Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A doubtful foreboding of democracy

I know I am at fault. I should be more diligent and prompt in coming to this page. Otherwise the five readers of this blog might get discouraged and forget to click it.

Important things are happening of a very complex character which should require some comments.

In Egypt and Tunisia, autocratic leaders of long standing have been overthrown by popular protest, also extending to other Arabic and Berber countries, from Algeria to Yemen.

Is it a good thing? A foreboding of democracy? Hard to say.

To add trouble to trouble, I ain’t sure there is much of a clear view of the situation with those who, on our side, should be governing it.

I wrote to a friend of mine living near Boston about the troublers we are having in Italy, where the left wing opposition and non elected officers in the administration of justice are trying to overthrow the legitimately elected government, on the excuse that our rich Prime Minister from time to time enjoys evenings at his mansion with friends and beautiful girls. Things perhaps made known by the NYT.

It is the usual double standard of the left, he remarked. And who are we to judge others, he added, if “a man of no accomplishments--not too much intelligence and no skills in foreign diplomacy (Egypt)--is (still) deemed by the left media as the messiah” (too bad, I say, that he is unable to restore the kingdom, and instead works at its demise). “What a joke – my friend adds – I live in hopes that he is a one-term president”.

In the meantime such a man stumbles along.

When he could have made pressures on Mubarak for more democracy in Egypt, he instead delivered the Cairo speech, where he stated that democracy can’t be imposed from outside. And now it looks like it was him who wanted Mubarak’s head, so to pass himself as the defender of democracy, being though the same man who a couple of years ago stayed silent before popular protests in Iran.

Better our women loving PM, than that man and his wife, so insensible to the American people’s demands. Poor man in the White House, who looks confused by a reality he doesn’t understand.

Not easy to understand as a matter of fact for any of us – but we aren’t presidents of the United States.

It looks to me we are living under his (non)guidance the Munich syndrome (you remember, when Chamberlain gave in to the Nazis, thus preparing the Second World War?).

In Egypt, the same populace that seemed to be fighting for democracy, sexually aggressed the American journalist Lara Logan at the cry of “Jewish, Jewish”.

On the background of the so called Egyptian “revolution” looms the shadow of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, there are pundits in the MSM and in academia who think of it as a kind of moderate group. It would be as if in the French Revolution one thought the Jacobins were moderates.

I know I didn’t write anything particularly original. Such could only be a reflection on revolution, and what it could be in the life of different peoples, coming from different traditions. The irony, for example, in the 1978 Iranian revolution, is that while opposing the West it made its own precisely a most Western category of political thought such as revolution.

The trouble is that we haven’t been able to make instead the notion of democracy penetrate the Muslim world.

Perhaps because not even we do know what it is – as it shows the division of right and left, up in arms one against the other, about which I discussed with my friend.


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