Comments on: In 2011, the revolution was tweeted Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: fleshmeat Mon, 09 Jan 2012 12:48:48 +0000 what we need is for reporters, columnists, and journalists to start doing their job for the good of man kind and not to enrich their career or pocketbooks.

By: CfromSC Sat, 07 Jan 2012 17:45:26 +0000 I saw you on the Chris Hayes show today. I watch it to see what the left is saying. I live in South Carolina and I do read books. Floor-to-ceiling filled bookshelves are in my home, are they in yours? I am 56, retired comfortably, with no pension. If I got a job, I’d be taking it from someone who needs to provide food and shelter for themselves. There are many like me. Please don’t “broad brush” those of us in South Carolina, or any non-lefty. Try listening to us! Your response is very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

By: KirkCheyfitz Mon, 02 Jan 2012 19:27:14 +0000 I’m a big fan, Chrystia, and I agree completely about the core global issue being crony capitalism or, put another way, the control of politics by money. But you are too nice to Malcolm Gladwell by at least half. I wrote a response to Gladwell’s inane assertions about social media for Huffington Post in February 2011 ( fitz/note-to-malcolm-gladwell-_b_818761. html). More recently, I reported remarks by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, underscoring how much power the American military attributes to the rise of personal publishing technology ( fitz/how-much-does-america-rea_b_1129063 .html). The only place I part company with you is that I don’t think there was significant disagreement in late 2010 about the connection between social media and the rapidly spreading protest movement that surfaced in the US as Occupy Wall Street. I truly believe this was Gladwell trying to be contrary without devoting much thought or research to his argument, which is actually his standard operating procedure. But I also realize that Gladwell is the sideshow here. The global connections being fostered and accelerated by new kinds of gobal communications are the main event.

By: darwin2 Mon, 02 Jan 2012 14:03:16 +0000 Corruption and “crony capitalism” cannot exist without powerful governments that have the power to enrich or destroy business.

The problem isn’t capitalism, it’s politicians who have given themselves the power to control people and business. Reduce and reform government and corruption disappears.

By: Ceorolus Mon, 02 Jan 2012 09:53:57 +0000 Thank you Ms Freeland for this article giving a general global perpective of social unrest, cataclymic states and all else you mention that goes a way to making this world a seemingly ill-managed place to live in. With the sum of natural distasters thrown in for good measure it’s hard to understand how things could ever get better. I hope for all that 2012 reveals a better understanding of a changeing world where creating a better quality of life is paramount.

By: Gordon2352 Sun, 01 Jan 2012 20:52:06 +0000 You state:

“The first surprise was the strength and near universality of the public discontent. Like Tolstoy’s unhappy families, the motivations of protesters in each country were unique. But there was a common thread to the uprisings and a common reason why the elites were taken by surprise.

The unifying complaint is crony capitalism.

But most of today’s troubled market democracies don’t need a revolution to sweep away their cronies. What they do need is a new version of capitalism, designed for the 21st century. That is what the world’s protesters, in their different ways, are all asking for.”

You conclusion is grossly mistaken, since “troubled market democracies DO need a revolution to sweep away their cronies.”

Our leaders have learned absolutely NOTHING from this new trend towards revolution, which has been facilitated by ease of communication never seen before, yet “market democracies” do not see, nor understand that their citizens are just as angry with their excesses as those in the Arab Spring.

The only difference is the conditions here aren’t quite bad enough to energize that type of violent protest.

However, as conditions continue to deteriorate, and people begin to realize their jobs, homes and lifestyles are gone forever, to be replaced by an “in your face” wealthy class, I guarantee you it WILL happen here.

We don’t need a “new version of capitalism” — which has fatal flaws and is irretrievably broken — we need a new form of government that is more responsive to its people, and not just dedicated to the further enrichment of the wealthy class!

By: CaptalismWorks Sun, 01 Jan 2012 19:59:09 +0000 Many things enabled this to happen.
Foremost the vilifying of any Western Leader that used force to suppress a uprising. Syria/Iran no big deal. Egypt Obama joins in.
The covering up of the fact of who these Arabs were. They were the same ones that we are fighting in Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East. Why is anyone surprised the Muslim Brotherhood can mobilize. Shoot we fought them in Tripoli shortly after we became a country. Basically same folks.
We will live to regret allowing these Pirates to get out of hand I fear. How long before they demand ransom from us. Wait we already pay it in the form of oil, Somalia Pirates (since they have no oil).
We were far better off with these Dictators suppressing the Pirates.

By: sally1234 Sun, 01 Jan 2012 19:53:54 +0000 Technology will can also be the downfall of revolutions. Every mobile phone can be individually tracked as long as it is turned on. This is a necessity of mobile networks – calls have to be directed to the correct cell. Facebook is now requiring a 1 to 1 link to a mobile phone. Tweets and SMS messages can be monitored and the location of leaders can be tracked. With some analysis the real life identities of leaders and documenters can be determined.

In other words, regime opponents can be easily identified and tracked by the same social media used to organize the resistance. US law enforcement routinely uses real time phone tracking in criminal cases. It is just a matter of time until some enterprising consultants tie the whole package up for convenient deployment by any third world dictatorship.

By: Talleyrand02 Sun, 01 Jan 2012 18:49:51 +0000 So what? Who really cares. The electronic hallucination is always going to support the powers that be, believe me.

By: mudpuppy Sun, 01 Jan 2012 17:30:00 +0000 Not sure if the author noticed that the so called Arab Spring is not ending in freedom but rather in Islamists coming to power who will be much harder to dislodge than the largely non ideological dictators they replace.
And the so called Occupy movement in the the West only objects to crony capitalism to the extent they are upset they weren’t bailed out instead, crony wannabes, but also as a step to ending capitalism itself.
But the idea that we need a new form of capitalism is the most risible point. Crony capitalism is nothing new; it’s as old as the notion of a “state” that dispenses favors and power to those who seek its rent.
What is needed is what has always and everywhere been needed and what always work best; free markets in which people voluntarily exchange ideas, goods and services.