When the eastern bloc fell in the late eighties/early nineties it not only brought about a seismic change in Eastern Europe but catapulted leninist-marksism as a worldwide movement into terminal decline. No single cause really replaced it. Many of the young folk in the west were seduced by the curse of the capitalism. Ideologues turned to the soft left or the more progressive environmental movement. In other parts of the world Islam filled the vacuum vacated by revolutionary communism. Now the changes in Tunisia and the unrest in Egypt look as though they could possibly be about to alter the political landscape in the Middle East. And, depending on how far it spreads through the region could well have a significant knock on effect throughout the rest of the world. If Egypt does succumb to democracy where next? Libya? Jordon? Saudi Arabia? Dubai?
The riots after the suspect elections in Iran might have been quelled and no doubt many who took part have been rounded up and subsequently have suffered imprisonment, torture and death, but the resentment and feeling of injustice will I’m sure have been fermenting away, waiting for an opportunity to express itself again. It could happen. In fact only a fool would dare to say categorically what will be, as in reality anything could happen. Who knows what the future holds?
If democracy does spread like wildfire throughout the Middle East who’s to say it will hold? And, who knows what will happen if you have widespread unrest and instability in a number of major oil producing countries? The ring-piece of many a Middle Eastern leader must be puckering at what is currently going on. The government in Israel can't feel too comfortable either. Israel might not be under threat from the unrest that could well be about to sweep around them, but when the dust settles and the new political order emerges there is no guarantee that they will have neighbours that are any less of a threat.
Even here in the UK we might well not be immune from what is happening. That coupled with unrest at home could well change our lives. Whilst the causes are different we could be about to experience 1973/4 all over again!