Saturday, July 6, 2013

Andrew O'Hehir: A New Era of Revolution

Liberty Leading the People

In a piece in Salon, Andrew O'Hehir argues that the world is presently in an age of revolution, an era that began in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall and is continuing in 2013.

O'Hehir argues, in a sense, that we are experiencing an age of anti-authoritarian outbursts, something of a series of libertarian/populist explosions lacking common ideological visions. In short, it's not a phenomenon that can be categorized on the left-right political spectrum.  In fact, many up the uprisings are quite contradictory in terms of their respective senses of the good society.

But in O'Hehir's view, the lack of common vision is beside the point.  To the degree that this age of revolution has a common thread, it's an instinctive revolt against elites.  And as such, O'Hehir sees a common theme in such seemingly disparate and contradictory events as the fall of the Soviet Bloc, the post-9/11 antiwar protests, the expansion of social-democracy in Latin America, Barack Obama's 2008 election, the Arab Spring, the Tea Party, the Occupy Wall Street movement, Edward Snowden, and part two of the Egyptian Revolution. However heterogeneous it may be, per O'Hehir, we are living living in a revolutionary age.

His article is linked below. Another age of revolution

"But this revolutionary moment is difficult to grasp in conceptual terms, partly because it’s not defined by any clear political consensus, the way the 19th-century revolutions were...It’s more defined by what it’s against: Ordinary people around the world who may not agree about anything else are united in their dislike and distrust of the ruling political and financial elites, and are taking it to the streets."   

-----Andrew O'Hehir, Salon 

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