Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Views on uprisings

Like most, the recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and now Libya have fascinated me and to a certain level, excited me. What has really intrigued me about the events though is that all 4 countries are completely different. Yes, there are some commonalities which tie them together but then there are also many things that we in the UK share with most of the countries within Europe but were Germany or Spain to play host to similar uprisings, would anyone really predict that the UK would naturally follow suit?

I guess the most rational explanation for the trend is that the biggest common denominator is Oppression and a lack of genuine democracy. It would certainly explain why 4 countries with entirely separate cultures and identities have all 'erupted' at the same time, but I'm not convinced it is as simple as that because it would then suggest that the problem is solved by giving the public what it claims to want - democracy and freedom from oppression.

David Cameron has today said that to say the Arab world can't handle democracy is bordering on racism. He may well be right. But this isn't a question of whether the Arab world can handle democracy but whether they really want it at all. It is an arrogant man to claim he knows how Arabs think but I  suspect that these uprisings would not have happened were the people employed, comfortable and secure. That indicates that it is not so much democracy that they crave but prosperity. They will most likely end up with a form of democracy but if they believe it will automatically bring about prosperity then they will end up disappointed.

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