Unlike most revolutions until now, there was no central leader or political party or union boss or military wing or anything driving what happened last week. It truly was "the will of the people" who gathered and grouped and organized in a spirit of democracy. And even when things looked very dark [thrice: (1) The day when Mubarak realized that part of what made the revolution in Tunisia successful was the instant communication between its people via cell-phone texting and Twitter, prompting him to cell-phone & internet communications (2) the day the "Mubarak thugs" attacked and tried to frighten demonstrators and then (3) the day Mubarak was expected to resign but didn't] they stayed on and carried the desire for a new beginning higher and higher...
Once upon a time revolutionaries were defined by their cause:
The Russian Revolution of 1917, a series of events in imperial Russia that culminated in 1917 with the establishment of what would become the U.S.S.R. began with people calling for a better, fairer government. Their numbers grew from hyndreds to thousands without the aid of the internet or mobile telephones. While the new media played a major role in the failed uprising in Iran and the successful ones in Tunisia and Egypt, the foundations and framework of traditional activism must be present because it is the very glue that holds the revolutionaries together.
Any revolution is at its most dangerous, delicate point immediatley after "the people" have gained victory. To borrow a bit of Star Trek terminology, Egypt's deflector shields are down right now, the same way shields were down in Russia in 1917 and China in 1949. The 1949 Chinese Revolution was a transformative, epochal event, not only for the Chinese but for the rest of humanity, as well. The same can be said of the Cuban Revolution, a successful armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement that overthrew the U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.
Change may not be permanent, but it sure can last a long time. Ask anybody in Bejing. Or Havana. Or St. Petersburg. Read what Jim Haygood has to say about the story behind the Egyptian revolution:
"Sociologists will need to analyze the demographic antecedents of the Egyptian revolution. A high growth rate, youth-tilted population with elevated unemployment and access to global media (showing more privileged youth elsewhere) is like a Petri dish for revolution."It appears that now, presidential contenders are beginning to emerge as Egypt's political future struggles in the flux. Like the primaries leading up to the US presidential election, it will take a little time for the field to narrow enough for a few leaders with the greatest potential to take center stage. There are approx. 8 or 9 names being tossed about right now... stay tuned, "The revolution" will be back, right after these messages...