Democracy Wont Help Egypt
Even without being a Egyptologist I can say with reasonable certainty that it will not help to solve Egypt's problems to make it into an unlimited democracy. What we are likely to get is Lebanon with the heavy hand of Hamas in charge there. In Egypt it looks like the Brotherhood is ready to jump into the position Hamas occupies in Lebanon.
In any case, in none of the discussions about what lies ahead for Egypt is there ever any mention of ushering in a limited – or bona fide liberal –democracy, with a constitution that would restrain all sides and leave the citizenry in peace to attend to its own affairs. Such pluralism isn't very likely to take center stage in that country.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak became a virtual dictator after the assassination of the previous president Anwar Sadat, with hardly any credible and sensible resistance from the population and it's only now, that a bunch of young people appear to be upset enough with the culture he has been heading up, that his his rule is seriously questioned. Nothing much that's rational is evident in the current developments apart from the simple insistence on the part of a great many Egyptians that they've had it up to here with being ruled by Mubarek team.
Now this is not so surprising when one realizes that none of the leaders around the globe, including American presidents, nor indeed many intellectuals in Egypt itself, have made a serious pitch for Egypt adopting constitutional reforms that respect individual rights. That's not the same thing as promoting the vague idea of democracy, which as history shows, has not managed to be a bulwark against tyranny, not in Western or Eastern Europe, not in Latin America, not even in the United States of America where nearly all the good ideas failed to get democratic support or bad ones got swept aside democratically. The American civil war was no triumph of democracy, nor the New Deal, nor again all the oppressive federal measures that are burdening the country, keeping its economy hostage to populist and egalitarian notions.
Very probably the reason the U.S.A. hasn't gone under yet is that some of its better features gained solid momentum and despite the absence of sustained political and judicial support for them these are continuing to be fairly dominant – relatively free and competitive markets, civil liberties, private property rights, freedom of religion and speech, due process, etc. But they are all gradually being replaced with the widely championed ideology of activist citizens in higher education and media, people working in the most prestigious and invincible institutions in society, who not very surprisingly want to regiment us all into compliance with a vision of full equality. (The cautionary tale about this was written by George Orwell, in his brilliant fable, Animal Farm, who was anything but a Tea Party type but, rather, a rare sensible Leftist!)
When the mobs in Egypt, who have been treated as a bunch of unruly children by Mubarek's regime, finally couldn't take it any more and stood up to the dictator, there is little reason to think they would become a civilized citizenry that renounces the temptation to rule others once they gain power. Their call for democracy appears to have little to do with the kind of constitutional system that America's founders favored. Even their call for freedom seems mostly to be about being free to rule instead of being ruled.
At the personal level my fear is that those expatriates from Egypt who in the last few years decided to return in the hopes that their country would move closer to a liberal democratic model are now packing their bags again, headed back to some more stable region of the globe so as to save their necks from chaos. I know a few such people and can only empathize with their disappointment.
True self-government isn't the sort of democracy we have seen in the Weimar Republic, in Lebanon, in Venezuela, and being widely demanded now in Egypt. It is, instead, a polity that upholds the rights of individuals not simply to take part in the vote but to live as they choose in peace with their fellows.
Posted by Earl on 02/04/11 07:04 PM
Democracy is overrated and misunderstood the proponents of democracies in America have failed to understand why the founders did not create a democracy in America.
The word cannot be found in the Constitution the founders knew that democracies are nothing more than tyranny of the majority. The founders understood what the supposedly superior intellectuals of our do not man is not basically good, these intellects seek to control the inferior masses because they believe the know what is best for us.
In the blind drunken quest for power they fail to see their own evil tendencies. The founders recognized that man has throughout history craved god-like power over the world. Egalitarianism, compassion, tolerance, etc. are nothing more than a means to global communism. There is little doubt that Mubarek is a dictator but the idea that the people in Egypt wants a government similar to America is a stretch.
