There seems to be a fresh realisation that people do not necessarily have to put up with the tyranny of authoritarian regimes, despite the apparent demonstrations of power by those who dictate their lives. Thus: Tunisia and Egypt. Thus perhaps, with blood and violence: Libya and Syria, with Bahrein and Yemen in the rear, signalling to the Saudis that change is circling the airspace near them. But the Arab Spring may only be a small part of the story.
Authoritarian rule of the many by a privileged few, is not restricted to primitive dictatorships. The anger of their populations is shared by those in the democratic, “free” West. People are on the streets in Greece and Spain where the talk is of revolution. The aims remain incoherent because the annoyances are so widespread, but the anger is palpable. And it appears to be growing through the EU, even though their governments have all been democratically elected.
The problem appears to be that democratically elected governments can be subverted by an unelected minority, bankers and financial despots. Or even a simplistic and clearly false theory or ideology. They may consequently govern according to those dictates, rather than for the people. Thus, despite the widespread recognition that economic collapse will threaten those Western democracies unless their financial sectors are constrained and regulated, their governments have done very little. The financial conspiracy to defraud those real economies continues unchecked. The bankers and traders that caused the last bust, continue their reckless course, making the next bust both inevitable and bigger than the last.
So do the people on the streets of Athens and Madrid have any relevance? They may be a sign of mounting anger. And they may follow the lead of those in Tunis and Cairo, or even Tripoli, unless governments act to prevent the next big bust.