves from a dynamic of conflict to one of peace that real democracy will spread throughout the Middle East.
- I write to promote the idea that knowledge and culture are universal, the common heritage of all humankind, and that opening the door to both is a prerequisite for reform.
- I write to call for an end to the Goebbels-style propaganda machines operating in Egypt and the Arab world and their dangerous manipulation of public opinion.
- I write to drive home the point that only market economics can bring about the economic takeoff to which Egypt aspires, and that the main players in the world of market economics are huge private corporations based on institutional structures and run according to the latest techniques of modern management, human resource and marketing sciences, not privately held organizations whose familiarity with the tools of business is limited to public relations, specifically, to the cultivation of close relations with decision-making circles.

In a word, I write for the sake of a modern, thriving and stable Egypt, at peace with itself and with the outside world, integrated into the mainstream of science, innovation, humanity and the civilizing process.


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تاريخ الانضمام : 2007-11-14
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بلد الميلاد : Egypt
بلد الاقامة : Egypt