Whatever Happened to the Arab Spring: Albert Cossery’s Philosophy of Revolution in The Jokers (Published)
This paper investigates Cossery’s philosophy of revolution in his novel La Violence et la Dérision (1964), translated into English as The Jokers in 2010. I examine Cossery’s philosophy in the light of Michel Foucault’s concept of power and his views on revolutions in general and the Iranian 1979 Revolution against the Pahlavi regime in particular. I argue that Foucault’s analysis of the revolutionary situation in Iran still applies to the revolution that took place in Egypt on January 25, 2011. This argument extends to Cossery’s novel. The Jokers represents a revolution that is similarly “out of history” with a similar hope for success. While the January revolution is located at the extremely serious and reverent, the revolution in Cossery’s novel wallows in ridicule and irreverence. Due to the opposite directions taken by the serious revolution in reality and the ridiculous one in the novel (the former soaring up to heaven, the latter falling down to earth), both of them are, in Foucauldian terms, located out of history, challenging the dominant power structures. Cossery manages to bring a group of Diogenean characters to the frontlines of an extraordinary revolution. These characters usually play secondary roles in works of art about resistance and revolution. In this novel, they are the leaders, the planning and the executive body of Cossery’s philosophy. In the end, the Diogeneans succeed, but their ultimate success still depends on the abandonment of traditional ways of revolution, because governments are used to these ways, and those in power know how to turn them to their advantage.
Nigeria from colonial period through post colonial period has settled for federal system of government which allows for division of powers and jurisdictions among the levels of government that made up the federation. Overtime, there have been observable imperfections in the Nigerian federalism which have triggered protests, agitations and patriotic calls for restructuring of the system. On the basis of the foregoing, we commended as follows: that there should be devolution of more powers to the federating units in Nigeria; that fiscal federalism should be practiced to give room for resource control by the federating units and that the principles of federal character as enshrined in our national constitution should be observed in appointment and location of critical infrastructure across all sections of the country. This paper is a departure from this trend, orthodoxy is challenged by showing the nexus and interface between restructuring, social order, and development in Nigeria. Development is said to be a predictor that determines whether a country is progressing or not. A critical assessment of Nigeria’s development despite her abundance in human, natural and material resources reveals that the country is yet to achieve the desired expectations as clamored by her citizens. The objective of this study was to identify the challenges to development in Nigeria. In other to obtain data for the research, the work adopted qualitative research method through textual analysis. The findings of this study revealed that despite the country’s attempt to advance development, several challenges has posed a great threat to her progress. These setbacks range from imposition of politices on the citizens, lack of adequate human resources or capital to implement development plans/policies, corruption and lack of credible leadership among others. It recommended that accountability and transparency should be the country’s guiding philosophy in all her operations. Also once the identified limitations are tackled then development will be realized in the country.