On aesthetics, back to the classics.

Are democratic values taking a different form today? While this is a contencious assertion, changes are happening in societies were the inteligenzia is not a powerful ilustrated elite anymore. For several decades the elite worldwide had a limited interests in education, local culture and technology. And these three education, local culture and technology where embraced by groups from the middle and lower classes as a way to prosper, to get a job, to keep their local culture and networks alive, or just to play games.

An unexpected consecuence is that developments from these groups are enlightening the globe as ever before. However, while these groups have keys to knowledge and a wider view –perhaps shared with Einstein– they are not the depositaries of wealth.

On the contrary, some of these grougs are suffering and to great extent paying for contemporary global crisis. Crisis were the modes of production and laws underpining it are changing dramatically, and a a result, economies are suffering.

Crisis in which cleavajes structuring politics are moving along new lines. It is a general crisis of politics -from parties inspired in XIX politics, to trade unions and entire economic sectors-, A crisis of laws -such as copyright, and a crisis of values.

Within this context I watch with astonishment democratic green leaves growing up from Persia to the Mediterranean and up to Islandia. And some wonder whether history is moving back to the Eufrates, Egipt and the Athens Axis:

Islandia is crowdsourcing its new constitution. Meetings of the council are streamed, instead of broadcasted and in a Facebook page. When the draft is finished, the referendum is expected at the end of July 2011. No further ammendments from Parliament are contemplated after referendum –Members clarely showing their role as servants of voters instead of masters. According to Thorvaldur Gylfason, profesor of Economics at the University of Iceland and member of the Council, the idea of having citizents to collaborate is due to the fact that they will be the ones validating the process through referendum.

Spanish citizens are using the web to contest politicians doing S.XIX politics in a XXI century. They are asking for rights back from May, Sunday 15th.

Is all this a follow of the Arab Spring? What are the forces pushing for change, and what the networks preventing it? Interesting years for historians and political scientist to watch.

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