Pensive Sadness
Hawkins Answers

Reforming Mordor

I consider it unlikely for Abdullah to dilute political power by liberalizing Saudi Arabia. His own family will vehemently oppose him if he embarks on that plan.

Remember that the entire country is "governed" by numerous members of the ruling family. Each province and function of the country is given to a different brother or a relative. For example, the military and the media are controlled by two different men of the Saud family. It's set up in such a way to avoid inter-family bloodshed since practically everyone has got perks and some kind of domain. So, we not only need a liberal Abdullah but also a sizable portion of the Saud family who support him.

Abdullah might well succeed with a little economic liberalization but politically his family will not give up their power. They'll, of course, hold sham elections to satisfy dim Westerners but that's about it. The only solution that I see is to uproot the entire Saud family and the Mutaween organization (the Religious Police).


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