Monday, 28 February 2011

Pattern of the Cyber Revolution

It is not just technology that unities the global rise in protests, strikes, and revolutions, but some clear patterns are emerging that united the protests in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and America.

  1. Social Media is used a the main tool of communication, or sharing experience, and forming spaces of dialogue.
  2. Mobile Web 3.0 technology like Twitter keep protests in touch with each other and the world in real time.
  3. A major generation gap, though the youth are leading. Young people grew up with technology are often called digital natives. These young people have been hit hard by the economic problems and are brining their skills in Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 to organize the protest.
  4. A disgust with violence. The movements in Egypt and Libya have certainly not been non-violent at all times. But protester violence has been defensive, especially in Libya. In the Arab world and in the United States protests are consciously distancing themselves from pro-violence movements of the past. Al Qaeda has been utterly marginalized in the Middle East, and recent US protests have been very critical of the presence of guns and calls to military force that was central to the Tea Party movement.
  5. This is very much part of a bigger protests movement coming out of the 2008 collapse of the global economy. Two things to keep in mind about this protest: first it made a lot of people who were not precisely booming before the collapse poor, and that it was fully and entirely the result of the global fiscal system. There is massive anger developing on the lack of transformations to the core privatization and reliance on market mechanism which caused the problem. In fact since 2008 many world governments are embracing even more free market ideology, reducing the size of government radically while not only bailing out banks but sitting back and allowing huge bonuses.
  6. This exhaustion with a power structure based upon mass wealth are leading protest movements in the Middle East but in Wisconsin, Greece, the UK and Italy.

This event is likely to be far far larger than the 1968s events in Europe and America. This is for various reasons:

  1. The new medias used are much more effective and flexible, communication and co-organization is far more than it ever was.
  2. The issues facing the poor and young people are much worse than in the late 1960s. Not only is there a long standing unpopular war but also a massive economic collapse.
  3. The revolt is becoming truly global, with groups in various nations able to organize in real time.
The agile nature of cyber-activism combined with the gravity of the crisis and the entrenched position of powerful people who have amassed what would have been unimaginable wealth thirty years ago. We anticipate that these global protests will continue until a number of goals are accomplished:

  1. Reform or revolution of almost every Islamic nation in the world.
  2. A stop of the recent rise in right wing politics in the US and Europe, specifically austerity measures that are used to break unions or put the burden of the crisis on the young and poor while allowing huge financial players to get even richer.
  3. Re-regulation of much of the banking structure.
Over the Spring and Summer we expect to see major protests on every continent of the world. Specific large protests will be seen in Greece, Italy, the UK, the Arab World, and Iran. There is a strong chance that it will expand to Russia, China, India and other parts of Asia, South America and Africa.

We are already seeing a large number of established protests groups trying to piggyback on this event. Islamic fundamentalists, American Right Wing radicals, and Anarchist street fighters may sense this as an opportunity to engage in significant violence. So in the short run their are elevated chances of terrorism and violence all over the planet.

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