You Won’t Fool the Children of the Revolution

I sometimes tease my dedicated communist friend about when the revolution is coming to England. I am all for a grassroots movement to shift the existing democratic structures in such a way that the government actually functions to provide the greatest good to the greatest number while doing no harm, but I think, perhaps with too much optimism, that in a country like England, this can and should be done gradually, through rational discourse.

Day of Anger water cannon firing in air

The revolutions, for there is no other word, now taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, and rippling protests in other parts of the Arab world, are amazing. They represent something quite magnificent about the human character – an ability to move together to insist upon change.

In the American news, as Philip Weiss at Salon.com discusses, a rather fearful tone in the reportage. Why? Because this kind of seismic political shift in part of the world that is already a crucible for a variety of political, religious, and financial (oil!) tension threatens the structure and investments Western countries have made with existing governments.

It is to be expected that the government of each country will act to protect their national interests. However, these events are drawing attention to the relationships that exist between the challenged dictators and governments, and the leaders in Europe and North America. And this, in turn, raises some interesting moral questions, where it has become clear that international policies have, essentially, been founded on the principle of ‘better the devil you know’.

I’d like to think that the democratic governments with such obvious diplomatic relations hoped for a shift towards democracy. History would suggest otherwise, but a girl can dream.

There are a lot of political things to be worried about: revolutions do not always end peacefully, and there is some question of how a shift in government in the area will affect the situation with Israel.

I hope that the protesters and revolutionaries succeed in reshaping their countries (and region) into fairer, safer places.

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