Comments on: Differentiated change in the Middle East and North Africa Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: paintcan Tue, 01 Mar 2011 18:36:22 +0000 Revolutions always promise a wonderful new world but not one of the great revolutions of history – The French – the Russian – even the US War of Independence, was accomplished without enormous bloodshed. The train of change never stays on the tracks because the tracks don’t actually exist.

Nothing in Mr. El Erian’s analysis suggests the purposely-destructive influences that will appear now that so many states are in disorder. But it has been mentioned in this paper and others. And revolutions can breed monsters. There would have been no Bonaparte without the French Revolution.

Although the news organs I’ve seen don’t say much about the prospect – the drain on men and resources caused by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not made life in Britain or the USA easier. If they have to finance even more military interventions in MENA, they too could face revolutions.

The attack of Charles and Camilla by British youth who are finding themselves priced out of higher education opportunities – and the social stratification that that makes so obvious, could be a symptom of a movement in the developed countries that could very well get much worse.

The developed world is not a superhero. It does not have magic strengths that it can unfold to make everything right. It is trapped in it’s own cracking social order as much as the regimes in MENA.

And I find it ironic that while the MENA countries are trying to embrace a democratic dream – the developed countries seem to be moving to political systems that only maintain the forms of democratic process while the fact is they are being dominated by the highest bidders and sophisticated specialists.

I don’t have a lot of faith in sophisticated specialists. It never matters how well they may think they know their specialty – it matters far more how well everyone else understands what the specialists think they know and that the general population not only understands but agrees with them. And how often does that ever happen? Specialists seem to need special conditions to function at all. They are almost a luxury: a very delicate bird that needs special handling.

BTW – it does seem that the more sophisticated and delicate a system, machine or study is, the easier it is to destroy or damage. And that may be why democracies have such a hard time surviving as long as monarchies and dictatorships. Those old systems tend to reflect human nature while the more sophisticated democracies need populations with a lot of self control, are literate and can count on a common understanding of how the government is supposed to behave. That common understanding is fraying even in the developed countries.

By: Sanzhar Tue, 01 Mar 2011 08:52:36 +0000 Mr. El-Erian,

thank you for this article. I have question for you – would you be interested in joining newly formed Egyptian government if it becomes clear that country got it chance to move to “greater democracy, individual freedoms” and economic prosperity?