In the past few years, the world has been visited many a revolutions, revolts, uprisings and coup de etats- all headed by the common man. We see the common man rising above his petty divisive politics to challenge the despots. The only component missing from the revolutions of old is absence of a concrete idea, ideology or intellectuals. In their place a different category got in. They are the social media networks. To be clear, they are the virtual playmakers of the day. You can charge and jail a dissident. But you can stem the information flowing virtually. The stakes are too high.
So what is the big deal? Virtual or real, as long as the goal is achieved, uprisings are welcome. If the revolutions lasting a lifetime can be reduced to days, we could spare the population of trouble. And if we can get the message across the seas, international pressure can be mounted too.
Still closing the eyes to numerous potholes of the virtually aided revolutions would be tomfoolery and dangerous.
The good portion of the urban population is educated and logged in. But the education has not empowered us to make independent and strong decisions. The stance we make is based on weak foundation and shift with changing water. In other words, we have the information but not the idea. The person who cannot make a decision for his own good, can he decide for the people around him? Never. But his mind can be easily instigated to make dangerous decision.
The ‘visuals’ have proved to be much more powerful than sword. It registers very fast into your mind. They can be distorted to give you a different message from the reality. Hence a few hundred marching and can be portrayed as ‘I can see millions’. A street will be made to sound as a capital city and a few vandals as the common man. I won’t call up my friend in Egypt or Iran to verify the truth.
A major chunk of social media networks are owned/controlled by a very tiny miniscule of men with very powerful vested interests. Imagine the capability of a few to control the minds of vast number of world population. The rulers of the world have realized this power that can sustain them. Hence media has become one prime place of investment for the men in power.
Only a very small percentage of the world still has access to internet. So the internet powered coups has to target this population. The voice of the millions in fringes remain unheard. In the very end it can be a despot replacing a despot.
I would not want to be judgmental. Still there is no second guessing that the USA tried desperately to overthrow the Ahmadinejad after the elections. The revolt was powered by Twitter. The US government even requested them not to shut down the services for a planned maintenance. Sadly, the designs didn’t carry through. The resilience of Ahmadinejad prevailed.`