The Corner

Egypt: Democracy or Disaster?

As I explained in yesterday’s pessimistic take on events in Egypt, I think a revolution there is more likely than not to leave friends of liberal democracy disappointed. At the end of that post I linked to the most negative article I’ve ever written about democratization in the Third World. (Today’s link includes the full text. Yesterday’s link did not, unfortunately.) The point of that piece on Kenyan tribalism is that we Westerners tend to delude ourselves about the success of democracy in Third World countries. This interview with Barry Rubin on current events in Egypt makes a compatible point. Rubin says: “What shocks me is that Western media and experts seem so carried away by this movement that they are only considering a best-case outcome….I’m worried that others aren’t worried.” Read my Kenya piece and you will not be shocked at this kind of naive optimism.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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