‘Technologies don’t stand still’

by Aaron Wherry

Bob Rae considers Tunisia and Egypt.

Enter the cell phone, the internet, the i-phone and the blackberry.  These are “personal devices” which empower the individual to learn, to communicate, to connect.  Governments try to repress them from time to time but it can’t be done. A generation of young people with no work, plenty of time on their hands, and living in countries where the politics is truly stuck and the economies apart from oil are having trouble growing – it’s the perfect storm.  Add to this mix on the fringes political ideologies and extremism and the storm takes on added strength.

Will this produce instant democracy ? Absolutely not.  Armies and state structures will have their day and their say.  But the social change underway can’t be stopped, and governments are going to need to show a capacity for change, openness, transparency, accountability, and, yes, democracy and human rights.




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‘Technologies don’t stand still’

  1. Well, he could just have said the web and cellphones and been as far ahead.

    And mostly the people of Tunisia and Egypt just want jobs.

    'Democracy' won't help them there.

  2. Ironic isn't it?

    All of the technology used by folks who traditionally can't stand the West, and Americans in particular……..

    Was created by the West…..and Americans in particular.

  3. And yes Emily……that includes you.

  4. Perhaps if you'd gotten one of those 'useless degrees' you'd know better.

    Those 'folks' haven't traditionally hated the west or Americans in particular. They want Americans to stop propping up the dictators and butchers of the ME, so they can have a decent life too.

    The web was invented by a Brit, and mobile phones by a Canadian.

  5. "Ironic isn't it?
    All of the technology used by folks who traditionally can't stand the West, and Americans in particular……..
    Was created by the West…..and Americans in particular."

    How do you get by stereotyping entire populations on a day to day basis? How do you live with yourself?

  6. Emily's right about the economic misery factor. I read in the paper the other day — I think it was the Globe — where some economist had grouped countries together on some sort of ethno-geographic to measure economic growth over the past decade or so. The Arab countries came in absolutely dead last.

  7. Amazingly enough, in oil-rich countries the poverty and unemployment rates are often high. And the economies aren't diverse, which is why Dubai went with tourism. You can't depend on oil forever.

    But the democracies aren't doing any better…the whole western word is in a financial mess.

    China of course is a different story.

  8. Oh to have 1.5 Billion slave laborers…what a Marxist utopia!

  9. And Al Gore invented the internet….

  10. Actually, I think you'll find that most of that technology is manufactured in Asia.

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