Egypt scares me . . .

At first i declined to write about Egypt because, well, it really didnt affect me at all i guess but a few nights ago after meeting the man who I think runs organised crime in Istanbul, having far too much Raki at dinner and Grey Goose Vodka at the W bar while ‘Tony Soprano’ told me that I have to let him know in advance when I come back to Istanbul (I think he may want me to smuggle in drugs for him) I saw Mubarak step down, in four languages on two W suite TVs on 7 news channels, in Egypt after ruling for 30 years.

His rise to power was similar to most African dictators, he led a revolution or was part of one, became a favourite of the people and those in power and then when he got his moment he seized it. He just never worked out when the correct time was to move on from it and so the hands that held the Egyptian people aloft became an iron fist that held them by the throats and ultimately were the reason his reign came to an end.

The problem I have, and I assume Ill have many disagreements about this, is the way he was deposed. I guess if I were completely honest he would never have gone had the people not taken to the streets, but my concern is the way the masses are starting to control politics of countries. What should happen is the democratic process should allow the majority of any country to have a voice in its leadership and while I agree in this instance that was not allowed to happen, my point is what if it was? What if the masses just were sick of a leader and decided to march, riot, loot and pillage until the leadership stepped down?

What’s stopping the people from throwing a country into chaos as they have done with Egypt? (Although in this case with valid reason). Is it the army? The police? Are they any match for millions marching on a town square? That is assuming they are in fact against the masses because as in Egypt the army merely kept the violence to a minimum rather than stopping the protest!

Egypt is certainly not the first time a leader has been deposed by the people but, for me, it just seems like a frightening realisation that the masses hold the fragile balance of any nation in their hands and who’s to say that if they are not happy with their share that they will take to the streets?

I rejoice with Egyptians and applaud their bravery and courage in finally taking the most important of stands but I cannot help but think that they have opened the eyes and ears of the rest of the dissatisfied people around the globe who want to emulate their ‘victory’ even if the intentions are not as noble!

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2 thoughts on “Egypt scares me . . .”

  1. Well an interesting comment. But there is fundamental flaw, you are advocating the Democratic process while at the same time concerned about the the masses and what happens whent hey get all worked up! They control things! This is not a new lesson that the world is learning, in fact the birth of political democracy as we know it, was a result of the masses rising up into one uncontrolled group that would only be calmed whenthe got what they wanted! I am talking about the Frnech Revolution! The democratic process is merely a means of institutionalising the voice of the masses, but it is merely a less fractious means of establsihing what they want. What we saw in Egypt was democracy or political freedom in its most raw form! It is what happens when a means to express opinion, thought, CHOICE is denied… there must be an outlet! We saw it in South Africa, we also saw it in CHina in 1988. The break-up of the Soviet Union began with the Soviet Republics revolting en masse during the 1980’s. The key heer is that the masses aren’t likely to suddenly decide they want to go outside and change governmetn by use of sheer numbers and a show of force. There needs to be an emotional thread that connects the dissatisfaction! Egypt had been increasingly unsatisfied and the fall of the goveernment in Tunisia was hte spark that started it all!

    Hence, the role of government is to ensure that the people are satisfied and not given to a particular means of protest such as has been demonstrated in Egypt and Tunisia. Ultimately, one should not be concerned about such events in Egypt, as the mass protest, people power that has been shown occurs under specific requirements and need an emotive element to it. If there is an outlet for the expression of this disatisfaction (elections )it is less likely to come out. ALso, such an expression of raw democracy and the poeple must rule, is not something to be concerned about but embraced inasmuch it reminds the governments of the World that a population is not something that can always be quiet about their unhappiness, it will come out eventually!

  2. You do make a very valid point both in that it is correct the masses control the government and that the democratic process is just a formalized process of controlling their voice! I especially like that as a marketing story for democracy.

    My concern however comes in with the fact that the masses are relatively easy to rally and especially if they are dissatisfied. It is not quite as simple for a government to make all people happy or they are dethroned – if that were the case every president in history would have been protested out of existence!

    Im rather saying here that the more the general population see how easy and effective it is do demonstrate and more importantly rally people with the use of social media now, that they will be unreasonable in their demands of governments that countries will stand the risk of being ungovernable. While i dont believe this will become the case im playing devils advocate here to see just how far this demonstrative attitude can go!

    Thanks for your comments – very interesting!

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