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Democracy in Egypt: Applying the Tocqueville Standard

Seth Cropsey & Arthur Milik

Westerners have long hoped that our material prosperity and comforts would serve as a model in the Middle East, and that democracy would enthusiastically be embraced there. But the hard work of building the rudiments of self-rule at a working level in those societiesthe make-or break for a true democratic revolutionhas taken a backseat to wishful thinking. In the recent Egyptian uprising, when threats, riots, and premonitions of violence persuaded the Egyptian Army to schedule presidential and parliamentary elections in September, the Western media nodded approvingly, but didn’t spend much time considering the principles on which political parties are built, what kinds of parties are likely to emerge from Egypt’s current state, and whether they will improve Egypt’s prospects for individual liberty. . . .

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