Strong Enough For Democracy?

by Patrick Appel

Massie collects his thoughts:

Pessimists, of whom there is no shortage, tell us that the [Egyptian] middle-class is neither ready nor strong enough to sustain anything that might even approach a western understanding of "democracy". Perhaps they are right. But do the liberal, moderate, middle-classes need to be quite that strong? Or do they need to be just strong enough to prevent a slide towards total extremism and the spectre of an Algerian-style civil war?