As crashing economies and austerity measures slap ever more ferociously at the lives of the vulnerable and disenfranchised, the Western world, with all its hidden poverty and institutional racism, may continue to convulse.
Unfolding this month at the Boston Review is "China's Other Revolution" -- an essay by MIT political scientist Edward S. Steinfeld and a series of responses, all on the subject of whether and when real democratic reform will happen, in authoritarian, oligarchic China.
How the U.S. and the international community -- including the media -- assess the crisis in Syria will affect whether Syria experiences a transformation to democracy, or whether it becomes the flash point for a new war in the Middle East.
There is a new political moment in Palestine and the Arab world, which allows a different discussion than in the past, and rehashing old shibboleths isn't likely to help the Palestinian people win their freedom.
Considering the sweeping changes across the Middle East and the rising din of the popular voice of nonviolent resistance, the United States may be forced to confront the Israeli government with a stark choice.
A year ago, activists tried to break the blockade of Gaza with an international flotilla of ships. They failed. Now an even larger flotilla is preparing to set sail in June. And when the Audacity of Hope sets sail, I will be on it.
The Egyptian revolution should remind Americans that we live in a country that serves as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. And that we need to take steps to clean up our own act to ensure that democracy remains a reality.