|The Internet bubble in Middle East politics
What is true of the atomized, post-cultural young people of the United States applies in force to the Facebook revolutionaries of Egypt. They are neither secular nor Muslim, neither modern nor traditional, neither enlightened nor backward. They are stuck in a cultural twilight zone, between the traditional world of their cousins who mutilate their daughters' genitals, and the modern dystopia flickering in colored pixels just beyond their grasps. They have no safe place in Arab society, except in the disembodied cyberworld of social networking.
Removing president Hosni Mubarak was like demanding that Atlas unshoulder his burden. Why is agricultural productivity in Egypt so low? Because a rise in output per farmer would throw tens of millions of farmers off the land, and into Cairo's pool of 17 million people, most of them utterly destitute. Who will find jobs for the illiterate 40% of Egypt's workforce, or for that matter, for millions of unemployable university graduates?