The Foundering Brothers

The past few weeks have brought both Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood face to face with their worst fears. Egyptians have long feared that once the Brotherhood cadres took over the levers of the state they would attempt to “Ikhwanize” it and run it solely for the benefit of the group and perpetuation of its power. The Brotherhood feared that once it took over the state it would not marshal sufficient talent to man all the offices and run into the resistance of the entrenched bureaucracy.  Both fears came to pass in a daily drama worthy of Pirandello.

The litany of comical errors is deliciously long. The Central Bank governor seems to have little interest in overseeing a program of “Islamic banking”, probably because he has too many problem to manage without adding an invented problem to his docket. The entire staff of the Public Prosecutor office rose up against the new Ikhwangi-appointed boss and forced him out. The new provincial governors, drawn from the ranks of the Brotherhood and with the approval of the Guidance Bureau, have proven to be largely inept. Most have taken their queue from President Morsi and took to preaching as their favorite activity. The ineffectual attempt at rigging the referendum vote was done without either finesse or cynicism, and as a result, showed both weakness and lack of moral standing.  Even the simple details, such as publishing the text of the vote in the official press at the appropriate date, have gone unnoticed, leaving them with the option of either invalidating the vote or persisting in its lawlessness.  Their public spokesmen, mostly drawn from the presentable sons and daughters of the leaders, muttered gibberish incessantly and with such conviction and vehemence that one came to doubt their sanity or even their very existence. Such drivel can only be generated from a poorly programmed computer.

If the Brotherhood wanted to establish a dictatorship then it is clear it would be a farcical one. Unfortunately the joke is on all Egyptians.

There once was a tale, told often by the Brotherhood, and listened to appreciatively by outsiders, that the Brotherhood is a viable and “technocratic” group capable of ushering Egypt into a new age of progress, the vaunted “Nahda“.  But the Brotherhood is not a meritocratic society. It is cult. The values it seeks are not of creativity, daring or entrepreneurship.  It seeks obedience and loyalty.

Egyptians were once furious at the prospect of Gamal Mubarak becoming President, seeing him as simply the undeserving well-bred son of the boss. Now they are furious at the prospect that their “Second Republic” has no Founding Fathers, just Foundering Brothers.

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