Whenever countries try to transition from a dictatorship to a democracy, the rest of the world can’t do anything but worry they will return to a dictatorship. A country where the populace has lived in fear and dread of it’s own government is unlikely to produce fully democratic leaders from their ranks. If you’ve never had the opportunity to work in a system, how can you possibly lead that system, in this case a democratic government.
That’s my frustration with revolutions: they aren’t overnight cure-alls. No matter how many Che Guevara t-shirts revolutionaries wear they seem to have a no grasp of how revolutions actually progress. Nor do they seem to pay attention to how authoritarian governments progress towards more democratic states. In each case, the progress isn’t just slow, but it stumbles and lurches along.
Take the United States for instance. Our wonderful democracy is over two hundred years old, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing in the least. Oh, no. Our nation wasn’t even one hundred years old when we had a civil war that killed more people than all the wars we’ve fought since combined. And our fighting isn’t over either…rich and poor, North and South, East/West and Mid-West, liberal and conservative, educated and less educated, white people and everyone else. We are divisive as all hell!
So, how do we stick together and manage to move forward? Our economy…duh! We whine about our unemployment rate and trade deficits, but other countries would do anything to have our problems. Since we have more to gain by working together, we tacitly agree to keep our democracy moving forward. That’s exactly why our government will avoid going over the fiscal cliff. Members of Congress have more money to lose if we go over that cliff than any other Americans, so…that crap isn’t happening.
While clearly Egypt can’t have an economy like the United States overnight, various factions in the general populace can spread the message that each person have more to gain by working together. Often dictators and authoritarian governments make it where one group succeeds at the expense of others. And as Egyptians protest anew, it is clear that those worries from the past will threaten the country’s democracy before it has a chance to get off the ground.
I’m not saying that you ignore differences or like the people who you differ with, but do you concentrate on those differences at the detriment of your government spurring on your economy and providing services people need?