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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Reforming Egypt

The International Crisis Group just issued a report on Egypt that examines the chances for democratisation following the country's first democratic elections. Check it out.


At 10/04/2005 11:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It sounds good to me, from an American perspective.

But I've been reading what Big Pharaoh and you have been saying the last few months. In particular, I've noted your concerns that instant democracy would deliver Egypt into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

If your reckoning is correct, then it seems to me that instant democracy should be replaced by slow and gradual democracy, from the bottom (local government) up (to the national level). Perhaps 20 years would be a reasonable interval to complete the effort.

I think that BP and you have suggested that the delay should be used to build public discourse and parties that can match the strength of the MB. That's a good idea. I suggest that an equal or greater emphasis should be placed on building "civil society," to use a currently popular term. I think that this term is synonymous with the intermediate social structures emphasized by de Toqueville in "Democracy in America." (Intermediate between the government and the individual.)

One MB advantage we read about in the US is that the MB provides a large part of the social services that the Egyptian poor actually receive. It is quite within, for example, the Christian tradition for religious organizations to provide all sorts of charitable and educational institutions. So, it appears that these MB activities are quite legitimate. It may also be hard to compete with them. The US and Europe, however, have both religious and private secular organizations working in these same areas. Many of them have been, and are, self-help organizations, such as working men's clubs and unions. Is it feasible for Egyptians to expand such secular organizations?

One reason that US reports give for the MB success in this area is the poor quality of government services. Improving government services is an obvious reponse. The poverty of Egypt may severely limit the size and quality of what the government can do. There is also a danger that government social welfare organizations may become patronage machines and strengthen incumbent parties.

At 10/04/2005 08:12:00 PM, Blogger Papa Ray said...

Yea, we are supposted to "encourage" all this, knowing that...

MB supports the poor egyptians.

Hamas supports the poor palistanians.

The two "govenrnments" take billions from other nations in the world and support.....

What exactly?

Papa Ray


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