I’ve wearied myself considerably keeping up with “on the ground” tweeters in Egypt, along with my agency chores, which are often like “Bartleby the Scrivener’s” in the first place. I hope I can write a few brief sensible things with eyes open.
Watching all this is part of a very grand personal experiment for me. Are any of you familiar with the 1965 movie, “The Flight of the Phoenix”? An airplane crashes in the desert. The survivors are hopeless, except for an engineer who says they can make a new plane from pieces of the old one. They agree. As the plane nears completion the engineer confesses that he is a toymaker, not an aviation engineer. He is nearly lynched. But as the survivors have no other hope, they board the plane anyhow, and it works. They succeed.
That’s how I feel in this voluntary endeavor, but far more miniscule. I’m one of many millions, all of whom are shouting, and even ephemeral funnymen merely promoting their careers with dopey jokes get far more attention than what I have to say does. Still, over a period of years, in small counties in two different states, “the people” and I succeeded in ridding those counties of the entire board of leaders and their vested outside interests, old ruling families, and so on, just as the Egyptians now mean to do. As though in a toy model of these events now involving many millions, the elements are the same — including a little violence and high potentates from the “outside.”
I kept in touch with friends in both counties — in New York and California — for years. The achievements “the people” made stayed. The “ruling families” and cronies no longer had places in local government. Honest participatory democracy did indeed replace them.
You all largely agree that this Egyptian event has been rigged from the “outside” to a great extent. It has so many historical precedents, it’s ludicrous to pretend there are no such things. Many have been duped, many are decades-long recipients of both bribery and extortion, many are members of longtime international organizations of cracked ideologies, profane false mysticisms and so on.
For all we know, the idealistic young Ghonim may in thirty years be a fat, overindulged, cruel and arrogant despot as is the one the Egyptian people now mean to eject from their government — even though no one has any true verification of Mubarak’s present whereabouts.
Yet no uprising in any country can be manipulated into existence without first the people’s spontaneous impulses — where, as Jefferson termed it, their “inalienable rights endowed by their Creator” have been smothered by egotisms, coercions, taken on voluntarily for fear of reprisals, or duped into it by the submissive and habitual superstitions of their own societies. The rebels tend to be young because the vigorous, untested intuition of youth does attempt to cast these oppressions off, well-motived and altruistically. They may do so on behalf of their parents, whom they’ve seen so unhappy from their first cognitions of childhood. In that way many may attempt to “atone for the sins of their fathers.”
Youth may take on new ideologies like so many fine new decorations. America’s aging male population is still peppered with long hair, as it once stood for an ideal. We have pockets of aging, wrinkled “communists” and “socialists” and what have you, and a considerable population of what were called “Jesus Freaks.” Every one of these poorly considered youthful ideals were highly imperfect expressions of Man’s inalienable inclination toward “peace love and understanding.”
Some have clung to their faulty intellectual decorations to the point they’ll even try to torture the “evil” out of people to force these grand dogmas into universal acceptance. Such a man is Mubarak, such men are the CIA, the moneyed elites and whomever supposes he is qualified to establish a “World Order” and the like. This thinking is not exclusive to some veiled elite. It is universal among all who think that evil overshadows all good; where all good is achieved only by fitful struggles and only a few truly deserve “Good” in its fullest sense. To my knowledge that’s a very considerable portion of the world’s present population. Many believe this to the core, to the point of murderous and suicidal conviction.
The Egyptian tweeters who say their protests are a lesson for the world are correct. Some may not realize how right they are. They are in a pincers between foreign agencies filled with unscrupulous ideologues who’ve manipulated this situation over time and their own personal intuitions “endowed by their Creator.” Whatever the outcome, the battle won’t be stopping in Egypt by any means, nor in those Middle Eastern countries that have been set up for it by the “insan.”