I watched in amazement as the young people of Egypt peacefully arose to overturn their country’s dictatorship. They revolted against a system ruled by an elite few, where all the wealth flowed upward, and ordinary people had no opportunity to progress, no matter how bright, skilled or educated they might be.
Is Egypt now ripe for theocracy? Not likely. Egyptians have closely watched the Iranian revolution and its aftermath. They see their Iranian counterparts desperately trying to overthrow a theocratic regime. Why would Egyptians choose to jump from one frying pan to another?
The Egyptian people have much work to do, as they put together the pieces of their democracy — pieces like freedom of speech, a free press, an independent judiciary, open and transparent elections, better education, a tax system that requires the wealthy to pay their fair share, and a fair distribution of Egypt’s wealth.
Whatever type of government a country has — monarchy, dictatorship, theocracy, communism, or democracy — its political and business leaders will tend to create an “elite” at the top, who come to see themselves as superior human beings, and the people they climbed over to get there, as lesser beings to be exploited. They forget that they must serve all of the people. Hence, sooner or later they fail.
The advantage of democracy is that the people have a voice — IF they choose to use it — before it’s taken away from them. Are there lessons here that we could learn from these young Egyptians?
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