Saturday, February 4, 2012

Port Said and Nika

Is history repeating itself with the Port Said clashes earlier this week? The event involved rival factions at a football game assaulting each other while the authorities stood idlely by. There was a similar incident during the reign of Justinian when rival factions at the hippodrome confronted their ruler and demanded concessions. This and the subsequent events are recorded in history as the Nika Riots. It was the result of the excesses by a weak ruler.

The rabble rousers on both sides Port Said incident appear to be trying put the blame on the Egyptian military for not doing anything. But those involved should be made aware that democracy is not mob rule but requires individual responsibility on the part of the people. Perhaps the Middle East is conditioned against expressions of democratic impulses because of bad experiences in its past. I doubt that this is merely a new tactic to frustrate those seeking democratic reforms or an opportunity to make Obama look bad by those seeking power. One should be on guard against oppressors lurking in the background and playing factions against itself. There are people who are too quick to lay blame.

A history of the events of the Nika Riots can be found in,

Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 222 & p. 533

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