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“The Algerian evil”… A book lays bare the nature of the Algiers regime

“Le mal algérien”, an essay just published by French experts Jean-Louis Levet and Paul Tolila, is a veritable radioscopy of the nature of the regime in place, drawing an Algeria at the antipodes of official propaganda, mocked in the streets. of the country by a majority of Algerians crying out the rejection of their own government, the arrogance of the powers in place and a political system complicit in the worst inequities.

The book, published by Bouquins, is the result of five years of work in the field carried out by the two authors at the heart of Algerian realities, of exchanges with the main actors of society, within the framework of a mission of ”technological and industrial” cooperation with Algeria.

A stay that allowed them to observe “the flaws and see the coming impasses of the power in place”, they write in the prologue of the book (371 pages), where they “try to describe and give meaning to the situations strange, enigmatic, to the main dysfunctions” with which they were confronted.

To fully understand this “Algerian evil”, the authors offer the reader a return to its roots and to the genesis of the system still in place, which finds its origins in Houari Boumediène’s coup d’etat.

”From the coup of 1962 was born the typical configuration of Algerian power for decades: real power in the hands of the army, hidden behind the screen of a civilian presidency, and supported by secret services criss-crossing the population, capable of keeping an eye on, or even of liquidating, the opponents, organized for all types of manipulations,” argue the authors of the book.

The roots of this Algerian evil can be found, among other things, ”in a praetorian power, an incredible greed of the nomenklatura and its servants, the economic assets voluntarily restrained in favor of juicy imports, the gangrene of the hydrocarbon rent and the ‘explosion of all forms of trafficking and the black market’, it is explained.

They also denounce ”a paralyzing and often corrupt sprawling administration, which increases the blockages of a humiliated society, which has become sad and harsh for the weakest”.

During their visits, the two authors discover an ”administrative chaos”, where the prebendary logic has contaminated everything and a schizophrenia which reigns there on a large scale”.

In the “country of the upside down world”, Jean-Louis Levet and Paul Tolila also highlight the great ballet of the trio ”income-corruption-purge” and invite you on a journey through the meanders of recent Algerian history. , from the capture of the state by the army to the poisoned legacy of the War of Independence (1954-1962) and endemic corruption, through the bureaucracy that inhibits the best wills, authoritarianism, cynicism displayed Algerian powers and the shortcomings that the population faces in all major areas of life (education, culture, health, food, public hygiene, etc.).

The book also emphasizes ”the questions of memory, in particular with the former colonizer, France, the impasse of the rent linked to hydrocarbons, the clientelization of society, the suffocation of all democracy, and the surveillance and sometimes extreme violence set up as a natural means of internal government”.

The two authors also return to ”the double misfortune of Algeria on the economic level, with an agriculture that the various governments have allowed to deteriorate since independence and a rentier policy based on hydrocarbons (dependent on world markets) , which inhibited the country’s industrial development and any attempt at real diversification.

“These two negative poles gave birth to another harmful specificity of the Algerian economy which weighs with all its weight on the maintenance of the status quo: a class of importers of food products and finished industrial products, linked to power, dependent on him and having slowly penetrated it since the Boumédiène era”, they note.

“After almost twenty years of political domination, the ebb of power from Abdelaziz Bouteflika and its end under the blows of immense popular protest have left Algeria in an explosive and, in some areas, precarious situation”. we read.

“With amazement and consternation, Algerian and European public opinion became aware of the incompetence and turpitude of a governance plagued for too long by prebends and prevarications”, note the authors.



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