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Another week of 2017 has gone by and we continue to witness the world’s population exercise their freedom of speech and expression. Defying the odds of the status quo, the young generation is pushing back against the current world powers that seem to be pursuing 20th century political tactics. A fight against undoing the progress humanity has made in the past few decades.
These active citizens are objectively standing ground on city streets. Filling the roads with their voices that transcend globally from developed nations like the United States of America, to developing nations such as those in Venezuela. Protesting against the corrupt government that has left their country in turmoil. These political protests are nothing new – humanity has seen uprisings throughout history and amongst every civilization that has existed. However, the scary circumstances arising from the current global political situation is that these protests are advocating for the ongoing fights for very basic human rights. Rights such as equality and democratic values which should have been established since the United Nations formed in the mid-1900s.
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The accomplishments of the modern world have undoubtedly benefited a mass majority of individuals. Advancements such as those in medicine to improve standard of living, have helped those who are willing to work hard for success and happiness. Yet, many people in society feel that they have been left behind by growing inequality as caused by technological changes and globalization. In addition, horrific acts of terrorism have sparked fear and detest toward certain groups of people. Furthermore, the influx of immigrants and refugees into the West has caused the world to adopt an outdated cultural rhetoric of racism and xenophobia. Populism appealed to the needs of people who felt unheard and neglected, and its return is now prominent. Just as people lost confidence in the social system in the 1940s, we seem to be losing confidence again. However, as history has shown us, this political doctrine is manipulated and twisted.
In the 21st century, only a few leaders offer a defense to human rights values such as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau and former President of the United States Barack Obama. But in the new day and age of Trumpism, a domino affect is playing out across the world as political leaders such as President of the National Front Marine Le Pen and Dutch far-right party leader Geert Wilders seek to thrive off the same fear. Leaders try to defend national sovereignty and “all” their citizens from the “crooked and undemocratic wave” of non-Europeans flooding their borders. It gives them power as they advocate nationalism and far-right doctrines. The irony however lies in the fact that most of the issues arising in the 21st century are caused by bias and segregation that we started. The racist and discriminatory tendencies of certain individuals that are unwanted resonates back towards the beginning of civilization. As such, progress is halted due to the natural phenomenon of intolerance that has prevailed for generations.
Currently, politics is run by an older group of individuals who perpetuate to our generation that only fear will be able to triumph against the wrongs in the world. But this is not the case, and history continues to exemplify this notion. Only through cooperation and negotiations can the world heal itself from the damage our predecessors have left. Only through mutual understanding and acceptance can we move forward. This gives us hope, as the millennial generation has grasped this idea and through the acts of global protests that are occurring – hope is lingering in the distance and maybe, just maybe, good will triumph over evil in the 21st century.