Doha Debate: Fall of Dictators Doesn't Equate to Fall of Dactatorships
A video titled Doha Debates: This House Believes that Arab Revolutions Will Just Produce Different Dictators is a debate that discusses what the fall of a dictatorship may or may not mean. While its focus is what is happening in the Arab world, the thing which makes this discussion unique has little to do with which nations are involved and all to do with timing.
First, the honesty of one of the panelists impressed me when he pointed out that "political analysts have been very good at predicting the past". He goes on to talk about how communications—the Internet and satellite TV being the two prime examples—are the big change. He describes it as how a government has lost the monopoly on control of information.
While this may seem obvious on the surface, this seems like more than a passing thought. Up until a generation ago, the lack of an educated population was a common way to control them. With increasing literacy, such as happened in Nicaragua since the revolution, government secrecy became more important as the best method of control. Today, the loss of control of communications by governments means that the the thoughts of the population in general gets heard both within the country and around the world.
Now, with new, independent information sources offering information to the general population, that population needs to realize that they may just ben hearing more rather than there being a significant change in what is happening. For example, if information about the Gulf of Tonkin incident had been available to everyone in virtual real time rather than many years later, would the Vietnam war have even happened?
If we go back to the comment about predicting the past, if today's communications methods had been in place in 1979, how would things have been different in post-revolutionary Nicaragua?