What do we have here, a conservative Middle Eastern dictatorship getting a little shaken up? Have no fear, brave Egyptian patriots; America is here to export some grade A unleaded democracy at a moment's notice. Of course, we were once colonies, so it is a completely different sense of circumstances, but pay no attention to that. Not interested? How about a nice military junta instead? All our South American customers are more than happy with theirs, especially with our guarantee that if you aren't satisfied with your military junta, the second one comes free! Results may vary. Of course, since this is a populist revolution, the sky's the limit! There's no telling where the wave of active and youthful ideals will take you. Luckily we have a few examples to look at.
Yes, we know that Egypt just escaped the yoke of a dictator and is now striving for a democratic government to replace the new military junta. It should be noted that this could take the disastrous turn that the French and Russian Revolutions took. In the case of the French, we see an uprising from the country's poor and oppressed peasants. They overthrew the incompetent king and installed a republic with the intentions of creating a free nation. However, it was not too long before the Republic became a collective of paranoid tyrants who executed all in their path only to be overthrown by a man whose ego far exceeded his physical stature, Napoleon Bonaparte.
The same happened to the Russian serfs. After replacing the incompetent Tsar, they installed communist assemblies called soviets to run the country, then renamed the country the USSR. And that turned out even worse than the French Revolution did, becoming the poster child of a police state and by being led by one of the worst mass murderers in history, Josef Stalin.
This ultimate corruption of a representative government was even more shocking due to the idealistic nature of the revolution that dragged the world into the darkness of the Cold War.
In all three revolutions, (French, Russian and Egyptian) we see a radical and idealistic youth rebelling against the foundations of their predecessors. Be it the harsh taxation policies, the rigid social castes of oppression, or revocation of rights to commune and discuss politics on the Internet (or look at funny videos of cats) the countries' youth mobilizes for "the greater good." It's a different world now, but people, especially disenfranchised youths, never change.
Looking at these two well- known disastrous revolutions, one may think that there is little hope for the people of Egypt. However, there is one example that is not as widely learned today. The Roman Empire, as you probably know, was once the Republic. What you may not have known is that Rome had kings long before the Republic. The son of the city's last king, Tarquinius, made the mistake of assaulting the sister of a young noble named Lucius Junius Brutus, causing her to take her own life in shame. Moved by this tragedy, Brutus led the charge to banish the kings and establish Rome as the first great republic of the world. So perhaps Egypt may fall into the shadows of oppression once again, or it may do so in the far off future. But maybe, something good can come of this and those young people may learn from history and take heed. After all, the sky is the limit.