Scores Dead in Aftermath of Egyptian Coup

ReasonReasonAt least 40 people have been killed outside of the barracks in Cairo where the Muslim Brotherhood believe former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is being held.

From the BBC:

At least 40 people have been killed in a shooting incident in Cairo, amid ongoing unrest over the removal of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.

The Muslim Brotherhood says its members were fired on at a barracks where they believe Mr Morsi is being held, during a sit-in demanding his reinstatement.

However the army said a "terrorist group" had tried to storm the barracks.

Mr Morsi, an Islamist and Egypt's first freely elected leader, was ousted by the army last week after mass protests.

The violence in Egypt is not isolated to Cairo. Video footage has emerged that The New York Times reports shows Islamist supporters of Morsi throwing two young men off a building in Alexandria.

From The Daily Mirror:

A bloodthirsty gang is filmed flinging r­ivals to their deaths from the top of a building as violence spirals out of control in Egypt.

Horrific scenes captured on a mobile phone and posted on YouTube show a group of men surrounded by captors in the north-east city of Alexandria, the Sunday People can report.

Sickeningly, the victims are tossed head-first from a ledge. They land on the ­concrete roof below, where they are beaten and left for dead.

Watch the footage of the incident The Daily Mirror reported on below. WARNING: Graphic content:

American legislators are considering suspending foreign aid to Egypt. 

From MSNBC:

Lawmakers pondered suspending aid to Egypt following the military coup there this week, though the difficult politics surrounding the overthrow of former President Mohammed Morsi's government made for little consensus.

Senior members of Congress from both parties called for the Egyptian military, which acted this week to topple Morsi's Islamist government, to act quickly to restore democracy and civil rights, and to hold new elections as soon as possible. But no lawmaker called either for restoring Morsi to power, an acknowledgment of the popular sentiment in Egypt that led to the military's actions this week to oust Morsi's democratically-elected government.

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  • rts||

    And this, I believe, is video of the shootings outside the barracks (GRAPHIC).

  • tarran||

    Looks like a sharpshooter picking off people in the crowd.

  • PapayaSF||

    He seems to be using something like an AK-47. How bizarre that there's a crowd standing around while the shooter, clearly visible, shoots into it, and while it's recorded on video, and while someone with a big camera stands next to the shooter. Turns out the revolution will be televised by everyone.

  • albo||

    And they're just standing there, barely worried about cover. Is that because Egypt is a disarmed populace? Or that those protesters thought not to bring guns in fear of escalating? Or the gunman are poorly trained?

  • PapayaSF||

    Allah will either protect them or make them martyrs and send them to heaven. It's win/win.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    As long as we continue to stay out of it.

    And by that I mean no ground troops sent there to intervene -- but better still is withholding that annual $1.5 billion in military aid.

  • Gene||

    What a clusterfuck.

  • Drake||

    I lost track long ago. Are there any actual good guys in this fight?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes. There are five guys who meet secretly in a village outside of Cairo once a month. They are the Libertarian Party of Egypt.

  • ||

    Five?!??! I thought it was just one dude talking to himself.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Under Egyptian law, a person certified as having multiple-personality disorder is however many personalities that can be identified. In his case, two.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's two dudes and three police informants.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, yes, that's true, but one of the informants is sympathetic to the cause.

  • Monty Crisco||

    "They are the Libertarian Party of Egypt."
    Not to be confused with three other guys who meet in a different place once a month who call themselves the Egyptian Libertarian Party. They are BITTER enemies....

  • tarran||

    Not in the fight.

    My dog's vet is Egyptian, and he's very worried for his family's safety, because no matter who seizes control of the government, the apolitical types are fucked - literally as in the secret police take your daughters and rape them to punish you fucked.

    It's like the U.S. just can't resist sticking its dick in hornets' nests.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The military is the good guy with...bad habits. They are most likely to affect positive economic reform and block Islamism.

  • Libertymike||

    Could you possibly write something even more idiotic?

    You have really taken to the stoopid pills, haven't you?

  • Meerkatx||

    I expect many Copts to die as a result of the chaos in Egypt. After all, it seems no matter what side the rest of Egypt is on, they all agree the Copts are devils who are better off dead.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    As others suggest, in absolute terms, no. Relatively? I'd guess it would be the military guys leading the coup.

