The Social Idea: Ramifications of The Egyptian Protests


The Egyptian revolution that just overthrew Mubarak may have been the model revolution that other repressed people in the world have been looking for.  It was largely secular, peaceful and eschewed a cult of personality.  Moreover, throughout the process, the Egyptian military behaved with restraint and respect towards both the people and the outgoing regime.

It is likely that some other nations will pick up the euphoria generated in Tahrir Square.  Already Iran has begun banning broadcasts of the events in Egypt.  Thailand has seen some scattered protests and earlier, Jordan and Yemen instituted changes in policy to avert similar protests in their nation.

At the end of the day, the legacy of the January 25th protests may not be the successful removal of Mubarak but the massive and sustained peaceful protests they spark among the young, relatively educated and repressed populations of the developing world.

The most powerful thing, even in our times, remains “the idea”. The Egyptian Revolution was sparked by the Tunisian revolts which were sparked by the unbearable distress of one man.  Now with the tools to transmit these ideas even more effectively through social media, the idea is now virulent and no longer singular  Herald the political, “social idea”. 

There is evidence to suggest that the non-violent, grassroots and leaderless Egyptian Revolution has become such a social idea.  It’ll be interesting to see where it spreads and how.