It’s almost amusing to see the mainstream media baffled by the failure of their paradigm in Egypt.
How can a country that revolted against an autocratic regime less than three years ago now embrace strong-armed military rule?
A broad swath of Egyptians has supported the July 3 ouster of Morsi and the military crackdown on his allied Muslim Brotherhood movement, which sparked clashes that have killed about 1,000 civilians in 10 days. Much of the public staunchly defends the military’s actions, including a brutal dispersal of two pro-Morsi sit-ins and the sweeping arrests of Brotherhood leaders, including four more Thursday.
…the public’s rejection of Morsi is rooted in the wildly high hopes that ordinary Egyptians had for the Arab Spring — and their bitterness at how democracy failed to deliver jobs or social justice.
That’s true enough. But here’s the important point that the Washington Post is missing. The ordinary Egyptian, like most people around the world, consider mass protests as legitimate a tool of regime change as elections.
They are not invested in the political infrastructure of democracy. Elections are just another populist vehicle of change. So are mass protests. And protests are harder to rig than elections.
Democracy has come to mean getting rid of unpopular leaders, with or without elections.
That kind of democracy might not be such a bad thing.
“Islam is the solution” was the Muslim Brotherhood’s pledge. Working-class Egyptians such as Mohammed Abdul Qadir, 43, took that to heart.
“I only wanted one thing: to be ruled under sharia,” or Islamic law, the cabdriver said. “But this didn’t happen. There was only more injustice.” By “sharia,” Abdul Qadir didn’t mean a ban on alcohol or a requirement that women wear veils. He meant the creation of a broadly just society, the kind promoted in Islamic teachings.
When Abdul Qadir became ill, he found that he couldn’t afford the cost of hospital treatment. “I used to take the bus for one [Egyptian] pound; now it’s three pounds” – or about 42 cents, he said.
“What we have seen in the past year has made me long for Mubarak’s rule,” Abdul Qadir said.
Islamic Socialists, like National Socialists, aren’t actually capable of delivering on their promises.