  • John||

    There never was a democracy to restore. We should be paying the military to hunt down the Muslim Brotherhood and exterminate them.

  • tarran||

    That's what the U.S. was doing in the 80's and 90's, and some of the survivors decided to team up with some rich guy from Saudi Arabia.

    Gosh, what was the organization they formed? Al Fade-a? Al Zeda? Something like that...

  • John||

    And it would have ended so much better if we hadn't killed any of them. I am sure they would have become peaceful out of gratitude.

    These people are crazy fanatical fucks. They don't need an excuse to hate us. They will always hate us. Hating the West and the US is what they are about. No amounting of genuflecting and kissing their ass is going to change that. Ignoring them is not going to change that. We either kill them or wait around for them to cause us problems.

    Face it Libertarians. Radical Muslims are just not that into you.

  • tarran||

    Yes, because if the U.S. had stayed out of Egyptian politics and not provided weapons to the secret police, the people the secret police brutalized would have naturally been trying to kill Americans and ignoring the apostates closer to home!

    And of course their complete inability to hold onto any territory for any length of time without the population rising in revolt against them is just an act - to lull us into a false sense of security!

    John, this false dichotomy is not different in quality - just in degree - from Eric Dondero's batshitism.

    It’s not his support for the Gold Standard that’s the “moonbat” position, rather it’s his opposition to the War on Islamo-Fascism. This is a guy who represents a SOUTH TEXAS DISTRICT!! Our CD practically borders Mexico.

    And he could care less. He’s perfectly fine with cuttin’ and runnin’ in Iraq, and inviting the Islamo-Fascists to attack us on our Border with Mexico, lobbing scud missles across from Matamoros, Juarez and TJ at our major cities.

    That’s the moonbat position. Why anyone in their right mind would prefer fighting Islamo-Fascism here on our home turf instead of in Western Iraq, is beyond me?

    I doubt that you are so smart as to actually believe the false dichotomy you are peddling.

  • SugarFree||

    So Dondero believes in blowback? Interesting.

  • tarran||

    Actually, in his case, it's more akin to snowballing. He gets off on it so much that he wants to apply it to geopolitics.

  • SugarFree||

    37? In a row?!?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Nope John's right. Read up some Qutb. He viciously opposed American cultural influence, and many 'Qutbists' find that perfect justification for violence. You don't understand religious crazies and you don't want to.

    But we shouldn't pay the military to kill MBs. They'll do that on their own.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    They don't need an excuse to hate us.

    Not that we've given them any. America broke the golden rule, never stick your dick in crazy.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Yup. The premise of the past two administrations (at least) has been that Islamism is just a fad -- that the difference between a well-adjusted stockbroker and a violent fanatic is a raft of well-intended benevolent government policies paired with democracy.

    Various libertarians have their own version of the liturgy which replaces government policies with free market policies.

    Neither group particularly understands the religiously devout. Voting patterns in the Middle East in recent years show fairly consistently that even in the most prosperous and most free of the countries in Dar-El Islam, there remains a significant portion of the population that has no interest in any of these indicators so long as the believe it is being obtained through a morally bankrupt system. This group believes (with good cause) that it is empowered by its scriptures to do violence to others until their preferred religio-political system is established, and they won't stop believing that just because a US Army guy is offering them food or a job.

  • R C Dean||

    I thought I saw that there is a law on the books requiring us to suspend/terminate foreign to countries if the military stages a coup against a democratically elected government.

    Which pretty clearly happened here. Seems to me we should be talking about whether to amend that law or make an exception, not debating whether to comply with a law that's on the books.

  • tarran||

    Dude, the president complying with inconvenient laws is so 20th century... :D

  • ||

    Congress is required to "review" such aid. Not sure what that looks like specifically.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I could swear that I read about us having to suspend aid last week for some evaluation period or something.

    I have an idea. How about we stop meddling or, if that's impossible, that we just fund the Egyptian Coalition for Free Markets and Limited Government?

  • ||

    Hey, welcome back! (Sorry if I'm late to the game; I was gone most of last week myself)

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Welcome back, RC.

