The idiom "the calm before the storm" signifies a quiet period before great excitement or activity. In case our leaders are missing it, the calm is over and the world is directly in the storm's wake.
They are missing all the clues that their western based hegemonic system is just not working, yet no one seems willing to recognize this, they just keep plotting along in the same and, more often than not, destructive course. The unrest that the world is seeing across all nations is a striking sign of imminent change. From the riots in England to the Arab Jasmine Revolution to the outcries in Chile for education reform, people have had enough of their selfish governments. The vociferous complaints from populations across the globe that their governments are untrustworthy, corrupt, inept and, quite frankly, unwanted echo from place to place.
This unrest is an irrefutable indication that today's global governance and economic system are not only ancient but also defunct. The world needs bold leaders and unlimited thinkers to begin to spearhead an already rampant change before it turns into downright anarchy.
Global pleas for change have been stirring for decades challenging the current world order of zero-sum, hegemonic, economically exclusive, and colonialist shortsighted policies. Perhaps in the past a non-transparent closed club society that dished out thoughtless policy with no accountability was possible, but the Cold War is over and that behind closed doors negligent mentality can no longer continue. Today in a social networking Wikileaks world there is no way to hide political intimidations, malicious intentions or just pure recklessness with constituent concerns and, more importantly, everyone's future.
People are completely tired of the status quo. Whether it is the crackdown in Syria or the failure of a shattered U.S. Congress trying to pretend they care about fixing the debt, populations are openly demanding change. People want a more equal playing field with a say, not just a hollow vote, in their fiscal and political future. Further, if the governments can't provide good management and necessary services, people want them out.
In England, the riots began with individuals who feel they are trapped in a society with a government that doesn't care for them. The same was true in Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt and, unless you are delusional, it is in your own backyard as well.
Many of those protesting in England are victims of long-standing unemployment, segregation or social exclusion due to a handicap or an excuse to make some people seem to be difference from others. Most have reached out even pleaded for help, which they never received. Not from police, government or social structures put in place by leaders to directly address these social problems. Rather than find ways to minimize social isolation, it is just easier to watch them suffer, fall into crime and go directly to hell or jail whichever comes first.
Unrest in Europe, the Americas or the countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East ring out in collective reality. People feel forsaken, sacrificed by governments that prefer to horde resources, promote ignorance, and encourage divisions among people all of which lead to helplessness, intolerance and conflict.
Fortunately what is happening today is a movement of people who are trying to reinvent internal government operations giving them at least some control over the governance systems in their countries. Unfortunately, other than reaching for the age-old solution of crushing those who oppose them, governments sit idly by watching.
Government leaders are flummoxed. Either they don't know what to do or they prefer to cling tight to their autonomous authority. Regrettably it seems that not one government has any intention of giving up the grip they have on the current and severely unbalanced and class based global structure that has made so many destitute, war torn, jobless and quite simply miserable.
The bottom line is that 1) it is time for those in government to shape up or ship out and 2) people need to educate themselves (without cable news and political talking points - I'm thinking books and the library here) about what really will help them live a better life - economically, socially and politically.
Today's vastly selfish and warring policies are not solving the world's woes. It time for all of us to be innovative, educated and cooperative in looking for new ways to bring a better life and world to all.
No one says it is easy to change ourselves or our governance systems. In fact, no one can change you, that has to be your own doing. However our governance can be changed by us and since national governments probably won't be going away anytime soon, it is time to break up the bureaucracy and figure out how to implement a more cooperative comprehensive integrated system that focuses more on people and communities. A good start would be to encourage more engagement and diplomacy and less coercion and war.
Governments are internally polarized and set up to create their own self-aggrandizing bubbles. You have each ministry or department organized to specifically target a need -- defense, diplomacy, treasury, commerce and the like. The difference today is that all of these sectors are increasingly interconnected and no policy can be implemented without affecting the other. Therefore we need lawmakers and advisers who understand, or are capable of teaching themselves, the complexities of issues while evaluating potential national and international impacts.
This often means that one must be creative and ready to try new and often controversial tools to manage the impact of current day situations like the world financial crisis. Governments need teams and people who can work together to solve and mange problems -- outside of political nonsense -- not those who sit around posturing for their own personal fame on party lines.
People are reclaiming their rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and it would behoove governments to catch up. Be forewarned -- if you all don't, other leaders will (and are) emerge (ing) to help people redesign the governments they want. Ones who will represent and work for them, ones who want win-win solutions because they know decisions globally affect millions of people locally and vise versa.
Wake up governments, this is a worldwide insurgency. It's your choice to embrace it or go down with the likes of Hosni Mubarak -- kicking and screaming. Now is the time to put authoritarianism, not to mention politics and partisanship aside, open your mind, and find a new way forward. One that includes not some of the people some of the time, but all of the people all of the time.