Category Archives: Democracy

Egypt – the sudden democracy

2011-03-04 Friday
A cartoonist, Johan Jarnestad, hit the nail on the head in yesterdays Dagens Nyheter. Two people with cocktail glasses on the table are talking. The one to the other:

- Damn strange this thing with Egypt. In just about a week it first became a dictatorship and then a democracy.

The fact that Egypt was one of the harshest dictatorships in the world was formerly touched upon very lightly by politicians and media here. The same was the case for a large number of other repressive states all over the world. All critical emotions was saved for China, Cuba, North Korea, Belarus, Iran and to some extent Russia, who all of them were condemned in innumerable op-eds and political speeches.

These condemnations have been built solely on the lack of democracy and the disrespect for human rights in those countries. If we apply the most elementary logic to the contradictions embraced by these decent and revered persons, it’s impossible to find even a trace of coherence. It cannot possibly be about an honest interest in democracy or human rights. What is it then?

By being so blatantly hypocritical politicians and media have themselves opened the door for embarrassing speculations. The most obvious one is that dictators who look after our interests are good ones, irrespective of the brutality they exert, whilst for instance those who use state power to uphold egalitarian principles or provide education and health care for all are among the bad ones. Is this a coincidence? Good question!