Most people including many in America do not understand liberty America is unique in the annals of government and we are destroying ourselves with foolish notions of democracy. Many Egyptian are fleeing the country because it is very unlikely that a constitutional republic will be the result of the current situation. If there is democracy in Egyptian it will be totalitarian in nature as most democracies in history have been, there is little reason to believe otherwise.
Posted by Tibor R. Machan on 02/04/11 03:37 PM
Now it is an interesting issue whether people need to actually sign a constitution to be bound by it--the Lysander Spooner gambit.
If the constitution is essentially protective, as the US's arguably tends to be (see Randy Barnett's Restoring the Lost Constitution), then consent is not required because it would merely list the rights all of us have.
I need not get someone's consent not to murder me or steal from me in order to resist when such a person tries to murder me or steal from me! If the government acted more like a body guard, it could operate within its protective constitutional provisions without having to gain everyone's consent.
Posted by Old Geezer on 02/02/11 09:24 PM
"illegally but never the luxury" should have been "illegally but never the less in luxury". Fast fingers slow brain and my dog ate my dictionary.
Posted by Old Geezer on 02/02/11 09:20 PM
Mr. Machan – I agree with your short post. Contracts are for lawyers and impress only those that believe in the law. In days of old when knights were bold...or so the story goes, a handshake was sufficient to seal an agreement between two parties. If either party decided to default on his/her obligation they knew that the other party would come looking them. Therefore defaults were few and far between. In today's civil actions we go to court and if lucky in 10 ro 15 years we may know the outcome. In the meantime the lawyers have reaped a harvest of gold and are living in luxury...illegally but never the luxury.
Posted by Alejado on 02/02/11 09:04 PM
Demcracy, installed and enforced in the face of an hostile or ignorant populace results in something like Mexico. Democracy cannot be a balanced or balancing entity unless it is fully understood and supported (wanted) by its people; especially in the face of a widespread Backsheesh or mordida-driven economy. I wish Doctor Machen had mentioned the balance that our own democracy achieved as a result of Alexander Hamilton's intelligent influence. Machen balanced his discourse on the long end of the scale with mention of Orwell, the only honest, socialist thinker extant and I felt it needed a bit of weight on the short end.
Posted by Jsmith on 02/02/11 06:54 PM
Let me tell you, even though the Egyptians took nearly 30 years to rise up against a dictator, because in fact even FDR turned into a dictator, we have to congratulate them for having the guts to actually do it and depose this tyrant. Which is more than can be said about our puppet governments since the death of Kennedy. Bravo Egypt, I hope it spreads everywhere. And we should take a cue.
Posted by Jeannie Queenie on 02/02/11 03:29 PM
Passionate Uprisings-Iran's Sexual Revolution by Pardis Mahdavi/2009 explains how Iranian youth (next door neighbors to Egypt) are giving a finger to Iranian/muslim dictates on sexuality.
Anyone who has seen photos of Iranian youth in their protests has witnessed some incredibly handsome men and gorgeous girls. So when I read of this step to sexual freedom my interest was peaked.
This throwing off of ancient, misogynistic, unrealistic, extremely unnatural sexual codes is, to me, a sign that things could change for at least Iran. One could hope this spills over to its next door neighbor, Egypt. Having said that, I do acknowledge negatives connected with unbridled sexual freedom and few moral constraints. BUT, at least it goes into the right direction by breaking down the mentally warped, warring, not just between the sexes, but the deletion of women as dangerous, as islamic dictates on sexuality which include these:
The view of women as second class citizens and mere baby machines to populate the planet all in the quest to oversome the infidels.
