I had the idea to make this post on guns and gun laws and the assumptions concerning gun ownership and the laws that regulate them.However the unrest in North Africa, in places like Tunsia, and Egypt have made a discussion on dictatorships,the way they hold on to power and why they are doomed to fall especially in the information age that exist today.This topic takes me back to my college days in the late 60's and early 70's.In the school that I attended we were required to do a undergraduate thesis.Well my thesis was why dicatorships were destined to fail,and predicted that the former Soviet Union would fall by 1998. Well events proved me wrong the soviet union fell in 1989,ten years earlier than I perdicted.The one factor that I did not take into account was the financial one,which was the main reason it fell before my predicted date in 1998.
The reason that all dictatorships are destined to fall eventually is because they dependent on force and fear,along with the surpression of news and ideas.There is one other factor that I held to be of paramount importance,that of education. I held that any dictatorship that wanted to complete in the twentieth century had to educate their population. An as the level of education increased then it became harder and harder to control the flow of information.With information came the awareness of how others lived around the world,especially those countries that elected their leaders.Also the greater the percentage of the population that had a college education, the more these individuals wanted the good things in life. Now under dictatorships the access to what was seen as the good life was limited to those in power and selected individuals.The rest of the population were poor,uneducated,and the only news about the outside world was controlled by those in power.
Now the assumptions that dictatorships work under is that those who have the military power,control the flow of information,and the access to wealth can control the population.The best way to control the flow of information and access to wealth was to keep the population uneducated.A uneducated population that can barely read or write will believe what those in power tell them.An if you control the weapons and the power that they represent, then the population can be controlled. These are the assumptions that all dictatorships,be they secular or religious, they all rely on.Now they might hold on to power for a half century of more, but eventually they will succumb to the pressures of a civilization that continues to advance.
Now in this age of instantaneous communition with facebook, twitter;e-mail,texting,google,even the poorest individual is connected to the world around them.Now add to the mix,that if a country wants to compete in the worlds economy, they must educate their population.Now as the population becomes more educated,they want more of what they see the outside world has.Now the only way for the dictators can retain any sort of power is to give some of the power to govern to the people.Usually at first this sharing of power is only a illusion,but the more education the people have, the more the country enters the technological age the illusion of power gives way to actual power which signals the beginning of the end to the dictatorship. This can be seen in the way China has evoled in the last sixty years. It went from a very repressive regime and a economy controlled by the government to a more and more capitalistic society.Capitalism demand freedom to purse one's fortune,and this freedom also demands a actual say in the way they are govern.
Could the countries in the middle east and north africa slide into some sort of a religious society the same as in Iran. Who knows, but the cracks to the Iranian religious dictatorship have already started to appear and widen.And once that happens sooner or later that dictatorship, be it religious or political will fall.Freedom is a universal longing of mankind. To pursue one's future as one see's fit,can there be any greater dream than this.