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Global Blossoms from Arab Spring

May 30th, 2011

Rick Dickinson

Revolutions rippling across the Arab World have left earth's elites trembling in their gilded Crocs. They've seen just how easily populism can pierce their thin veneer of permanence, and they know what's in store: in the age old battle of oligarchs vs. oppressed, the underdogs have been growing new teeth.

Undercurrents of discontent can brew for lifetimes, like in Egypt or Tunisia, until social media ultimately brings it to a boil. Instant interconnection - knowing that huge numbers of fellow humans feel the same way at the same time - provides the empowerment needed to break the barrier of fear binding the hegemonic house of cards.

Underpinning the unrest across the Middle East has been economic disparity. Corrupt rulers live lavish lifestyles while too many of their citizenry contend with dire conditions, making the situation untenable without the persistent use of force.

This same struggle - teeming masses exploited by tyrants - is also faced by the entire human race. The world's wealth and power is distributed so that a handful of people control billions of dollars while billions of people live in extreme poverty.

Unlike the Arab World, where brutal authoritarianism has left little recourse outside of violent revolution, the dawning global upheaval won't necessarily require bloodshed. With emergent tools that help to ensure transparency in authority (like Wikileaks) and community creators which leverage people power into political action (like Facebook and Twitter), we'll keep forging more effective democratic channels.

When leaders are held accountable - not only to their own populations, but also to the world's ever present eye - earth's governments will fear the people and not the other way around. Everywhere, economic and political systems will continue to more accurately reflect the voice of the people instead of the pull of powerful special interests.

Inspired by smaller, successful revolutions and empowered with an unprecedented arsenal, social movements involving hundreds of millions will be capable of amazing things, like dismantling the entities that enable war, eradicating the scourge of extreme poverty, and perhaps most importantly, weeding out systemic corruption and injustice.

Seeds sown this Arab Spring are set to flower around the world, revealing humanity's true colors. The magnitude of this monumental movement will go beyond revolutionary, broaching the realm of evolutionary, as we're set free to embark on an entirely new era for our species.

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Rick Dickinson is the founder of worldpeaceiscoming.com and muses daily at u4ya.ca/blog

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