Zakaj svet preplavlja toliko masovnih protestov? Zakaj zdaj?

Na Oxfam blogu postavljajo ključna vprašanja: Zakaj nenadoma toliko protestov? Zakaj zdaj? Kaj je skupni imenovalec teh protestov? Niso našli odgovora. Na koncu so se zatekli k razlagi Branka Milanovića: Globalizacija in finančna kriza sta vzeli kredibilnost vladajočim politikom. Dovolj so majhni sprožilci (kot je dvig cene goriva za nekaj procentov), da zanetijo splošne, masovne proteste. Ljudje hočejo, da se njihov glas spet sliši. Zato se zatekajo k iskanju “novih obrazov” v politiki. In pri tem uresničevanju želje, da so slišani, jim novi mediji, masovna socialna omrežja dajejo natanko to možnost – svojemu krogu lahko sporočijo bodisi da so pravkar pripravili super sladico ali da imajo zdaj pa zares dovolj te vladne ignorance ali arogance.

Pri teh masovnih protestih ne gre iskati razlogov ali podstati v ideologiji. Zgolj nezadovoljstvo in željo po biti slišan. Biti pomemben član skupnosti. In tehnologija je omogočila, da protesti postanejo “masovno spontani”.

Somethin is happening here: Every day my timeline highlights a different uprising – today it is a national strike in Colombia, with hundreds of thousands protesting in support of the faltering peace process, despite the pouring rain (thanks to Hong Kong, at least umbrellas are cool now). But it could equally well have been Iran, Iraq, Bolivia, Lebanon, Chile, Hong Kong or many others.

According to the Economist ‘Not since a wave of “people power” movements swept Asian and east European countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s has the world experienced such a simultaneous outpouring of popular anger. Before that, only the global unrest of the late 1960s was similar in scope.’

What it is ain’t exactly clear: so why now? So many simultaneous protests could of course be mere coincidence, especially as people are protesting over so many different issues – corruption, fuel or transport prices, inept governance, civil rights, demographics, and often a cocktail of all of them.

But the sheer number suggests it is at least worth looking for common causes. At this point, every campaigner and political scientist worth their salt says it was their issue wot done it – inequality, human rights, civil society space, food security, neoliberalism, electoral fraud etc etc. But the challenge for them (and me) is to answer the question why now, rather than 2009, or 2029?

Just as I finished this, Branko Milanovic weighed in with some typically insightful thoughts. Turns out I’m not the only one struggling to understand what’s going on: ‘While Marx and other observers and participants knew in 1848 more or less exactly what was haunting Europe, in our 2019 revolutions we have no clue.’

Branko sees the current unrest as ‘the first revolution of the globalization era’ and distinguishes between revolts of exclusion, against elite corruption, against higher prices, desire for independence, and hatred of oppressive regimes.

His conclusion?

If there is a single ideological glue to them, it is desire to have one’s voice heard. At the time of tectonic political shifts where politicians and old ideologies have lost much of their credibility, a thing which has not lost its credibility is the desire and the right to be heard and counted. It is in a sense a democratic protest but since standard two-party democracies have lost much of their shine after 2008, the revolts have trouble defining themselves in an ideological and political sense.

We should expect more of such diverse, often inchoate revolts of globalization until more structured political forces appear on the scene and show themselves to be able to channel the grievances and use them to come to power.

Vir:  Oxfam blog

 

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