Let’s see the next candidate in Egypt
It is now back to square one in Egypt. So early. It has just been a year with their first democratically elected president. Yet so obvious. Mohamed Morsi has been character familiar from a Greek tragedy, if you ask me. You know that mood, the (“When a god plans harm against a man, he first damages the mind of the man he is plotting against”) mood. Remember Antigone of Sophocles. That is why his approval rating has fallen from the high 78 percent at the end his first 100 days to a low 32 percent at the end of his first year. Yet he was the first democratically elected president of modern Egypt and a coup is always a coup. Inherently evil. Bad to institution-building.
So is a coup-with-Tahrir-backing the solution? No. Definitely not. Remember the 1919 Keynes introductory. Let me directly put “Egypt” in the dotted area. “We assume the most peculiar and temporary of our late advantages as natural, permanent and to be depended on, and we lay our plans accordingly. On this sandy and false foundation, we scheme for social improvement and dress our political platforms, pursue our animosities, and particular ambitions, and feel ourselves with enough margin at hand to foster, not assuage, civil conflict in Egypt.”
Sandy and false economic foundations are still there. In Turkey, we had economic and social transformation before political transformation. Problem with Egypt? Political transformation before economic transformation with acute structural problems is harder. The latter requires political leaders with acumen. Yet “dirayet” is rather in short supply in our mahalle, I have to say. Look at Egypt.
Is arresting and punishing Muslim Brotherhood officials the solution? Never. That just makes all of us forget rather quickly how incredibly incompetent they were in office in the first year of the Egyptian Revolution. Happened before. Just have a glance at the railway map of the Mediterranean for one second. It just shows how deeply structural the roots of the Egyptian problem are. Just compare it with Turkey and Northern Europe.
Last week, looking at Egypt I noted the following. “It looks like adults having fun in a giant sand castle imagining that it is not sand. It is sand.” It was sand and we are back to square one thanks to the incompetence of Morsi and company. So Morsi was not the Turgut Özal of Egyptian transformation. Let’s see the next candidate.