Liberal protesters in Egypt marched into a nightmare; gangs of “pro-stability” thugs from poor neighborhoods attacked the latest march.Egypt’s liberals have a weak hand. The military and the Islamic parties are better organized and have more money. Liberals have energy and ideals. Unfortunately their ideas don’t include practical ways to raise the living standards of Egypt’s poor.They are not alone; nobody (including Egypt’s western friends) knows how to turn Egypt into Singapore. Lack of a surefire economic solution hurts the liberals most, though. The military has state patronage and the mullahs have the networks of charities and social services the Muslim Brotherhood has built up.In the (likely) absence of rapid development, liberals will flounder. Even if secular and liberal parties win the autumn elections, failure to improve peoples’ lives will quickly erode liberal support.Outlook: plus ça change. Military keeps the commanding heights, balancing liberal and Islamic factions as needed.
Egyptian Revolution Going Nowhere Fast
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