Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:53 AM
pampango (23,795 posts)
Arab Spring: the lack of political leaders emerging from rule by dictator
Being president of this country (Egypt) had long meant being a military strongman — occasionally well dressed, sometimes charismatic (though not necessarily) — but always, always, chosen without consulting the people.
This time, after autocracy was ostensibly replaced by democracy, the people were going to have a say. But when the election came, they didn't have much to choose from.
Eluding Egypt at the moment — and most other Arab nations in transition — is the kind of powerful political personality, whether in government or opposition, who could hold wide appeal across generations, and among Islamists and liberals alike.
Of course, why would there be? In most of these Arab nations, leaders had been chosen for the people, long ago, and rivals either didn't exist, or were swiftly neutralized one way or another. Any recognized opposition parties were either co-opted, or fundamentally weak with no experience in ruling, or banned altogether, like the Muslim Brotherhood. Whatever political jobs were actually available outside hereditary means have long been held by the elite, and it often didn't matter whether those who got them were actually qualified or not (often not).
Of course ruling dictators do not often permit the emergence of "powerful political personalities", since he is supposed to be the only powerful political personality in his country. This does mean that there is a dearth of experienced political leaders emerging when the dictators are deposed.
3 replies, 821 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arab Spring: the lack of political leaders emerging from rule by dictator (Original post)
Response to bemildred (Reply #1)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:01 AM
pampango (23,795 posts)
2. Thankfully. And the longer they go without a new dictator the better for their future.
It looks like it will take some time to develop democratic political leaders to replace the military strongmen that ruled for so many decades. I hope they survive the interim period without new dictators coming to power which, unfortunately, is what happened to many (though not all) revolutions (like the French) in history.
Response to pampango (Original post)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:03 PM
JDPriestly (57,936 posts)
3. And here, in our country, do you think a leader could emerge who
was not endorsed by one of our two parties and our corporate elite?
Think about it for a while.
Not since Martin Luther King have we had a really charismatic leader who did not come up through the party ranks.
Recognizing that fact permitted the extreme right-wing to take over the previously rather moderate Republican Party.
And we in the Democratic Party have permitted corporate hacks to take us over to some extent.