‘Let’s be honest– most history books are crap. They have a terrible way of oversimplifying major cultural shifts, as if someone flips a light switch and society turns on a dime.
Take Martin Luther, for example. In 1517, Luther publicly posted a list of 95 grievances against the Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and history credits him with sparking the great ‘reformation’ that eventually created the Church of England and protestant movement.
This is mere historical convenience. There were hundreds, even thousands of people who came before Luther. Average, everyday people were just as fed up with the church selling indulgences and putting its blessings up to the highest bidder. Society was ready for a major shift and already moving in that direction. Luther gets credit for the spark.
Similarly, the history books of the future may look back on Tunisian fruit merchant Mohammed Bouazizi as the spark of the next ‘global reformation’. If you recall, Bouazizi lit himself ablaze in protest of Tunisia’s pitifully repressive economic conditions, and revolution ensued across the region.
Tunisia fell. Egypt fell. Libya was invaded by a peace-prize winning US president. Civil uprisings spread to Syria, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, etc. We would be fools to think this was all due to a fruit vendor.
Like Martin Luther, Bouazizi is a symbol… a metaphor for society’s pent up frustration that had been building for years.
This frustration is worldwide. The entire world, which cheered the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, has been watching in complete shock as riots spread across Europe. Riots in London, riots in France, riots in Greece, riots in Spain.
Whatever excuse is laid to explain the upheaval, it’s just a superficial trigger. People are frustrated. They’re angry. They feel like they’ve been wronged, left behind to rot without any chance of a decent livelihood. And they’re so angry they’re willing to get violent and destroy property.’