(Knowing) Egypt Chaos (Leon Wieseltier)


I don’t understand how and on what basis Leon Wieseltier comes here to such an immediate comprehension and determinations of the so-called “facts” caught up in the confusing whorl that is Egypt after Mubarak and right now. From Washington D.C., Wiesletier pretends to know better about what’s at stake than millions of Egyptians, the Egyptians who oppose Morsi and the ones who oppose him too. So, according to Wieseltier, the liberals in Egypt are “fascist.” The demonstrators against Morsi in their millions across the socio-economic stratum of Egyptian society constituted a “mob.” The army’s toppling of Mursi is a “counter-revolution.” 90,000,000 people are on the move all once and Obama’s lack of “clarity” is somehow held culpable. I don’t buy the wailing and gnashing of teeth, neither at The New Republic nor anywhere else. Whose side do you take? Egypt’s side, whatever that means, and I’m not going to pretend to “know” what that means, not at all and not with such complete omniscience as the one displayed by Wieseltier. It’s not our job to know, but we should try to “understand” and to work for the best to the degree that we can. Check out the first paragraph of the article. Had the Muslim Brotherhood succeeded in creating a constitutional religious dictatorship, Wieseltier could have written the exact same text with the same gloomy pronouncements about “Cairo” simply by inserting the necessary substitutions. My guess is that he doesn’t care in this article as much about Egypt as he does about liberalism, America and the waning of American power. I won’t pretend to know.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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1 Response to (Knowing) Egypt Chaos (Leon Wieseltier)

  1. dmf says:

    I’m always struck by the difference in tone and detail/nuance when Charlie Rose (sometimes in the same segment if not at the same table) is talking to reporters who have done on the ground, in the trenches, research and the think-tanky pundits, part of my attraction to the sort of post-Wittgensteinian ‘back to the rough-ground’ practice turn in theory, in terms of getting things right and making things right I think we need to reflect more (and reflect on more) of the complexity of events in process and generalize less…

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