Humanity has always needed a grammar to trace the specific substance of its factual history, from the advent of communicative language up to and including modern revolutionary events. Moreover, all revolutions throughout history have gone through the same stages to arrive finally at the rules that will govern the completion of their objectives. This overall universal rule can be called “revolutionary grammars.” Yet there are aspects of the Tunisian Revolution that are not subject to any singular specific grammar, which prompts noting that this revolution, with all its contingent, diverse, unpredictable, and uncontrollable aspects, is undeniably compelling and lapidary in its principles, and may very well be a major addition to the lexicon of revolutions. The Tunisian Revolution of Dignity can be considered atypical because it arguably runs contrary to the ordinary pattern of revolution established since the eighteenth century. By attending to this revolution’s specificity, its underlying causes, sources, unfolding events, and objectives, as well as the possible means of achieving them, we can draw attention to its groundbreaking dimensions. On the premise that the conventional political explanations of revolution have become obsolete in the face of the Tunisian Revolution, this essay is an attempt at comprehending its grammars of revolution, beginning with the fact that it has not affected Tunisia’s mode of production, or the overall structure of its society, or even the political consciousness and reasoning. Rather, it has been a surgical intervention undertaken by the citizenry in the daily life-practices of society.
Mouldi Guessoumi; The Grammars of the Tunisian Revolution. boundary 2 1 February 2012; 39 (1): 17–42. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-1506227
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