Gnomicon 198

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Gnomicon  198
Monday 26 November 2012
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 “God’s Will and Elections Made Me the Captain of This Ship”
Mohamed Morsi (20 Aug 1951 –  )
The New York Times  Saturday 24 Nov 2012
‘Violent Protest in Egypt As Leader Expands Power’

Thus the pious president of Egypt!

About a ship that kind of seems to be listing rather severely on the shallow shoals of massive eruptions of public protest and discontent.

I think his kind of talk is rather scary, just as it was when back in December of 2007 Huckabee announced that “God Wants Me to Be President”, and a few years before that when our own George W announced:  “I’ve heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for President.”  And now Morsi on God’s Will – at least he’s in reasonably good company … I guess.

All these believers among us who assert that they know God’s will.  Talk about a delusion being something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence – there’s a great one for yesterday’s Mr Dawkins to tout!

In my thinking the reasonable reaction to such religious grandiosity is simply to chalk it up to the politician’s default hyperbolic rhetoric unmoored from any human truth value.  It probably plays well enough with one faction of the electorate maximally to outweigh the mockery from another.  More interesting – and consequential in this connection – is the question whether the candidates themselves really believe their own cant that God is so to speak their pollster and campaign manager, or do they know/recognize/realize that this is just election talk?  I’d much prefer that the latter scenario be the case, but I don’t know.  I have myself never experienced anything remotely like a voice or word from God telling me what She wants from me, and on that score alone I am strongly inclined to a deep skepticism about these divine messages that conveniently rain down on some candidates and office holders.  But … as I said, that is what I believe about the monitory epiphanies vouchsafed those anointed few, not what I know!

Anyway …

Back in the day (early August of this year) I voiced what I believed then and still believe are some historically warranted doubts about outcomes for the Arab Spring — and many revolutions in general.  It’s just one more repeat of an old animal fable old Roman Phaedrus [c. 15-50 CE] appropriated from even older Greek Aesops [c. 620-564 BCE]) about the unhappy ranids ruled by a brutal batrachian — well, read more all about that one here!  The literary evidence, then, would suggest that political revolutions are nothing new, as does the factual history of many periods of ancient Greece and certainly so likewise the history of Rome, and the Arab Spring of our own day appears to be following the ancient script without much deviation.

I don’t know if Mubarak, like Bush, Huckabee and Morsi, thought of himself as divinely appointed, but there was certainly something pharaonic about his depredations among his own people … and so like the king of the frogs he got himself replaced, and now the still unhappy – maybe even more unhappy — Egyptians aren’t so sure Morsi is all that much more mellow than Mubarak.

Too bad, too late!

Better luck with the next revolution now a-building …

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