The Egypt Revolution: Two Years Later

Ajey Pandey, Writer

There have recently been riots in Egypt, especially Cairo, calling for “bread, freedom, and social justice.” There has been extensive violence, and as of this writing, seven have died.

But instead of protesting the infamous Hosni Mubarak, they’re demanding the removal of the new president: Mohamed Morsi.

Something tells me I should be decrying President Morsi’s “horrific” power grabs, claiming he’s subverting democracy in the name of power and extreme religious groups, and maybe throwing in a Hitler reference for good measure.

But I can’t.

This time, I don’t think the Egyptian people are protesting for the right reason. Morsi is not evil. He is not aiming tanks and rockets at the protestors. He is trying to do his job, which is to stabilize a nation in political turmoil. His “power grabs” are attempts to speed up the reconstruction process in Egypt.

For all the talk of the evils of centralized power, it has one crucial advantage: it can act far more quickly than any representative body. If I was in Morsi’s place, I’d do the exact same thing. There is no point to democracy if the country is spiraling out of control.

Of course, few of the problems of Mubarak’s Egypt have been solved, and some might have gotten worse. However, the Egyptian protestors need to understand: nation-building is hard. The United States’ first government, the Articles of Confederation, failed spectacularly due to Shays’ Rebellion. The French Revolution was even bloodier: the interim government executed tens of thousands of people. The woes of 1920s Germany’s then-new government helped spur on World War II.

Many new governments go very poorly. At least the Morsi-led government has a hope of working.

Maybe Morsi will turn out to merely be a power-hungry demagogue. Maybe he really is evil. But as of now, Egypt should at least give him the benefit of the doubt.

It’s difficult building a nation from scratch.