What two events in modern history according to you, changed the course of human civilization?

The year 2011 - the year of global frustration

Everywhere, it seems, last year people said they had enough. They marched, they demanded, they literally embodied the idea that individual action can bring collective colossal change. The idea of democracy was present in every gathering.
Everywhere, it seems, last year people said they had enough. They marched, they demanded, they literally embodied the idea that individual action can bring collective colossal change. The idea of democracy was present in every gathering.
Human revolution of hearts and mind - the oldest technology of all joined the newest of technologies to steer the planet on a more democratic and also more dangerous path for the 21st century.
Human revolution of hearts and mind - the oldest technology of all joined the newest of technologies to steer the planet on a more democratic and also more dangerous path for the 21st century.
The protesters of today believe that their countries political systems and economies have grown dysfunctional and corrupt to favour the rich and powerful and prevent significant change.
The protesters of today believe that their countries political systems and economies have grown dysfunctional and corrupt to favour the rich and powerful and prevent significant change.
Two decades after the abandonment of communism they believe they are experiencing the failure of megascaled, globalized sham hypercapitalism.
Two decades after the abandonment of communism they believe they are experiencing the failure of megascaled, globalized sham hypercapitalism.
As always, students were up front to make the people's demands clear and demonstrate the prejudices of others. They wanted to believe that as in America of the past, power of the people can change everything.
As always, students were up front to make the people's demands clear and demonstrate the prejudices of others. They wanted to believe that as in America of the past, power of the people can change everything.
They pointed at the connection between poverty and our natural environment, that the environment, governance and human rights are linked invisibly.
They pointed at the connection between poverty and our natural environment, that the environment, governance and human rights are linked invisibly.
Globalization and going viral are the catchphrases of the networked 21st century. Like little pebbles in a big pond, real live protests around the world were suddenly visible on our screens.
Globalization and going viral are the catchphrases of the networked 21st century. Like little pebbles in a big pond, real live protests around the world were suddenly visible on our screens.
The voiceless, shot or hacked, strangled or suffocated, poisoned or burnt, hanged or burried alive got their voices back.
The voiceless, shot or hacked, strangled or suffocated, poisoned or burnt, hanged or burried alive got their voices back.
But as the protesters rejuvenated and enlarged the idea of democracy, the protesters and the rest of us are discovering that democracy is difficult and sometimes scary, because deciding what you don't want is a lot easier than deciding...
But as the protesters rejuvenated and enlarged the idea of democracy, the protesters and the rest of us are discovering that democracy is difficult and sometimes scary, because deciding what you don't want is a lot easier than deciding...
and implementing what you want. And suddenly everybody has a say. My experience of the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution taught me that uprisings' solidarity has a short life.
and implementing what you want. And suddenly everybody has a say. My experience of the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution taught me that uprisings' solidarity has a short life.
The road to democracy is messy and hard and freedom doesn't appear all at once. Slowly people realize that they have stake in preserving and protecting democracy and learn to cooperate together or not...
The road to democracy is messy and hard and freedom doesn't appear all at once. Slowly people realize that they have stake in preserving and protecting democracy and learn to cooperate together or not...
People all around the world have awaken, they are aware of their flaws and want to live with their flaws and what life throws at them according their own rules not someone's elses.
People all around the world have awaken, they are aware of their flaws and want to live with their flaws and what life throws at them according their own rules not someone's elses.
History often emerges only in retrospect, events become significant only when looked back on, right now there is a widespread feeling that we are on a bumpy road to somewhere else...
History often emerges only in retrospect, events become significant only when looked back on, right now there is a widespread feeling that we are on a bumpy road to somewhere else...
As an artist I am always looking for what is possible and I am always looking to extend boundaries and as a human being I believe that right now is what we need to do...
As an artist I am always looking for what is possible and I am always looking to extend boundaries and as a human being I believe that right now is what we need to do...

"The nature of society

determines the poverty

the poverty determines illness

illness means death of me..."

