For my part, I would bet Egypt’s fate will be largely driven by its fiscal ruin. Morsi is a good example of what happens when full-blown Islamic rule is put into effect in a country without the benefit of oil. He’s your go-to guy when it comes to ramping up the clitoridectomy rate, but he’s not so effective when it comes to jump-starting the economy. In February, the government advised the people to eat less and cut back the food subsidy to about 400 calories a day — which even Nanny Bloomberg might balk at. Amidst all the good news of the Morsi era — the collapse of Western tourism, the ethnic cleansing of Copts, the attacks on the Israeli embassy, sexual assaults on uncovered women, death for apostasy, etc. — amidst all these Morsi-era success stories, even a Muslim Brother has to eat occasionally. Egyptians learned the hard way that, whatever their cultural preferences, full-strength Islam comes at a price. Egypt has a wheat crisis, and a fuel crisis, and the World Food Program estimates that 40 percent of the population is suffering from “physical or mental” malnutrition. For purposes of comparison, when King Farouk was overthrown in 1952, Egypt and South Korea had more or less the same GDP per capita. Today Egypt’s is about one-eighth of South Korea’s…

Ninety years ago, Fuad I’s kingdom was a ramshackle Arab approximation of a Westminster constitutional monarchy: Even in its flaws and corruptions, it knew at least what respectable societies were supposed to aspire to. Nasser’s one-party state was worse, Mubarak’s one-man klepto-state worse still, and Morsi’s antidote to his predecessors worst of all — so far. You can measure the decay in a tale of two consorts. After she left the shah, Princess Fawzia served as the principal hostess of the Egyptian court. In tiara and off-the-shoulder gowns, she looks like a screen siren from Hollywood’s golden age — Hedy Lamarr, say, in Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945). Sixty years later, no Egyptian woman could walk through Cairo with bare shoulders without risking assault. President Morsi’s wife, Naglaa Ali Mahmoud, is his first cousin, and covered from head to toe. If you were a visiting foreign minister, you were instructed not to shake hands, or even look at her. If you did, you’d notice that the abaya-clad crone bore an odd resemblance to the mom of the incendiary Tsarnaev brothers. Eschewing the title first lady, she preferred to be known as “first servant.” Egypt’s first couple embodied only the parochial, inbred dead end of Islamic imperialism — what remains when all else is dead or fled.