|Game over for Dictatorships and Corruption?|
2010 witnessed the start of a series of political rebellions in the middle east, nations including; Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. The collection of these rebellious protests are known as the Arab Spring. The political situations in these nations favored those who governed it either in a totalitarian fashion, giving them complete power, or through corruption, officials receiving financial gain by abusing their power. Unemployment rates were way above average for Libya (20.7 % Jan 2010) and around 13% for Egypt (2013 where huge political unrest is happening at this moment) the people of these nations did not have a bright economic future which could have led to some of the initial unrest. Around 60% of Egypt's population is under 30 which is quite staggering compared to nations such as ours where most of the population are around 50 - 60. This statistic is important as a lot of the younger generations who felt neglected by the political system were in huge numbers, so protests were in volume and a demand for political change was huge.
So economically and politically civilians in the Arabian world were starved of power to live autonomous and independent lives. Civilian rights were stripped by their corrupted leaders who only had power in their focus. In Libya Gaddafi ruled for over 40 years in a strict deluded regime but he thought it was a Utopia:
"I have created a Utopia here in Libya. Not an imaginary one that people write about in books, but a concrete Utopia." - Muammar GaddafiOf course Muammar thought he was living in a Utopia because relative to him he was receiving all the benefits while the nation he swore to lead to prosperity crumbled under his suffocating regime. One Libyan thought:
"Our leader is a tyrant, and he'll kill us all in cold blood," said Hassan el-Modeer, a British-educated engineer. "The world needs to intervene as soon as possible."
Most of the political activity in the Arab spring is to remove a regime by targeting the leader of said regime e.g. Gaddafi in Libya, Mubarak in Egypt, Ben Ali in Tunisia and Bashar- Al Assad in Syria (and the Ba'ath party).
These leaders and their followers in the government have caused the repression of the people of their nations for quite sometime. In Tunisia after Ben Ali was removed a democratic process took place which saw a coalition form between three political parties, the current political and economic situation is still very fragile. However in Egypt and in Syria violent civil resistance continues even after removal of certain leaders. These violent activities are physical battles between two opposing ideas: democracy and autonomy versus kleptocracy, dictatorship and plutocracy (basically the regime wants power and money .... lot's of it and will skin, beat and kill anyone to get it and will call this socialism).
This resistance to antiquated and un-democratic ideas is simply inevitable. The dynamics of the Arab spring has been heavily influenced by the mechanics of the internet and close connections to global neighbors. The censorship in Tunisia etc. did fail in censoring the people from witnessing the lives of humans living in completely different conditions. Through the internet the Arabian people basically saw that other people were living more liberal, tolerant and most importantly happier more fulfilled lives under a democratic system. Why weren't they getting the same treatment? Because they were being suppressed. The internet liberalized and rallied many rebels to the regimes which took away their rights and caused them to conjugate and protest. When there is a possibility of the internet being provided to a few groups in an oppressed nation it is simply inevitable that unrest will gradually form. In North Korea censorship is extreme and communication to the outside is too difficult to cause major unrest, that is why North Korea has remain unchanged for so long.
So with modern social networking and bold political gatherings the Arab world is changing before our very eyes. But why? Why would they want what the secular western world has had for a long time (after their own slightly less extravagant revolutions) ? It is simple. Modern western democracy which promotes; freedom of expression (includes freedom of press which is important for a democracy) , equality, esteemed education which is based on reasoning (most of the time.. sigh) , science and no political indoctrination simply works better than a corrupt dictatorship.. i.e. it provides more freedom and opportunities for better living for the majority of the population. Democracy is not perfect but it is one step ahead of the old school Arabian regimes. That is why they want democracy so they have the ability to guide their own country for the best.
One big difference that is worth noting is that in the Western world the church or religion plays a small role in the governance of a nation. The West is becoming less religious i.e. becoming more skeptical of ideas, scientific, hungry for evidence and resistant to the ideas of religion. In the UK 56% of people who were asked if they were religious said they were not in a census(2011) (1) in the US more people are religious than not but they are falling. I think this is due to their ideas being challenged more frequently and heavily online, on television and by people around them. In a democratic liberal society this is bound to happen and should happen. In an age when science is completely determining how we live our lives, how long we will live and what we can understand about the world it is to no surprise that mystic belief in a entity not of this world will fall in holders. In relation to the political activity in the East... they will no doubt form infant democracies but we may witness religious unrest between fundamentalist groups and those who fully embrace the liberalism that their new world grants.
I think that gradually and I mean over two centuries or more we will witness second world and third world countries adopt a form of democracy where freedom of expression and autonomy hold great importance. As the internet and other technologies (transport and new energy sources such as nuclear power) bring continents together and on a more equal footing a shared consciousness may form where the human world looks more or less the same albeit cultural heritage differences. Steering to a heavily scientific and technologically advanced culture and in relation to civilization types, we would be aiming at a type 1 civilization SEE Kardashev scale: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_1_Civilization.
To any cultural movement there will always be minorities that will violently resist just because the movement is not in there favor. Terrorists are fueled by fundamentalism or some sort of deluded intolerance and it will take great force to overcome them, so it will be no surprise to still witness terrorism in the near future... be it in real life or cyber space.