Our situation is admittedly dire.
Oligarchs are seizing more overt control in most countries in the world, the worldwide economy is on course for another - even bigger - train wreck, countries are cracking down on freedom and becoming more tyrannical, we are in a permanent state of war (and see this), and companies like BP are destroying our natural resources without any checks and balances.
But as Andrew Gavin Marshall points out, the elites are actually terrified of the mass political awakening which is occurring worldwide.
Marshall collects quotes from flexian Zbigniew Brzezinski - Obama's former foreign affairs adviser, National Security Adviser to President Carter, creator of America's strategy to lure Russia into Afghanistan, and creator of America's plans for Eurasia in general - to make his point.
Listen to Brzezinski's own words (consolidated from various writings and speeches, and edited as if they were a single passage):
For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.
the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically
activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. There are
only a few pockets of humanity left in the remotest corners of the
world that are not politically alert and engaged with the political
turmoil and stirrings that are so widespread today around the world. The
resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest
for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a
world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or
needs to face squarely a centrally important new global reality: that
the world's population is experiencing a political awakening
unprecedented in scope and intensity, with the result that the politics of populism are transforming the politics of power.
The need to respond to that massive phenomenon poses to the uniquely
sovereign America an historic dilemma: What should be the central
definition of America's global role?
[T]he central challenge of our time is posed not by global terrorism, but rather by the intensifying turbulence caused by the phenomenon of global political awakening. That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing.
It is no overstatement to assert that now in the 21st century the population of much of the developing world is politically stirring and in many places seething with unrest. It is a population acutely conscious of social injustice to an unprecedented degree, and often resentful of its perceived lack of political dignity. The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches.
The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well. With the exception of Europe, Japan and America, the rapidly expanding demographic bulge in the 25-year-old-and-under age bracket is creating a huge mass of impatient young people. Their minds have been stirred by sounds and images that emanate from afar and which intensify their disaffection with what is at hand. Their potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious "tertiary level" educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiary educational level, there are currently worldwide between 80 and 130 million "college" students. Typically originating from the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred.
Politically awakened mankind craves political dignity, which democracy can enhance, but political dignity also encompasses ethnic or national self-determination, religious self-definition, and human and social rights, all in a world now acutely aware of economic, racial and ethnic inequities. The quest for political dignity, especially through national self-determination and social transformation, is part of the pulse of self-assertion by the world's underprivileged
The misdiagnosis [of foreign policy] pertains to a relatively vague, excessively abstract, highly emotional, semi-theological definition of the chief menace that we face today in the world, and the consequent slighting of what I view as the unprecedented global challenge arising out of the unique phenomenon of a truly massive global political awakening of mankind. We live in an age in which mankind writ large is becoming politically conscious and politically activated to an unprecedented degree, and it is this condition which is producing a great deal of international turmoil.
That turmoil is the product of the political awakening, the fact that today vast masses of the world are not politically neutered, as they have been throughout history. They have political consciousness. It may be undefined, it may point in different directions, it may be primitive, it may be intolerant, it may be hateful, but it is a form of political activism.
The other major change in international affairs is that for the first time, in all of human history, mankind has been politically awakened. That is a total new reality – total new reality. It has not been so for most of human history until the last one hundred years. And in the course of the last one hundred years, the whole world has become politically awakened. And no matter where you go, politics is a matter of social engagement, and most people know what is generally going on –generally going on – in the world, and are consciously aware of global inequities, inequalities, lack of respect, exploitation. Mankind is now politically awakened and stirring. The combination of the two: the diversified global leadership, politically awakened masses, makes a much more difficult context for any major power including, currently, the leading world power: the United States.
The people of the world
are waking up to the reality of what is happening. If we wake up fast
enough, we can reclaim our power and dignity, and shake off those who
would steal everything we have, including our money, opportunity and
To see the context of Brzezinski 's quotes - and for a great analysis of the ways in which th epowers-that-be are trying to counter the mass awakening, read Marshall's essay.