In his novel The Castle, Franz Kafka tells the story of a man named “K” who is summoned by mysterious authorities for unknown reasons. He finds himself at the mercy of their bureaucracy and endless paperwork, which is carried out for a purpose that nobody can fathom but everyone seems to accept.
Russia's intellectuals, creative class and Golden Youth – Russia’s modern-day Decembrists - failed to bring about revolutionary political change this weekend in Russia despite an enthusiastic past three months that culminated in some of the greatest shows of political opposition since the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly 20 years ago. Embracing tools like Twitter, V Kontakte (the Russian Facebook), YouTube and Live Journal, these young idealists organized massive rallies in the center of Moscow and energized a heretofore politically apathetic middle class.
Rising costs on everyday necessities, no good job opportunities, and a crushing national debt. Sound familiar? They were the primary triggers for what became the French Revolution.
While the parallels to today’s political experiences (most notably the Tea Party, and now the Occupy Wall Street movement) aren’t direct, both eras of social movements evidence the consistent unwisdom of crowds.
After seeing how mobile and social networking technologies led to popular revolutions in places like Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year, is it possible that we’ll soon see a similar type of revolution in our own backyard? On May 9, Raul Castro and the Cuban Communist Party released over 300 new measures designed to loosen control over the state.
Now that the refrains of "Twitter Revolution" and "the first uprising powered by social media" are fading into the distant memory that is 24 hours ago, we can start debating what impact, if any, it had (or is still having) on events in Iran.