We’ve seen people around the world protesting about rotten governments around the world for a lot of the last twenty years. The Berlin Wall and Warsaw Pact fell and hopefully we will see and end to the worst Middle Eastern tyrannies and barking-mad Burmese military fascism. How nice if simple democracies arose, or if there were any to copy in history. There is no hope on this. Some of my friends will have been on the streets in Bahrain, no doubt wondering what ‘liberty’ might bring, as much as calling for it. Even the relatively peaceful revolutions of recent years have generally lead to blood-lettings. Bahrain is only the size of Bolton and Bury put together, yet potentially has enough feuds to destroy itself.
I find myself wondering what it is peaceful people need rid of everywhere, and how we might do this without creating the kind of vacuum that just sucks in the same old problems we had before. How do we get institutions without corruption? Even Plato devoted a book on corruption as the eventual doom of his own Republik.
What comes after the revolution? Indeed history suggests it is often not the intended? Whilst societies are populated by humans with unacceptable levels of self-interest the outcomes will always be broadly similar, just with different ‘haves’ at the top of the pile of ‘have nots’!
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