Free Markets, Free People
Egypt: How many times did I say this?
What, you ask? How many times did I say the most organized and ruthless would win in Egypt? Anyone?
Well, here’s the post-mortem for the Egyptian election I could have written a months ago:
The Islamists’ victory has been foreshadowed by preelection polls as well as by early unofficial reports about the elections’ outcome. But the official results showed just how thoroughly the young revolutionaries who plugged into social media to ignite a revolution that brought down President Hosni Mubarak in February had failed to excite voters. They won no more than 336,000 votes.
336,000 votes out of 9.7 million cast. 336,000!
Hampered by political naivete, egos and lack of funding, the young activists were overwhelmed at the polls by better organized Islamists. The multiphase elections, which end in January, have so far indicated that activists in the Continuing Revolution party have been unable to turn the passion they inspired last winter in Tahrir Square into political capital.
Emphasis mine. Organized and ruthless vs. naïve and clueless. Gee wonder who’s going to win. Of course they were no more naïve than those here who thought their triumph was pre-ordained.
"Young revolutionaries have struggled with political inexperience at some points and suffered from lack of funds and organization at others," said Emad Gad, a political analyst with Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. "This didn’t enable them to reach voters or carry out strong campaigns like those of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Egyptian Bloc."
Result? The better organized and more ruthless organizations – the Islamists — won.
And there are people who think they’re very plugged in who are absolutely shocked, shocked I tell you, that there’s an outcome other than that for which they hoped.
Faith is a wonderful thing except when it is confronted by reality and facts. And the realty of this particular situation should have been evident to any keen observer of the area (and of human nature) from the start.
Yet the moon pony and unicorn crowd remain shocked it didn’t turn out to be a triumph of secular democracy with the Twitter crowd installed in a new and enlightened Middle East democracy.