How soccer explains the world
It’s not exactly public philosophy, but an article today in the New York Times, continues the theme of politics and sports I wrote about Tuesday. Turns out that the Egyptian loss to Algeria has caused not only international tensions, but also domestic unrest as Egyptians focus on other “domestic failings that until now were largely tolerated.” The article describes a “nation struggling to come to terms with its diminished standing” in the world. Egyptians are equating their loss on the soccer field to the 1967 loss to Israel on the battlefield, backing up TNR editor Frank Foer’s theory that in many ways soccer explains the world. And while domestic introspection is surely welcome in an autocratic country like Egypt, it may spur more and more national leaders to intervene in international sports – for if a soccer loss can cause domestic political turmoil, their political survival may depend on it.