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The main link between protests around the world is that working people--the laboring class of the world--are struggling for survival. Rates of unemployment for people 18-30 years of age (the largest demographic) in Northern Africa and the middle east are all above 30%; the price of food and basic staples (cooking oil especially) have exceeded what most people can pay. An example of this is that Egypt's former president ordered the military to bake bread in 2008 to relieve food insecurity. The inability to meet basic needs of citizens--which is supposed to be the goal of any political and economic system--is the driving force behind world-wide protests. This is made more complicated by the reliance of many of these nations' on oil exports as their primary source of funds for government operations; due to physical limitations (peak oil) and rising domestic consumption, oil exports have declined in many nations suffering from unrest (Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran, UAE, etc.). Yes, the protesters are advocating democracy as a new political system, but they are doing it NOW because the old systems have proven unable to meet basic needs.
The situation in the US is similar due to the rising ineffectiveness of government; remember, the Wisconsin battle is supposed to be a state government going bankrupt--the Republican governor is going after public sector employees to plug the budget gap. The time of growing government budgets is over, largely due to the imposition of natural limits of environmental exploitation. We are watching the beginning of serious protests around the world (and at home)--the only way to deal with this equitably is to understand the underlying drivers responsible for the anger (inability to meet basic human needs) and address it appropriately.
posted 2 years, 2 months ago
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