Over the past several months, the world has watched with growing excitement and respect as the citizens of several Middle Eastern and African dictatorships have risen up and thrown off their oppressors in the name of freedom and equality.
Collectively known as the ‘Arab Spring’ by various media sources, this new wave of democracy and those struggling to obtain democracy, heralds the possibility of a major shift in world power.
If this change holds, and there’s little reason to believe it won’t, the Middle East will be stable and self-governed for the first time in centuries. And they have a major economic hold on the rest of the world. For decades, the United States, the European Union, Russia, every country that springs to the average American’s mind when one says “western culture” have been steadily declining.
Debts soar, jobs drop and the economy struggles to maintain a minor growth rate. Liberties and freedoms are being carefully restricted in the name of public safety. Civic responsibility is declining as individuals lose interest in how the government works, leading to uninformed voters, restless citizens who don’t understand the system and how to alter it, and a growing immunity for those in power to do as they wish, safe in the knowledge that Americans who can follow their actions are few and far between.
Meanwhile, the new democracy in the Middle East strengthens a geopolitical area that already supports a huge manufacturing infrastructure, a booming economy, and one of the fastest advancing science and education programs in the world. In other words, China and India.
Wake up. This is important, and the quiz will be final. As a nation, we need to raise civic awareness through high school education. We need to repair our education system, tighten our budget and clean up our law books.
World power is shifting, and if we want to be a player in what is rapidly pointing to a united world, we have to get up off our laurels and get back to work.
Click here to read Online Editor Whitney Knight’s thoughts on the Middle East uprising.