Friday, February 18, 2011

Egypt: Cynicism and Long-Term Cynicism

I'm making a two-for-one prediction on the future of Egypt.

My first cynical prediction, shortly after the revolution in Egypt went down, was "Remember the Orange Revolution? No? Well that's what's going to happen." They'll throw the old regime out, start fighting among themselves, and the old regime, if not its elderly leader, will wend their way back into power.

I have updated by cynicism to include a second, more cynical, but longer-term prediction. The Muslim Brotherhood will dominate Egyptian politics. They'll turn puritanical. A new theocracy will be established, much of Egypt's heritage will be destroyed, ala the Buddhas of Bamyan. Two generations from now another revolution will overthrow the theocratic Egyptian state and a secular regime will be established.

That's the long road to democracy.

2 Comments:

Blogger Yoel Natan said...

The Orange Revolution went bust because Ukraine is split between east (Russian influence) and west (European influence). In Egypt there's no such geographic division with the Islamists and Christians spread out over the entire country. Islamists only are 10% of the country. One could argue that it will turn out like Iran, but it seems that with communications being what they are, Islamists won't be able to take over. No minority will be able to take over.

Egypt will cherish its archeological treasures, if only for currency that tourists bring in. Moreover, 2008 geographical surveys suggest that Egypt has barely tapped it's oil and natural gas wealth. So it's similar to Afghanistan with its trillion dollars of lithium, and Iraq and its oil and natural gas. Business interests will take over in Egypt and Afghanistan and Iraq since they are assured enough cash coming in to govern.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

The Orange Revolution went bust because Ukraine is split between east (Russian influence) and west (European influence). In Egypt there's no such geographic division

The split in Ukraine allowed the old regime to maintain a viable power base. The old regime in Egypt maintains its viable power base through the military and the elite. There will always be a temptation within the new government to cut a deal with the old in order to win an internal battle. That's how they'd find their way back in. Different recipe, same ingredients.


Islamists only are 10% of the country.

That is more than sufficient. The Bolsheviks made a far smaller percentage than that. The difference was that the Bolsheviks were disciplined and united, whereas their opposition was divided and weak-kneed.


Egypt will cherish its archeological treasures, if only for currency that tourists bring in.

Tourists would rapidly desert an Islamized Egypt, and never question the depths of iconoclasm that fundamentalists will stoop to.


Moreover, 2008 geographical surveys suggest that Egypt has barely tapped it's oil and natural gas wealth. So it's similar to Afghanistan with its trillion dollars of lithium, and Iraq and its oil and natural gas

See my post on Afghanistan's mineral wealth: Locked and Motherloded.

Massive mineral wealth is a death sentence for an underdeveloped country. That's why the call it "The Resource Curse."

10:01 PM  

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