Sunday, February 6, 2011

People power: the myth becomes a reality?

"The world, by and large, is overrun with dull gluttony wed to lazy power." - Mooarants, Presto magazine, March 2010 issue.

We have a monthly magazine that circulates in Christchurch called Presto. It is a free magazine and it is a quality publication. It covers all sorts of topics from the arts to politics to consumerism and just about everything in between. It has a number of regular columnists who reveal many fascinating things that mainstream media outlets are either too lazy or too ideological or too afraid to investigate. I think it would be fair to say the general editorial thrust is left-wing.

I find it stimulating reading and a columnist who goes by the by-line, Mooarants, is often funny, entertaining and incisive. Lots of things that he writes catch my imagination and the phrase above really resonated with me.

Recently, events in the Middle East and North Africa give new lustre to Moorants' phrase. Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt and many other Middle Eastern regimes are indeed run by autocratic rulers who are, indeed, examples of "dull gluttony wed to lazy power".

There have always been popular and unpopular revolutions, but never since the advent of electronic social media have there been revolutions galvanised by Facebook and Twitter et al.

It would seem a few dictators are sleeping uneasily these days and that's how we like our dictators: squirming.

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