Remember the babes!

2005's Hope

I’m old enough to remember the “babe revolution” of 2005. How’d that work out? I know that most of my contemporaries are closely following events in Egypt while I’m busy running genetic analyses. Today a friend started IMing me about whatever is happening now in Egypt. I really can’t follow the latest zig or zag, and simply responded, “Talk to me about this in 10 years.” My friend laughed, but that that’s a major issue here: people get caught up in revolutionary fervor as if hope and a dream can actually effect long term change. They can not. You need some major preconditions for a liberal democratic society to be robust to the natural shocks of the world in which we live. I wish the Egyptians well, but what is happening now in Lebanon is a predictable outcome of the structural realities of the religious demography of that nation, and its persistent and chronic sectarianism. The details may differ (e.g., the current alliance between a Maronite faction with the Shia), but the general framework has been invariant for decades. Egyptians will remain Egyptians, even if democracy dawns. And that, unfortunately, is a problem.

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