This is a post written by David Newman, my good friend and contributor to this blog. I consider that David's thoughts below reflect our world in a sentimental but more that true mirror and I am sure that most of us, the EU and USA residents, will have similar thoughts many times, especially coming back from transition countries. Thanks a lot David - please enjoy it...
"Post - Durban reflections
We are living in a western microcosm which is destined to be surpassed by the energy coming out of places like Durban. Here is youth, vitality, poverty, the need and the desire to create wealth. We in Europe are old and wealthy and the paradigm is ending. And we are not willing to get up and move to where the new paradigm is, instead we sit in our roccaforte and protect our position- a position being eroded by the growth of the new world, in the same way it was 150 years ago by the growth of the USA. We haven't learnt those lessons, even though we saw the rise of Japan, then China, and now Brazil, India, and parts of Africa.
Some may say that Europe always retained its supremacy despite the rise of the new economies- but this is a partial reading of history. Europe has remained wealthy because the south has failed to open its own economies to its own people. This has now changed.
The new Arab Spring is nothing but a desire to liberate the economy from imposed elite monopolies. These elites have given their peoples education and expect their peoples to not see the lesson- that the economy is in the hands of few, the opportunities are limited, major industries are monopolised. Just as Europe was. Even selling fruit on the street was an offence in Tunisia. So these educated people want their share too, want to belong, to participate in the growth of their societies, to travel, to own homes, businesses and to enjoy the liberty of an open society.
And when they can't get into the economy they move- immense numbers of asians, africans and south americans have been and are moving now. It is the largest emigration we have seen in human history. Millions. Millions. Poor people but also people given that education and unable to find fulfillment in their own societies. Doctors, engineers, economists, artists, musicians. Depriving their home countries of intellects they so sorely need but that are shut out through repression and monopolisation of economic sectors. So idiots are in control because they belong to the elite. And they are corrupt.
So the courageous and the intelligent risk their lives on boats heading north and west across the Med; or hidden under lorries riding north through El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico. Such waste.
Can the uprisings in the Arab countries be linked to the economic decline of Europe ? In other words, having nowhere to go to seek work, as Europe declined, the arabs realised that above all in their own societies they were denied those same opportunities they sought in Europe ?
The world improves slowly but the steps forward are over the corpses of the poor, women, the disenfranchised, the repressed, the uneducated. Such waste. Such a daily tragedy.