Fire in the Streets

Imbolc                                                     Waxing Bridgit Moon

See.  It helps to share your pain.  Woolly brother and cybermage Bill Schmidt gave me the number of his son-in-law, Steve Johnson, who runs a part-time business called I-tech.  He knows networks and backups, doing that kind of thing during the day for 3M.  I’m gonna give him a call.  Time to stop banging my head against this stuff.

I’ve not kept on top of the Tunisia, Egypt coverage and have missed a lot of the analysis, so this may be ill-informed; but, it all sounds pretty healthy to me.  Dictators may seem more stable from a US foreign policy perspective, yet they often/always? do disservice to the people(s) and the nation which they rule.  Whether kept in power by US aid and good will or by their own ham-fisted acts, dictators lack a key ingredient for legitimate power, the assent of the governed.  By definition in a dictatorship there is no consent by the citizenry, yet their rule could work if the people assented to their government.  And they may.  At first.  Especially if the dictator rose to power by throwing off a corrupt state government or overthrowing a sitting tyrant.  In the end though dictators dictate and no matter what the political philosophy of the whole, no one likes being told what to do time and again with the force of arms behind it.

It should come as no surprise when people in such situations say, enough.  In fact, to old political hacks like me, it’s more surprising people take as long as they often do, fearing the consequences of action.  Of course, from our North American vantage point, it seems the outcome of these people’s movements must be radical Islamist states, but I think it too soon to tell.

An even more intriguing bit of analysis will come from discerning the true role of social media.    They are, of course, a new player in politics and one few people understand very well.  Except maybe those that use it for these purposes.

Whatever the outcome, whatever the analysis, these uprisings have clear public support.  What happens next could determine the fate of the unfortunate Middle East for years to come.  One less:  beware the lure of wealth from natural resources.  They destabilize as much as–more–than they stabilize.  Just ask residents of Minnesota’s Iron Range or any of the First Nations in either Canada or the U.S.