Phase shifts are interesting things, saturation builds up and suddenly a liquid solution can crystallize into a solid. We have seen two political phase shifts this month so far.
First here at home the queer community has finally had it with the democrats. It started with the passage of Proposition 8 in California and built up as the national Democratic party pushed queer rights to the back of the queue. It was brought to a head by the administrations stunningly stupid brief in defense of DOMA. Now not only are queers making a lot of noise but they are closing their wallets just when the Democratic party is trying to raise funds for the midterm elections. This should be interesting; already the Democrats are scrambling to cover their asses. We may get some good legislation out of this yet.
On a far more violent and possibly major front Iran is on the verge of another revolution. This is not sudden but has been building for a decade and more. There have been other large-scale demonstrations and clashes between the young and the ayatollahs. The tensions the people who want to live in the present and the theocrats who want them to live in a fantasy version of a non-existent past may have been covered over but have never stopped growing. What is different now is that there is a focal point, the election, which has brought together all the different groups that have demonstrated in the past, students, labor and women as one and sent them out into the streets. The ayatollahs could still win but with some clerics siding with the demonstrators the current regime could just as easily collapse. Remember how quickly the Soviet Union went from Evil Empire to non-existent.
There are other phase shifts that may soon show up, some may have already happened. Is Mexico now a failed state for instance? As many others have mentioned the post World War Two world system has collapsed and we still don’t know what, if anything, will take it’s place.