It is encouraging to watch the "Arab Spring" movements spreading throughout the Arab world. Beginning late last year in Tunisia and Egypt, and continuing at this moment in Libya and Syria, ordinary citizens are taking to the streets and demanding more responsive and democratic governments.
What if there were an "American Spring"? What if citizens of the United States took to the streets by the millions and demanded what used to be theirs: a fair share of the wealth and benefits of this once-great country, all of which has been taken from them by greedy multi-national corporations and the super rich. It used to be called the American Dream.
Sadly, I don't expect it will happen here anytime soon. I suspect conditions would have to get much worse (although it should be noted, that is clearly the direction conditions are heading).
As it stands now, Americans are too:
- Overwhelmed by working longer hours, struggling (often without success) to keep their jobs and homes, and doing all they can to keep their families together
- Distracted by TV, gadgets, celebrities, and multitudinous forms of vacuous popular culture
- Dumbed down and misled by inadequate education, the corporate media, and heavily funded right-wing think tank propaganda
- Betrayed by their slick bought-off elected politicians
to understand what is happening to them and what they can do about it.
How interesting that we would get a blueprint for radical change from such an undemocratic part of the world. As our country becomes more undemocratic, maybe we will learn to emulate their actions.