Squawk Like an Egyptian

Egypt, always mob-handed.

Take two countries – country A and country B:

  • Country A has a land area of 390,000 sq. miles and a population of 84 million.
  • Country B has a land area of 137,000 sq. miles and a population of 80 million.

One of these countries is horrendously overpopulated. One isn't.

Based on this bare data, you would probably say that country B is horrendously overpopulated, while suspecting that both are. But you would have chosen wrongly, because country A is Egypt and country B is Germany.

While Germany is densely populated, it is not overpopulated because most of the people are needed to keep Germany Inc. running, a vast industrial and economic enterprise that, among many other things, famously turns out millions of precision engineered cars that the rest of world wants or even needs. Yes, even with various forms of automation, you probably need around 80 million Germans (and maybe even some of their “guests”).

Egypt, on the other hand, is a different story. The country produces nothing that the rest of the world needs and few things that the rest of the World wants. Total Egyptian exports are a little under $25 billion (2013 estimate), mainly oil, cotton, and a few dates. Total German exports are 1,511 billion (2014 est.) or 60 times more than Egypt for a similar sized population. In other words, the "economic space" of Germany is much vaster: difficult to be overpopulated in that area.

From the viewpoint of economic necessity, Egypt only needs a population of, say, around 50,000. That should be enough to pick garbage out of the Suez Canal, point tourists in the direction of the Pyramids, and collect the dates.

The Pyramids, by the way, are a bit of a clue in themselves. Remarkable but totally useless structures, they embody the central fact about Egypt, that even in its heyday, when the country was at the cutting edge of world civilization, helping to invent things like beer, taxation, and taxidermy, it was also a sump pit of excess population – probably something to do with the River Nile doing most of the agricultural work for the inhabitants.

The pharaohs realized this, and also understood the implicit threat it posed, so they came up with the greatest example of “busy work” in history to keep the masses occupied and stop them squawking, hollering, and rioting.

At the moment there is a lot of talk about whether the recent change of government was a “nasty” old coup or a revolution by the “heroic” noble masses. There have been unverifiable claims that Morsi’s downfall was preceded by mass protests involving 33 million people. Even if that figure may be somewhat inflated, it seems likely that at least several million people have been welling around the streets and squares of Egypt in recent days.

In the West, where getting anything over 100,000 on the streets is seen as a triumph for “people power,” this sounds impressive, but this is just further proof of the two cardinal facts about Egypt: (1) it is horrendously overpopulated, and (2) most Egyptian jobs are not real jobs.

Anyone who has visited one of the Middle Eastern countries will be aware of the large numbers of men who stand around doing little to nothing. You see them in bazaars, cafes, hotels, or any other workplace, simply milling around or chatting in groups, waiting for the "daily customer" or a piece of work to show up. Most of these staff could be sent home without harming the overall efficiency of whatever operation is involved, because efficiency is an alien concept to most. In short, any Middle Eastern country has the natural makings of the mob.

In the West our political system is predicated on the fact that Europeans (i.e. Whites) are too busy to give politics more than their glancing attention. Our democracy is participative only in name. This allows our representatives to pick up most of our votes every few years and then spend the rest of the time posturing for the media while slowly running their respective countries into the ground. It’s a bad system, yes, but – fortunately or unfortunately – it’s not a particularly volatile one.

In the case of Egypt, however, such “participative democracy,” combined with the fact that most people are essentially at a loose end, represents a volatile combination. These restless, densely-packed millions have nothing but time, and once any party gets into power and starts mismanaging a country that can’t be managed any other way, four years starts to seem like an eternity.

A majority may have voted for the government, but what the mob wants are daily elections, and with nothing like Germany’s car industry or the grandiose building schemes of the pharaohs to keep them gainfully employed, they are in a position to take to the streets and turbo-charge the “participative” side of democracy, a recipe for sheer chaos.

None of this is new. Aristotle, over 2,300 years ago was aware of the close connection between democracy and mob anarchy. Our renewed ignorance on the subject in the West is due to the way we compartmentalize things and reduce them to mere abstractions. This creates the myth that Western democracy is, by itself and without any of the accompanying factors that ameliorate it in the West, easily transferable to the slums of Cairo, the rape mobs of Tahrir square, and the squawking, teeming masses.


Colin Liddell
Alternative Right

8th July, 2013
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