Patdowns in Anarchist Egypt


Most press accounts of Egyptian citizens taking up roles ordinarily reserved for the government have been unsurprising to fans of emergent order, but I definitely was not expecting this one. From the Christian Science Monitor:

For the first time after a week of protests, checkpoints were formed at the entrances to [Cairo's Tahrir Square]. Separate lines formed for men and women, with men patting down the men and veiled women patting down the female protesters and checking IDs. 

Asked who organized the checkpoints, those patting down the protesters denied being from any political group and said, "We're just from the people."

Somalia's telecom companies have been doing this for at least a decade, but this is the first I've ever heard of it happening in such a public space.

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    1. The only reason STEVE SMITH to WSU, was so he could fuck sheep with impunity in the middle of nowhere on the Palouse.


        1. So that is why Steve’s kids go “DAAAAAAAAAADY!”

          1. TROY NEED DEFINE “KIDS”!

            1. You morons: Kids are goats, not sheep.

        2. Steve forgot to read the description of animal husbandry.


          2. According to one of my former Aggie (TAMU) boss, so did one in 4 farmboys.

      2. I think there is some confusion here.

        Washington state did not get a reputation for bestiality because its rural eastern male residents fuck sheep.

        We got it because our urban west coast women fuck dogs and mules.

        The presumed reason urban west coast women fuck their pets is because their men don’t do it properly.

        1. That’s because the men are busy getting fucked by horses.

    2. I feel sorry for those poor bastards getting on that boat with STEVE. They are gonna wake up with sore assholes.

    3. Did STEVE know Tom Tuttle from Tacoma, Washington? He went to the WASHINGTON STATE too.

  2. But.. but YOU NEED ME

  3. We can’t have this! That is a public meeting place open to everybody!

    Besides, pat-downs should be done only by authorized, tax-fed and jack-booted leeches, just like everywhere else!

    [The tortured, confusing and contradictory mind of the statist.]

  4. It’s smart. It helps prevent agents provocateurs from mixing with the crowd, as well as any hothead. World (and, one could imagine, Egyptian) opinion tends to side with non-violent protesters.

    1. Probably trying to stop the POLICE from sneeking in. The world is turned on its head.

      1. Probably Explicitly

  5. Who says the market/voluntary organization can’t provide crucial public goods?

    1. with all the veils and heavy clothing and gloves and such, one wonders what man isn’t trying to pretend to be a woman for the chance to cop a feel.

      Just sayin…

      1. I feel your pain.

  6. woah woah woah there….do they have a union?


    1. Turn off your caps lock key, idiot!

      1. Are you from the gubmint and here to help turn off the caps lock?

  8. fans of emergent order

    I’m pretty sure this statement defies the laws of physics.

    1. fuck the physicists, they’re all statists douches who take public money to satisfy their supercollider size issues.

    2. Nah. Thermodynamics talks about whole systems. If emergent order were locally impossible, we wouldn’t exist.

    3. Dr. Ian Malcolm: If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territory, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously.

    4. Water ==> Ice Viola! Emergent Order.

      1. and I was hoping for a double bass.

    5. The second law of thermodynamics applies to molecular movements, not human interactions. Blow.

  9. Asked who organized the checkpoints, those patting down the protesters denied being from any political group and said, “We’re just from the people.”

    You mean the Egyptian people, when given the opportunity, have not actually taken to eating each other?

    They must not have heard of Hobbes’ theory on the state of nature. They’re supposed to tearing each other to shreds and stuff without the wise, benevolent hand of government to guide and monitor their every action.

    Bellum omnium contra omnes.

    1. I always thought of Joe as the reincarnation of Hobbes.

  10. But don’t you see?

    Without ten weeks of intensive community college training, those guys might do the pat-downs wrong; they could miss something!

  11. That article about Telecom Somalia was pretty interesting.

    1. Oh those highbrow Somalis, freakin’ importing Kenyan khat (which, incidentally, is kinda fun if you can get by the horrible taste).

      1. Khat is the official stimulant chew of Libertopia!

  12. No wonder Mubarak won’t step down, these people want to organize themselves into obedient sheep so quickly. They’ll get tired and hungry soon enough.

  13. Out: libertarians hating on intrusive patdowns by government.

    In: libertarians loving intrusive patdowns by random citizens who organize spontaneously.

    PS: Yeah, I know that’s not STEVE’s real point, but I can’t be only one to spot this contradiction.

    1. Ummm….. I don’t see the contradiction. The former is done for the purpose of security theater under the threat of violence.

      The later is done for the purposes of self defense.

      1. Cops can also pat you down in self-defense –it’s a Terry stop. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

        As for violence, what do you think happens if you refuse that Egyptian’s request to pat you down? He writes a stern letter in hieroglyphics?

        Finally, if a cop pats you down and finds evidence to arrest you, you have at least some chance of challenging the issue in court. You can also file a complaint with his supervisor/IA. Sure, we may poo-poo the idea that filing complaints will do any good; but what do you do when it’s a crowd of self-appointed patter downers? Cast a mummy curse on them?

        As far as I can see, vigilante patting-down is inferior to cop patting down, even if the latter isn’t go great.

        1. Abdul, you seem to have missed anarchocapitalist dogma #37:

          It’s only violence when the state does it.

          1. In the case of air travel, consumers should have a choice to choose between differing amounts/types of security. In the case of attending a very public protest you have to realize you are going to a very specific place and time and have to go with the customs of such a place and time.

            i suppose egyptians who don’t want to go through a pat down could try to start their own protest somewhere else without such spontaneous pat downs

          2. Dude! Beat your wife, not me!

    2. You’re not the only one to spot it.

  14. Smuggle a gun in with your child. There’s no way those animals are smart enough to search each and everyone present like we are back home.

  15. Admittedly I’m no anarco-capitalist but I think the point that needs to be made is that this will end when the immediate threat ends. Government policies stick around regardless of whether or not it’s achieving or has achieved its end.

    1. ^THIS^

  16. Saying “we’re just from the people” is real easy to do, and the saying of it doesn’t make it so.

  17. Cool – go Egyptians!

  18. Pat downs I get, but why do they need to check ID’s? “Wait a minute, did you know your driver’s license is expired? No protesting for you buddy. Make sure all your paperwork is up to date before you speak out against the regime, mmkay?”

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