Is social unrest a reflection of the rise of social networking on the internet, or is it a reflection of a more fundamental flaw in society that demands a paradigm change?
Social unrest is nothing more than just a bunch of people who gather in a particular geographical space and time to demonstrate for a common cause. The communication of the mind and intention could be transmitted by way of smoke, paper, buns, or electronic signals. The medium doesn't really matter. What matters is that there are a sufficient number of people who are willing to risk their lives to make their views heard. The risk is worth taking presumably because they have nothing else to lose. Why?
It is very hard to imagine that comfortable working men and women will not got to work but instead take to the street to give vent to their emotions, unless those emotions are very strong and overwhelming their senses. Such a condition arise in human beings, as well as other creatures, I believe, when they are hungry and angry.
The problem with the stomach is very real. For the lucky ones, the stomach needs to be fed three times a day. For the unlucky ones, refill once a day seems like a luxury. When the refill is not forthcoming, anxiety arises. And when there are enough number of people who share the same traumatic experience, they will act. There is nothing for them to lose: they will die soon if they choose to do nothing. They choose to act as an act of survival.
In traditional society, the distribution of food is by way of rationing. I have more and you have less, because I have political power - that power being obtained by how many men and women one can employ to do one's bidding (pursuing one's agenda) by the degree of access to food resources.
In modern times, this power to access food resources is obtained by way of money or wealth. This access is usually thought by good people to be obtained through hard work by means of diligence and wit. Unscrupulous people can obtain access to food and other resources by way of quantitative easing, among others - which is just an economic jargon for the central banks to give cash to governments in returning for a simple IOU called government bonds. That extra cash is then distributed in the form of contracts for jobs for public works - the bigger public projects are, the bigger the leakage to the elite. One sure sign of troubles for the finances of a nation and eventually the economy is the spate of new public projects which are usually undertaken on the pretext of national pride, rather than economic necessity or pure business opportunity. With more public projects, real estate prices increase and while the elite feels justified that their is an increase in asset prices and hence asset value, rentals get pushed up for pay higher returns to property speculators, and retail prices soar. As new public projects are laboured by poor under-represented foreign semi-skilled labourers, the home grown fresh graduates, the semi-skilled and unskilled become left out of the mainstream of economic development. The graduates take to the streets to talk of justice, and the uneducated take to the streets as gangs to loot.
Things can be made worse by natural disasters which suddenly and unexpectedly put a dent in the national budget. This the Chinese have long called the Mandate from Heaven.
The underlying economic disaster is served its final straw when a stone is thrown to cause a ripple across the waters.