Friday, July 5, 2013

The Real Message in Egypt

The Egyptian economy has collapsed.  This was a process that began with the 'Arab Spring' and accelerated with the election of Morsi, deposed over the weekend by the Egyptian military.

What this shows is that the average Egyptian, Islamist or not, prefers to have food, shelter and safety to political ideology.  Democracy doesn't mean much of anything if there are no free institutions.

The US foreign policy is not helpful here, because the US government is busily dismantling free institutions as a cornerstone of its own domestic policy.  The US can hardly be expected to promote free institutions -- a free press, for example -- if it doesn't believe in free institutions on its own home turf.

A rule of law would be helpful as well, but current American domestic policy -- witness, the recent suspension of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act until elections are safely over -- is mainly a retreat from the rule of law.    Actions speak louder than words and the world is plugged in these days.

The right to start a business and provide for your family is all that the average Egyptian wants and the demonstrations that crushed the political power of Morsi were a testament to that desire.  Perhaps the Obama Administration should take notes.