charles hugh smith-Egypt, Libya et al.- Demographics, the Oil Curse and Post-Colonial Karma

What is unfolding after four decades of suppression is a full-blown crisis of legitimacy. Regardless of their purported ideological flavor, the ruling Elites all relied on the same system of governance: offer a simulacrum of public purpose to the world and the populace, and ceaselessly pursue private confiscation of national income and resources.

Now, at long last, the consent and compliance of the ruled has dissolved.

It's certainly valid to place responsibility on the colonial powers for leaving behind socially and economically crippled nations with hastily drawn borders; but that would be leaving out the opportunities squandered for half a century by the local Power Elites which took the reins of power from the colonial empires.

What could have been done in the post-colonial transition--the slow, careful construction of legitimate, transparent institutions to channel development, education and investment--was not done. Instead, the concentrated control and culture of expropriation of national assets and income streams for private consumption and acquisition was continued. The iron fist of Empire was neatly covered with the attractive glove of "freedom," but that freedom was elusive and illusory.

Some really interesting things here.