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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Political Protests in Manama and Madison: Human Nature Writ Large on Full Display

On February 17, 2011, The New York Times ran two major stories that have a common denominator: angry protesters. Bahrain and Wisconsin are not typically thought of together.  Bahrain is a small kingdom in the Middle East whereas Wisconsin is a large republic in North America. In mid-February, 2011, both were engulfed in protest in their respective capital cities. My thesis is that while the differences are real, they should not be overdrawn. The people in Manama and Madison are human, all too human, after all, hence they are fully capable of going well past the confines of polite society into the state of nature yet with vastly more interpersonal contact.


Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/world/middleeast/18bahrain.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/us/17wisconsin.html?ref=todayspaper
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/02/16/us/WISCONSIN-8.html (poster of Mubarak and Walker at the protests in Wisconsin)
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/us/19wisconsin.html?pagewanted=2&hp
http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_1a175cce-30c3-11e0-b614-001cc4c03286.html  (on the psychology/corruption in the Madison police dept)
Iona Craig, "Protests Spread, Worsen in Middle East," USA Today, February 18, 2011, p. 8A.
Dennis Cauchon, "In Wis., Pitched Battle by Unions," USA Today, February 18, 2011, p. 1A.