Read an excellent book over ten years ago written by an author who lived for years among the jews and palestinians on the gaza strip. She got to know the women who were virtual prisoners in their own homes and bodies. Most of them had at least 5-6, but all to often, a brood of 10,11,12 children....a result of ignorant,loveless men
looking to gain territory for their clans. Didn't matter to them that it kept them poor, the women ragged/depressed/longing for death and wondering how they would feed their own. Thus, maniacal male mindsets of control and territorial interests dominated their lives in detrimental ways. It isn't just a problem with muslims on the strip but also with Israeli women who have no voice in their birthrates. If the man finds out she is using birth control or gets an abortion she is beaten...both physically and emotionally.. then, to set her straight, the big sperm whale shows who is boss!
My point in bringing up the latter is that as long as prehistoric unthinking primitive ID's prevail, I see no hope in the mideast. I applaud those jews who have smaller families and can provide well for them, but I feel saddened for the poorer women in their ranks forced into frequent pregnancies...ditto for muslim women. I do think that much of the jealousy of the mideast of the Israelis by other arabs is that at one point in time, some Jews woke up and said, "hey we can have a better quality of life if we don't have a kid every year for thirty years"...the upshot of that was the Old Testament's prediction that the Israelis would 'build a beautiful city in the desert.' Unfortunately, now all their surrounding neighbors are jealous as hell that they don't have those goodies!
And as parasites are wont to do, they want to usurp it or kill it.
Too bad that muslims can't take a page from that book and do the same...there is certainly plenty of desert to prove, that 'hey, we can build a beautiful city in the desert too'. I say that all it takes is believing in a true god, not the moon variety, rolling up your sleeves, working hard/being disciplined and not make frequent births your sacred Click to view link's all very simple. You don't see the jews asking for entitlements, they take care of their own, they get educated, form their own businesses and are a shining example of what humans can do when they aren't out there trying to suck from the system, but creating something of value. Most of all you don't hear of Jews asking their kids to strap on a suicide belt all for the love of yahwey or even some moon god. They love their children and see them as a gift from the Lord, so why would you want them to die....this is a monstrously sick/evil concept.
I see the subject of sex/births/women and ancient mindsets as paramount to any discussion of furthering better lives for all Semetics residing in the mideastern countries and Africa as well.
The long standing Islamic tenet against homosexuality is most hypocritical insofar as boys are denied access to females in their teens and end up using each other for sexual reasons. BUT this is largely ignored and accepted as par for the course...sort of like in the Catholic church which also forbids homosexuality, but in fact, is the pot calling the kettle black, as many priests are gay.
Since the men's thinking is so sexually screwed they then need a scapegoat for their sick ways...enter the muslim woman as virtual scapegoat for unmet NATURAL needs for men. She then pays for these ignorant ancient dictates...married at young ages to older men who abuse them, forced into repeated pregnancies and often no real medical help to aid in birthing, then little girls are forced into removal of sexual female parts sans anesthesia. All in all it is such a gruesome picture, I am truly amazed that the women don't do mass suicides to remove themselves from this living hell of being controlled, both in bodies and moreso, minds. My heart goes out to them all, as they are victims of centuries old depraved mindsets.
So back to Dr Machan...yes, I agree that things will be hopeless in Egypt UNLESS they take a page from the Iranian youth's, and decide that nature's way/man and woman working in mutual harmony, sure beats the master/slave relationship that abounds in most muslim countries...and that is all a result of a religion which has a strong primitive ID, denies rationality and the human spirit, views women's sexuality as dangerous and needing to be controlled, as well as being abused by muscle monsters of men.
Posted by Timur The Lame on 02/02/11 02:10 PM
The good professor may in time be persuaded to refer to democracy as the 'democtratic facade of governance' unless he happens to be referring to ancient Athens. Cheers-
Posted by Tehehe on 02/02/11 01:02 PM
"If one does not want to attempt to follow one's own perspective of a constitution, its time to find and move to a different place! "
Why should I move? I can backfire your "argument" at you – you move! Besides I can justify every single thing anyone does using your argument. I will steal everyday from you and say to you – don't like it? Hey, you can always move! Also this argument assumes that government owns everything therefore it can do anything it likes. Which proves my point about democracy being communist at least in this case.
