The Authoritarian Mindset

The Authoritarian Mindset

The LA Times has an interesting profile of prominent Egyptian poet Iman Bakry. Her writing of late has skewered the Mubarak regime, as well as critiqued and lamented “an Egypt plagued by self-doubt, repression, corruption and a dangerous divide between rich and poor.”


The article also offers an important glimpse into the authoritarian mindset: Bakry has not been harassed, censored, or arrested. This “illustrates the irritating, beguiling power of a police state that creates the veneer of democracy by tolerating a degree of freedom of expression…Some dissident bloggers and political opponents are jailed. However, there is no reliable pattern of whom the government targets. The state allows certain artists such as Bakry, regarded by officials as passionate but harmless to national security, to write about whatever they choose….”