Via Infoshop News
How North Africa & the Middle East inspire us
By Jesse D. Palmer
Can the revolts in North Africa and the Middle East of the past few months inspire similarly energetic uprisings in the US against the self-destructing industrial/financial system and the handful of people who profit from it? The revolts in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Tunisia, etc. have demonstrated how quickly a society can move from resigned acceptance of an oppressive status quo to open defiance. It is inspiring to see how fragile seemingly intractable power structures can be.
The US, too, is ripe for revolt despite the superficial appearance of stability indicated by the millions of people who dutifully head off to work everyday focused on consumerism and corporate media. Social pressure is building over increased inequality and injustice that is barely discussed in mainstream dialog, much less addressed. The last 40 years of tax cuts for the rich, corporate globalization and union busting have created the largest wealth inequalities since before the Great Depression. All of the fruits of US economic growth in the last 30 years have gone to the richest 20 percent of the population, with just 1 percent getting the lion’s share. Ever year, millions of Americans have fallen out of the middle class and into marginalized economic hopelessness. Meanwhile, it becomes more clear every year that the environmental consequences of the ever-expanding industrial machine are not sustainable. The oceans are dying, the air increasingly filled with CO2, forest and mineral resources depleted, and farmland exhausted.
As exciting and inspirational as it has been to follow the revolts in the Middle East, it is easy to feel despair, alone and small when you compare their successes to our situation in the US.