Democracy in Egypt
In Egypt, democracy advances with Mohammed Morsi declared the winner of Egypt’s first competitive presidential election. While Morsi’s Muslim credentials get lots of play, the foot of the article reluctantly notes that he is an American-educated engineer with a PhD from U-SoCal. Based on my own (very limited) observations of California life (downtown San Francisco), I’m not sure the army’s reluctance to hand their country over to a California boy is that hard to understand. As my student observed on Market Street, “I smell more weed here than at Kenyon.”
Of course a country where the army dissolves parliament is not exactly a perfect democracy; nor is one where the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson buy the presidency. But I think it’s about time for my colleague in political science to take back his remark last year that the Tahrir Square revolution was “a farce.” The Egyptian people–including the army–are working very hard at something very difficult, and doing better than most. They’ve so far avoided the bloodbath that followed the Gandhian liberation of India. And they may yet succeed in following Europe’s example, in the largely peaceful Revolutions of 1989.
The one regret of my writing career is that I didn’t send Spinel and Lystra back to Valedon at the end of A Door into Ocean. It was there in my head, but nerve failed. The Egyptions read Gene Sharp better than I did.