The Western media faithfully reports every twist and turn in the evolution of the Egyptian democracy: President Morsi decreed today . . . The supreme court ruled that . . . Parliament resolved . . . Demonstrators demanded, and so on. But the main dynamic in Egypt at this stage is an economic one. Unemployment is rampant, the economy is in the doldrums, tourists are avoiding the country, foreign-currency reserves are being depleted and funds promised by various Arab and Western supporters are at best trickling in. 40 percent of the Egyptian people live on fewer than two dollars a day. 25 percent survive on less than one.
The dominant narrative that the Western media has imposed on Egypt and other Arab Awakenings is the same conception of political regime change embraced by neoconservatives. It is a tempting narrative that makes for big screen blockbusters, one that will warm the heart of any well-fed Westerner on his way home from a steady job: After thirty years of dictatorship—in a Middle Eastern nation with very little democratic experience in its 5,000 year history—the people took their fate into their own hands. They overthrew the dictatorship without firing a shot, by putting their bodies on the line or at least into the square. New leaders were elected and they are on their way to make a Western-style democracy. True, some hiccups are acknowledged. The voters gave an edge to groups that seek to impose some version of Sharia on their nation, but all good narratives have some setbacks. Soon, the narrative continues, the people will tire of the Muslim Brotherhood and get—what the Western media assume they “really” want— a secular, Western-minted democracy.
Read more at National Interest.