Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
"Just another case of the white man trying to claim moral superiority, in my opinion."

I don't find such racist statements acceptable, nor intelligent; I assume you would avoid making statements about "the black man".

You might also try to supporting this - if you must endorse it - rather than simply repeating it.

I don't suppose most Egyptians know the names of the small group of Egyptians who organised the revolution - so what ?

... as the Egyptian government has sought to splinter their movement by claiming that officials were negotiating with some of its leaders, they have stepped forward publicly for the first time to describe their hidden role.

There were only about 15 of them, including Wael Ghonim, a Google executive who was detained for 12 days but emerged this week as the movement's most potent spokesman.

Yet they brought a sophistication and professionalism to their cause -- exploiting the anonymity of the Internet to elude the secret police, planting false rumors to fool police spies, staging "field tests" in Cairo slums before laying out their battle plans, then planning a weekly protest schedule to save their firepower -- that helps explain the surprising resilience of the uprising they began.
Most of the group are liberals or leftists, and all, including the Brotherhood members among them, say they aspire to a Western-style constitutional democracy where civic institutions are stronger than individuals.


 The organisers included the Muslim brotherhood which "had (Gene Sharp's) "From Dictatorship to Democracy" posted on its Web site." So they knew about him and they have been an important oppositional force. But anyway, ideas usually filter down slowly and can be effective long before most people are conscious of them:

"The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist."

 John Maynard Keynes

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sun Feb 20th, 2011 at 07:01:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
racist?  what's racist is assuming that Egyptians have to import their revolutionary ideas.
by stevesim on Sun Feb 20th, 2011 at 07:06:15 PM EST
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Nor was Nelson Mandela, or MLK.

Steve, I just think you're being a little bit too race-conscious here. I don't see a race issue here at all.

I don't find anything extraordinary about "importing" ideas from people of different nations or different races (I'm neither nationalist nor racist).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Feb 20th, 2011 at 07:19:13 PM EST
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Steve, I just think you might be concern trolling here.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Feb 20th, 2011 at 11:06:41 PM EST
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no, it isn't because others, who are more knowledgeable, have also expressed the same opinion.

I think you don't accept criticism of your ideas very well.

by stevesim on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 02:59:56 AM EST
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It would be sad if they were so racist or xenophobic as to refuse to benefit from the ideas of an excellent thinker just because he was not Egyptian, or was white.
Clearly, that's not the case.
Good for them.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 02:51:34 AM EST
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sorry, but that makes no sense.  just because someone is not known in your culture does not make that a xenophobic culture or act...
by stevesim on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 03:03:15 AM EST
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More racist that claiming they relied on Facebook and Google, both of which come from America?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 02:54:28 AM EST
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Nobody's "assuming" they have to import their revolutionary ideas, reference is being made to what some some Egyptians, ones central to the organisation of the revolution, have said or done, e.g. the Muslim Brotherhood publishing one of Sharp's books on their site, as I've already pointed out. Intelligent people learn from a variety of sources and ideas cross national and cultural boundaries all the time. Angry Arab himself draws on European ideas when it suits him, he describes himself as a "former Marxist-Leninist",



AbuKhalil is suspicious of all religious movements, whether Islamic, Jewish or otherwise. "During the French revolution, the Jacobins wanted to erect a statue to reason in place of a statue to religion," he said. "That's an attitude that would be useful today, especially with all the religious fervor and fanaticism we are seeing."


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 05:17:04 AM EST
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sorry.  still not convinced.

Islam has a long history of non-violence among believers, for example.  As I recall, that is what was being shouted in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria and Suez -  violence is non-Islamic.

by stevesim on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 05:20:34 AM EST
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Islam has a long history of non-violence among believers

Are you serious? I would rather say that Islam, like Christianity, has a long history of violence among believers.

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet

by Melanchthon on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 09:53:10 AM EST
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I disagree.  One of the central tenets(?) of Islam is non-violence against believers.

Against non-believers, it's a different story.

by stevesim on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:26:46 AM EST
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That doesn't mean it doesn't get violated with abandon or hasn't been throughout history.

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:30:15 AM EST
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One of the central tenets of all the Abrahamaic faiths is "Thou shalt not kill".

Can we laugh hysterically now?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:49:37 AM EST
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and 99% of people abide by it.
by stevesim on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:58:21 AM EST
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In modern Hebrew "thou shalt not murder". In biblical Hebrew, I suspect the closest is "thou shalt not commit manslaughter". But that just makes Judaism a little less hypocritical than the others.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 02:04:08 PM EST
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I mean, seriously, it's a fucking religion. They find the justification they need for the violence they want to commit.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:50:48 AM EST
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hmm.  Level of violence varies with religion even within a country like the USA, so I tend to disagree.  
by stevesim on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:57:53 AM EST
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In the US, the relationship is the other way around: More religious areas have elevated levels of violent crime, substance abuse and a couple of other things generally considered dysfunctional. But religion (at least as it is measured in these surveys) correlates with poverty and poor education, which are known risk factors for all these things. I am not aware of any body of studies that has stripped out those confounders, nor established which way(s) the cause-and-effect relationship runs between an excess of piety and a lack of wealth and education.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2011 at 05:59:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You may disagree, but it would be better if you substantiated your claim.

One of the central rules of Christianity is non-violence against anybody, believer or not (remember "turn the other cheek"?). That didn't prevent them to kill numerous Christians as well as non-Christians...

As for Islam, it started with the assassination of caliph Uthman in 656, shortly followed by the Battle of Bassorah, the Battle of Siffin and the Battle of Nahrawan, where tens of thousands of Muslims were killed by other Muslims...

Do you want me to list all the killings of believers by believers?

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them." - Jean Monnet

by Melanchthon on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 12:23:18 PM EST
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Here's a sweet little snippet from one of his small books that helps to illustrate how ideas well presented can go viral: "From Dictatorship to Democracy":

Although no efforts were made to promote the publication for use in other countries, translations and distribution of the publication began to spread on their own. A copy of the English language edition was seen on display in the window of a bookstore in Bangkok by a student from Indonesia, was purchased, and taken back home. There, it was translated into Indonesian, and published in 1997 by a major Indonesian publisher with an introduction by Abdurrahman Wahid. He was then head of Nadhlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organization in the world with thirty-five million members, and later President of Indonesia.

During this time, at my office at the Albert Einstein Institution we only had a handful of photocopies from the Bangkok English language booklet. For a few years we had to make copies of it when we had enquiries for which it was relevant. Later, Marek Zelaskiewz, from California, took one of those copies to Belgrade during Milosovic's time and gave it to the organization Civic Initiatives. They translated it into Serbian and published it.

When we visited Serbia after the collapse of the Milosevic regime we were told that the booklet had been quite influential in the opposition movement. Also important had been the workshop on nonviolent struggle that Robert Helvey, a retired US Army colonel, had given in Budapest, Hungary, for about twenty Serbian young people on the nature and potential of nonviolent struggle. Helvey also gave them copies of the complete The Politics of Nonviolent Action. These were the people who became the Otpor organization that led the nonviolent struggle that brought down Milosevic.

We usually do not know how awareness of this publication has spread from country to country. Its availability on our web site in recent years has been important, but clearly that is not the only factor. Tracing these connections would be a major research project. "From Dictatorship to Democracy" is a heavy analysis and is not easy reading. Yet it has been deemed to be important enough for at least twenty-eight translations (as of January 2008) to be prepared, although they required major work and expense.

Dowenload the original HERE

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 02:37:46 AM EST
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