Technology can swiftly destroy governance models, as well as business ones, as Tunisia, then Egypt, have demonstrated. Tweets, SMS messages and cell swarms can undermine and bypass military power and mass mindsets, the miracle of gadgets that have always been around but never with such accelerated effectiveness.
The technology of the printing press, and Gutenberg bible, gradually felled medieval Superpower, the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The television in August 1989 broadcast behind the Iron Curtain the fact that the Soviet "king" had no clothes when the Hungarian border opened wide and people fled without obstruction. Within days, street protests sprung, and within weeks, by Nov. 2, regimes collapsed and the Berlin Wall was dismantled.
Now this. In 18 days, the most influential Arab country has overthrown a dictatorship through a combination of technology and Gandhi-like nonviolence. It's clear that China, Iran and other dictatorships are simply revolutions waiting to happen because Egypt's Revolution 2.0 will bring more transformative outcomes:
-- Egypt is the capital or most important nation-state in the Arab world. It sets the cultural tone for Arabs and is the Hollywood, music mecca and publishing capital of the Arab Street which stretches from Lebanon to Morocco. That's why this Egyptian revolution, with its nonviolence and gentility, has created and demonstrated that a "middle path" is possible for Arabs who are caught between dictatorships and radical Islamism as alternatives. This changes everything.
-- Egypt has exposed an Arab stereotype and demonization that has been inaccurate and tainted world opinion and foreign policies. The world saw Egyptians queue up to protest, its activists maintain law and order and its people adhere to nonviolent civil disobedience. It was classy and civilized as world-famous Egyptian movie star Omar Sharif noted: "I'm so proud of our Egyptian youth and people. They are so courageous and so kind to one another."
-- Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Libya and Morocco will improve their governance or sustain revolutions.
-- Oil-rich monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the emirates will simply continue to bribe their residents.
-- Iran's theocracy is doomed, as Egypt's example inspires Iranians, who are not Arabs.
-- Turkey, also not an Arab nation, will join forces with a New Egypt and help lead a pan-Mediterranean economic development zone.
-- Israel will now have no more six months to make a deal with the Palestinians, according to former US President Bill Clinton in an interview two weeks ago in Davos. It's now or never, which is why feverish talks with the US, and EU are underway to hammer out a preemptive peace agreement now that Egypt's dictatorship is gone, which was Israel's only regional ally.
-- It is possible that a peace deal could result in Gaza eventually joining a newly-democratized Egypt and the West Bank, a reformed, democratic Jordan.
-- China's dictatorship will speed up its democratization and sensitization of its governance. Chinese officials have censored from search engines "radioactive" search words such as Egypt, Egyptian protest and Mubarak but this won't shutter transparency.
Lastly, and a matter of wishful thinking, Egypt will take its place as an important nation as its destiny is transferred from people with muscle and ruthlessness to people with brains, talent and humanity.
Crossposted with theNational Post.