Since Marie Antoinette, revolutions have relied on mobs in the streets. What's distinctive about Egypt and Ukraine is how technology amplifies and speeds up street protests. Social media networks--accessible to anyone with a digital device--make mobs happen. Social media, I submit, might have created more problems than it solved in either country.
Namely, once a social-media fed mob agreed on "Down with Yanukovych--drive the bastard out!" did it fully understand the endgame for any overthrow it was aching to unleash? I have the impression the EuroMaidan dissidents gathering in the freezing cold of 2013, night after night, were convinced history (or the gods or whatever) was on their side. If their perspective was limited to what came up on their smartphones, why not? They probably saw the Russian Black Sea Fleet operating out of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula as a detail to be worked out later. That myopia invites disaster.
Vladimir Putin has a grip on what's at stake for Russia from the Ukrainian "revolution." NATO forces possibly closing in on its western borders. More worrying, a resurgent Iran, always threatening to join the nuclear club, on its southern flank. You get the idea a Russian military presence in the Black Sea makes geopolitical sense.
Putin sent troops into the Crimea to protect Russian naval operations at Sevastopol--forget the argument about protecting ethnic Russians. The last time Russia was threatened by a resurgence of a theocratic Iran--in the 70s--Russia, in a similar geopolitical calculation, went into nearby Afghanistan (Understand, the "Muslim hordes" on Russia's southern flank have been a nemesis for millennia).
So once the Sochi Olympics were over, Putin went to work on Russia's partner at Sevastopol, acting with confidence, having a strong hand to play.
We can hope cool heads will prevail in the Ukrainian crisis and in the name of regional stability possibly fix the problems flash mobs and social media seemed willing to ignore.
story collection, The Cat
at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable
2:9:14 The Flight (and Fight) of the Hummingbird
1:25:14 My Frugal Byways
1:20:14 Walden on Wheels, a book review
1:2:14 Growing Up Amish: A Memoir, a book review
11:28:13 The Moneyless Man, a book review
11:23:13 The Lost Art of Walking, a book review
11:10:13 The Cultural Revolution Cookbook, a book review
10:23:13 The Biker Angel
10:11:13 No Self-Serve Gas in Oregon
9:28:13 A Street Cat Named Bob, a book review
9:23:13 The Life & Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, a book review
9:18:13 Autumn Leaves
8:19:13 The Worst Car Driver & Why
8:12:13 The Gardener from Ochakov, a book review
7:25:13 Le Havre by Kaurismaki
7:20:13 This Ain't California
6:27:13 The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, a book review
5:29:13 My Linux (Mis)Adventures
5:25:13 Southern Cross the Dog, a book review
5:5:13 Russian Tumbleweed
4:16:13 "The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster
3:25:13 Moore's Law
3:13:13 Grocery Shopping
2:28:13 Razor Blade in Moonlight
1:27:13 Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design, a book review
12:9:12 White Bread, a book review
12:4:12 Update on Old-School Shaving
11:12:12 Ten Great Buys at Dollar Tree
11:6:12 My New Russian Camera
10:29:12 Leaf Day
10:2:12 The Russian Navy in New York?
9:21:12 The Righteous Mind, a book review
9:14:12 Revolution, 1989, a book review
8:23:12 Train Whistles in the Night
8:2:12 Why I've Stockpiled Light Bulbs
7:22:12 Old-School Shaving
7:16:12 Злектроника МК-52, computer de minimus
7:4:12 Ivan's Childhood by Tarkovsky
6:21:12 The Unabomber, a modern Thoreau?
6:12:12 Do the gods exist?
6:7:12 My "Retail Therapy"
5:28:12 On Taxes, We Should Go Green
5:17:12 Portland's Trash
5:6:12 The Toaster Project, a book review
4:24:12 No Seconds
4:12:12 Portland's Runaway Utility Bill
4:8:12 The Repossession, a book review
3:30:12 How I Got Published in Mississippi Review
3:9:12 The End of Money, a book review
2:18:12 Beauty Plus Pity, a book review
2:5:12 Kirk's Castile Soap
1:29:12 Confessions of a Fallen Standard-Bearer, a book review
1:22:12 Thirst, a book review
1:17:12 My IBM ThinkPad 1999-2012
1:11:12 String Beans
12:22:11 Spiritual TMJ
12:16:11 1Q84, a book review
12:11:11 How Portland Became Portlandia
12:1:11 The Fixie
11:20:11 Camus' Insight
11:13:11 Old & Worthy
11:7:11 Life Is Tragic
10:31:11 A Matter of Death and Life, a book review
10:25:11 Dead Letter, Email Fatigue
10:18:11 Reinventing Collapse, a book review
10:11:11 Rereading Pirsig
10:1:11 The Sisters Brothers, a book review
9:26:11 The Great Stagnation, a book review
9:16:11 Coffee, The Affordable Luxury
9:12:11 The Genius of Value
9:5:11 Death and the Penguin, a book review