  • anon||

    I thought I saw that there is a law on the books

    Thinking was your first mistake; believing the rule of law exists was the second. One more and you're out buddy!

  • Mickey Rat||

    If the is a treaty obligation, that might be an exception.

  • PapayaSF||

    It doesn't matter. Obama can always decide to not enforce any law.

  • Lord Humungus||

    holy shit! RC Dean is back!

  • ||

    Oh, we should so get involved with this. It has so many upsides for us!

  • tarran||

    Whadya mean we?

    You some kind of collectivist statist or something? /squints suspiciously.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He fell asleep next to a pod last weekend. I told him not to do that.

  • ||

    Oh, so you want to just sit there and do nothing? What's the point of having a huge military and drones and special forces if you don't use them by throwing your weight around in things that have nothing to do with you? What are you, some kind of anti-statist?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you our new Secretary of State. Who doesn't even own a yacht. Not yet.

  • ||

    What are you talking about? I own two yachts. And, I accept.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What are you talking about? I own two yachts.

    How many times do I have to tell you that the beat up john boat you drag around in the bed of your truck is NOT a yacht?

  • ||

    I am the Secretary of State! You will not talk to me in this manner!

    (orders SoS fed agents to drag MLG away)

  • Killazontherun||

    But did you get them the honest way, fucking a crazy chick who had inherited a fortune?

  • Brandon||

    Speaking of which, was I the only one whose first thought was "Kerry's plan is working" when he read about the wife being hospitalized?

  • Killazontherun||

    She is so brain dead the only thing he needs to shut her down is to leave the room.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...was I the only one whose first thought was "Kerry's plan is working" when he read about the wife being hospitalized?

    No, you weren't.

  • PapayaSF||

    A Claus von Bülow situation...?

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    No you were not. I heard on the noon news that her condition was upgraded, however.

  • ||

    Of course he owns a yacht. I mean, sure, the SS Gloryhole is technically a jolly boat, but it sill counts.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    "How can that thing float, with so many holes?!"

  • Lord Humungus||

    I lol'd.

  • tarran||

    If Episiarch became secretary of state, I predict in 5 years, NATO would declare war on the United States after he taunted the Germans and the French at the G-8 summit.

  • Killazontherun||

    After he dropped a hundred hits of acid in the gala punchbowl, and refused to share you mean.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Only if we can secure the rights for Disney to run the pyramids for the next 99 years.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If, in a fantasy world we could arrange that, the pyramids would be the best historical attraction the world has ever seen.

  • Pro Libertate||

    First step would be to reface the Great Pyramid with white marble.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    It's A Dry World

    Pharaohs of the Mediterranean

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • Killazontherun||

    Hey, you are stealing Samantha Power's lines.

  • Killazontherun||

    BTW, did Obama followers not know that his head adviser wrote the book on a strategy of using intervention as a means of advancing progressive causes meant anything peacenik coming out his mouth was not to be taken seriously?

  • ||

    Uh, his followers aren't exactly bright. They pretty much don't know anything other than TEAM.

  • ||

    What are you talking about? They also know BALL and GOOD.

  • anon||

    Oh, we should so get involved with this. It has so many upsides for us!

    I dunno, do we have time after Syria but before Iran? Schedule's kinda booked...

  • mad libertarian guy||

    At least 40 people have been killed in a shooting incident in Cairo[.]

    Did guns go off?

  • ||

    Guns were fired. Passive voice was used.

  • Fluffy||

    Nononononono.

    Guns discharged.

  • anon||

    How many dogs were killed though?

  • Killazontherun||

    Passive voice gets too much flak. Used almost entirely in Nabokov's description of a hanging. Still made quite an impression.

  • Floridian||

    Arab Winter?

  • CatoTheElder||

    Arab long, hot summer.

  • ||

    I prefer the Arab Cool Cool Summer. Let me know when it's on.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So, let me see if I got this right. We're going to suspend to Egypt because they removed the Islamist whose supporters throw people off of buildings?

    Sigh.

    We should have suspended aid when Morsi came to power.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    We should never have suspended given aid when Morsi came to power to Egypt ever.

    FIFY

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Point taken. I just don't get how the hell the folks in Washington came to the line of thinking...."Gee, this guy's an absolute bastard and hates us. The military is intervening against him because he's screwing their country. We've got to intervene to stop them."

