Sunday, January 25, 2015

Did the Arab Spring miss important steps in Egypt?

"In short, at a time that could have made a critical difference, the revolutionaries did not realize the need to take initiative. As the protests to fulfill the democratic demand for presidential elections drew nearer, it was only a small group of revolutionaries that were dubious about the outcome. The rest merely made various public calls against military intervention when they should have focused on holding the main umbrella group, the National Salvation Front, to that anti-intervention principle as a condition, and established protocols to be followed if that intervention happened. That was their only leverage.
This is not to say the revolutionaries had control over, or were responsible for, the protests in any effective manner. Had the revolutionaries been silent at home on June 30, the size and the outcome of the protests would have been same, drawn from the broader, anti-Brotherhood segments of the population. Here, effective power, and the 'power of responsibility to provide alternatives' diverge – and it is the latter we must now examine."

 I'm reading Havel: a Life about the Czech president Vaclav Havel.  After communism fell in 1989, there was a power vacuum.  But there was also a group of people who had stood up to the communist government, who were well respected by most Czechs, and who were willing to form a new government from scratch. Somehow it worked, in a messy sort of way.
   Looking back on the Arab Spring, it seems to me that the revolution had one main goal, get rid of Mubarak.  There wasn't really much planning past that that I, from an extremely long distance away, could see.  Short-term thinking might be a problem inherent in collective action. I'll have to think about that.

And here's another overview;

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