There is a considerable similarity between the communist parties at the time of the Soviet Union and the Muslim Brotherhood now:
- In both cases these are parties that are supported by dictatorships that want to export their ideology. in the case of the Muslim Brotherhood the money comes from the Gulf States.
- In both cases party members are known for their loyalty and fanaticism. I suspect that that is caused to a large extent by the fact that there are no real ideological discussions in the party as the ideology is settled by the money supplier. This allows one to be a true believer. Sometimes elements of the ideology may changed by the money supplier but that is still less stressful than seeing an endless ideological battle as often happens in democratic parties.
- Both types of parties are very capable to survive in adverse circumstances like dictatorships.
- Both types of parties can show a wide range of behaviors: from loyal democrats to ruthless Machiavellians and even terrorists. As this is directed by the money suppliers it is hard to predict how they will behave.
- Both tend to have many faces. Some are plain front organizations while in others the party is only contributing in the background.
This all makes it very doubtful how the Arab Spring countries will end even if they have free elections. At the first elections almost inevitably the Brotherhood will win and so they will be happy to participate. But what will happen if at some point the voters get tired of the Brotherhood? Even the leader of the Tunisian Islamists is known to have given some threatening statements on what would happen if they didn't get enough votes.
We know how communism worked. Each "converted" country became a communist dictatorship that tried to export its ideology to its neighbors while making it impossible for its own citizens to get rid of communism. Just as communism Islamism has already been a powerful exporter of terrorism - with Osama bin Laden as its greatest success story - and of ideological fanaticism - as can be seen in many extremist mosques in Europe and the US. If this ideology is allowed to expand things will only get worse.