The Protests that started the Domino Effect of Arab Spring begun in Tunisia after the moving act of Mohammed Bouazizi when he set himself on fire in front of a political office. The Social System of Tunisia was both economically and political fractured due to how its corrupt Government structured society. Interactions, services and authorities were all shaped to oppress the public whilst keeping the authoritarian regime in place. In Tunisia’s Social System the institutions and policies inflicted by the Government severely cut off the people’s liberty to interacting freely with one another and their access to services.

The Economic System in Tunisia was so abysmal that there was high inflation, high unemployment, low healthcare, poor transportation systems and exclusive markets unavailable to civil society. The Political System was worse with no way of society penetrating, influencing or changing laws, rights, justice and elections. The Governments corruption, greed and failure to uphold public infrastructure gave society no prominence in Tunisia’s Social System. “Money is a form of political power and those with political power decide how public and private monies are handled. Money shapes policy and policy shapes who has money and how it is used” (Atlee 2009). So all it took was Mohammed Bouazizi’s self- immolation for people to transform the Social System by creating a new one without the current Government.

Peaceful protests and demonstrations against Ben Ali the Tunisian President and his political party begun after the public learned of Mohammed Bouazizi’s inspiring act. General labour unions resigned and rising elites went on strike in support of the uprising. A combination of civil resistance and general strikes after much conflict with the authorities eventually saw Ben Ali flee from his current oppressive Government. The Social System was overthrown and transformed by demand of a civil society for the good of “how people and nature are treated, where the life energy and resources of society are invested and — perhaps most important — what futures people believe are desirable and possible” (Atlee 2009).

The public addressed the corrupt social systems aspects which were causing the most harm to civil society. The people in their protests caused a social transformation by substituting suppression and corruption for general assembly organized collective action. Tunisia was the first of its kind and eventually the same processes gave birth to revolution all throughout North Africa. The two points below highlight the successfulness of Social System transformation in Tunisia which Occupy Wall Street bases its goal for Social Systems change on.

• “creating an economic system that accounts for the full social and environmental costs and benefits of economic activity — a system that brought that accounting into the costs of products and services and decisively into the deliberations of governments and corporations — we would suddenly find the free market healing and preserving the world, instead of destroying it” (Atlee 2009).

• “creating a political system that calls forth and responds to the collective wisdom of the whole society more than to the money and manipulation of special interests — we would suddenly find politics and governance cranking out policies and programs that nurture — rather than undermine — the best things in life” (Atlee 2009).

 15 December 2011  Posted by rhys360 Case Studies, Uncategorized  Add comments