Tyranny comes in many flavors. Some are much worse than others because they are more comprehensive and potentially durable. The tyranny portended by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood promised no separation of politics and religion, hence the impossibility of pluralism, and a hostility to modernity that guaranteed economic incompetence. Theologized politics, wherein compromise is apostasy, points toward George Orwell’s vision of totalitarianism — “a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”…

Jeane Kirkpatrick came to Ronald Reagan’s attention partly because he was a constant and serious reader whose fare included Commentary magazine. In its November 1979 issue, Reagan found Kirkpatrick’s “Dictatorships & Double Standards.” His future ambassador to the United Nations made an argument that is pertinent to America’s deals with Egypt after the military coup:

Liberalism, the Carter administration’s animating impulse, adhered to a “modernization paradigm” which taught that the U.S. interest was always in modernization. This meant, liberals thought, that popular movements espousing revolutionary aspirations were inherently preferable to traditional autocracies. This, said Kirkpatrick, “encourages support for all change that takes place in the name of ‘the people.’ ” However, the liberalization of an autocracy is, Kirkpatrick believed, although neither certain nor easy, still more likely than the reform of an ideologically revolutionary regime. This is because of “systemic differences between traditional and revolutionary autocracies that have a predictable effect on their degree of repressiveness. Generally speaking, traditional autocrats tolerate social inequities, brutality and poverty while revolutionary autocracies create them.”