Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another Mubarak in Egypt

This is a sad story, even though it might presage some market-oriented reform in Egypt, which would be welcome if it happens. But the apparent assumption in Egypt that Gamal Mubarak, son of Hosni, 79, will automatically become president of Egypt when the old man kicks off is strong and sad. Egypt has what are laughingly called elections, but the real opposition isn't allowed on the ballot and the conclusion is ordained. To me the idea that sons should succeed fathers as rulers -- see Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Saddam's sons obviously being groomed strikes me as simply bizarre. There must be a strong monarchist gene deep within the human DNA. Too bad. Rule by anybody is bad enough, but the idea that power should be concentrated in a single family more often leads to misrule than enlightened rule (though a quasi-decent ruler occasionally emerges). Can Americans, who seem poised to make Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush-Clinton residents of the White House really feel superior?

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