Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Protest without a leader

It looks to me like the protests in Egypt haven't turned into a political movement because there is no one to lead it.  Or, more to the point, all of the protesters are not on the same page.  It looks like there is a modernist, secular element in the streets, and a more fundamentalist, islamic element in the streets.  How all of this shakes out is unknown for now, but at some point I think that the chaos will have to become focused or Mubarak, and/or the existing powers will ride it out with some changes but no revolution.

Democracy is a lot more than elections.  Without institutions that support democracy, it's another form of tyranny.  For example, protection of minority opinion and minority rights and the rule of law are essential to prevent the tyranny of the demos - the mob.  I think Egypt and the rest of the Middle East are on the path to democracy and have a long way to go.