When I started this blog I figured economic forces were the main thing changing the world quickly. But now with the protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Morocco, Yemen, and elsewhere, there are other forces at work here as well. The people have risen up to overthrow dictators who have been in place as long as 40 years. Why did this happen now?
My other blog, www.internetcollectiveaction.org, is about the influence of the Internet and other technology on social activism. The Internet makes connecting to like-minded people not only easy but instant. Organizing, distributing work, and staying in touch are simple, cheap, and instant. This is not the only ingredient, of course, that makes today different than before. But it is the tool that makes such protest easier and cheaper to accomplish, and thus more likely.
The influence of this wave of change is powerful and will last for a long time. China is concerned that they may be next for large protests. And how will relations between other countries change once a new government has been established in places like Egypt?
Getting rid of Mubarak, Gaddafi, and the other dictators is only the start of these revolutions. It's difficult to establish a stable democracy. Prepare for change.