2013 Might Change the World
'Economist' editorial says both democracies, dictatorships better be wary
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2013 12:28 PM CDT
Protesters run from tear gas in Fortaleza, Brazil.   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

(Newser) – Might 2013 turn out to be an epochal year in world history? The editors at the Economist wouldn't be surprised, citing ever-growing protests on multiple continents. The demonstrations have different origins—bus fares in Brazil, development in Turkey, austerity in Europe, "pretty much everything" in the "perma-protest" of the Arab Spring—but the demonstrators themselves have a lot in common. Those rising up now tend to be middle-class residents who normally stay quiet, but they're not anymore in the face of "the corruption, inefficiency, and arrogance of the folk in charge." Social media only accelerates things, for better or worse.

The protests are mostly happening in democracies rather than dictatorships, but autocrats in Beijing, Moscow, and Riyadh shouldn't get complacent. Democracies at least allow the demonstrations as an outlet for people's anger, and they can adapt. "When politicians accept that the people expect better—and that votes lie in satisfying them—things can change." Of course, it could all amount to nothing. But "even now, though, the inchoate significance of 2013 is discernible," write the editors. "And for politicians who want to peddle the same old stuff, the news is not good." Click for the full post.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
right2dave
Jul 2, 2013 4:35 AM CDT
But then again 2013 might not change the world?
Ivan_the_Gypsy
Jun 29, 2013 10:40 PM CDT
Same old story. The extreamists on both side of an issue protest while the vast majority snooze away in their apathy to lazy to become involved in issues that affect them -- until the problem is beyond control. Example: look what's happening in the U. S. as the country sink into Marxism and the Constitution is shredded with the approval of Congress and the Supreme Court..
Wrongdirection
Jun 29, 2013 10:08 AM CDT
JEZ is correct in their comment, I can only say that thru all my years, I have seen the corruption only spread and grow larger among our government officals. They will soon get our message loud and clear, We want representation from real leadership not greedy puppets! We don't want illegals in our country, We don't need camera's in our homes, We dont' need the government sharing our bedrooms, We do need our government to regulate immigration and not give free passes to those that break the law. We need better standards for our Air, Food, and Water. The jobs will come as the illegals are deported. The government needs to stop their given money to other countries for any cause, Period! They need to retrieve our military machines from these war zones and recondition them or auction them for private use.. million dollar piece of equipment and the say it's not worth the $20,000 or less to bring it back but will pay over cost of one and a half million to replace it.. Corrupt, greed, criminals, doing the citizens harm, hell yes!