Still reading and thinking about what’s happened in Egypt. Tending to side with those who are pessimistic about the outcome. The FP article Celebrating a Disaster by Mohamed El Dashan came out a week ago, and it’s joined today by a good article by Gideon Rachman in the FT (£/reg):
It is tempting for outsiders to assume that this clash between democracy and freedom is a problem unique to Muslim countries with Islamist political parties. But that is not true. In Sri Lanka at the moment, an elected government is busily undermining the independence of the courts and the freedom of the press. And, in recent years, popular demonstrations against the illiberal acts of an elected government have also been witnessed in Moscow and in Bangkok.
Such actions undermine the common western assumption that the basis for all other freedoms is the vote. In fact, the west’s own history suggests that the vote can be the last freedom that is won – not the first.