This slogan may go down as the best 5 word description of the great awakening of 2011.
For the first time in human history, ordinary people took to the streets in over 82 countries in over 950 cities more or less simultaneously. Even though the people appeared to have little in common at first, it quickly became evident that they were nearly identical in so many ways.
One of the most interesting documents about this similarity is a study prepared by Tomaz Kure of Slovenia. Tomaz compiled the dominant slogans that protesters were chanting in each country and listed them month-by-month starting January 2011 and ending December 2011.
In it, you can clearly track the protest’s spread from Tunisia to other countries as new voices join the list.
Even though the protesters themselves are very diverse, their complaints are eerily the same. Regardless of country, religion, political or economic system, these 12 topics appeared over and over:
- The power of banks
- Criticism of the capitalist system
- Stock speculations
- Lack of democracy
- Poor regulations
- Austerity cuts
- Corruption of elites
- Inaccessible education
- High unemployment
- High personal debts
- Environmental problems
- An increasing gap between the rich and poor
Could it be that human beings have an innate understanding that freedom, justice, fairness and compassion must not be compromised?
Is this internal compass powerful enough to overcome decades of unregulated power in the hands of central banks, large corporations and autocratic or plutocratic regimes?
The jury’s still out.
Check out Tomaz’s work. It is a fascinating read and I guarantee that you’ll immediately recognize yourself in the voices of others.