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Editorial: Egyptian Rebellion or Revolution?

posted Mar 26, 2011, 3:48 PM by Golden Knight

By Chris Ferro


The headline of the Los Angeles Times for Tuesday, February 15, 2011 reads, “Tide of Revolt Sweeps Mideast.” The first line: “Inspired by Egypt and Tunisia, protesters in Iran, Bahrain and Yemen rally to demand reforms.” So, people are actually influenced by the actions of others? A revolt or “revolution” in one nation can cause others to attempt the same? I had no idea.

I’m sure that the actions of America in 1776 influenced the French in 1789 have no relevance. It’s shocking to believe that the Middle East has been a hot pocket since the 1960’s. I have no recollection of Desert Storm or the War in Iraq. These events seem to have taken place so long ago.

If we were to go back in time to, let’s say, 1776, the British newspaper headlines would read, “Tide of Revolt Sweeps America.” The first line: “Inspired by the actions of Philadelphia, colonies in Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and New Jersey have rallied together to demand reforms.” People actually standing up for what they believe in; at the time, this was an outrage! Luckily, England happened to be 3,000 miles away, and with the support of foreign countries such as France and Spain, we won our independence.

So what do historians call this event? The American Revolution. In 1789, what is the “revolting” called? The French Revolution. What exactly is the difference between a revolt and a revolution? First I thought about the bloodshed. It’s safe to say that a revolution has a fair amount of bloodshed. Then I pondered the aftermath of such events. America wrote the Constitution and became one of the most powerful nations in the world. France, slowly but surely, decayed itself on the inside and returned to its pre-revolutionary status.

These examples represent the extremes of rebelling against the system, or “raging against the machine”, so to speak. Fast forward two hundred and thirty-four years and you can see a similar type of situation is unfolding in the Middle East. People are, once again, revolting against their oppressors in the name of democracy.

It does not surprise me that people in the East are tired of fighting. If I lived my entire life in perpetual movement from one bunker to the next, entrapment in a camp for ten years, and a gun placed in my hand for self-defense, I would be sick of it too. I might even consider revolting.

But there’s no such thing as a peaceful revolt. That’s an oxymoron. America didn’t win its independence by standing by and watching British soldiers invade their homes. France didn’t overthrow its monarchy through nonviolent resistence. Unfortunately, actions speak louder than words. Back then people didn’t have the common sense enough to realize that a sit-down strike is just as effective as a war, sans bloodshed. Well, history often repeats itself. I hope the revolts in Egypt and the other Middle Eastern nations don’t end up being another “revolution.” If so, let’s hope it turns out more like us than France.