Their demands were very different

and yet the same

the words of one protester,

from one side

on the start of the year,

echoed the grievances

of millions around the globe

passing the year 2011

not yet successful

and keep going

online

and in the real world.



Hosni Mubarak resigned in Egypt

president Zine in Tunisia

and president Alin in Yemen,

king Abdulah allowed women to vote

in Saudi Arabia,

but people still want more...



"Give me back control of my life,"

shouted Occupy Oakland protesters,

85 were arrested.

In Mexico Javier Sicilia

led a march against drug violence.

"We are the 99%."

Slogan of Protesters

began in lower Manhattan

and cropped up worldwide.

In Toronto the first 'Slutwalk' is held.

In Greece hundreds of thousands

kept repeating for months:



"Politicians and money lenders,

you have no control of my life."

Riots erupted in United Kingdom

after a man was shot dead by police.



"What I study can change my life."

sang students peacefully in Chile

until police turned up.

Los Indignados marched to Madrid

and some 6 million joined in.

People demanded social justice

in the largest protest in Israeli history.



"Our lives are determined by the circumstances

in which we live and work."

Thousands gathered in Moscow claiming

parliamentary elections were flawed.

Riots over food and unemployment

in Algeria

Violent crackdowns in Syria and Iraq.

A man set himself on fire in Ethiopia.

Civil war began in Libya.

Days of Rage in Bahrain.


"Monks are natural advocates for the poor."

They set themselves on fire

in Tibet,

pro-democracy Chinese shouted in Beijing

just to be silenced again and arrested.

"Unfair distribution of the power and wealth is the cause of our grievances."

activist Aung San Suu Kyi won the first battle

after decades of oppression

her party finally won legal status.


"Stop nuclear power, my life is at stake."

Marches didn't stop

Japanese effort

to save economy

and yet there is always chance of online protest,

as one single mother

in a poor neighbourhood

of one thriving super modern city

have found out.

She writes in her blog:

"Working in a factory,

where a visit to bathroom

is seldom granted

and closely monitored,

suffering from diabetess

and heart disease

of long hours

of monotonous work

every night

coming back to a tiny room

in a crowded public housing

watching my teenager

to rage against me

and the system

that weakens him

he ends up just like me,

I feel, he feels,

we have no control of our lives.

How the control can be given back to people?"


Few of us,

lucky enough

to have

more or less

of control

of how our everyday work

and when is done.

To have our essential needs met

and have enough energy left

to care about our own wellbeing,

our health,

our destiny...


Living in air polluted world

full of financial turmoil,

we can still wake up and say:

"I can change my life,

I can control what happens to me."

And we are also aware,

that there are less and less people like us,

due to unfair distribution of the wealth,

due to unfairness of our society.


We all know,

one billion of people

live in inhumane conditions.

We all know,

you need just a hundred

billions of dollars to save them.

We also know

that nine trillions of dollars were spent

to bail out the banks.


The rise of the online global community

changes us forever

makes us aware

of nature of our society

make us demand

to have back

control of our lives.





















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Comments 35 comments

diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

This a provoking question and one not easily answered. If you consider Contemporary History - say for the last 8o to 100 years - the choices do narrow.

I would take the struggle and results of the two World Wars as number one.

And the times of Freud and Einstein as number two.

Not very imaginative, but I couldn't sleep last night so I ain't feeling too sharp.

Bob


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

see your point Bob, but I still think we write our modern history right now:)


KrisL profile image

KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

You summed up last year's history better than any newspaper editorial I read.

We do not yet know the consequences of the internet for political organizing . . . or really for anything.

It is like the automobile in 1920, as people slowly started to get cars of their own, but the developed world had no idea how it would affect society, from exurban living to dating habits in America (and Australia too, I imagine!)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thanks KrisL, great comparison, hopefully the political organizing will follow the road of the car industry...although the car industry goes down the hill now...it is time for personal helicopters now:)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Quite a poltical statement made in this poem. Great bit of truth while pointing out the events that caused the downward spiral of democracy. Your artistic outlook is one that everyone should adapt. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

If I'm boxed in to two answers I have to say:

1) The invention of the wheel;

2) The atom bomb.

