Promising Revolutions and the Harsh Realities of Re-emerging Tyranny
writes nicely and concisely in USA Today about the situation in Egypt. As he puts it: "A free society is within the capacity of any country, including Egypt." So there is always good cause for hope. Human beings are meant to govern themselves. But the stark realities in the wake of nearly every modern revolution, following ours, ought to give us pause. Our democratic republic "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" is absolutely the exception, and not the rule in the history of all political life. Those seeking to discredit the notion that America is an exceptional nation should brush up on the history of modern revolutions and, I fear, pay close attention to the events unfolding in Egypt.
We can hope that things in Egypt may get better than they have been in recent history. And we should certainly pray that they do. But to imagine that cries for "freedom" and the establishment of a "democracy" alone can sustain a society in justice and prosperity is to imagine that scaffolding is the same thing as a sound and beautiful structure. It is not. Without a grounding in the habits of virtue or the principles of equality, similar to those that sustain (but are constantly under assault from within) the United States, Egyptian democrats may find themselves less than satisfied with the new boss.
3:21 PM / February 11, 2011