reply to post by DimensionalDetective
In order to accurately assess where is most likely to be hit by the wave of popular uprisings , one must first understand the state of the nations in
which previous events have occured, and also to understand the general overveiw of the attitudes and mindsets of people in a nation which may become
the site of a new uprising.
Let us take Tunisia as an example. Tunisia was under the control of its ousted leader , President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, for twenty three years. A
relatively peaceful and properous nation, when compared with its neighbours in the region, Tunisia was none the less rife with corruption, a lack of
freedom of speech, and during recent years suffered under food inflation issues which lead to food shortages and lack of availability.
When a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi had his cart of produce confiscated by police, he set himself aflame in protest, and this sparked a
popular uprising against the government by the great majority of people in the nation. This is a key point, the proportion of the population who were
active in the protests , and those who supported the actions taken by protestors.
Without wide scale support, and numbers which represent the great majority of the population, a protest of this sort cannot achieve anything, and
people who have understanding of this issue will not act, unless they are aware that the majority of people will be out in the streets. Getting your
head beat in with police batons, your eyes seared by tear gas, and risking getting shot, are only worth the doing, if there is a reasonable chance of
the numbers being great enough to achieve the stated aims of the protest after all. Now, in Tunisia , the numbers told, and will continue to tell
until a brand new government is elected, and things change for the good in the nation.
I do not believe that a similarly effective protest, or a proportionaly similar sized protest, could EVER be organised in the United States of
America. The reason I believe this, is that when you compare Tunisia and America, in terms of who is effected by what, and what Americans think about
what thier government should and should not do, you find that where Tunisians pretty much were united in thier aims, the US population are so
disperate and split about the direction they want to see the nation go, that no effective, and single minded approach can possibly be taken.
You see, where almost all Tunisia was effected by the harsh conditions that they protested about, there are great swathes of Americans who like thier
nation just the damned way it is thank you very much. The population of the US has so many political schools of thought, religious elements, rights
activists and lobbies for and against who knows what, that getting any group to protest under one banner, which would be large enough to mount an
effective and powerful nation wide protest, is just utterly improbable. It is the division of the American society which prevents wide scale,
effective, challenge and protest toward government , from ever becoming a reality.
Let me give you an example of what an admittedly large , but none the less largely ineffective protest is. In the UK before the Christmas holiday,
there were protests organised by students and teachers, against the insane increases in University Tuition fees. Students of ages from university age,
to secondary school age were present, along with thier teachers, and former students also. Along with these were an active but small group of
anarchists and trouble makers, but they accounted for only a small portion of the crowds, and it has to be said, a large portion of the damage that
was done when the protests turned to riots (largely bought on by police tactics being frankly unethical and preventing the people from performing
thier right to march).
Although some of the protests during that period where well attended, the changes against which the protests where organised, went through, and in
reality, all the protests did, was show the nation and the world that the government were not listening to the people who would be effected by the
The reason this protest can be veiwed as unsucessful, is simple. Its aim was to prevent by wieght of opinion, the passing of new rules about tuition
fees. The rules were passed anyway, therefore the protests can be said to have failed.
Now, if the protests had been attended by not just the students but by students, teachers, bus drivers cab driver, lorry drivers, builders, plumbers,
court clerks, bank managers, fitness center employees, fast food workers, road layers, locksmiths, goldsmiths, steel workers, car manufacturers,
artists, poets, game designers, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Jehovahs Witnesses, retailers, small business owners, scientists, and persons
literaly from EVERY stripe and walk of life, then the numbers would have been greater. If the protests had emptied entire towns and villages of thier
residents, and been attended by the majority of people in the nation, like in Tunisia, then maybe the protests would have been more strident and had
more effect. However, the groups of people I have mentioned may not all agree that the students issue was worth the protesting over.
Now, had the issue been the general cuts being made by the ConDem government here in the UK, then more folks would have turned out, and perhaps
greater numbers would have been able to effect real challenge to the government position.
Now Im not saying that the states will be protest free going forward, but what I am saying, is that any protest is likely to be incapable of
representing enough of the population at once, to effect any change in either policy or indeed the make up of its government. The numbers of people
required to have proper effect, would require groups which have no commonalities of purpose and are polar opposites to one another, to put aside thier
differences, some of which are very pronounced, in order to effect the sort of scale and power of the protests seen elsewhere. In comparision to
Tunisia, the protests you will see in the states are likely to be tiny, patheticaly ineffective, and will serve only to highlight which individuals
act in support of which political positions, which has obvous pitfalls associated with it.
There would have to be a massive shift in general opinion, from various different political groups, and idealogical organisations, in order to effect
a workable amalgamation, capable of effective protest, and without such a change, a big powerful event just isnt possible in my view.