Hope and Change in Egypt: Mubarek’s NDP and Authoritarian Socialism

When studying the imagination of crowds we saw that it is particularly open to the impressions produced by images.  These images do not always lie ready to hand, but it is possible to evoke them by the judicious employment of words and formulas.  Handled with art, they possess in sober truth the mysterious power formerly attributed to them by the adepts of magic.  They cause tempests, which in turn they are capable of stilling.  A pyramid far loftier than that of old Cheops could be raised merely with the bones of men who have been victims of the power of words and formulas.   –  Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd

Yesterday, in my post “Upheaval in Egypt:  Apparent causes .. and real causes.“, I wondered out loud “ if the mustering of a ‘pro-Mubarek’ group to counter the protestors is an indication of something deeper and more profound.  Could it also be composed of people (some but certainly not all), who are fighting back to save their very history, their support for Mubarek merely incidental?“.  It is a reasonable conjecture, given Islam’s long history of vandalizing important pieces of world heritage.  But, when it comes to Egypt .. right now ..  is it true?  Which side is more interested in a revitalized Egypt which values its’ heritage and enjoys true freedom?  It can’t be as simple as saying the the pro-democracy forces are led by Islamists and the protectors of Egypt’s heritage are the ruling, autocratic regime.  Enough has been said elsewhere about the Muslim Brotherhood.  What we need to understand is who Mubarek’s loyalists are and what the ruling party, the NDP (National Democratic Party), stands for.  The answer might surprise you.

Hope and Change

Let me know if any of this sounds familiar …

What are the key features of the NDP’s platform for the 2010 parliamentary elections? What is the party’s agenda for the next legislative term?

The NDP aims, in a brief summary of its platform, to pursue the process of comprehensive community change in all its economic, political, social and cultural dimensions. Change has started but is not over yet. In addition to promoting the living standards and the quality of life of the majority of Egyptians, the party seeks to improve the quality of public services, such as education, health, housing, and facilities.

A key characteristic of the NDP’s platform is that it shies away from generalities in favor of binding pledges, such as curbing poverty or attracting more investments into Egypt. Other commitments are related to health care and education. In addition, the platform allocates specific financial resources to ensure that each pledge is honored. Therefore, the platform is ambitious and takes on political, economic and social dimensions. It also sets specific goals and unveils its funding sources.

(Interview with Ali Eddin Hilal, Media Secretary of the NDP,

Change.  Community.  Curbing poverty.  Commitment to health care and education.

You see, ladies and gentlemen, the National Democratic Party that controls Egypt, the party of the state police and the party of Mubarek and his thugs is .. you guessed it .. an authoritarian SOCIALIST party.  Take a close look at this document:

Mubarek’s NDP was, until very recently, a member in good standing of Socialist International.  Didn’t hear that on CNN did you?  The thugs that beat up Anderson Cooper were socialist henchmen.   As Richard J. Little writes in American Thinker (Egypt’s Real Problem:  Decades of Authoritarian Socialist Rule; February 3, 2011):

Nasser’s immediate successor, Anwar Sadat, further built upon this state-controlled socialist political and economic system by forming the National Democratic Party, which is the current Egyptian ruling party.  The National Democratic Party has been a member in good standing in the Socialist International right up until this present week (January 31, in fact, when, to save political face, it became politically necessary to expel them).

The Socialist International may want to hide this fact, but the plain truth is that Mubarak and his political predecessors had the unlimited power and pursued for many decades exactly the same type of top-down, expert-devised, and centralized government-run collectivist development and investment programs of the type that are now proposed by progressives in this country and by socialists around world.  And the results, or lack thereof, of fifty-plus years of authoritarian socialist policy in Egypt were the same as in every other nation (like the old Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China) that has experimented with similar economic and political systems: poverty, political repression, institutionalized government corruption, and ultimately, social chaos.






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