As Americans grow increasingly dissatisfied with the U.S. government, patience seems to be wearing thin. What if America were on the brink of something very similar to the Arab Spring? It might be a more realistic concept than many think.
Education works primarily through the spread of ideas from person to person. As mediums such as social media make it extremely easy to interact with one another over great distances, the spread of ideas has intensified dramatically in the past decade. Access to these ideas has also become simple, seeping into society of even the most underdeveloped countries in the world.
With many citizens beginning to see through social media and other streamlined forms of communication that their country is no longer “the greatest” as they’ve always been taught many have begun to doubt whether the current system is actually working.
This leads me to what has been taking place in north Africa and south-west Asia (commonly referred to as the Middle East) for the past couple of years, an ongoing event known worldwide as the “Arab Spring.”
Beginning in late 2010, pandemonium began to break out across the Arab world. Though the Arab regimes have always seemingly been at odds, as author/professor on Middle East studies Marc Lynch states in his most recent book “The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the Middle East,” media such as Al-Jazeera and social media have choked off these regimes ability to control the flow of information and opinion to their people. The Arab Spring – a phenomenon that in the past would have taken decades to develop and spread, has taken place in a short period of time.
From uprisings in Tunisia to the ousting of dictators like former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi next door in Libya, monumental political changes are spreading rapidly throughout the Arab world. Not only was this fueled by geographic proximity but also by the ease of idea sharing via social media outlets.
People in the Middle East were dissatisfied with their current governments to the point of revolt.
They came to realize that the people of a nation in our age of technology have enormous power to make change where change is needed. This idea, fueled by rapid growth and refinement through social media, erupted in a way nobody could have predicted. The same could happen in America.
Citizens of the U.S., such as the document-leaking soldier Bradley Manning and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, have taken the initiative of showing their fellow Americans that in recent years their government hasn’t been behaving much better than the former governments of some of these Arab states. They’ve shown us that America has become a country that has no problem spying on its own people, using drone warfare on citizens abroad and even torturing prisoners of war.
It’s quite possible that the time for real change in the United States is right around the corner.
Don’t be too surprised if it ends up happening much like the Arab Spring.
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