Monday, February 21, 2011

The Global Revolution Has Begun

During the riots in Egypt to oust dictator Hosni Mubarak, senior news reporter for Nile Television in Cairo, Shahira Amin, noticed something odd; her state owned news agency asked her to lie about the riots.

Mubarak himself, knowing full well the world was watching, attempted to downplay the event as a small unhappy group of radicals who were disgruntled with his benevolent leadership.

Shahira Amin, after days of being told to say it was the Muslim Bro'hood who organized protests, live, on air she spoke from the heart and quit...“I refuse to be a hypocrite. I feel liberated.” So, she did what anyone in her position would do...Shahira Amin joined the protesters. "They are not showing what's happening in Tahrir Square. People are dying here, everything is distorted." Amin told told Al-Jazeera.

But THIS was a new type of revolution and the first of its kind:  

The Internet has driven this one

Wael Ghonim from The Los Angeles Times
"This revolution started on Facebook" said Wael Ghonim - marketing manager at Google (he himself Egyptian) - gained international notoriety when he was abducted by Egyptian police shortly after arriving in Cairo to participate in the demonstrations. Blindfolded for 12 days he credits President Obama and Google for his release.

Google covered the event and the protesters Tweeted, Facebooked, YouTubed and got the word out via smart phones. Ironically, the revolution would not have happened had it not been for social media.

Something strange is happening all over the world. A revolution is taking place. A revolution of ideas and knowledge is spreading because of the Internet. As Egyptian, Tunisian and Libyan protesters start to stand up and demand a better government, I begin to realize, this revolution is driven by people 30 years of age and younger --college educated digital natives who had traveled abroad, blogged or shared ideas over social media. They have been discussing ideas about a governments role in the life of the citizenry.

This revolution is being lead by Generation Y
The impossible is possible to me because I saw the first man standing on the moon—broadcast live. It taught me that great leaps require discipline, a steady set of goals, and a solid belief that no matter what, we are going to get there...

One-of-a-kind ideas require offbeat people who understand the bigger picture. When people believe they are changing the world, and when they are given the tools to do so, chances are that they will create a better world for us all. They just need the chance to be creative in their own field, whether it’s physics, mathematics, psychology, spirituality, film-making, or what have you."

Liquid Leadership, the chapter entitled The Yellow Brick Road, page 293

And that's the part I like - the "what have you" part.

The Internet's real part in this drama is presenting ideas about government, people, our roles, representational government and human rights that would otherwise not see the light of day 25 years ago. Christians worked to help Muslims, college students were sharing ideas and thoughts with their parents, vendors came out to feed everyone as all of Egypt used their social networking tools to share it all.

Why else would dictators attempt to shut off the Internet? Its about fear. Fear that people will share ideas, rise up, and take away their power. How dare the peasants express their anger? So naturally in the minds of the dictator, it's the Internet's fault...and on one level, it IS the Internet that helped people coordinate forces. A medium for our times that is changing the face of our planet.
Without the billions of dollars to build an Internet infrastructure and cell phone grid, there would have been no uprising...nor would the world have known about the events taking place in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

The ability to share ideas is what causes revolution...
that and people tired of abuse.

And it isn't just angry people leading this - Educated people are leading this revolution. All over the world, the knowledge of Liberty and Sovereignty are gaining traction. As an American, I am proud of those who revolt against tyranny and embrace liberty.

It also makes me wonder, when will repressive dictators realize - there is a point when the people cannot take anymore and rise up. Throughout history this is always the case.
Why risk it?

Welcome to the future.

Thank you for reading,

Brad Szollose