SNS Press: Seeking New Solutions

February, 2011
Vol. 10, Number 2


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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

Featured Articles about Responsibility, the Future and Consciousness:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds





This Month's Article

The Domino Effect 2011

The New Year, 2011 was ushered in by a revolutionary wave, a “domino effect,” of democratic uprisings against the generations-old iron rule of dictators in the Middle East. Many point to the power of facebook and the internet in driving these popular movements. They were useful tools, but more important, they are a measure of the consciousness of the new generation that has a global perspective, is idealistic, who communicates widely to share ideas, hope, friendship and creativity, and who are dedicated to one humanity occupying an egalitarian and healthy planet.

In contrast, during the cold war, post-colonial world of the 1960’s, the “domino effect” was synonymous with fear of the “red menace,” the creeping spread of Communist ideology attaching itself to nationalist movements of newly independent countries, and serving the expansionist ideologies of the Soviet Union and Red China.

Consequently, the power of this fear even gave justification to John F. Kennedy, a president known for promoting humanitarian service, for involving the US in the Vietnam War. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, George W. Bush used similar justification in waging pre-emptive wars, but this time it was fear of the domino effect of spreading Islamic terrorism.

This newest wave of peaceful democratic revolution started in Tunisia, but we have not seen the end of it. What is remarkable in the Egyptian example of this movement is its steadfast clarity of goals, inclusiveness and peacefulness. They show this in their spontaneous organization, care for citizens, care for the treasures of their country, and respect for their diversity as co-citizens. Violence started only as a result of the forces against peaceful change provoking chaos and fighting to give reason for more strong-handed repression by the ruling class. One protester stated that “Truth” never wants to destroy or cause harm.

I believe this will become the “domino effect” of the new era in the developing world. This spirit, which is driving people from many backgrounds to unite in their quest for democracy, may serve as a challenge to their peers in the developed world. Many young people, especially in the so-called "democracies" sleep under the blankets of material complacency, fear, and a leadership that “divides and conquers.” This undermines trust, promotes self-centeredness and apathy, and discourages initiatives to make needed changes to solve our social problems. It has allowed corporations and those who control the economy to control events largely unchallenged.

As the last vestiges of “might makes right” rulership dies through current popular uprisings that are earning the respect and admiration of the world, will the comfortable world take note of their own insidious enslavement? So far, budding sentiments for change have been distorted and manipulated by political tricksters, and co-opted by corporate marketing. Although people in developed countries will use different methods to awaken and become part of the “domino effect,” they will need to be equally passionate and steadfast as their counterparts in the developing world about making the sacrifices that usher in positive and necessary changes.

Scenes from Tahrir Square in previous weeks were reminiscent of the streets of Selma, Alabama in the 1960’s during the American civil rights movement where peaceful demonstrators were met with violence by pro-government thugs. However, a violent response has proved useless against the contagious momentum of those seeking freedom. Many demonstrators said that they felt free for the first time and would rather die than lose that. The “domino effect” of democracy may become the civil rights movement of the twenty-first century if it moves through other developing nations living under repressive regimes, and moves people in developed countries who are satisfied with their own material comfort to demand a society that is fair and just for all.

© 2011 Richard V. Sidy

Read Related Articles in the Press

Watching Thugs with Razors and Clubs at Tahrir Square, Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes 2/3/11.

Read Related Articles on SNS Press — Politics & Society

Have We Been Willing Slaves?

Meeting the Need

Satyagraha or "Soul Force" and Political Change

Can Idealism Solve Problems?

World Peace in Less Than a Month?

Read Related Poems on SNS Press




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Archives Column Menu
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Archives 2002:
Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003:
Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life
Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004:
Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity
Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"
Archives 2007:
Vol. 6, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
State of Fear
Criminal Justice
Culture Shock
Personal Ecology
Exploring the Mind - Parts 1 and 2
How Much Pain Can We Stand?
Archives 2008:
Vol. 7, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Beyond Ideology
The Imaginary Economy
Tribalism and the 2008 Election
Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice
Have We Been Willing Slaves?
Are We Ready for the Future?
Archives 2009:
Vol. 8, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Good New Days
The Time is Right
The New Anarchy
The Art of Living
Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?
From Cowboys to Cowed
Who are the Real Game Changers?
Archives 2010:
Vol. 9, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Music of Place
Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
The Sense of Place
Why do People Serve?
Ecological Literacy
Organization or Organism?
Are we afraid of our Better Angels?
Choosing our Battles

Meeting the Need
Diplomacy Help for Teens Science and Religion Poetry Archives
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