The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

08 February 2011

Lew Rockwell essay on Egypt uprising picked up by English Al Jazeera.

"What has sparked the uprising? There are economic considerations, of course. A good rate of inflation in Egypt is considered to be 10%, and currency depreciation works as a massive punishment against savings and capital accumulation. Unemployment is high, about the same rate as the US, but is even higher for young people who are worried about the future.
Economic growth has been much better in the last decades thanks to economic reforms, but this tendency (as in the old Soviet bloc) has only worked to create rising expectations and more demands for freedom. It remains a fact that nearly half the population lives in terrifying poverty.
The core of the problem, it appears, relates to civil liberties and the very old-fashioned conviction that the country is ruled by a tyrant who must go. Mubarak tolerates no challenges to his martial-law rule. There are tens of thousands of political prisoners in the country, and it is easy to get arrested and tortured simply by calling the dictator names. The press is censored, opposition groups are suppressed, and corruption runs rampant. Mubarak's will to power has known no bounds: he chooses all the country's elites based solely on personal loyalty to himself."

Full article here

I agree with all of Mr. Rockwell's major points in the article.

I am deeply skeptical of the long term positives for the majority of people of Egypt.  

I believe, perhaps incorrectly, that Arab society tends toward autocracy and absolutism.  That is the history of the region;  that is the history of the religion and culture.  Odds are that a dictator of sorts will rise in a short period of time, backed by old or new oligarchs behind the scenes, and the common people will be right back where they started.

Any new regime is unlikely to adopt a low tax laissez faire economic stance that might maximize Egyptian prosperity.

The demographic threat of religious and radical Islamists to secularism in the Egypt parallels the demographic threat of muslims in Christian Europe.  

The rise of the Moslem Brotherhood is a threat to regional stability;  the group loves the Camp David accord not at all, the "Zionists" even less.  

The Brotherhood gave rise to Hamas in Gaza, and fostered Ayman al-Zawahiri of Al Qaida in his youth. The Coptic Christian minority in Egypt would be in a more tenuous position with the Brotherhood in control of the country.  The leadership of the Brotherhood stated that they would impose Sharia law in Egypt, "if the people will it".

We will have to wait and see how it all unfolds.  It inspires one to see a people rise to throw off a yoke of oppression.

Who will lead Egypt in the future?  

Who indeed:

There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Pete Townshend, 1971, Won't get fooled again

1 comment:

  1. Dutchy sez,

    Here's what I find most fascinating and relevant about this article: Al Jazeera publishing a Lew Rockwell editorial verbatim. They are getting the word out to the Middle East that at least some Americans value liberty above politics, both for ourselves and the rest of the world.

    I hold no illusion that the Arab world is somehow secretly overflowing with love for Americans and all would be rosy if we could just through off our meddlesome federal government. There are profound cultural and religious differences between us. But the fact is, the average Egyptian in the street has very legitimate grievances against us. If you reversed the roles of Egypt and US for the last 30 years, would our feelings towards Egypt be much different?

    The sad truth is that our government by its own actions, alliances, foreign aid, interference and perhaps even design FEEDS the fires of 'terrorism', which is then used to systematically strip us all of our freedoms.