Sunday, February 13, 2011

Post Hoc Inevitability

It had to happen. Now that the Egyptian Revolution no one predicted has happened, it was, on reflection, inevitable. So says Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, in this article at Project Syndicate:
Revolutions happen for a reason. In the case of Egypt, there are several reasons: more than 30 years of one-man rule; Hosni Mubarak’s plans to pass the presidency on to his son; widespread corruption, patronage, and nepotism; and economic reform that did not benefit most Egyptians, but that nonetheless contrasted sharply with the almost complete absence of political change.

The net result was that many Egyptians felt not just alienated, but also humiliated. Humiliation is a powerful motivator. Egypt was ripe for revolution; dramatic change would have come at some point in the next few years, even absent the spark of Tunisia or the existence of social media.
Amazing how the entirely unexpected and unforeseen becomes, after just a few days of hindsight, inevitable and predictable.

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