  • mad libertarian guy||

    We live in a DO SOMETHING™ world. People expect that our congresscritters DO SOMETHING™, and people judge them solely off of how often they act and DO SOMETHING™. It doesn't matter if it makes a difference or causes harm (all unintended, of course). So long as something is done, the pols can rest assured that they will have the utmost support.

  • CatoTheElder||

    You forgot to add GOOD INTENTIONS™ requirement.

  • Brandon||

    Despots and would-be-despots are uncomfortable with other despots being deposed. Hits too close to home, you know?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Jimmy Carter needed a foreign policy victory to distract the country from how mind-numbingly incompetent he was. He shouldered his way into the negotiations between Sadat and Begin. Being a couple of cunning old soldiers, they "convinced" Carter that peace would never work between Egypt and Israel without military parity. So President Peanut sweetens the pot with some military aid and here we are.

  • MJGreen||

    What's baffling to me is that I recall taking a basic Mid East course in college in, I think, 2006, warning about how toppling Mubarak would likely make Egypt even worse. The professor hated the dictatorship Mubarak had started, but made it clear to us that by opening elections, it's almost certain the Muslim Brotherhood would gain power and do even more damage to the country.

    So any of us stupid kids who stayed awake in that class knew the "Arab Spring" was not going to be doing Egypt any immediate favors. But apparently the Top Men were fine with it and eager to continue sending money.

  • Libertymike||

    Put another way, democracy sucks and, in the words of Hans Herman Hoppe, "it is a soft variant of communism."

  • CatoTheElder||

    But, but ... with US aid commitments, Carter wouldn't have gotten the Camp David Accords signed, which led to peace throughout the Levant and the Middle East.

    Nobel Peace Prizes were at stake!

  • CatoTheElder||

    with = without

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The sooner people realize that every calamity that has happened since the beginning of the 20th century has been a direct result of government, the better.

    Every. Single. One.

    Famines. Genocide. War. All of it, government sponsored. All of it.

  • Rhywun||

    Pfft, other people's government, you mean.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Yeah. I mean the US government never fire bombed Japan to hell and back, THEN proceeded to drop an A-bomb on them. And that doesn't even include the H-bomb that followed a few days later.

    Which is to forget about the internment camps for the Japanese. Or the 150 women who have been forcefully sterilized in CA over the past handful of years.

  • sarcasmic||

    According to the history that was written by the winners, Japan was not going to surrender without an invasion with estimated casualties reaching a million.

  • anon||

    That's like 9-11 ... times a thousand.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Even after the firebombing and nukes, parts of the Japanese military's senior command almost succeeded in staging a coup to stop the Japanese Emperor from signing the peace treaty.

    Hard to deal with crazy.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    According to the history that was written by the winners...

    Well, according to that and Japan's military plans and preparation for defense of their homeland.

    According to history as understood by you, what would have been the circumstances of any hypothetical Japanse surrender that didn't involve an invasion? What would have been your estimate of the number of casualties involved in subduing the Japanese home islands?

  • sarcasmic||

    According to history as understood by you, what would have been the circumstances of any hypothetical Japanse surrender that didn't involve an invasion? What would have been your estimate of the number of casualties involved in subduing the Japanese home islands?

    I dunno. Ask your strawman.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I'm asking you. The "was written by the winners" makes the clear implication that you don't believe it was written honestly or factually. So I am asking what your non-biased assessment of the situation is. If you want to cast aspersion on the opinions of others without stepping up to state your own, that's fine, but there's nothing strawmanish about asking you to do so.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm asking you. The "was written by the winners" makes the clear implication that you don't believe it was written honestly or factually. So I am asking what your non-biased assessment of the situation is.

    All I know is what was written by the winners. Based upon that information the bombings were totally justified. However since the winners are known liars, part of me suspects that there could be more to the story. Exactly what? I don't know. Why? Because all I know is what was written by the winners.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    You're completely wrong about that, sarcasmic. Japan's school system currently teaches that Japan was the victim of WWII, skipping right on past comfort women, their horrible treatment of their conquered peoples and POWs, and almost everything until the firebombings and the nukes. To this day, Japanese officials continue to patronize a Shinto shrine which enshrines Japanese war criminals and which parrots a party line that makes Lost Cause revisionism sound reasonable. Does any of that sound like history written by the victors to you?

