The spirit of radical change has been “haunting” prosperous Western life for some time now.
Radical change, firstly caused by the financial crisis, followed by a worldwide price increase of raw materials and labor workers demanding decent wages. Since end of January we can add food to this list! All these "events" are causing a chain reaction of revolting people claiming a fair share of global prosperity. The mostly young “rebels” want jobs, decently priced food and to be respected as individuals. The aforementioned in combination with decades of dictatorships and corruption forced the people of Northern Africa and the Middle East to revolt against their oppressors.
Radical thoughts are fed by a combination of displeasure, intelligence and imagination, change is set into motion by information, hope and perseverance. In case of labor workers: China for instance has a growing number of prosperous people and internet access is within reach of more people everyday. Knowing your own miserable situation comparing it with others, more fortunate than yourself, the desire for a decent life is getting stronger and becomes one of the first necessity of life. On the other hand in the Western world, buying low priced t-shirts has become one of our many first necessities of life. This dilemma of exploitation on one side and careless consumption on the other is the basis of the radical change we are experiencing now.
New parameters aiming for a decent life for all are needed in order to avoid revolts! Change is already there, you can call it radical, in case you are on the side of the “have’s”, but is it so radical? It seems simply a matter of restoring balance that brings human dignity for “have not’s” equally. A disturbed equilibrium with a history that goes further than dictatorships of almost half a century: it would be interesting to investigate and value the influence of colonialism on the current situation. It is not a secret that the wealth of the Western world today still finds it origin in the times of exploitation of colonialism and slavery.
Because of the fact that we are rich and “are entitled” to more, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t grant the poor the same. Let’s consider today's instability payback time.
(This article was also published in the Re-start issue of Second Sight March 2011 )