The last few days in Egypt reflect the nature of all political systems: as states are defined as systems enjoying a monopoly on the use of violence within a given territory, their origins lie in conquest, not in some imagined consent of the governed. While pretending to defend “democracy,” the Egyptian military has deposed – and captured – the man who was democratically elected president of that country less than one year ago. Oh, yes, and to complete the charade, the military has also suspended the constitution: you know, the document that keeps the government from doing all of the terrible things that it does!
Instead of spending today watching John Wayne and Randolph Scott movies that glorify the butchery of war – hardly an expression of “independence” from the powers of the state – minds would be better advised to focus on events in Egypt. Perhaps the words of Tom Lehrer – in his song “Send the Marines” – could provide appropriate accompaniment to military efforts to prevent elections from determining political outcomes in a “democracy”:
“For might makes right/ And till they’ve seen the light/They’ve got to be protected/All their rights respected/till somebody we like can be elected.”
1:20 pm on July 4, 2013 Email Butler Shaffer