TUNISIA: The First WikiLeaks Revolution?

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Posted By Elizabeth Dickinson Thursday, January 13, 2011 – 6:17 PM

Foreign Policy

EXTRACT: As in the recent so-called “Twitter Revolutions” in Moldova and Iran, there was clearly lots wrong with Tunisia before Julian Assange ever got hold of the diplomatic cables. Rather, WikiLeaks acted as a catalyst: both a trigger and a tool for political outcry. Which is probably the best compliment one could give the whistle-blower site.

Phi Beta Iota: This is a good time to bring up the Davies J-Curve again.  Wikileaks is a precipitant of revolution; the preconditions exist in most places outside the Nordic region and a few other special countries.  The preconditions assuredly exist in the USA but in our view, the precipitant is most likely to be some really outrageous US Government action, such as federalizing all state and local police forces and then start trying to confiscate personal weapons.  However, if the two party system continues to think that changing its “tone” matters, while it does nothing about the substance of poverty, economy, education, health and so on, then we will see a mix of widespread poverty and apathy with pockets of extreme violence and random attacks on elected officials and perhaps uniformed law enforcement professionals.  America is, in our view, very volatile right now.  2011-2012 are not going to be subject to the usual pre-election “damping down.”  The situation is now “out of control.”  Nothing less than a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of the larger public will do, if we are to avoid a cascade of socio-economic and ideo-cultural uprisings and individual “random” acts of violence in the next two years.

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