People and regimes seem to be at odds. While people wake up and struggle for their rights, they are treated with more frugality, increasing injustice and repression, that is likely to bring escalation in 2012. Moreover, civil movements are manipulated to match the needs of national and external forces as demonstrated in the Arab Spring. The revolution is not over; there is an urgent need for sustained and persistent social action to bring lasting results.
While many are prophesying a transformation of humanity towards a more inclusive and compassionate era (the so-called ‘celestial’ Fifth World) on the 21st of December 2012  in pace with the Mayan calendar, violence is rampaging across the planet foreboding an even harsher 2012 for various regions in the world, especially the Middle East.
What happened in 2011 was unprecedented, at least in recent years: people were struggling in extraordinary numbers for their human rights in streets and squares all over the world. From the Arab Spring to the indignados and the occupy movement, people are becoming active standing up to face a world ruined and fragmented by vested interests.
The awakening movement in the Arab region started peacefully in Algeria and Tunisia to become gradually more brutal in Egypt to culminate in outright warmongering in Libya and Syria. Established repressive regimes are not easily overthrown; they fall while they try brutally to retain their power.
What matters for us, the people, is to understand that even if the head(s) of the regimes are removed, as occurred last year in the case of Mubarak’s and Gaddafi’s governments; established interests can persist as they are deeply rooted in the ruling institutions: primarily the military and civil governance but also religious organizations. Increasingly, vested interests that are reciprocally benefited by regimes can be found in the private sphere: it is commonly known how large corporations have been fueling catastrophic wars.
It is common logic that, with few exceptions, people privileged in the current situation will hesitate to strive for change and, even worse, they are very likely to oppose to change (even if the present reality is outrageously overwhelmed by injustice and decadence). To be more precise, given that the world is always in motion, these people supported by the highly sophisticated institutional structures, have a great interest in defending the current dominant mode of development. It is not about changing or not, change is constant and omnipresent; it is about changing course, choosing which direction we want to go – it is about changing the course of development.
We are actually witnessing at the moment the most extreme cases of these coercive forces of development: from the brutal wars sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the open warfare in Syria and the most oppressive police forces the West has ever seen in the last decades. Regimes are blatantly declaring that they are not willing to share their power; they are going to defend their privileges until the last drop of blood.
We need to understand that civil movements can be exploited during and after the revolution. NATO’s intervention in Libya is a recent example: external forces, although long-supporting those oppressive regimes, may support people’s uprising when it suits their own interests. The situation now in Syria is precarious, magnified by conflicting interests of different governments to protect or bring down the Ba’athist regime of President Basher al-Assad.
On the one hand countries like Turkey have an interest to overthrow the regime in order to increase their influence on the region. For instance, Turkey is hosting trainings of the anti-Assad ‘Free Syrian Army’. A change of the regime is also aligned with the interests of the West in the region (as well as Saudi Arabia’s and Qatar’s interests), but this time China and Russia are opposing those interests. Iran is also in defense of Syria’s regime. Lebanon and Palestine’s forces at the Israeli fronts are also concerned, since Syria has been a safe way to receive military equipment from Iran.
Although independent reporting is scarce, it is said that Assad’s regime is on the verge of collapse, something that will have a significant impact on the power balance of the region , further undermined by the prospect of war between Iran and USA. It is a game of geopolitical power; the problem is in this game real lives are lost. People, not governments or corporations suffer misery and death.
What people want is a better tomorrow, more justice and freedom and those civil movements are manipulated by external forces with imperialist attitudes. The unfettered will for freedom is diminished in servitude of another regime. Every sane person in the world would wish a change of an oppressive regime (in this case Assad’s, Mubarak’s and Gaddafi’s) but that happens only in order to re-establish the interests of internal and external forces by commissioning another, more appropriate regime that will serve those interests. That was demonstrated in the most brutal way in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Western forces have literally devastated every aspect of economy, culture and social life of those countries with countless lives lost on this process.
People are manipulated pre- and post-regime, during and post-revolution. In Egypt and Libya, the war is over according to the West, since the regimes are removed. The euphoric feeling one can get when people are celebrating in Tahrir square leads people to believe that revolution is won and from now on freedom and democracy are going to be established, but that is not the case. Friction, conflict and insecurity are still prevalent while militias are still marching across the country.
Apart from overthrowing regimes, which by itself is hard and heroic, people need to deeply contest and dismiss deep-rooted interests that are controlling public and private institutions. People need ‘two times revolution’, one to overthrow oppressive regimes and one to fundamentally reconfigure social and economic life. The revolution should not stop after the collapse of a regime. The challenge lies on the fact that there are currently no social organizations that can carry out this task and thus revolutionary movements dissolve and people are left disorganized while former ruling powers are taking hold again. Moreover, in the worst cases, amidst disorganization and disaster the ones with military forces can exploit the situation and constitute new forms of dictatorship. People are even more vulnerable in those situations, as now in Libya and Egypt.
2012 started in turmoil and is likely to continue so. As global inequality steadily rises with more capital and control turned over to the same centres of power, people are rising up defend their basic rights to freedom, water, food, a clean environment and a decent living. Instead of respecting and enhancing those human rights, governments do not seem to be willing to change their policies. Most leaders of the world have chosen not to contest the concentration of capital and power; instead they have unleashed brutal forces to suppress civil movements. By supporting the current relentless transfer of common wealth to powerful corporations and banks to facilitate their expansion of their economic and cultural imperialism, only escalation is to be forecasted.
People and centres of power are on diverging paths: people want to take back control of their lives, while power and governance become more distant and abstract notions. People want a more equitable distribution of wealth, but they face frugality measures while banks and corporations are underpinned in times of economic crisis. People want a clean environment, but we are outside of the carrying capacity of the Earth at the brink of ecological collapse. People want potable, fresh water, but water resources are handed to corporations and become more expensive. It is hard to imagine how those opposing forces could ever reconcile.
Indeed, 2012 may prove a decisive year but instead of setting firm appointments with world transformation on the 21st of December 2012 as Mayan calendarists do, we can become awaken here and now. We have the chance to become more aware and conscious at any time, we do not need historical appointments or cosmic events to do so.
Freegan Kolektiva believes in personal transformation, in exploring the roots of our traditions and of the world within us. But this is not enough, we need also to come together and form bonds and networks of unity while enhancing diversity at the same time. In these turbulent times of rapid global change we need both personal revolution and bold social action. We need to overcome our barriers and become a unified, diverse whole.
 Tripathi D (2012). A Year of Foreboding: What next for the Arab Spring? Retrieved on the 10th of January from: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/a-year-of-foreboding-what-next-for-the-arab-spring.html
 SERI-Worldwide. What the Mayan Elders are Saying About 2012 by Carlos Barrios. Retrieved on the 10th of January from: http://www.seri-worldwide.org/id435.html