I hope no one minds if I copy and paste the bulk of a comment I left over at Richard's place and call it a post. Here goes:
As I see the word coming out of Tahrir Square, particularly from Mona Seif (@monasosh), I've been reminded more and more of what people say about life in the Paris Commune. They're making their own world there, and it's amazing. But then of course the more I'm reminded of the Commune, the more I'm reminded of how that ended.
I'm still more optimistic than pessimistic, though. Last night some friends came over for dinner, and of course all we could talk about was Egypt. At one point I brought up that there's at least one couple honeymooning in Tahrir, and at least one other that was married there, and we all kind of paused for a moment and thought about that, and how if you get married in a revolution, there's no way that you don't pass that down to your kids.
There's just so much beauty going on there--the Copts protecting the Muslims during prayers and vice versa, the guy giving free haircuts at the "revolution salon," the singing welcoming committees at the entrances to the square, the increasing strikes across the country....even if, God or whoever forbid, it is crushed, they can't kill everyone, and they can't make them--or us--forget.