Posted by Jacob on 02/02/11 12:37 PM
What good is ever achieved by democracy, in Egypt or anywhere else for that matter, where one or more groups systematically fight to rule over others? The whole concept of " democratic rule" is defective. It profits TPTB tremendously when people under their dominion fight amongst themselves over the proper sharing and exercise of power. This is clearly part of TPTB game plan. It could not possibly be otherwise. It deflects human energy away from the root cause of defective self-governance, belief in a system designed to disempower by the institutionalization of political warfare within a population. People are fighting against the wrong enemy.
Posted by Bewer on 02/02/11 11:51 AM
If one does not want to attempt to follow one's own perspective of a constitution, its time to find and move to a different place! (Assuming adulthood). But then almost everywhere is too crowded too bother with the move. The tribes that began living in the arctic, did so for space/survival reasons, and to avoid conflicts with tribes in better climes. There may have been attempts at religious freedom also. It amazes me that anyone actually follows that kooky stuff called religion, but I do not care, if they do not attempt to control me directly or through govt.
Posted by Darby Jie on 02/02/11 11:15 AM
@Mr. R. Bradfield
"I am not sure whether this can be stopped. It is of course possible if the people being manipulated see the process for what it is, but I doubt that everyone will see it that way. So one world government is on our doorstep."
If the majority were magically able to see their manipulation, how would that enable "the people" to resist " since it would still be suicidal folly to attempt to overcome an military force armed with the most modern, fearsome technetronic weapons ever conceived in human history. That, in my opinion, is the bottom line: that as always, tyranny is successful because (as Sun Tzu so rightly pointed out) "power flows from the barrel of (he who is holding the) gun.".
As a side note, Yes, liberty is worth risking your life for, but only if there is some chance of succeeding. But to just throw your life away as a patriotic GESTURE " well, that's not a viable path in my opinion. Where this leaves us, I leave up to you good folks....
Posted by Dawgfather on 02/02/11 11:03 AM
@ Robert Bradfield
I don't disagree that you and the Bell are on the right track that unnamed groups want one world government, I just don't see it happening for the same reason the Bell champions the internet. What was the first thing the Egyptian government tried to do " stifle the internet (communication). The power of the internet and mobile communications letting people communicate with each other directly without sensors or "elite" controlling the message will stop the formation of a global government.
If you are correct about the new meme's on energy and food, the assumption that you make is that "the people" can be sold that more government will actually be able to solve the problem. We have 26 states challenging Obamacare. Despite heavy media support.
I can solve my energy crisis in the US pretty simply " eliminate one of my families three cars and plan my trips better (or move closer to work) or telecommute more. I can solve my food crisis by ripping up my lawn and planting a victory garden. Or the US stopping Corn Ethanol dictats. Why would I want a one world government?
I agree with you that many people in general turn to someone else (the government) to solve their problems as the easy way to fix their pain, but when that government fails (and it will) the internet and mobile communications will make it impossible to hide that fact. We are going to see massive change at a rapid pace in government around the world as information (good and bad) reaches more and more individuals without "elite" interference.
Posted by LibertyBelle on 02/02/11 11:00 AM
@ George Sign
"The only way an "individual" can deal with a Democratic Government (or any other form of authoritarian control) is always to "say" YES but in fact "do" NO, in the nicest possible way."
George, I believe that to be an accurate defination of an outlaw, you ole Robin Hood!...meant in the nicest possible way!
Posted by Peter M. Lutterbeck on 02/02/11 10:28 AM
Are you people serious? Democracy in a region that has never experienced such? It's in their DNA to submit to a heavy hand and that for thousands of years. Egypt and all the other Arab/Muslim countries in the neighborhood are dictators of nothing, only puppets of the Anglo-American elite's agenda to control via the IMF and or World Bank. The latter inflict all kinds of controls to further their objectives; once only about 10 years ago forgiving large debts to the international communities in exchange for controlling their foreign and domestic policies. Mubarak (a military man himself), his military and police have been financed by the West, particularly by the U.S., for decades in return for providing "peace" with Israel and opening their markets to western financial interests and not giving a hoot about the general public.
