Why the Egyptian revolution is more significant than the American revolution

Sam Haselby writes:

How does the revolution in Egypt compare with the American Revolution? There is no comparison. It is more impressive and more important. So far.

In the United States, the American Revolution is sacred history. As a result, Americans tend to associate its slogans and symbols with the whole concept of revolution. If the peculiarities of this habit help prevent Americans from recognising the significance of events in Egypt, both countries will pay a price.

For the leaders of the American Revolution, colonial North America had been a place of social mobility and prosperity. In a European context, the American patriots belonged to the minor gentry class.

No European society allowed members of the minor gentry the prominent roles in political life that the British colonies had offered Americans. When they rebelled against Great Britain, over taxes and in the name of freedom, they were the freest and least taxed people in the western world.

As to the much-noted hypocrisy of slaveholders rebelling in the name of freedom, the English writer Samuel Johnson gave the line for the ages, when he asked, “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”

In contrast, the people of Egypt for decades lived under a cruel military dictatorship. The Mubarak regime almost destroyed a once vibrant Egyptian middle class. The Mubarak family, according to recent reports, accumulated as much as $70bn worth of assets, held mostly in foreign banks and real estate. In contrast to the free and prosperous American revolutionaries, Egyptian resistance broke out from an impoverished and oppressed people.

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2 thoughts on “Why the Egyptian revolution is more significant than the American revolution

  1. scott

    I don’t disagree with his point, but he runs over this line:

    “For the leaders of the American Revolution, colonial North America had been a place of social mobility and prosperity.”

    He doesn’t focus on the “colonial” point near enough. We weren’t oppressed foreign peoples, we were British subjects. We were the colonizers not the colonized! The Algerians, the Egyptians were the colonialized, the victims, those with no voice, no (real) vote and prospects for advancement and few to flee. Egypt is a greater achievement. Inshahallah, it will bear justice and wide opportunity.

  2. Norman

    Perhaps the people of the new M.E. may see another American Revolution take place. The Middle Class is being destroyed today as we read and watch. The oligarchy are doing their best with the help of both parties in Congress. As Bush used to say; “you’re either with us, or against us” seems to be what they said to the present P.O.T.U.S. So far, he doesn’t seem to be with the majority. As all that’s taking place in the M.E. today, there is a grab by the oligarchy once and for all trying to take over in the U.S. They may succeed as long as the people sit on their asses believing that there is nothing really going on, until it’s too late. I wonder, will the Slipping Giant finely awake?

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