The movement that exploded in Tunisia, sparking demands for immediate change and empowering the people to make those changes themselves... then matured in Cairo and Madrid and in many places around the world throughout the Spring and Summer, even touching briefly down on Madison... has now arrived in time for Autumn in America.
What it is, and what does it mean? I don't know. We're still figuring that out. But at this point, I think it's clear that this is a profound and historic global movement taking place. I believe this represents a great change in society, spawned by the internet, which created new abilities and opportunities that humanity has never had before - whether it be the organizing through social networks, or the direct transmission of information to the masses through Twitter, or the equality that exists and the irrelevance of borders and separations, or the ability to educate yourself on any topic encouraging people to think for themselves and see different perspectives. This seems to be going beyond merely Revolution 2.0, and is moving towards a Humanity 2.0.
The methods of the movement are the goals themselves: direct democracy, peace, cooperation, consensus, inclusion, compassion, freedom, and the understanding that they can do things for themselves. It is leaderless, reflecting the mistrust and betrayal of our elected officials. No one has all the solutions, but together we can create them, and only together can we implement them.
Why now? It is the economic conditions that have brought this awareness out into the open where it can no longer be ignored. It is the ecological conditions that make it imperative, beyond our own interests. It is the wars that are consuming all of our wealth and resources, and the fears driving them. It is the media that are distracting us and lying to us and brainwashing us into an apathetic haze that is clearing away. It is our common humanity which is waking us up, and motivating us to do something.
But things sometimes move slowly, and right now, I think the best thing we can do is get everyone involved and talking about what is really going on, hearing each other's ideas and perspectives. The solutions will become clearer as the conversation becomes larger.
Ultimately, I think it should be the youth who decide our fate, as they are the ones leading this movement, because the older generations are handing them one mess of a planet for them to somehow figure out a way to clean up, plus they are technically a majority of the world's population at this point.