Before we all break out the champagne in celebration of our abject jubilance over the so-called ‘democratic’ unrest that is spiraling Egypt into utter chaos, perhaps we should take a quick glance over our shoulders at the historical record on the freedom-giving properties of revolutionary riots.
Abraham Miller in an article posted at Pajamas Media puts a spoke in the naive pro-democracy wheel that is getting so much spin from pundits and politicians.
Revolutions are like a cart running downhill, as Alexis de Tocqueville observed in his brilliant analysis of the French Revolution. The American media is focused on the demand for democratic reform voiced by the mobs in the streets of Egypt. But revolutions don’t stop with the initial demands. Revolutions create power vacuums that draw new players with different agendas from those who initially sought to make the revolution. Revolutions move to the extremes, usually to the left. Those who join the mob to demand more liberty will ultimately create a regime that extinguishes all liberty.
The choice in the streets of Egypt is not Mubarak or democracy. It is Mubarak or the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the Muslim Brotherhood, like the ayatollahs of Tehran, who are the best situated to benefit from and direct the revolution, unless of course the Egyptian military holds firm.
Like everyone else, I would be thrilled if the riots in the streets of Cairo somehow miraculously morphed into a stable functioning democratic government of sorts. But like Mr. Miller, I tend to think that it will only be through the strong-arm tactics of a secular-focused military that we will end up with an Egypt free from the culture killing dominance of the Muslim Brotherhood.