[LMB] Political discussion

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Sun Jan 30 16:07:11 GMT 2011

Mubarak actually WAS elected years ago.... but he overstayed Egyptian public 
appreciation for him.  He replaced Anwar Sadat when Sadat's popularity had 
gone negative, the population was happy with Sadat stepping down and Mubarak 
replacing Sadat--but that was 30 years ago.  One good think about 
enforcement of term limits is that it tends to prevent (sometimes the laws 
get changed, though...) the conversion of someone elected relatively 
honestly to the first, then second, and however many subsequent terms the 
limits allow, terms in office, to Dictator For Life.

The Egyptian Army has long been the guarantor of control in Egypt, and a 
force with a considerable amount of concern for the well-being of the 
citizens relatively generally and orientation of service to the public.... 
armies do tend to have a degree of promotion on the basis of merit and tend 
to recruit on bases which accept people from the population generally--and 
provide support for providing continuing education and incentives for member 
of the military for training and educational study. Armies can be great 
levelers, putting people from diverse backgrounds together into units and 
telling them "it does't matter who your family is, you are going to all work 
together as a team and respect one another....'

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tel" <teldreaming at gmail.com>
To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." 
<lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2011 12:57 AM
Subject: Re: [LMB] Political discussion

On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:29 PM, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> 
>> From: William A Wenrich wawenri at msn.com
>> I have strong opinions in favor of representative democracy. Not all
>> democratic actions have good results, not even those the end 
>> dictatorships.
>> I use the phrase democratic actions instead of elections deliberately.
>> Storming the Bastille led to the Terror followed by Napoleon. Replacing 
>> the
>> Tsar with the Kerensky government lead almost directly to Bolshevik rule
>> with its own terror purges. The Shah was a dictator the popular revolt 
>> and
>> national referendum that replaced him with the Islamic Republic has not
>> proven to be a totally good thing. Islamic Republics seem to have the 
>> same
>> relationship to representative democracy as do Peoples Republics. As bad 
>> as
>> the PLO is it is arguably better than Hamas.
>> I have no idea who will be running Egypt next year (or even next week), 
>> but
>> IMHO, the Muslim Brotherhood would be a disaster.
> Yes, a look at similar situations through history doesn't give much chance 
> for
> optimism. They could have a very long road ahead of them.

Well, we'll see. I think the present situation where western powers
prop up mideast dictatorships because we don't think the population is
capable of being responsible adults is misguided and morally icky in
the extreme. The Egyptians have a very long road behind them too...

The Tunisians, despite a lot of sneering at their chances before the
revolution, seem to be doing an entirely adequate job. A lot of
successful democratic transitions have been done in the matter of a
couple years.

Let's not ignore the numerous democratic transitions that have
-worked-...and once they work they tend to stick, unlike
dictatorships, which are very unstable and prone to internal conflict
(Yuri's civil war, Vordarian's Pretendership, the Komarr Revolt,
Vordrozda's plot, Vortrifrani's plot, n other plots...) Eventually
traditional elites have to let go. Their refusal to do so contributes
more to violence than anything else.

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