  • sarcasmic||

    Japan's school system currently teaches that Japan was the victim of WWII...

    I wouldn't know. I've never read a Japanese history text. The only ones I've read were written by the winners.

    Did I say that all history is written by the winners? No. I said that the history I have read was written by the winners.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Fair enough, I suppose, if you believe that Operation Ketsugō has also been rewritten by the winners, also. The Japanese knew they couldn't win but planned to inflict as many casualties as possible in order to try to achieve better terms for the end of the war. The Japanese specifically planned not to surrender before an invasion and to make the invasion as costly as possible, and that was written by the losers.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The Japanese government was making peace overtures by May of 1945. Yes, there were elements of the military that were lunatics. However, the real sticking point was that the US demanded unconditional surrender, ostensibly because they wanted to get rid of the Emperor. However, after the nukes, they let Emperor remain in a ceremonial role.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    the real sticking point was that the US demanded unconditional surrender

    The emperor's status was a very small part of US policymaking wrt unconditional surrender. Even considering how broken Japan was, it was still the most advanced and militarily capable nation in the Pacific and would have exerted significant influence in the world. Having lost Eastern Europe to the Soviets, US policy under Truman was not conciliatory towards the USSR and refused to give the world's manufactories to a hostile power (which at the time, included Japan and Western Europe). Considering that the "peace" faction in Japan to this point had been pushing for a negotiated peace mediated by the Soviets or other forms of Soviet rapproachment, as well as potential Soviet entry on the Pacific front, this was not an unreasonable fear.

    Mostly it was about keeping the Japs down, the Americans in, and the Soviets out, to borrow a phrase.

  • PapayaSF||

    Unconditional surrender was agreed to by the Allies years before, I believe at the urging of Stalin. Churchill was against it, but FDR always looked kindly on Uncle Joe Stalin, probably in part because some of his closest advisors were Communist agents.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's certainly true of unconditional surrender in Europe. I don't remember what Stalin's opinion of same in Japan was, though I do remember that Churchill was in favor (partly because the UK lost so many colonies in the Pacific to the Japanese). I do believe you're right that it was agreed to by the Allies in one of the peace conferences.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Here.

    The stark fact is that the Japanese leaders, both military and civilian, including the Emperor, were willing to surrender in May of 1945 if the Emperor could remain in place and not be subjected to a war crimes trial after the war. This fact became known to President Truman as early as May of 1945.
  • anon||

    Considering we were about to invade Japan anyways, I don't see how nuking a bunch of civilians really helped us win.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It wasn't about winning, per se, it was about winning sooner and arguably with fewer casualties, probably on the Japanese side, too, but I'm not sure how much weight I'd even put on that consideration.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Yep.

    Have you seen Fog of War? Though Macnamara is a statist tool, he fully admits that the use of the bomb was completely unnecessary in the war, and explains exactly why.

    It's a fascinating documentary that I drag out at least once a year.

  • PapayaSF||

    I don't buy the "bombs were unnecessary" idea. The Japanese barely surrendered after Nagasaki. They were arming women and children with bamboo spears. The US projected so many casualties in an invasion that they made so many Purple Heart medals that we are still giving out ones made back then.

  • Cytotoxic||

    According to the history that was written by the winners

    Ah yes, reality.

  • PapayaSF||

    Nagasaki was another A-bomb, just of a different design. H-bombs weren't developed until years later.

  • sarcasmic||

    As long as the majority of education is government sponsored, I'm thinking somewhere around never.

  • anon||

    But all that stuff only happened because the right people weren't in charge.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's a bit of an exaggeration. There's plenty of violence in the interwar period that was the work of non-government forces. Hell, going back earlier than that, there were plenty of firebombings and acts of sabatoge and assassination that were the work of anarchists*. In the Ukraine, before Stalin's forced famines the Black Army had a fun time forcing Mennonites off their land.

    Not to say that government doesn't bear the lion's share of calamitous incidents, but people can be plenty nasty to one another outside the auspices of government.

