Revolutionary butterflies and Self-Organisation through Chaos
On the 17th of December 2010 Mohammed Bouazizi – a jobless university graduate in Tunisia and one of history’s outstanding revolutionary butterflies – precipitated one of the greatest political upheavals the world has seen – the Arab Spring Uprisings. In a stunning contemporary example of Self-Organisation through Chaos the great revolutionary commenced by selling vegetables on the street without a permit. Police seized his cart, he set himself on fire and the next day Saturday December 18th 2010 police were firing teargas into a crowd of a few hundred angry violent youths. Less than a year later the result has been revolution and regime change in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Meanwhile massive unrest sweeps across the Arab world from Gaza to Yemen. Sensing that something extraordinary is happening Saudi Arabia starts offering concessions and reforms to women.
But wait there’s more. We now have the Occupy Wall Street movement in the USA. This was started by a few angry nerds getting together in the New York Financial district to complain about the ugliness and greed of extreme capitalism. I don’t remember a protest in the USA that continued on for several weeks before. This one is being aided by the use of social media. Gerald Celente of the Trend Forecast Institute has been predicting revolution.
In 1976 a young college dropout in the USA by the name of Steve Jobs started a computer company from his moms garage. Along with Steve Wozniak they founded a company called Apple and they quickly bring to the world one of the first ever personal computers. Steve Jobs will go on to revolutionize the world of personal computing, communications and the music industry.
We live today in the garden of revolution and the revolutionary butterflies of chaos seem to be just about everywhere right now. If you look up Apocalypse in the dictionary it comes originally for the Greek word meaning disclosure, which is interesting. The Arab Spring uprisings were apparently fuelled by certain Wiki Leaks disclosures. Rupert Murdoch’s News of The World was closed down amid the stench of corruption and a series of breathtaking disclosures. Apocalypse is now given to mean the great battle between good and evil according to the biblical version.
In Chaos Theory the Butterfly Effect is explained as occurring by the butterfly flapping it’s wings in say Tokyo which causes a hurricane in say Texas. It’s a colourful way of describing the phenomenon. What you don’t hear about too often is the fact that there is a very opportune moment when the butterfly’s wing flapping affect can lead to an extra-ordinary effect. The opportune moment -the start of the revolution – is the time of instability. Exactly what we are seeing in the world right now. In this case what happens is that a special window opens up in the instability. This is known as an Opportunity Window. It is precisely within this opportunity window that the butterfly’s affect can have the revolutionary effect.
It seems that we can be certain of only one thing right now – the rate of change is speeding up. There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come. The future is emerging -just try stopping it. Ask Mubarek or Gadaffi. While the world’s systems continue to go haywire the revolutionary butterflies will demonstrate ever more self-organisation through Chaos presenting as change agents, entrepreneurs, bizarre coincidence, perfect storms of one type or another and earth shattering disclosures.