by Michael Dennin

Back in July when Americans prepared to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, a revolution of another sort broke out in Egypt, where that nation’s military deposed the country’s Islamist president, Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, after tens of millions of Egyptians took to their streets to demand his removal. Consumed with gaining power and fundamentally transforming Egypt into an Islamic state, practical matters such as improving the economy and delivering basic public services were ignored and even harmed to achieve the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological goals. Predictably, as conditions throughout the country deteriorated and Morsi became more autocratic, the public became increasingly dissatisfied with a president that they thought, with good reason, had exceeded his mandate and made life worse for ordinary citizens, and thus the “second revolution” in Egypt began.

Sound familiar?

In America, a majority of voters elected a president who is consumed with power and fundamentally transforming the United States of America into a collectivist state. Like Morsi, Barack Obama’s “transformational agenda” is his top priority, and practical matters such as jobs and the economy have been ignored and even harmed to achieve his socialist ideological goals. Since the Great Recession ended in 2009, the president’s policies have contributed directly to the worst economic “recovery” in American history, resulting in painfully low growth and high unemployment. Furthermore, Obama has pushed against popular opposition to military strikes against Syria (where America’s enemies are currently killing one another), increasingly resorted to executive fiat to unilaterally impose his agenda on the entire country, and been embroiled in scandals ranging from the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 to the harassment of his political opponents by the IRS to the data mining operation conducted by the NSA that has invaded the privacy of virtually every household in the United States. Not surprisingly, as the president’s failures and autocracy have mounted, his approval rating has correspondingly nosedived as a growing majority of Americans have become increasingly disenchanted and dissatisfied with his administration and its policies.

The similarities between the failed presidencies in Egypt and America are both obvious and striking, but what, ultimately, is at the root of these similarities? In a word, ideologues, and the lesson we all can learn, from Cairo to Washington and beyond, is that bad things happen when ideologues obtain power and control over an entire people. Ideologues will always to put their ideology and transformational agendas before everything else, and in the most extreme cases, they will put them before the lives of other human beings. This is because at the heart of every ideologue who wants to fundamentally transform a people and/or a society is the nihilist who wants to destroy the world around him, and this explains why many of the most murderous and destructive monsters in human history were ideologues. This is why people should never, ever underestimate the capacity of ideologues to inflict harm on the individuals and societies around them, and more importantly, this is why people should never make the mistake of granting ideologues any measure of power over their lives in the first place.


Posted September 12, 2013 by Candidus in Culture, Politics

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