“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Who will be next to walk like an Egyptian?
"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Judges have joined the demonstration, according to Heba Morayef, from Human Rights Watch, who is in Tahrir Square.
A group of senior judges have joined the demonstration with a banner which reads: "The Judges and the People are one Hand together" One senior judge made a speech from a loud speaker in which he called for the Minister of the Interior and others to be held accountable and for an end to state of emergency (loud cheer) and for free elections under full judicial supervision.
The organisers claim that a million people have joined the protests, al-Jazeera reports. Tahrir Square is more packed than it has ever been since the protests started, it said.
This image only represents a third of those people gathered, its reporter claimed.
Israel remains very twitchy about events in Egypt, and some feel betrayed by the Americans.
One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was headlined "A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam", according to Reuters. It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks. Who is advising them, he asked, "to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president ... an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?"
"Everyone is coming" a protester in Tahrir Square predicts in this video shot yesterday. "We are not going anywhere until our demands our met," she said.
To watch the video in full turn off the auto-refresh button at the top of the pageAljazeera English:10:54am Security officials say authorities have shut down all roads and public transportation to Cairo, where tens of thousands of people are converging to demand the ouster of President Mubarak.-------------------------------Tony Blair, the Middle East peace envoy, warned that Egypt might take a backward step "into a very reactionary form of religious autocracy".________________Standard & Poor's has just downgraded Egypt's credit rating by one notch to BB , S&P is concerned that the government will "eventually take measures to alleviate poverty by increasing food and fuel subsidies", thus pushing up its budget deficit ._________________The most powerful opposition in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood,_________________Many non-Copts in Egypt want shariah law. ___________________