Does the world need a revolution? If we assume that planet earth is one country; does this country need a revolution?
Recent events have had a great impact on Egyptian society in many ways, but one of the main changes that I think will play a big role in the coming phase is the surge of people eager to contribute to the rebuilding of Egypt. People who earlier were only concerned with their work and private lives have suddenly become aware of the constitution and concerned with the political and social well being of the country.
The transformation of these individuals is vital; we have seen corporate lawyers, business owners, and people working in competitive advertising agencies working together with one goal – the creation of a peaceful and just society. We have seen the curtains ripped from the rooms of the powerful and noted their cowering weakness and impotence in the face of co-operative and peaceful mass action.
What is happening in Egypt now is exactly what is needed in the whole world. We, the people, are not in control of the planet we live on. We live in countries that are ruled by either oppressive politicians or greedy corporations. And it’s not in the interest of corrupt politicians to solve the problem in Palestine and it’s not in the interest of greedy businessmen to cure people with AIDS. Frankly, the goal of creating a peaceful and just world is not to be found in corporate manifestos. These are our goals as the citizens and youth of the world, not theirs. And we are the ones who must take it upon ourselves to achieve them.
I think it’s true to say that we are not in control of our world, even in the so-called civilized western societies. Yes, there are many differences, including levels of corruption and the level of participation of citizens in local and national decision-making. But worldwide, politicians and economists have created the world we live in (based on the accumulated power and wealth), and basically we live within the systems and institutions that they have created for themselves throughout the years. Our societies are shaped by these systems and institutions, and since human beings are the outcome of their exposures, in that we are shaped by our environments and experiences, we are being shaped by a world that some fucked up people created.
We have been singing about peace and a more just world for a long time now, and I believe we now have an opportunity to take a big step towards that dream.
It is quite obvious now that this wave of awakening is contagious – starting from Tunisia and spreading throughout the region and now the world, until now we have seen political unrest in around 55 countries in only the last six months. We need to realize the magnitude of this movement and the potential of it. While most people are celebrating this victory and shouting ‘power to the people’, a small minority is not as happy and, we could say, actually shitting their pants. We have seen the Saudi king telling the Egyptian government that they could replace the aid that we get from the US in an attempt to prevent Mubarak, and other Arab governments, from making promises to the people in order to calm down situations where the people have united to voice their demands. And this is only one example, it is very clear that the beneficiaries of the oppressive system are not happy with our liberations.
Here’s a summary of what has happened so far in Egypt: Millions of people voiced their demands and applied pressured to achieve them, the people in power tried to manipulate the masses, failed, and later responded by taking insignificant steps to normalize life again. However the fact is that almost nothing has changed at the core and the root of all our problems is still there. From now people will continue to fight for their rights until they reach a point where they see satisfactory progress or become convinced that they won’t get a better deal, while the people in power will try to keep as much as possible of what they have gained over the years.
On a global scale we will pass through the same steps. Currently -and for the longest time- we have been manipulated. Manipulated to believe that the life we are living is the best we can get, manipulated to believe that we are free individuals while we are really only exposed to the world politicians and business people create. We only have the freedom to choose from the options they give us! And we are manipulated to believe that they are trying to fix our problems when really they are only thinking of how they can benefit from the situation.
Whenever a profit driven entity decides to act to ‘benefit the community’ it is only doing so to make more money, not for the sake of essential values. Companies tend to do whatever makes more profit in order to survive in particular markets and so, for the sake of having a heart-warming advertisement, will give some money for some kids and take cute photos of them. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) departments, which should act as the arm of the company that gives back to the community, tend to spend most of their budgets on publicizing their projects rather than actually making sure that they are successful. Naturally, CSR departments rarely make an impact
We see now companies like IBM making projects with the community while just some decades ago they were developing the computer system that supported Hitler’s systematic murder of millions of people through their German subsidiary Dehomag. The fact is that companies aim to make money, and they will do anything to ensure profits, whether it’s a project with a community or developing tools that support genocide.
If we take the pharmaceutical industry as an example, we can see that they first try to convince us that we can live an unhealthy life style and then take a pill to fix it. The alternative is, of course, that we eat and live healthily so as to reduce our need for pills. But pharmaceutical companies do not profit from healthy populations, they will sell less if we don’t get sick (just like a mall full of Zen monks won’t be profitable). And when these corporate giants do perform research, little of the research is done on alternative medicines – of course the vast majority of the funding goes to support this pop-a-pill culture. And if they do find a better solution for a particular disease, they won’t let the product out until the previous product has ended its cycle. The end result is: we live unhealthy lifestyles and we have the wrong solutions to our problems and even if a better solution is found it will not see the light of day if it is not capable of making a good profit.
This is only one example, yet it could be extended to all our industries whether concerned with banking, education, automobiles or just about anything in our world.
We need to review a few things before we move on: 1) We are not in control of the planet because if we were it would look a lot different. 2) People are either ruled by politicians or corporations. 3) Most politicians and economists do not give a shit about the wellbeing of our planet or the people in it. 4) Even though some claim that they do we know it’s just branding, and 5) We need to change all this!
What we need to do now as an international community is to make sure that each revolution happens, and that each revolution is a success. We need to pool our collective efforts and make a global revolution. We are all good at something, whatever we do in life. Let’s all put our efforts toward breaking this cycle, each one of us in our own sector, in our own world. Do what you do best to change this, know more about the fucked up world we live in and, most importantly, volunteer. Put in effort aside from what you put into your paid work. Volunteer in something you are good at, or volunteer in something you want to learn, or volunteer in something you are passionate about.
And you can do it your own way, you don’t always have to join an organization. The fact is that each one of us has something to give the world, whether it’s a skill or knowledge to share, just about anything. The most recent form of activism getting headlines is hacktivism, where computer hackers are taking things into their own hands. When Julian Assange was arrested, hackers targeted the corporations who stood against the whistleblower website. Another interesting incident happened in Nigeria and lastly we are seeing attacks on the IMF and the US Senate website. As you can see, no matter what you can do there is a way to make good use of it. Let’s all do our part, whether it is giving trainings on something you are good at, helping an organization in an event, or even just sharing information on your facebook wall. This revolution will be global when we all join in.
What we need to do is to revolt – revolt against everything that is empowering injustice, everything that is making the poverty gap bigger, and everything that is fucking up our planet. Revolt against the system we live in – don’t conform to the system in the belief that we can somehow change it. We can’t. We need a new system, and this is what a lot of people are realizing and this is why people are revolting. And it’s time for everyone else to join this movement.
This wave of consciousness is big, and we need to get the most out of it because, if not, before we know it we will be sucked back into our shitty lives, and the thought that they are the best we can get. And we will get sucked back into the system. And if it takes another few decades for a similar awakening to happen, by then we may be too old to get involved, to cynical or lethargic to act, or too sucked into the system to be able to see solutions. Revolt Now!
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. Albert Camus