On Egypt

If you admit that the citizens of Egypt CAN give legitimacy to this coup d’etat, as they evidently have, realizing that that legitimacy always existed with them and can be withdrawn by them at any time is a small step.

This is, in fact, what democracy is at core–the Greeks in their assemblies. Why was this thing, democracy, evolved? Because wise men have always known that anarchy is the clear and present danger beneath any social interraction. So, create a ritual, a rite, to tame anarchy, create an illusion that legitimacy can become coded into institutions. Law and order. But that rite is effective, that illusion works, only so long as the people (who are all would-be anarchists at EVERY time) buy into it.

In Egypt, they stopped buying into it and withdrew their participation and belief. And the cards of Morsi fell.

Now, the clerisy (lawyers, judges, politicians, executives especially) of these rites and illusions have an interest in keeping the rites ongoing, in keeping the illusion spinning. I’m a lawyer, I understand this. But at times like this, we should see clearly that the legitimacy lies not in our rites and illusions but with the choice or convenience of belief of our audience.

And if we wish to avoid full blown anarchy where we, and our rites and illusions are absolutely besides the point, we dare not insist to hard that credulity must be granted us by force.


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