yikes

suggested strategy on getting from where we are now, to LIBERAL democracy in Egypt

yikes

Postby kerravon » 2011-02-14 13:23

Protesting against the government for their decades of cronyism is appropriate. And that's now complete - the military have dissolved the entire parliament - exactly what is required to clean house.

Unfortunately things are already going south:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12448413

Protesters are demanding economic changes. Bringing in economic changes (whatever you think might be appropriate - we've seen what Venezuelans thought were appropriate) is something that a new democratically-elected government should be doing. You can vote for your favourite communist party or whatever it is you think will do the trick - warning - you're very likely to stuff this up.

The army can't magically fix the economy. Governments can't even fix economies - nevermind the military. The military is trained to kill people. Not fix economies. The only thing the government can do is set proper capitalist rules and then hand it over to hardworking Egyptians to fix the economy. The military can't micromanage this stuff. They can kill you though, and it's somewhat of a miracle that they haven't done that already.

You won that fight already - don't push your luck against the military. Not over something like that. Ensuring that the military hands over to a democracy - THAT is something that you could theoretically protests against. Although any such protest should be more along the lines of "we are here on the street to thank you for suspending parliament" rather than "make me rich you bastards". The army literally can't do any more than they have already done. They have kicked out the old regime. It's not appropriate for them to be doing anything more than transitioning back to civilian rule - then civilians (with economic training rather than training on how to kill people) can take responsibility for sorting out the mess that your dictatorship left behind. Economic policy won't be set by who protests the most!!! Different people have different ideas of how to run the economy, and you need to leave it to the secret ballot to decide. Either that or professional economists. Ideally you want professionals doing these jobs rather than the average voter with no economic training, the military with no economic training, or protesters with no economic training.

Unfortunately under democracy, instead of getting someone with proper economic training running the country according to science, you get whatever level of economic training the population is educated to. In a modern first-world country, there is barely enough education to get a sensible comment out of the average voter. Go anywhere else and we're into "Deep Democrat" territory, where people think they can simply vote themselves pay rises in a zero-sum game. It's a recipe for disaster, and Egypt seems intent on plunging head-first down that path. Good luck with that.

The model required here is Japan/Taiwan/South Korea - that's where you'll get sensible voting due to citizens actually interested in economics rather than lying on the beach (and supposedly barbequeing shrimp - never seen that first hand) like some countries who shall remain nameless. Hell, even mainland China knows how to run an economy properly (they call it "socialism with Chinese characteristics" aka "normal capitalism").

Anyway - here's a radical suggestion - spend more time organizing a political party with sensible "best known standards" economic policies and educating Egyptians in the next 6 months why your party's policies are better than everyone else's, rather than playing patty-cake with the friggin heavily armed military!!! Note - you do NOT have the numbers on your side. You don't have the majority of the people agreeing with any policy other than "dictatorship must go, let's try that democracy thing so that we can at least start having change". If, as a minority party, you want to go head-to-head with the military to get your minority policies implemented, expect to be shot. The military aren't the ones you can do this sort of thing with. The police are trained to use tear gas etc. The military is trained to kill with automatic weapons.
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Re: yikes

Postby LanceBlade » 2011-02-25 11:25

I think it's good the protesters keep up strikes in the sense that the military will feel pressured to implement reforms. I think the main suspicion is that, with the military still running the show (as they have been doing for the past 1000+ years) there will be a slow return back to the old days with some new token Mubarak. So it's a natural and useful process, the end result of which should be to keep up pressure on the military to deliver sensible reform. There are already parties forming and registering, people organising themselves into various committees etc. Egyptians are not stupid, they should understand broadly that if you want to eat, you kinda have to work first.

If anything, it's a good way to remind people of why they're protesting in the first place. The protests were secular and economic - they want food, water, jobs, electricity. Much better seeing protesters picket for that than for a war with Israel, no? It's why they're protesting today in Iraq - that country already has democracy, but it's corrupt and many people still haven't got those basic amenities. It's a positive force. People are just airing their grievances.
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