Monday, January 31, 2011


Today is Monday, 31 January 2011.

When considering the present situation in Egypt, I’m unfortunately reminded of a short poem by W. B. Yeats:

“Parnell came down the road, he said to a cheering man:
'Ireland shall get her freedom and you still break stone.'”

Since the “Free Officers” coup of 23 July 1952, Egypt has been ruled by its military, which also dominates, directly or indirectly, the key sectors of the economy, often through serving or retired generals. As president, Hosni Mubarak isn’t a traditional supreme autocrat, but more akin to an executive chairman of a corporation whose members carry guns, instead of wearing suits. Day-to-day repression has traditionally been in the hands of the civilian security-intelligence apparatus. This encourages the population to hate the police while venerating the military.

It remains difficult to see what fundamental change would be brought about by “free” presidential elections, absent a very substantial degree of disestablishment of the military machine. Given that the average enlisted personnel of the military are economically significantly better off than average Egyptians, one must assume that many of the former would fight to retain their privileges, perhaps resulting in a civil war within the military.

Egypt has never known anything but governance by indigenous or foreign brute power. The odds seem slender indeed that the hitherto atomized and feckless oppositions can create a successful social revolution which could soon build even a highly-circumscribed “democracy”, such as those of, for example, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, or the USA/USE, where the people “still break stone”. The most likely outcome at the moment seems to be one resembling that in Indonesia after the conclusion of the Suharto regime: the ascendancy of a new cast of predatory thugs, doing the same business in the same old way.

On a personal note: Emma Goldman Cocker Spaniel continues her fine recovery. She’s very pleased with the t-shirt the vet fashioned to cover her incision. In fact, she’s asked me to buy one to wear on walks: “I’m With Stupid”.

Another thing about which to worry - a possible collapse of the Afghan banking system, courtesy of the Karzai Crime Family and friends:


Anonymous just asking said...

Glad to hear that Emma Goldman's convalescence continues satisfactorily.

2:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home