A hat tip to Lawrence Auster for bringing to our attention an excellent article by Caroline Glick on the strange-bedfellow convergence of rose-bespectacled, democracy-exporting conservatives and West-loathing, Howard-Zinn-style leftists in cheering on the uprising in Egypt.
Both viewpoints, argues Ms. Glick, are animated by narcissism about the West, though of very different kinds: the democracy-evangelists imagine that the abstract values of Western liberal societies (and in particular, this one) are so universal that in any nation given sufficient exposure to them, the light of sweet Jeffersonian liberty will begin to glow as soon as the fetters of tyranny are struck off. The anti-imperialist left, on the other hand, believes that Western civilization, though utterly vile, is nevertheless the engine of all human destiny: that the oppressed peoples of the world, in their helpless and dusky multitudes, are not accountable agents, bearing any measure of responsibility for their fate, but mere objects, upon which the Western devil exerts his will, for good or ill (almost exclusively, of course, for ill).
Meanwhile, the realistic prospects for a West-friendly, secular democracy in the region fall, as an English record producer I used to work with might have put it, “somewhere between nil and fuck-all”. Ms. Glick, reminding us that “the character of the protesters is not liberal”, refers us to a recent poll:
According to a Pew opinion survey of Egyptians from June 2010, 59 percent said they back Islamists. Only 27% said they back modernizers. Half of Egyptians support Hamas. Thirty percent support Hizbullah and 20% support al Qaida. Moreover, 95% of them would welcome Islamic influence over their politics. When this preference is translated into actual government policy, it is clear that the Islam they support is the al Qaida Salafist version.
Eighty two percent of Egyptians support executing adulterers by stoning, 77% support whipping and cutting the hands off thieves. 84% support executing any Muslim who changes his religion.
Read the whole thing here.