Friday, February 11, 2011


When I first learned about the demonstrations in Egypt, I was skeptical about whether they should be accompanied by "The Internationale." I'm still not sure about the place of "The Internationale" in Cairo, but Mubarak's departure from power is clearly a victory for the people of Egypt. Moreover, their demands for democracy and a just economy that supports a decent standard of living are the kind of demands that the left, whatever its incarnation, can meet better than totalitarians and free-market fundamentalists.

The demonstrators, at least those that we saw in Tahrir Square, were determined, brave, and admirably inclusive. They have won a great victory.

Of course, Mubarak's handing over power to the military raises legitimate fears that this will become a defeat for Mubarak and a victory for rule by generals. That's something to be wary of, but I'm not sure that it will happen. The Egyptian military may prove to be just the force that provides the stability that will give Egyptians the breathing space to build a democratic government. If that happens, American aid to the Egyptian military will finally have produced something useful.

1 comment:

Ronald Helfrich Jnr. said...

Speaking of Frontline...
I thought the show tonight (22 Feb) on the Egyptian revolution, part one on the secularists and part two on the Brotherhood, was interesting and captured some of the immediacy of the revolution. I remain deeply skeptical of the latter and I remain concerned that I may live to see the Brotherhood dominate a post-Mubarak Egypt. I am not sure that is a good thing.