The streets of the world’s capital cities are war zones of hopelessness, but as people gather together, this despair transforms into a fierce determination, underlain by great expectations, like in 1848, when the only European-wide collapse of the status quo occurred in the Revolutions of 1848 also popularly known at the time as: The Spring of Nations. Similar to that challenge of authority over 150 years ago, as of today, an epic battle, an undeclared war, rages around the world, erupting every week in one capital city after another, challenging the legitimacy and credibility of capitalism. For example, July 9th, 2012, Qatif, Saudi Arabia, one of the country’s largest-ever demonstrations left two dead and 12 injured when security forces confronted street protestors after the shooting of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent anti-government activist and Shia cleric.
The Revolutions of 1848 ultimately involved 50 countries throughout Europe and Latin America. At the time, there was no coordination among dissenters, but widespread dissatisfaction with political leadership was infectious across borders and beyond ethnic differences. Citizens of the world wanted more participation in how their lives were determined, i.e., democracy. Tens of thousands lost their lives in a futile effort, a bloody affaire that ended as abruptly as it began, within one year, forever memorialized by the words of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (French philosopher and economic theorist, 1809-1865), “We have been beaten and humiliated… scattered, imprisoned, disarmed and gagged. The fate of European democracy has slipped from our hands.”