Search for Arab democracy lost.. review the experiences of participatory democracy in a country that applied to avoid the disadvantages of representative democracy

Arab revolutions storm that blew over Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria, which also affected the Bahrain and Oman, has launched a sudden, because they are caught as a result of a long process of struggle for the masses of the Arab people throughout the past decades.
It could be argued that Arab intellectuals who belong to all directions, the fundamental political, namely, liberalism, socialism, and supporters of political Islam, they were the vanguard, which led the struggle against the political systems of Arab autocrats, whether the systems of the Republic, which raised some slogans of the revolutionary, or systems of ownership.
If we want to define a starting point for the consensus of educated Arabs that the struggle against the tyranny of Arab regimes seeking to democracy should be at the forefront of the goals of struggle, we would say that the seminar Arab League organized by the «Centre for Arab Unity Studies» from November 26 to 30 (November) 1983, and was entitled «crisis of democracy in the Arab world».
Symposium held in Cyprus because of all the Arab capitals refused to host, and the distinction of being the largest gathering of Arab intellectuals of all political spectra, and those who pluralism of approach in the development of the theory of a democratic Arab League.
Acceptance of the symposium started a Muslim background Mguetdaha that the real problem facing the Arab democracy is the rule and entrenched authoritarian Arab, which takes the form of systems of ownership, or a republic or a Presbyterian or Aqbilah. Have tried to political projects across multiple and conflicting each crisis as a result of severe internal and external circumstances, challenge the hegemony of full-authoritarian Arab mainstream.
Eroded the legitimacy of the authoritarian Arab decades and was in need of complete renovation of the trends, a process that can in virtue of the predominance of interest groups and pressure groups, it, is to discontinue the long position of defense and retreat, and had from time to time to make concessions in the field of public freedoms, and the area of ​​multi- political and human rights.
In the face of the authoritarian regime stands a project of political Islam, which was able to attract multiple audiences, rushed to him as a result of disappointment with the authoritarian project, which failed to satisfy their basic needs of physical and spiritual.However, the crisis is in the public slogans, and his inability to develop an integrated program distinct from the project program the government, in addition to slide into the abyss of extremism, violence and terrorism, making the defeat of the authoritarian state it seems as if was legitimate, despite the excesses in the field of human rights.
Then there are the liberal project, which presents itself as an alternative to the authoritarian project, which has not so far been unable for various reasons that attract a sufficient number of supporters.
We have the Marxist project, which increased from the original crisis is that it was always a project in isolation from the masses, the fall of the totalitarian regimes of Marxism, capitalism and its transformation into a turbulent and troubled steps.
Finally, there is the national project, which is the crisis in the rise of the Islamic project on his own account, and find the joint Arab action, and in the rigidity and his inability to renew the idea, and perhaps to ignore the old to the vitality of the subject of democracy, by virtue of its strong focus on unity, and without specifying the content of state's political unity.
This is - very encapsulate - the Arab image of the political climate in the historical period of the previous revolutions Arab, with its conflicting political projects. Perhaps the positive aspect in this picture - that may look bleak in its entirety - that the leaders of various political projects realized their need to congregate in search of the desired formula for Arab democracy, and here gathered in the framework of a seminar «crisis of democracy in the Arab world», which we have referred.
The central question raised by this symposium is the historic «want any Arab democracy»?
It must be recognized that there is no clear agreement among Arab intellectuals about the form and content of Arab democracy that we want. If the question of the agreement in the field of political thought and practice, not quite, and if the plurality - by definition - is based on the multiplicity of opinions and positions of political life, but what is our intention to him is the frequency is clear - even for all the political project separately - in the final version of his thesis, which makes it a viable alternative to the prevailing political authoritarianism. Perhaps the real reason to do so, that the Arab political thought is going through at this stage, the process of review and self-criticism, at the same time confront - in practice - the authoritarian state with all its might. If we look at the conflicting political projects now on the Arab arena, we find that this note, without exception ratify it.
The draft authoritarian state itself, which is trying to renew the bases and practices under the weight of the strong opposition to him, and the impact of the global system by the pressure, does not have a clear picture of the future, it is in the economic sphere is still confused between central planning and free market. In the political sphere has disguised authoritarian state changes to a partial restoration of the system, and in a manner very gradual doses of pluralism, in the light of the almost complete dominance on the overall movement of political development.
On the other hand, we find the Islamic project oscillating between two directions: the acceptance of political pluralism and the entry of the elections, hoping to be heard the public voice in the parliaments, and in order to power at the appropriate time, the rejection of this multi-counterfeit, and follow the path of violence and terrorism by using military force to overthrow the authoritarian state.
The national project - the version of Nasiriyah, at least - has a long hesitation in accepting the idea of ​​political pluralism, by virtue of its association as Almithaqih (a reference to the famous Charter of Nazareth), which has resisted the idea of ​​party pluralism, and adhere to form a strong alliance of the working classes.
If we look at the critical Marxist project, we find it is busy re-formulate its position on the national question on the one hand, and the search for the causes of the crisis the Arab left, and the apparent isolation from the masses.
In the same frequency phase of the project much in the formulation of the liberal political project and a clear-cut, reconciles the demand for political freedom and social justice.
And will remain the main question what is the desired formula for Arab democracy, unanimously approved by Arab intellectuals in the history of this symposium?
Depending on the study published by me on the symposium entitled «the fall of the political myths» (in my book «beleaguered national consciousness» - Cairo, 1990) can be said that Arab intellectuals drafted a comprehensive model of democratically decided to seek a political struggle against authoritarianism to achieve. This model consists of three basic elements, which is to achieve fundamental freedoms of a person (derived from the liberal model), and social justice (derived from the socialist model), and finally achieve the cultural tradition (derived from the Islamic model). It is clear that this model faces a Democratic challenge because the vocabulary is derived from models of different concepts of political theory.
We can affirm that the slogans of the revolution of January 25, political freedom, social justice and human dignity, is the re-production of this model, which was reached by the Democratic majority of Arab intellectuals since the eighties.
The question remains how we can soften that compose the vocabulary of creative multi-level theory and in practice both?
To answer this question, we must of intellectuals and political activists to learn from the Arabs are sufficiently familiar with the theory attempts the world's leading combine political liberty and social justice. Perhaps the book's famous Harvard philosopher John Rawls and address of the «theory of justice» is a unique example in this area.
On the other hand, it is imperative for the youth revolution in both Tunisia and Egypt to review the experiences of participatory democracy in a country that applied to avoid the disadvantages of representative democracy.
Is still hard work ahead of us in the field of endoscopy on one hand, and most importantly, in the field of revolutionary practice.