What Is It They Say About Absolute Power?

Keep up with international news? Then you probably heard that Egypt’s president has insisted he will not be another dictator. Cheers all ’round!

Now here’s the punch-line: he said this after granting himself dictator-like powers.

This from The Telegraph:

As at least one teenage protester was killed in clashes at a Muslim Brotherhood headquarters building in the northern of the country, and police continued to fight battles with protesters around Tahrir Square in Cairo on Sunday, Mr Morsi issued a statement stressing that the power seizure was only “temporary” and calling for political dialogue.

He also agreed to meet Egypt’s judges on Monday to negotiate a solution to the crisis.

“The presidency reiterates the temporary nature of those measures, which are not intended to concentrate power,” the statement said.

“The presidency stresses its firm commitment to engage all political forces in the inclusive democratic dialogue to reach a common ground.”

Mr Morsi outraged opponents on Thursday, less than 24 hours after winning international praise for negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, by announcing that henceforth all his decisions would be beyond legal challenge.

When I first read the headline, I thought it was a joke. Something written by The Onion, perhaps, but real news from the real world? Surely not.

Then again, I’m always underestimating the kind of news the real world is capable of producing. Twain wasn’t joking when he said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.”

For what it’s worth, here are my two cents on the subject: What is it they say about power? It tends to corrupt. And what about absolute power? It corrupts absolutely.

But I’m sure Mr. Morsi will be the shining exception.

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4 thoughts on “What Is It They Say About Absolute Power?”

  1. As a member of the Muslim Brotherhood elected through the due process of “democracy”, Mr. Morsi seems to be made up of shining exceptions.

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