The Lantern: Political Philosophy And The Arab Spring © 2018 All Rights Reserved.

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By: Ayman Aborabh

The Lantern

A striking new book about Western Philosophy and the Arab Spring that dares to ask readers, If you don't understand the essential tenets of freedom and democracy, what are you fighting for?

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By: Ayman Aborabh

The Lantern

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Know More About Book

Political Philosophy and The Arab Spring

THE LANTERN is a political and philosophical think piece, exploring the complex issues that have prevented a real change in current Arabian states. The author argues for more dialog and a deeper understanding for many young Arabs to go beyond the soft sell of a consumers idea of freedom and democracy, and seriously look to western philosophy for many answers.   The Author opens groundbreaking new thinking by challenging readers to embrace western philosophies but adapt them to the current realities and politics in the Arab world.


With candor and a good dose of humour, Aborabh illuminates his arguments by examining Hobbes, Plato, Burke, Machiavelli, and how they would examine the current political scenes inside Arabian states, then posits powerful new options for young Arabs to question the role of the state and the consequences and realities of living with democracy and freedom.

The Lantern Topics

Ayman Aborabh discusses the big questions that block change in Arab politics in his thought-provoking book, The Lantern: Political Philosophy and The Arab Spring. It explores the outdated structures and describes how Western political philosophy could change everything, bringing back the basic needs for justice, freedom and democracy for all.

The Early Social Contract

1.1-The State of Nature
1.2-Hobbes and the phrase “better than Syria and Iraq”
1.3-Burke and how to dismiss change.

Is it a modern social contract?

2.1-Services to justify the state
2.2-The do-it-yourself state
2.3-The value of money
2.4-Robert Nozick and the minimal state
2.5-Law enforcement

The actual social contact

3.1-The modern social contract
3.2-The “client” social contract in the Gulf
3.3-The “sheep” social contract in Arab Spring states

How to rule the state

4.1-Machiavelli and how to rule
4.2-Platonic ideology and the core of Arabian politics
4.3-Plato’s ideology in the Middle East
4.5-Criticisms of Plato's ideology

The pre-modern state

5.1-The dynastic state and the modern state
5.2-Political sectarianism and the modern state
5.3-Lebanon as a means to understand political sectarianism
5.4-How authoritarian regimes destroy nations

Adding Islam to the mix

6.1-Islam and the state
6.2-Democracy and Islam
6.3-Resurrected in the Middle East
6.4-Dismissing claims and the term “civil state”

Changing the Arabian context

7.1-Politics as a modern science
7.2-The Western Enlightenment and politics
7.3-Why Arabs shouldn't just copy
7.4-The mysterious word “democracy”

Another root of the social contract again

8.1- Consent in the social contract of John Locke
8.2-“Rousseau” and the “general will”
8.3-Rousseau’s five guarantees for a true “general will”
8.4-Rousseau’s achievement over Plato’s
8.5-Challenges to Rousseau’s “general will”
8.6-Rousseau and the parliaments of his time
8.7- Evolution of the UK parliament in the 19th century
8.8-Same fear, different group, different era

John Stuart Mill and elections

9.1-John Stuart Mill and representative government
9.2- Mill’s achievements and the “open poll”
9.3-Voting motivation
9.4-The role of the subject
9.5- The futility of debate about new electoral systems in the Middle East
9.6- Six guarantees for proper elections

Legitimacy, dignity and the economy

10.1-Election as a tool for legitimacy and an indicator of mass satisfaction
10.2- economy and democracy
10.3-Democracy and dignity

Tools for education

11.1-Education and voting
11.2- Is school education the sole solution?
11.3-Freedom of speech as a tool for political education
11.4- More tools to educate the masses and produce future leaders
11.5-Civil society

Montesquieu and more guarantees

12.1-Do we need more guarantees?
12.2-Montesquieu and the separation of power
12.3-Building the three branches
12.4- Controlling the policy of the executive branch
12.5-Checks between the three branches
12.6-The value of the constitution
12.7- Does separation of power delay decision-making?
12.8-Government and the state

The Judiciary

13.1- The Arabian judiciary system
13.2-The rule of law
13.3-Police versus gangs
13.4-Arabian legitimacy issues (again!)
13.5-Pillars for a better judiciary
13.6- The extra use of security forces as a symptom of failed policy

The media

14.1- The media and political philosophy
14.2- The Media and freedom of speech and expression
14.3- Traditional Arabian media
14.4- The effect of satellite TV
14.5-Social media as a game-changer
14.6- Social media versus traditional media?
14.7-Three phases of media development

Classic utilitarianism and the minority

15.1-The end justifies the means, again!
15.2-Issues with classic utilitarian theory
15.3- All of us are in the minority
15.4- Representation of the minorities
15.5- The bad reputation of minority and human rights
15.6-Systematic discrimination and exceptions
15.7-Classic utilitarian theory and morality
15.8-Personal and public spheres

From darkness into light

16.1-The veil of ignorance
16.2-Two principles of justice
16.3-Criticism of Rawls theory

Ayman’s YouTube channelOm ElSeiasa

The Author also regularly posts videos to his popular Arabic YouTube Channel Om ElSeiasa where he discussed these compelling topics in a laid-back, unintimidating format that speaks directly to his fans. However, the program has also English Subtitles (Click CC to enable Subtitles).

The lively combination of the videos, make them light and relatable, and this balance is echoed in THE LANTERN. This new book shines a fresh new light on Arab politics in a compelling voice that readers will instantly understand and connect with.

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THE LANTERN also features two contemporary Arab 'characters'

The first is a taxi driver "'Am Araby", (who may be the first encounter for many westerners) and an ambitious young man. They argue in the Platonic style, questioning their own beliefs in a lively, and easy-to-understand approach. Their lively and comedic scenes about ordinary citizens arguing the essential questions about freedom democracy and their own realities combined with a hip-and-in-the-moment writing style make the book an ideal University course book or Indie bookshop and library buy.

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Ayman Aborabh

If I can’t spare the suffering of the middle eastern dwellers, who are trapped between the hammer of the foreign interference and the anvil of the authoritarian rulers, I hope my book could show one way out of that trap.
The steam that transfers my thought into this book was the thoughts of the suffering, paid by the true heroes in middle east, who never made it to the news. A suffering that all the words in the world can’t describe.