When Mark Zukerburg started up Facebook I can’t imagine that he ever envisioned that people would be using his software, and that of other soccial media sites, to organize themselves to change the world. Enter the Arab Spring – dictators that had held power through the most violent actions were sent packing one after the other. Remember the tyrant Hosni Mubarak? During his reign people – ordinary people – went to jail because he said so. It wasn’t guns or weapons that brought him down. The power of people was at the root of all this.
So now in the USA and Canada and Europe people are gathering again. It isn’t about political mastery or civil rebellion. There aren’t any political parties organizing it or specific demands for the overthrow of government.
This is all about a financial system that is going off the rails – this is about the few benefiting at the expense of the many. This is about young people who have grown steadily suspicous of the systems that have delivered record unemployement, bank failures, housing crisis while the CEO’s of the corporations walked away with millions of dollars in benefits. Risk and leadership have always been rewarded -it’s the American way – but lately there’s a feeling that something is out of line and the rewards are not in line with the responsibility of failure.
I was just in the USA and the conversation there is the same all over. People feel that the President is in trouble not because he’s governed poorly but that he can’t control the systems that are in play.
So if the President with all his good intentions can’t make a difference and the nation (along with the whole world) has seen the results of the Arab Spring movement – well then, perhaps through the simple use of social media and a mass presence on the street – maybe that can draw attention to the need for change – maybe that will bring about change.
Listent to those who are being interviewed along the financial streets of Canada’s cities – these are intelligent, educated, motivated men and women of all ages. No doubt they’ll be dismissed – but then the first people to stand in the public square in Egypt probably weren’t taken seriously either.