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Egypt's Turmoil is the World'sTurmoil

Reader comment on item: Anoush Ehteshami and Democracy in Egypt

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Feb 8, 2011 at 12:16

The enigma that is developing for the world in the emergence of a changing Egypt seems to have everyone running to and fro trying to unravel the puzzle of how to transform that land and transmute the governmental power that has a stranglehold to one that most of the civilized world wants to be more sympathetic to some kind of peace in the region. Unfortunately, it means that the one form of government there that most think is passé is going to have hard time making that transformation, for in the heart of the protests are competing sensitivities of just what that replacement should be.

Dr. Pipes appears to continue in the hopeful mindset that if Islamists are marginalized in the reformation of the Egyptian government, that a process of democratization might be achievable, but only as Islam in general finds a way to 'modernize.' Anoush Ehteshami gives Dr. Pipes more fuel for the argument in that while making Egypt into some form of a democracy is a desired result, the processes thought necessary to accomplish that cannot be agreed upon. This is for good reason.

What the world currently holds as a democratic form of government is at the same time an understanding of a government by the people in self determination superimposed by a contravening elitist mentality that the people do not know what is good for them. A true democracy is composed of a population that submits to a legislature of self imposed regulation for the good of all; and in the initial form of the American model, the law was determined under the auspices of Divine guidance. Where do we see that happening today?

The Egyptian economic situation is indeed the engine that is driving the unrest. But what fuel is being used to give it its energy? Then, once the initial energy that drove the protest movement is spent for the lack of endurance, what replacement energy will fill the need to continue the reform? The people need resources to keep their families fed, their homes secured, their futures ensured. To whom will they turn to accomplish that? Which part of the world system can give them that…….democracy? This will likely be figured out only when the monied interests have determined how to keep theirs intact at the least possible cost. For them, democracy is the least desirable, for it means sharing a portion of their hoarded proceeds of the economic engine (for in this opinion, the working middle class of a democratic society is the greatest source of building wealth-all other methods are derivative). For the duration though, promising democracy might conceivably buy some time until the investments are protected. Therin lies the vulnerability if democracy cannot be agreed upon.

The answer as to whether Egypt will become a democracy or not is answerable only by determining, or more appropriately, the Egyptian people making the determination of which rule of law they are willing to abide by. Or more unfortunately, that process of determination could be stolen by the elitist sensibilities that say, 'the people have no idea on how to be self-determinant.' They may then fall prey to the Islamist call for shari'a, for there is that influence on a predominantly Muslim society. That being the case, then democracy is out; for Islam in its fundamentalist setting requires obedience, and not self determination.

If democracy is the path to be chosen, it will take a very long time and much hard and self-sacrificing work. See how long it took to get the Constitution of the United States of America after the Declaration of Independence was written. However the Egyptian people are impatient, as is the world worried about the Suez. If some form of control in Egypt is desired in less than a year, be careful what you wish for. As Hosni Mubarak appears to have made a decision that will leave the current government intact, only when one sees who will fill the void will there be an idea that Egypt is being primed for its role in the things to come. Submitting patiently to a governmental process other than that may be possible; but from this perspective it is not very likely. Then, the world needs to prepare for a worse situation than that which is seen for the moment. Then further, Israel needs to be ready for when that happens.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (18) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Democracy in Egypt [40 words]Lujack SkylarkFeb 11, 2011 23:36182561
1And The Winner is ?????? [164 words]Jay1Feb 11, 2011 23:01182559
More details on my blog [24 words]Solomon2Feb 11, 2011 13:30182544
The "Real" Barrier to Egyptian Democracy [254 words]Freud101Feb 11, 2011 21:39182544
1Fantasyland [159 words]Sonny BoichikFeb 11, 2011 03:35182532
USA robs freedom of people in the Arab world over a 30 year period [455 words]BaklavaFeb 9, 2011 18:30182497
And To Whom Would You Have America Write the Check of Their Deliverance [967 words]M. ToveyFeb 11, 2011 12:34182497
2everybody else's fault but their own. [112 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanFeb 11, 2011 18:15182497
1Israel and neighbors [58 words]UgriFeb 12, 2011 06:07182497
A democratically-elected President of Egypt? I'm still waiting for one here. [190 words]DrRJPFeb 9, 2011 08:49182488
1Democracy takes time to establish [64 words]Joe Six-PackFeb 8, 2011 12:31182442
US policy in the middle east needs a small revision [192 words]Frank LukeFeb 10, 2011 14:50182442
2Egypt's Turmoil is the World'sTurmoil [730 words]M. ToveyFeb 8, 2011 12:16182441
Egypt needs our help - and soon [164 words]Frank LukeFeb 10, 2011 14:16182441
1Democracy is not a rational form of government [169 words]Ralph C Whaley MDFeb 8, 2011 09:01182432
Egypt needs a model [20 words]Don J.Feb 11, 2011 03:42182432
Egypt Needs More Than a Model - Almighty God has Already Seen to That [40 words]M. ToveyFeb 14, 2011 19:36182432
A Democracy Will Not Save Egypt [368 words]M. ToveyFeb 16, 2011 13:29182432

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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