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“Predictions,” saith The Philosopher (Yogi Berra) “are always dangerous, especially if they concern the future.” And I might add (not being nearly the philosopher that Yogi is) that the predictions we make about the future are dependent upon the stories we tell about the present. The stories will attempt to cover the facts, but the facts always bear different interpretations; the art of history is essentially the art of good story telling.
The signs that say “Mubarak Out” should really say “ انه الاقتصاد، غبي“, “It’s the economy, stupid!” (Lest anyone overrate my erudition, that comes from Google Translate.) But for some reason, people are reluctant to frankly admit their own economic interests; it seems more respectable to say, “I want to vote” than to say, “I want to eat.”
So here are two scenarios: one leads through democratic enlightenment to peace and prosperity, and the other through intractable economic problems to war and disintegration. Choosing one will get you labeled an optimist, choosing the other a pessimist. It remains in the future to see which one will be labeled the realist.