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‘The Protester’ Is Time Magazine’s 2011 Person Of The Year

December 14, 2011

This should warm Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker’s heart.  Time magazine has named ‘The Protester’ as Person of the Year.

I had predicted that the Arab Spring would be the winner for this yearly event at Time Magazine.  In some sense I guess I can claim a partial prediction victory with the result.

Once upon a time, when major news events were chronicled strictly by professionals and printed on paper or transmitted through the air by the few for the masses, protesters were prime makers of history. Back then, when citizen multitudes took to the streets without weapons to declare themselves opposed, it was the very definition of news — vivid, important, often consequential. In the 1960s in America they marched for civil rights and against the Vietnam War; in the ’70s, they rose up in Iran and Portugal; in the ’80s, they spoke out against nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Europe, against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, against communist tyranny in Tiananmen Square and Eastern Europe. Protest was the natural continuation of politics by other means.

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Ever since modern republican democracy was invented, astonishing protests and uprisings have spiked and spread once every half-century or so: the revolutions in America and France and Haiti; the revolutions of 1848; the revolutions of the 1910s (Russia, Germany, Ireland, Turkey, Egypt, Mexico); the postwar wave of worldwide revolt (the movements toward decolonization, Cuba, Hungary, American civil rights, countercultural militancy in America and Europe). It happens almost like clockwork, yet each time people are freshly shocked and bedoozled. So here we are again. History isn’t a very precise guide to how long it might persist this time. In 1848 the revolutionary moment was explosive but lasted only a year, extinguished by both dictatorial and democratic counterrevolutions. The revolutionary dream hatched around 1960, however, was still powerfully contagious a decade later.

5 Comments
  1. December 9, 2013 7:23 PM

    Solly,

    I really can not come to conclusion about a prediction for 2013. There were a number of people, but no one that passed far and above in my mind. I am thinking this year it might be a ‘thing’ that makes the famed cover. Still, though, not sure what that might be.

    Thanks for asking.

  2. Solly permalink
    December 9, 2013 4:24 PM

    where’s the 2013 prediction?

  3. Patrick permalink
    December 15, 2011 5:23 PM

    The Navy SEALS should have gotten it.

  4. December 14, 2011 1:12 PM

    Are you a nit-wit just on my blog, or is that how you walk through life.

    Did you read the article?

    Notice the parts about taking down ruthless leaders?

    You are the one that is walking out of sync with everyone else it seems, based on your comments over time on my blog. At least this time you posted a comment that did not have to deleted for racism.

    Must be a good day for you.

  5. Craig permalink
    December 14, 2011 12:44 PM

    Little wonder why Time has no readership and is unable to make a dime.
    Tell us just what have any of these people done to create wealth?

    Pitiful. Just pitiful.

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