Keeping the masses submissive and most in a perpetual state of poverty where only having enough to eat is the only concern is a state of affairs that's been long practiced and nurtured by the West.
Now that the "youth bubble" having no where to go despite many with advanced education has been pricked, the West must step in again and select another authoritarian figure. This to maintain control as before and continuing to guarantee "safety" for Israel. The script has long been written, and one should recall: "the more things change, the more they remain the same."
Posted by Tehehe on 02/02/11 10:13 AM
Ownership implies you have total control over given resource. Under democracy total control over all resources claimed by individuals or the state, rests in theory in hands of majority (or their representatives), which decides how and when your supposed private property can be used through laws (drug laws, building permits etc etc). So in some sense democracy is inherently communistic – there is no firm private property at all and definition of it changes at whim of majority (or its representatives). Government – largest violator of private property (eminent domain, taxes etc) was supposedly created to protect them. Oh irony.
Posted by Robert Bradfield on 02/02/11 09:39 AM
It is that South African.
What I see is a pattern developing which if it plays out will have dire consequences for the world. The requirement for government to solve the problems of high food prices, unemployment and democracy, started in Algeria, followed on in Tunisia, then went to Egypt. (It is interesting that it skipped Libia, with the most despotic regime of all.)
This whole process is following a path that will lead to the destabilization of Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and all the larger Gulf states. The consequence of this is very high oil prices that will effect food production, through increasing energy cost, create higher unemployment and again create the instabilities we are currently experiencing at a much higher degree.
This is to my mind the type of game that the elitist will play to create the right circumstances to effect a "solution" which everyone will accept without question. The result is a major step forward in the process of world domination and a one world government.
I am not sure whether this can be stopped. It is of course possible if the people being manipulated see the process for what it is, but I doubt that everyone will see it that way. So one world government is on our doorstep.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by George Sign on 02/02/11 09:32 AM
"reforms that respect individual rights" this phrase doesn't seem to go with the idea of governments or even democratic governments.
Democratic Government: A command and control "elite" that are put in power by the non-discerning majority by putting a cross against one of the carefully selected choices on a list once every four or five years.
After this process a Democratic Government has no interest or respect for the rights of the "individual".
All "individuals" not obeying the rules of the Democratic Government are subject to possible execution.
The only way an "individual" can deal with a Democratic Government (or any other form of authoritarian control) is always to "say" YES but in fact "do" NO, in the nicest possible way.
Posted by Tehehe on 02/02/11 09:25 AM
"By itself a piece of paper--the constitution, for example--is inadequate. (That's true about contracts, as well, which are pieces of paper cherished by free market champions.)"
Except you actually sign contracts. Signature is proof that you voluntarily agreed to adhere to it. Constitution is imposed upon you whether you agree to it or not by might of the state.
"The human will to honor such a piece of paper, to render its meaning correctly, honestly, is indispensable. "
One big LOL. Meaning of constitution is for me different than for the supreme court. Do I have to add that my opinion does not matter? But as I said earlier " this is imposed on me " I have never agreed to follow constitution so it doesnt matter whats in it.
"But without the paper the chances for chaos, unpredictability in human relations, increase measurably."
It does not follow that without this paper chaos increases. This is just your assertion.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We have noticed more and more questions arising as to the creation and imposition of the US Constitution. The Internet is a process not an episode.
Posted by Tibor R. Machan on 02/02/11 09:03 AM
By itself a piece of paper--the constitution, for example--is inadequate. (That's true about contracts, as well, which are pieces of paper cherished by free market champions.)
The human will to honor such a piece of paper, to render its meaning correctly, honestly, is indispensable. But without the paper the chances for chaos, unpredictability in human relations, increase measurably.