Without the wheel things would move VERY slowly! Without the atom bomb life might be a lot more peaceful, but it's used mostly to browbeat rogue nations into complying with general standards of behaviour between nations. However, (here's the rub) most 'rogue' nations know full well the bomb's not going to be used! So we still have to have armies, navies and air forces, and they cost serious money...


Larry Wall 4 years ago

I am going to fudge a little on my answer.

First, I think the dropping of the Atomic Bomb in World War II was a world changing event. I think even the rouge nations know that if they fire first, it will be their last shot. It is a tedious standoff.

Secondly, and this is where I am fudging, I am going to say the decade of the 1960s.

I remember in about 1968 there was a news documentary calling that year a rift if time.

During the 1960s, we had student riots, assassinations, Vietnam, the Watts riots, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the murder of the Freedom Rideres, the Governor of Alabama blocking the door of the University so a Black student could not register.

We also had passage of the Civil Rights Act, the establishment of the Peace Corps, enactment of Medicare (Yes it has problems, but it has helped a lot of people), we put Man on the Moon, the ecology movement started, people began to listen, they began to change their attitudes, it was a scary but amazing decade.

I was born in 1951. WWII was over. The Korean conflict was over. No one talked about it. Life just returned. Eisenhower was elected president for two rather uneventful terms. The 1960s came in with a bang--the shot heard around the world if you will. Many of the changes started in that decade are still evolving. Hopefully, history will mark the importance, the impact and the changes brought about by that decade.


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

I was born the first day of 1936, but I agree with almost everything Larry Wall posted. I lived through all these things too and agree they were very life/world changing.He did not mention the great depression of the 1930's a period when I was born. The runs on the banks, the poverty, the riots, and the new deal, fair deal,and others were very life/world changing.


Larry Wall 4 years ago

Jackwms:

Your point is well taken. The depression and WWII were definitely life changing events. Each event is almost a prelude to another. That is why it is hard to narrow it down to two. My parents were born in 1916 and 1918. My Dad's family literally lost the farm--strawberry crop and dairy cows. It was a very difficult time.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Wow, This hub is very thought provoking. The whole world is in turmoil. The people are beginning to stand, demanding to be counted. The atomic bomb and slavery are my two choices. Great hub. Thank you...


marshacanada profile image

marshacanada 4 years ago from Vancouver BC

Thanks Beata for your Great hub and thanks hubbers for this very interesting discussion.I think two 2 main developments that changed our world are:

1-Modern medicine-saved many lives on earth but ironically caused our world wide population explosion which leads to slums,wars,resource depletion,air and water contamination etc which threatens all life on earth.

2-Modern contraception-if adopted world wide will bring about healthier women and children,and maybe more important population stability which may save our planet from the ravages of overpopulation.


grinnin1 profile image

grinnin1 4 years ago from st louis,mo

Great hub, very well informed,, thought provoking and interesting writing.

I think the two that I would pick would be the Reformation started by Martin Luther, and the invention of the printing press.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

It is great to hear so many well researched and all important historical inputs, it shows that our modern history is full of great (positive and negative) events that all shaped us who we are today....maybe because I was born during one uprising and through my life was part of another two I focused on that part: Ever since modern republican democracy was invented, uprisings spread every half-century for example,

The revolution in Russia, Germany...in 1910, but before that it is important to mention 1848 Paris protest that turned monarchy into republican democracy and thanks to new technologies inspired protests in other European cities and New York as well..

Protests of 1968 as part of a countercultural peagant and morphed into rebellions bringing down regimes and then again in 1989, the communist regime disintegration as a result of a single big switch pulled off in Moscow that cut off the power throughout the system...

And now we have 2011 and history is changing in front of our eyes...


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

No answer to my question is more apt than yours. You are right, we are still writing our modern history and each small or big event has its impact on a varied scale.

May it be WW2 or WW1, the discoveries of Einstein or the imprisonment of Galileo no event has taken place without leaving its consequences on the society!

