Dave Pollard’s weighs in here
I believe that we’re witnessing the rise of a global Metamovement
The Metamovement is a movement of movements. Not all these movements are similar; no two are exactly like; each can be readily distinguished from the next. The Arab Spring is part of the Metamovement; the London Riots were part of the Metamovement; protests spreading across America, under the banner of Occupy Wall St, are all part of the Metamovement.
Yet, just like in an epidemic, each outbreak triggers the next–and in that cascade can perhaps be traced the jagged outline of the shared DNA within each cell of the larger metamovement.
Where did this virus erupt? The simplest answer is: in Sidi Bouzid, where Mohammed Bouazizi set himself alight, in protest. What sent Bouazizi over the edge of sanity–or perhaps into the arms of a kind of hyperrational embrace of a singular act of revolt?
“…He was 23 and had left school early because his widowed mother couldn’t afford to keep him there. On 17 December Mr Bouazizi’s vegetable cart was confiscated by the town council which said he didn’t have permission to trade. When he tried to get the cart back a woman from the council slapped him in the face.”
Got that? Bouazizi was systematically, structurally denied the opportunity to prosper, time after time, by a monolithic set of institutions. For the privileged and powerful, these institutions turned fortune into excess–but for Bouazizi, they turned misfortune into willful calamity, literally slapping him across the face, wresting from him the chance to be author of his own destiny, stripping a sense of agency and dignity from him with Kafkaesque precision.
In a sense, that sentiment is the common thread behind each and every movement in the Metamovement. The Metamovement feels like Bouazizi felt–a sense of grievous injustice, not merely at rich getting richer, but at the loss of human agency and sovereignty over their own fates that is the deeper human price.
In other words, it’s not just about inequality–but the deeper failure of institutions. To let people–especially the young–redress inequality by whatever slender means they might muster, by creating new opportunities. At every turn, the people in the Metamovement feel not merely spurned and scorned–but suffocated and strangled by institutions every bit as unflinchingly lethal as a hangman’s noose.
Their truth, I suspect, might be this: there’s no one left to turn to–and so the Metamovement has turned to each other.