Friday, January 28, 2011

Stomping Out The Democracy Stompers, Social Networks Mean That We Can't Be Silenced

The Revolution is happening now, and yes, it is being televised. And Facebooked, and Tweeted, and emailed… Following the recent political unrest in nearby Tunisia, Egyptians are openly into the pro-democracy act - once again - taking to the streets to call for the ouster of autocratic President-for-Life Hosni Mubarak, and in revolt of the corruption in government and suppression in their society. This speaks to the power of smart ideas, particularly good ones – once they catch on, they grow and intensify like a wildfire.

Because standing up for democracy is a very smart idea.

We can thank technology for this, the enabler of information sharing, but at the end of the day, regardless of the medium they are transferred by, it is the ideas that count, and the great ones that take hold and last.

Democracy is so long overdue in this region, a region that has suffered under the leaden boot of autocracy for a much longer time than it should. People were not happy with this arrangement, but what could they do before they had living, viral social networks to voice disdain for their leader or to help organize protests and uprisings?

As in most repressed societies, the only choice for citizens was to keep their collective head down, hope they didn’t get on the bad side of the government, and pray that it would all change one day.

Well, guess what? It seems that one day is here. Encouraged by the impact the Tunisian protests made with the very quick series of resignations in the government, Egyptians are out en masse in the streets pushing their rulers to do the same, with unrest not seen since the bread riots in 1977.

Regardless of the outcome, at the very least, it shows the autocrats that they can’t rule by fiat as easily anymore. The cracks in their calcified and obsolete system are visible to the world.

More to the point, it demonstrates that there’s no stopping an excellent idea, and democracy is one of the very best and longest lasting ever invented by us - and an idea that's now being helped along by a Tweet, a Facebook post - or a million.

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