    *No, not the anarcho-capitalist kind; the confused socialist/syndicalist type.

  • Tim||

    How long till McCain calls for intervention?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And 3...2...1...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Who could possibly have foreseen this?

  • creech||

    Anyone know where the brand new F-16s are?

  • Brandon||

    Did we not put Lojack on them?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The military is intervening against him because he's screwing their country.

    I'm pretty sure Egypt has a long and rich tradition of political leaders screwing the country.

  • anon||

    I'm pretty sure Egypt has a long and rich tradition of political leaders screwing the country.

    Probably wrong (and not really related), but didn't they find evidence recently that the citizens circa 3500BC weren't slaves?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No. The evidence uncovered was that the composition of workers and slaves working on the Pyramids may have been different than what was originally thought, and that the social status of such workers was probably on the same plane as artisans and craftsmen.

  • Killazontherun||

    I remember in Western Civ in high school taught that ranking in ancient Egypt was on balance merit based. If the son of a brick layer had an aptitude for reading he could become a scribe. She also largely hinted that Exodus was a crock of shit.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Lots of different theories floating around about ancient Egypt. Since Egypt didn't have the sort of testing systems, bureaucracy, or emergent ordered systems (e.g., free market) in place to select for aptitude, it's highly unlikely that it was as meritocratic as all that. At any rate, the way that Egypt treated conquered or client peoples was fairly different from how they treated native-born sons.

  • Killazontherun||

    Since Egypt didn't have the sort of testing systems, bureaucracy, or emergent ordered systems (e.g., free market) in place to select for aptitude,

    None of those things were merely rudimentary in ancient Egypt. They were a sophisticated society.

  • Killazontherun||

    http://www.all-about-egypt.com.....egypt.html


    Ancient Egypt was ruled by a very small rich upper class who enjoyed power and wealth while the large masses of Egyptian workers and peasants struggled to subsist. The ruling class depended on a social system of administrators who organized the work force, managed resources and taxed the surplus production. For their services, these government officials received favors and could rise to the highest ranks in the administration.

    Not unlike other ancient or modern societies, the only possible ways for people of so called low birth to move upwards in the social structures of ancient Egypt were skill, literacy and a military career. Peasants could have their sons learn a trade apprenticed by priests or by artisans. Boys who learned reading, writing and arithmetics could become scribes and work in the government. Besides this basic knowledge they could learn a profession, such as architecture, medicine and engineering and greatly improve their social status.

    Both the military and the priesthood are sometimes considered separate classes in the social structures of ancient Egypt, but their members came from all strata of society.

  • Killazontherun||

    cont.

    No doubt the upper despised the lower classes as inferiors, and many instances of abuse were committed, but peasants and farmers were not slaves. They had property rights and servants could inherit their masters possessions when these died childless. Other members of the working class, i.e. artisans, were their own masters. They owned property and land, and could freely buy and sell their products in the market.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Egypt wasn't caste-based, that's true -- but they also weren't meritocratic. I mean, come on:

    For their services, these government officials received favors and could rise to the highest ranks in the administration.

    Does that sound like a meritocracy, or the typical schemata of government graft?

    Even in China, arguably the most meritocratic of the ancient world's kingdoms, the amounts of graft and sheer anti-competitive efforts were simply stunning to behold.

  • anon||

    Does that sound like a meritocracy, or the typical schemata of government graft?

    Sounds like Same Shit, Different Day to me.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    And it's definitely an exaggeration to call the Egyptian system free market. Bureaucrats had extensive control over agriculture (and to a lesser extent, trade goods), reassigned lands after every flood, assessed expected crops, and stored and redistributed these crops based on the state's pay lists.

    Obviously the extensive public works projects of Egypt were not free market in character.

    I've heard it described as one of the first command economies, based on the power of the priestly/bureaucrat class and the importance of agriculture at the time.

    Again, Egyptology is complex and it's possible that my info is outdated. I would be interested in knowing if that's the case.

  • Killazontherun||

    Free markets can exist in slave owning societies where the free exchange occurs among commoners of non slave status; this was the case in America for a long time when Adam Smith and slavery prevailed as accepted doctrine.

