Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's the Culture, Stupid!

Knowing how many Egyptians practice female genital mutilation should suffice to wipe the optimism off of anyone’s face.

I have argued on this blog against the supreme political fiction of the Revolution. Those who take this fiction for dogmatic truth expect that an uprising of the oppressed masses will automatically lead to a brave new democratic era.

Before getting carried away by the enthusiasm of the Egyptian demonstrators, keep firmly in mind the simple fact that Egyptian culture does not and will not tolerate liberal democracy.

Sunday Daniel Greenfield argued the point in far more detail in his blog, Sultan Knish. Link here.

Greenfield offered an excellent exposition about the different aspects of Egyptian culture, with some added comments about Jordanian culture.

He concluded that all the world’s elections will not make Egypt a liberal democracy because the people and their culture do not share the cultural values needed to maintain it. I recommend his post very highly.

For example, Greenfield reports that while most Egyptians want democracy, all of Egyptian Muslims believe that Islam should play a large part in it. So much for the separation of mosque and state. By the way, 84% of Egyptians believe that apostates should be executed.

In Greenfield’s words: “Handing out democracy like candy does not fix existing cultural problems. It does not end bigotry, free women or stop murder in the name of Allah. Open elections are only as good as the people participating in them. And the 84 percent of Egyptians who want to murder apostates have issues that democracy will not solve. The problem with Egypt is not Mubarak-- but the Egyptians.”


Robert Mitchell Jr. said...

I think there's some commingling going on here and in a lot of heads. "Liberal Democracy" and "Democracy" are two different things. True, the Egyptians are not like us culturally. True, Democracy will not change that. But Democracies are more stable and freer then Autocracies. It would be a good thing, if not the best thing, which would not, in my eyes be "Liberal Democracy". Liberal Democracy has been very heavy on the Liberal and very light on the Democracy, as we saw in the creation of the E.U., and the refusal of the mainstream parties to deal with the issue of immigration. The strength of Democracy is in dealing openly with the issues the voters care about, not in changing the voters into people liberals care about....

Anonymous said...

the idea of calling the E.U. a democratic governing body is laughable.

"we will continue voting(the various national referrenda,Portugal,Ireleand,Netherlands)on the E.U. constitution until we get the results we want".

- shoe

PS - I enjoyed your comment,Mr Mitchell:

"The strength of Democracy is in dealing openly with the issues the voters care about, not in changing the voters into people liberals care about...."