Maybe it’s time for the rulers of the world to start worrying?
Human governments are unstable by nature. Revolutionary change does not run on any logical schedule. Revolution can come when you expect it, or when you don’t. Who in the West could have predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, followed by the breakup of the Soviet Union in late 1991?
The financial capitals of the U.S. and Europe have been in economic turmoil for three years. But the revolution comes first in the Middle East. In a matter of weeks, change comes to Tunisia and Egypt. In recent days, protests spread through the region — in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain.
In Egypt, the focus was secular. The concerns were poverty and democracy. In Bahrain, the conflict has religious overtones. Perhaps Saudi Arabia and Iran will be exempt. Perhaps not.
If it can happen in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, could it happen in America?
In America, a great divide has opened between certain monied elites and the people who work for them. Certain elites have decided they don’t need government workers, and they’re not going to pay for people they don’t need. This drama has been playing out in towns and counties throughout America. A spirit of cooperation in the first year of budget cuts is wearing thin in the second and third years. Tempers are getting short on both sides of the budget tables. Some public workers are getting angry.
The standoff in Wisconsin between the Republican government and the people who work for the government is ugly and ominous. The Republicans intend to break the back of the public unions.
Nearly every other state is facing similar budget dilemmas, and many states are in worse shape than Wisconsin. Among the Republicans who have come to power, there is talk of layoffs and bankruptcies, but not of tax increases.
In the recent U.S. election campaigns, politicians promised to create jobs. It is just now sinking in that politicians intend first to eliminate many more jobs — in federal, state, and local governments.
Unemployment is above nine percent, but corporations and investors are hoarding cash, refusing to invest or hire. They plead uncertainty. Uncertainty on Wall Street, uncertainty about oil price and supply, uncertainty about taxation, uncertainty about public debt.
Look, life is uncertain.
The super-rich can tolerate uncertainty. Their money is in safe, offshore banks.
— John Hayden
- Unrest spreadin’ all over the world? (energybulletin.net)
- Three dead in Bahrain, as unrest spreads in Middle East (nationalpost.com)