I put forward this question for a single pertaining dilemma in my mind that whether major events mark the turn of society or the minor ones have their part two!

You have cleared my doubts! Thank you for such an outstanding and amazing reply!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

My reply is just one of the myriads of options out there, dear Rahul, I don't consider myself to be right or know more than anyone else, history is one of those subjects always open to many interpretations and the right question, just like the one I have tried to answer here is open to so many individual inputs as you see from my fellow hubbers' clever responses...I have had my say and hopefully someone else will try to answer this question in another hub form as well....:)


Kieran Gracie 4 years ago

As others have said, many events have colored our world in recent history. Most of them have had ramifications that nobody could have foreseen. Your brief but succinct resume of events in 2011 is brilliant and thought-provoking, for which I thank you, Beata.

What 2 events in recent history would I choose? I think that the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903 was a hugely significant event - it led to worldwide travel for a large (but not all) the world's population, as well as darker events such as the obliteration of civilians in many wars. One could argue that aviation probably enabled or even directly caused the ending of WW2 both in Europe and in the Far East.

My second event was not really a single occurrence, but it almost was - the invention of the world wide web. That has led to a vast increase in personal knowledge and, consequently, personal power. To finish on a lighter note, without the internet we would not have HubPages or this wonderful Hub!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, dear Kieran, what a privillege to be acknowledged in 'your second event that changes our modern history':)

The world wide web and for us, addicted hubbers, personally HubPages is one of the best invention, I totally agree with you...we can voice our opinions and someone is actually listening, isn't that great feeling? Not to many ordinary people, not even in our modern history have been granted that privillege:)


randslam profile image

randslam 4 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

Great question and wonderful overview of 2011...the year of revolution.

The two events that changed the world in recent history? The invention of the personal computer...leading to the world wide web and access to information for all, but also the massive output of misinformation so often delivered by amateurs or scammers.

Secondly, the events of 911 brought a completely different kind of fear and expense to our planet. The increase of expenditure for wars, security and trust has been monumental incurring the distrust of Christian/Islam development in cross religion relationships--a horrible byproduct.

Perhaps the invention of the first can overcome the disaster of the second. Cheers, Beata...great hub question.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thanks dear randslam, not my question, just tried to answer it and was overwhelmed by many responses, just confirm to me, there is no right or wrong answer...happy that you have found time to stop by and hopefully you come back again:)


bmcoll3278 profile image

bmcoll3278 4 years ago from Longmont, Colorado

Great question So many things but one has got to be Obama I wont give my idea of good or bad this is not he place for that but his election will change the history of at least the US and maybe the world forever.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

I agree with you, dear fellow hubber, how much Obama managed to accomplish or not (I personally believe in recent situation it is beyond one person's ability to bring success back in such a short time), Obama brought hope back in people's mind (change should eventually follow) and it is by itself huge accomplishment.


rmcleve profile image

rmcleve 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

You discuss history in the most beautiful, personable way! I thoroughly enjoy reading your hubs. It's a pleasure to know you on HP!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Evocative and thought provoking write--You summed up this past year so well--


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubbers, happy you liked my summarization, it was pretty easy year to write about, so much happened...it was a chaos in ordered way:)


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

I found this interesting hub well written and well executed. Being a WWII buff, I would have to say that war and WWI.

Great job

glad I found your page.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Keep shining on my hub, thank you so much for your encouraging comment and thanks for stopping by:)


George Greene Jr. profile image

George Greene Jr. 4 years ago from California PA

This question does have to be one that takes into consideration the question of when do we consider the age of modern history to begin. Do we start with when Mankind first started to record it(the creation of writing), or to wait till the time of Gutenburg and the printing press's invention when thought's could then be mass produced to be spread worldwide? Do we take the invention of the wheel or the discovery of fire by what we once might consider pre-historic man, or do we consider the more modern harnessing of electricity as the stepping stone to Modern man?

can we consider the harnessing of the mathematics perfections as the foundation on which we built all of the disciplines of learning, or should we consider the more modern sciences as when man really became modernized?

