Revolutions are often exported; but sometimes imported too. As they know no national or international boundary they travel thick and fast.
The recent upsurge in the Arab world is something very unique. It is both a mixture of export and import. From Tunisia in the west to Bahrain in the east the revolutionary fervor has swept over half a dozen countries, with more coming under its spell. Though it is Tunisia, which took the lead and Egypt apparently imported from the former yet the truth is that it is the latter which is the epicenter of all the great political earthquake in the entire region. Egypt has the oldest, most organized, anti-West and anti-Israel, pro-people party called the Muslim Brotherhood with Islam as its ideology. This party was formed in 1928 and had branches in several countries. Since Egypt is the fountainhead of revolution it is attracting much more global attention.
Europe in late 18th and 19th centuries also witnessed such series of huge changes. The 1789 French Revolution was followed by two more series of big upheavals in 1830-31 and 1848. In those years a number of monarchs were overthrown but many such revolts ended in bloodbath.
Though it is England, which took the first step in the direction of democracy the credit for exporting the idea goes more to France. This notwithstanding the fact that the first French Revolution of 1789 achieved little and it was back to square minus one after 1792-93 when thousands of people were massacred in Reign of Terror. This dance macabre paved the way for the take over of Brigadier General Napoleon in 1798, who later declared himself as Emperor in 1804. As an Emperor he brought about some reforms, but by 1815 it was all over as he lost in the Battle of Waterloo and France was thrown back to history.
A series of revolts in 1831 and 1848 led to the downfall of many tyrants and paved the way for Unification of Germany and Italy. However, the real democracy, which the West boasts about, is only a 20th century phenomenon, when women too got voting rights. Incidentally France, which takes credit for the growth of democratic idea, gave voting right to women in 1945, that is, after the Allied power rescued it from the four year of German occupation on August 26, 1944.
Even the United States gave voting right to all the citizens, including the entire Black population, a few decades back. Yet the West talks too much about exporting this so-called democratic-liberalism even before implementing it in to on itself.
After the liberal democratic idea it was the turn of the Communism to take the world by storm. But a close scrutiny of Communist history would suggest something else. Though it spread far and wide it failed to bring about a series of revolution in the world as it is happening now or in Europe earlier in the history. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 no other country came under its influence. In contrast it led to the birth of anti-Communist Fascist and Nazi regimes in Italy and Germany.
Communism expanded only after the end of World War-II in 1945 when Soviet army occupied several East European countries and thrust its own regime on them. China was the first big country, where Communist Revolution took place on October 1, 1949, that is 32 years after Russia. This was followed a decade later by Cuba while Vietnam and Cambodia fought their way to become Communist countries in 1975. Communist North Korea is actually the result of three years of Korean War (1950-53) in which South got support of the United States and allies while North Korea of China.
The current series of revolts in Arab countries is likely to disturb the West and Israel more than any other countries. Unlike Europe, only one language is spoken in the entire stretch of about 22 countries. They are followers of the same religion, Islam, and almost same sect too. Suddenly the importance of Muslim Brotherhood as one single largest entity has emerged. Except Bahrain, where the majority is Shia and ruler Sunni, all the other Arab countries are predominantly Sunni. Yet these Sunni revolutionaries are getting the moral support from Shia Iran, which is perhaps the most worrying development for the West and Israel.
Earlier European kingdoms were also predominantly Christian but there was strong sectarian divide. Almost all of them spoke different languages with nationalistic feeling very strong. Colonialism further contributed to its growth. The wave of nationalism led to the two World Wars, which caused the death of between five and six crore people the world over.
So while democratic revolutions in Europe created more differences among the European nations the changes in the Arab world tend to bridge the gap among the population spread over two continents––Africa and Asia. Any such development is likely to have a far-reaching impact on the West, which is now trying its level best to deal with the emerging situation.
A century ago Britain and France started the process of disintegrating the Ottoman Empire, which got completed in 1922. Over a hundred years later the process has started reversing. No western or Israeli intelligence agencies perhaps ever predicted that in matter of weeks things would turn upside down.
Soroor Ahmed in Newzfirst. More Here