I reckon this is the year when people living under despotic regimes round the world wake up and stand up for themselves, say the magic word. NO. Egypt is still on my mind, the way they went about it, how much they accomplished just by connecting with each other. And what I love is that it was young people, who are alive and alert, and know how to use a cell phone and Twitter and Facebook. Dominated for too long by arrogant sods twice their age, who aren’t particularly alive and alert and who obviously don’t know how to use technology to their advantage.
Mubarak, Mugabe, Berlusconi, Gaddafi, Ahmadinejad, Ben Ali, Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema et al – bullies, the lot of them, and if they think they can get away with holding people back and down they’re deluding themselves. Well, despots and dictators and bullies do that, don’t they? They get so out of touch with reality, and they think they’re untouchable. Eventually reality bites them in the ankle. You’d think they’d read their history books.
They’ve often got these hideous faces, haven’t they? I don’t mean bad looking, just so tight with anger and corrupted power gone sour. Ghoulish. I was half fascinated, half repulsed at Mubarak. I can’t bear to watch Mugabe. Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema just drive me crazy. Gaddafi is like a circus clown. Berlusconi is just disgusting. The thought of him with a beautiful 17 year old is enough to send me bolting for the toilet bowl.
It’s always seemed so strange to me, how these bullying individuals get to have so much power over so many millions of people. I’ve always wondered how they did it. I suppose by a form of hypnotic osmosis. The people haven’t really wanted to know the truth, haven’t wanted to take the power into their own hands. They haven’t communicated with each other, haven’t complained enough. Until now. Now they’re waking up, and realizing it’s easier than they thought.
Dictators and despots don’t only come in the form of political leaders though. It’s really easy for us in the west to point fingers at Africa or the Middle East or wherever and shout the odds about corrupt leaders. But what about our own dictators? They aren’t the political leaders. But they exist. The despots of commercialism. When are the middle classes going to wake up to how they’re controlled and exploited by these nebulous dictators? I wonder.
We don’t have as much freedom as we think we have in the west. It’s ironic. Unless we can acknowledge that our tyrants are killing our spirits, robbing us of independence of mind, of real freedom, we’ll never have a revolution against them. So in the end who’s going to have the most freedom? The West or the Middle East?
It’s going to be the latter. The people who have acknowledged their dictators and had the courage to stand up to them. Whilst we in the West, priding ourselves on our democracies and freedoms, live in abject bondage.