EGYPT NEWS. JUNE 2012. HAS DEMOCRACY KILLED OFF DICTATORSHIP?
Egypt has never been a democracy. That was a Western Christian concept. For the past 5000 years Egyptians have lived under dictatorships. Pharaohs, Nubian and Libyan kings, the Maccedonian Alexander and the Ptolemies, the Romans, Arab Caliphs and the Ayoubids, The Mamelukes, The Ottomans and the Sultans, Napoleon, the Khedives and the Mahdi, the British, King Farouk, Nassar and the Army Officers, Sadat, Mubarrak and now the candidates for the run-off elections.
All of these to some extent or other were dictators using the wealth of office to keep the peasants poor and the army loyal. Only now, have we seen a people’s revolution that for the first time gave ordinary people an active part in determining the future of their country. A purple fingertip is the sign that this person had escaped the authoritarian mindset that had enslaved past generations.
Generations of Egyptians thought that dictators were good for them as they brought a continuation of religion, wealth for some, and security for most. In return the people gave up their religious and military establishment to the dictators.
Sadat turned against radical Islamists and was assassinated by one of them. Mubarak got rid of any potential military leader by promoting only his own loyal generals. Saladin rallied the Egyptian people to fight the Crusaders, Mohamed Ali fought the radical Wahhabis, and Nasser engaged in two battles against Israel and Britain.
Muslim religious authority was snubbed by the Muslim Brotherhood, which opposed Western decadence. For the first time in Egyptian history, dictators were unable to control religious players and the masses of the younger generation who took their lead from the youth revolutions of neighboring countries.
The Egyptians have woken up: they are not spectators anymore, but they are still confused about their exact role. They have a purple fingertip, but what is next? Democratic Government is a very sophisticated form of people power. In the past It has taken centuries to refine. Old dictators cannot be transformed into modern democrats overnight.