Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Egypt and Democracy: The Fog of Revolution

An interesting read:

The Fog of Revolution

All one can say with absolute certainty is that the struggle for power has started and that the fog of revolution has descended on the battlefield. It will take certainly weeks, probably months, and possibly years before the true face of the new Egypt emerges.

He says that none of the parties are really strong enough in the face of the others to actually take over and control the government. Instead, we are likely to see rounds and rounds of triangulation, coalitions that form and break before the "new Egypt" emerges. However, it is the third group, the ephemeral "youth" that we should be focused on:

About the third group, we know the least and fantasize the most. They seem to be young, connected, educated, and Anglophone, those that we have seen and heard, that is. In fact, they probably represent a tiny minority. A large part of the young generation will not be anything like them. This does not necessarily condemn them to obscurity. The number of students protesting in Prague on November 17, 1989 did not exceed 20,000; the number of dissidents involved in opposition activities on a longer-term basis was about half that number. The key element was their power to inspire, and some of the people from Tahrir Square I saw on the screen looked mighty inspiring to me. The key number, though, comes from demographics. More than half of all Egyptians, a majority, are aged 24 years or fewer. Do they believe in the rule of Islam, or the rule of the Internet? Or both?

It is likely that the military and the Islamists will try hard to communicate and proselytize the youth to support either of their causes and it is the youth that we should be focused on.

To succeed in this competition, we would have to forget, for once, about political and economic expediency and political correctness, and draw, for once, on the underlying values of our civilization that make freedom and democracy possible.

In other words, we should stop trying to "stabilize" the situation and go straight for giving the youthful revolutionaries the support, moral and material, necessary to achieve their dreams. That, it is in the youth of Egypt achieving their dreams that all of our hopes can be met.

This blog concurs.

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