Can we say that we became more modernized when in the 1940's, we realized that terror could reign in the likes of Hitler, or could we say we are not so modern when the likes of terrorism are still being performed at an almost daily ritual still in todays world?

Even in a world where we have reached technologies highest level yet, why is it if we had put a man on the moon before, we today can't figure out a reasonable way to it again?

In a world where the computer is supposed to be the fastest way to spread ideas and knowledge, why does it take my bank 24 hours to process a check? or for that matter that supposedly great university to process my papers? And with all this technology given to us at our fingertips, why have we not been able to figure out a way to build an engine that gets more than 40 miles per gallon?

The 1960's were supposed to modernize the equality of all mankind,yet 50 years later there is not one race (within the realm of what we would consider a modern society) that does not feel oppressed in some way or another by another race(sometimes even their own!).

So where does Modern Man and his greatest achievements start? or did they really?

Just a couple points to ponder!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Great points to ponder about, thank you for your time to write them down...like many topics in history, philosophy or theology, there are many starting points and it often depends on each individual what is included and what is left out....there is no right or wrong and it is great to know that people pick up 'the thread' and just add new informations and different points of view:)


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

This is a great poem and summary of 2011. As to the question you ask, I would say that the result of the Allies being victorious in WW II and the breakup of the Soviet Union in the late 80s were two of the more important events which have played a part in changing the course of human civilization. Voted up and sharing.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime

Many events in modern history helped to change the course of human civilization, but I choose to list these two:

1. The Industrial Revolution

2. The end of enforced Jim Crow Laws and the like everywhere, which officially ended in the 1960's in America and was the real end of extended slavery

It is not easy to narrow the many causes down to just two.

What an interesting question!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

It is not easy, Levertis, I agree with you, as a writer you never answer this question to everyone's satisfaction, what you can do is open a door and let people in and decide for themeselves....

Thank you Paul for your encouraging words and all the best:)


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

As 'The War to end All Wars', WWI was a misnomer, because it didn't. Nevertheless it was pivotal - in Europe anyway - in changing the status of the upper classes. In Britain the difficulty afterwards in recruiting household servants and the general attitude towards the Church altered the outlook of the working masses. No longer did men look up to their 'betters', and the failure of the state to honour their promise of 'A Land Fit For Heroes' did not endear the government or king to the same masses. The General Strike worsened the relationship and Churchill putting down the 'Glasgow Soviet' with tanks soured relationships between the Tories and workers. Nor did it help when Ramsay MacDonald 'defected' from Labour to Tory in the wake of an unsucessful first Labour Government. Churchill's 'Wilderness Years' began here, and his reprieve only came after Neville Chamberlain's pathetic leadership was challenged at the onset of WWII.

Hitler became an icon for some, opening the way for petty dictatorships everywhere, and even his defeat didn't change that. For a short time between June, 1941 (Operation Barbarossa) and April 1945 (Hitler's suicide) the west was umbilically linked to the east until - as the Nazis predicted - the Alliance fell apart and Stalin suspected the West of helping the Germans back to their feet. It was the Marshall Plan that cracked open the 'safe', rebuilding and seemingly re-arming West Germany, followed by the Berlin Blockade. Beyond that was a succession of wars and struggles that pockmarked the 'peace', Korea being the linchpin that threatened the existence of the infant United Nations. Everything else has been a 'sideshow', the main ones Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan for the USA; Palestine, Kenya, Malaya Suez, Cyprus and Aden for us (aside from the more recent Iraq [X2] and Afghanistan).

But that's what you expect when you're the world's 'policemen': people get 'bolshy' and fancy a crack at Mr Plod.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you, Alancaster, for your input, ipinions of others are always valued and are given space to be expressed:) All the best my fellow hubber...B


Porshadoxus profile image

Porshadoxus 3 years ago from the straight and narrow way

Didn't read all the other responses here, so I may be repeating...

Event 1: Fall of Man- Genesis 3.

Event 2: Crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection of Jesus- Gospels.

'Nuff said.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubber for your point of view, always apreciate to hear what others have to say...B

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