What better way to kick off the weekend than with two very controversial ideas about how the revolution in Egypt should go.
First, a disorderly, violent overthrow may be for the best.
In the American Revolution, we lost 25,000 soldiers and had another 25,000 injured. This was probably one of the best investments of blood that the world has ever known. So, it’s hard to see why the world considers it absolutely imperative that no one be hurt in the Egyptian revolution. It’s “Live Free or Die,” not “Live Free or Sulk.”
More importantly though, violent revolutions may be stick better. When something costs us a lot, we value it more. If you revolution has a high price, it stands to reason that you will be less likely to let the freedoms you have won slip away. And isn’t that what the US and Israel are worried about? That a secular autocrat will be replaced with a radical Islamist autocrat.
“This isn’t what we fought and died for” is a lot more inspiring than “This isn’t what we petitioned for.”
Of course, maybe the victims the revolution has already seen will be enough. There’s not likely good studies on how many people have to die to make a revolution stick. My point is only that peace and order should not be the priorities in a revolution. Revolution should be the priority.
Second controversial claim, the Muslim Brotherhood should have a presence in the new government.
Right, I know, that’s what everyone is afraid of. But which scares you more, the thought of radical Islamists being marginalized by their society, brooding out of the public eye, and without a legitimate forum to express their views, or radical Islamists sitting in a committee meeting with representatives of other political groups discussing the price of wheat and transportation funds?
People are far more dangerous when they do not feel that their concerns are being listened to. This is what drives people to “want their day in court.” Even if you don’t get the result that you want, people derive a huge psychic value from knowing that others are at least listening. Much better to funnel radicals into legitimate government processes than to exclude them from it.