Friday, February 11, 2011

Congratulations to the Egyptian protestors

A non-violent protest has toppled a brutal and corrupt police state!  Of course, the new government is a military dictatorship so this isn't MUCH of an improvement--but...

Goodness knows there a plenty of troubled days ahead.  For example, what do you do with the thousands of people who made their living running the surveillance apparatus and torture chambers of a police state?  It's not like such people have a lot of relevant expertise to sell in a real democracy.

And then there is the problem of what exactly Egypt could do to revive its economy.  Look at the USA.  In 2008, we had an election that on the surface provided as great a break from the past as the voters could possibly imagine.  I was at some of those parties election night--the mood was euphoric.  But when it came to economics, the same old gang of crooks and ideological fools appointed by Obama represented ZERO change.

So party hearty folks in Egypt.  You have a big job ahead if you are to get the changes you want.  IF you get the changes--the rest of the "official" world will treat you with the sort of contempt reserved for governments like Iran or Venezuela.  If your new government sells you out to the IMF and the rest of the neoliberal criminals, you can expect to be as disappointed as the typical liberal is with Obama these days.

It would be wonderful if the folks in USA could topple the kleptocrats that run our country.  If we could rid ourselves of the neoliberals and neoconservatives who have driven this country into the ditch, it would provide breathing room for the reformers in places like Egypt.  So any admonition that the Egyptians would do well to finish the revolution they have started goes triple for those in USA who wish to bring about a return to popular control of the important functions of our government.

Somehow, the closing admonition from the speech given to the American Economic Association convention in 1993 that introduced Elegant Technology to the world seems especially appropriate today.
Of course, development has always been a relative term. Compared to where we must be technologically in 50 years, United States is about the same distance away from achieving this objective as say, Egypt is from where they must go--the differences are trivial. In the final analysis, industrial environmentalism is a development project. At the very least, institutionalists have some experience in this area. The United States needs to do some serious nation-building. I hope we are all up to the task.

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