The Godly are always there in the wings
Howard Jacobson is cautious about revolutionary elation.
Let’s not get too carried away by the secular nature of the revolutionary zeal engulfing the Middle East right now: the Godly are always there in the wings, waiting for the hour in which they can claim the victory as theirs and restore tyranny, only in their image. Maybe it won’t happen this time – I doubt it, listening to protesters saying they don’t mind what comes next, so long as the process is democratic, as though a democratically elected theocracy is somehow better than any other kind.
Really. I do wish people would get that straight.
Much has been made over the last weeks of the youthful passion of the demonstrators, tweeting for liberty. Here, two of the most terrible illusions of our time are yoked together. To the fallacy that the opinions of the young are worth attending to because they are not the opinions of the old is joined the fallacy that the the internet, because it is ungovernable, is bound to be a positive instrument for good.
Or to put it another way, theocrats also know how to tweet.