  • PapayaSF||

    Read this book for a fascinating look at Egyptian and other tax systems. The reason for the Rosetta stone was that there was a revolt over taxes, and the priests won a tax exemption. They inscribed this on a number of stones in various languages and placed them at temples, and one survived.

  • Killazontherun||

    I quoted the thing as full as I could without abusing the forum and without cutting it up to rid it of countervailing material inconvenient to my argument. Read, in full, that is an aside and is to be expected of even in the most meretricious of societies. It was a merit based society, just not as egalitarian as a modern might prefer.

  • Killazontherun||

    Excavations in the south of Spain and in Palestine of mining operations show that the Egyptians had an extensive merchant fleet serving its operations in all corners of the Mediterranean. Those journeys in the boats designed in that period took two years to get back and forth from one end to the other, and without integration into all the common markets along those routes it would have been impossible to sustain the trade.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Right, but all the major ports in Egypt were owned by either the temple complexes or the royal demesne; same with much of the merchant fleet. They were privately run, but mostly state-or temple-chartered. (Of course, no one really knows for sure how the hell organized Egyptian religion worked and its place in the government, so for all we know it was essentially a private actor, heh.)

    From what I've read, market processes only really flourished when the Egyptian administration was in disarray. I am not sure how Egyptian control of markets compares relatively to other ancient kingdoms and powers, given paucity of sources and all that.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Damn, how did we start talking about ancient Egypt on a thread about the dirty Mooslims? I was sure a flamewar about Islam was scheduled at around this time...

  • Killazontherun||

    Lol! The further back you go the more insight you get into what we are. I decided a few months ago that I was embarrassingly ignorant of Jainism, and to rectify this, I read the very well done Wikipedia entry on the religion. Much of what I found there really bowled my over like a pin. Their system of logic and states of logic between true and false felt like revisiting my fuzzy math routines when designing death match bots. But all conceptually laid out thousands of years before modern algorithm theory.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The ancients were smart, that's for sure. Incan bureaucrats used calculus to figure out how to synchronize their absurdly over-centralized empire.

    Still don't know what this has to do with the depravity of Muslims, heh. I'm sure someone will find a way though, this being the internet and all.

  • Killazontherun||

    I work for a subsidiary corp to Epic to put that last statement in context if it left more questions than answers. My job is very flexible, programming most days, design others. Boss lady ever ask you, 'hey, client needs a cherub render. You're good at cute little baby dicks, right?'

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I work for a state government as an actuary, which means doing startlingly little work in exchange for a healthy heaping of taxpayer dollars. Never rendered a baby dick, heh. I miss having fun on the job...

  • BakedPenguin||

    Persia under Cyrus was probably the only ancient kingdom that treated conquered people decently.

    For a lot of them, it was an upgrade in government.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Definitely. For all the pro-Greek history out there, it's probable that Greece would have been treated benignly by the Persians -- certainly more benignly than the victorious Athenians proceeded to treat Greeks who fell within their sphere of influence.

  • sarcasmic||

    Going back thousands of years. I mean, think of the wealth that was squandered in building stone monuments to the dead.

  • ||

    Eh. Think of the generations of peasants that were intimidated by them without needing a larger army. It was an investment!

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I think their concerns go a little beyond the run-of-the-mill bakshish that Third World elites have come to expect. I think their concern was that Morsi was putting the availability of the bakshish itself at risk. Tourism is a major part of Egypt's economy and they really can't afford to be putting it at risk to satisfy the religious sensibilities of the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Tim||

    It's even in the Bible, fer cryin out loud.

  • anon||

    "I'm still in the bible! Still in the bible!"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    didn't they find evidence recently that the citizens circa 3500BC weren't slaves?

    I'm not sure if this is the same thing, but apparently some people believe the pyramids were built by skilled tradesmen, not slaves.

  • sarcasmic||

    Even so, the resources used to pay them were no doubt acquired by plunder, rendering society that much poorer.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    the resources used to pay them were no doubt acquired by plunder, rendering society that much poorer.

    The Social Contract makes our lives richer and more fulfilling!

  • MJGreen||

    Pfft, there wouldn't even be resources to plunder if not for the Social Contract!

  • feudalserf||

    So who are we making our checks out to? How do they even cash to things?

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