"2011 is 1848 Redux. But Worse"
|This is the important lesson that history has for the rebels of 2011. Euphoria is not victory. The removal of symbols is not the change of regimes. Whether in Athens or Cairo, Bahrain or even Wisconsin, the revolutions will not be won in the streets. They will not be won early. They will be resisted fiercely, cleverly, tenaciously, and with all the resources that the assaulted powers can muster, including the most important resource of all: time. |
If the revolutions of 2011 are to succeed — and it’s a big if in every case — several things need to occur. The grievances must be extended beyond the core of protesters and taken up by their larger populations. The protesters must seize control of not just city squares and capitol buildings, but the institutions of power themselves. And the protests must be sustained, for years if necessary, until fundamental change is secured. These will be extremely high hurdles to clear but unless they are, the revolutions will ultimately fail.
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(For the record, and while not claiming any unique perspicacity myself, I referred to 1848 myself, here)