Feature, Internasjonalt

Redsel og revolusjon

Sjahen leida eit svært undertrykkande regime og vart kasta og Khomeini tok over. Bilete av: daveeza/flickr.com

Er det frykt og mangel på frykt some er den største drivkrafta I revolusjonane vi har sett og ser I Midt-Austen? Mange meiner Ryszard Kapuscinski er ein av dei største reportarane som verda har fostra. Han var polakk og dekte internasjonale saker for det polske nyhendebyrådet i kommunisttida, med alle dei problem det medførte.

I alle fall så dekte Ryszard Kapuscinski mellom anna revolusjonen i Iran då Sjahen vart styrta. Boka heiter “Shah of Shahs” og bør absolutt lesast. Eg hadde og stor glede av ‘’Ibenholt”.

Men så, til poenget. Slik Skildrar Kapuscinski starten på den iranske revolusjonen:

“Now the most important moment, the moment that will determine the fate of the country … and the revolution, is the moment when one policeman walks from his post toward one man on the edge of the crowd, raises his voice, and orders the man to go home. The policeman and the man on the edge of the crowd are ordinary, anonymous people, but their meeting has historic significance.

They are both adults, they have both lived through certain events, they have both their individual experiences.

The policeman’s experience: If I shout at someone and raise my truncheon, he will first go numb with terror and then take to his heels. The experience of the man at the edge of the crowd: At the sight of an approaching policeman I am seized by fear and start running. On the basis of these experiences we can elaborate a scenario: The policeman shouts, the man runs, others take flight, the square empties.

But this time everything turns out differently. The policeman shouts, but the man doesn’t run. He just stands there, looking at the policeman. It’s a cautious look, still tinged with fear, but at the same time tough and insolent. So that’s the way it is! The man on the edge of the crowd is looking insolently at uniformed authority. He doesn’t budge. He glances around and sees and sees the same look on other faces. Like his, their faces are watchful, still a bit fearful, but already firm and unrelenting. Nobody runs though the policeman has gone on shouting; at last he stops. There is a moment of silence.

We don’t know whether the policeman and the man on the edge of the crowd already realize what has happened. The man has stopped being afraid – and this is precisely the beginning of the revolution. Here it starts. Until now, whenever these two men approached each other, a third figure instantly intervened between them. That third figure was fear. Fear was the policeman’s ally and the man in the crowd’s foe. Fear interposed its rules and decided everything.

Now the two men find themselves alone, facing each other, and fear has disappeared into thin air. Until now their relationship was charged with emotion, a mixture of aggression, scorn, rage, terror. But now that fear has retreated, this perverse, hateful union has suddenly broken up; something has been extinguished. The two men have now grown mutually indifferent, useless to each other; they can now go their own ways.

Accordingly, the policeman turns around and begins to walk heavily back toward his post, while the man on the edge of the crowd stands there looking at his vanishing enemy.

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