In 1886, Tolstoy wrote:
‘Slavery has long been abolished.
It was abolished in Rome,
and in America,
and in Russia,
but what was abolished was the word and not the thing in itself.’
(Tolstoy, What Then Must We Do?, Green Classics, 1991, p.104)
In 2011, ‘the thing in itself’ is alive and well in Egypt.
What an extraordinary spectacle it is
– a dictatorship behaving as though an entire people were its personal property.
the people have spoken,
almost as one,
and their demands are very clear.
The blunt government response, in effect: We react as we want.
If we don’t want to, we don’t have to.
Because we have a monopoly of violence.
A government thus stands exposed for what it is,
a parasite feeding off the people it claims to represent.
Western journalists are confronted by three salient facts in Egypt:
1) Mubarak’s regime is a brutal military dictatorship responsible for widespread torture.
2) The Egyptian people are clearly intent on removing this dictator.
3) A major reason why the Egyptian people are currently unable to achieve this aim
is that the United States supports the tyranny with around $1.3 billion in military ‘aid’ every year.