Egypt – Considerations on the non-revolution


From Hors Service (issue 39, August 9 2013, Brussels) via
Original title: Égypte : la révolution se heurte à la politique et à l’armée
Translated from Italian by act for freedom now/B.pd
Egypt: the revolution clashes with politics and the army
The recent events of the Egyptian revolution raise important issues to
think about and discuss, that once again present us with the same
question: what does this mean for us, not as something that is happening
far away but as something that doesn’t know borders and therefore concerns
us directly. First of all let’s make it clear that ‘revolution’ is not a
‘moment’ of history that can be separated from the rest so as to say: that
day there was a revolution. Revolution is a long process that develops
through a series of insurrections, of violent moments of rupture, during
which power is attacked on a large or small scale, in a more individual or
collective way. These insurrections destabilize the established order,
i.e. political order as well as the economic and social order. They pave
the way to new thought, new ways of understanding oneself and one’s life.
Free action, like free ideas are thus stimulated. Insurrectional
experiences transform people because it makes it possible for them to
learn to have confidence in their strength and ideas. And all this is the
oxygen that allows the struggle to continue to blaze.
For two and a half years now the Egyptian revolution for bread, freedom
and social justice has been seeking its path. It started with the uprising
against dictator Mubarak, who was thrown out with the necessary violence
after 40 years of dictatorship. Then it continued to fight against the
army that had taken power. After a year and a half of struggle against the
military regime, for twelve months the anger of the oppressed and
revolutionaries has turned to the new powerful: former president Morsi and
the Muslim Brotherhood.
We could publish a list of all the protests that have taken place since
2011, and be stunned in admiration and respect at the fierce courage of
all the people who ventured along the road of revolt. Obviously facts are
important, but above all for the individuals who lived them. As we have
already said, revolt transforms people. And only by considering these
facts as experiences lived by individuals can we also enjoy them here, in
our pacified context. They show us that we don’t have to wait for the
masses to perhaps take to the streets, but we can rise up against what
oppresses us here and now. We are not going to provide a picture of all
the blocks (of roads, railway lines, underground lines…), of all the
looting, sabotage, strikes, clashes, attacks (we just remember en passant
the attacks on the presidential palace)… We prefer to focus on their
depth and dwell more on the questions of insurrection and revolution.
If we don’t ask ourselves these questions we risk falling into the traps
that power has set for us. We risk understanding the Egyptian revolution
as a political spectacle, as some ‘opposition’ to political power, that of
the Muslim Brotherhood for example, while much deeper things are going on.
We risk not understanding that what happened on June 30 2013 didn’t depend
on the army or political opposition, but that these bastards had snatched
the insurrection from the hands of the oppressed in revolt.
To go beyond the spectacle that the media present us with means to go
beyond the already chewed mouthfuls they trim for us. This means to look
for what is happening alone, using one’s own brain and above all not
trusting the words that power bombards us with. Those who believe the
language of power will also believe that on June 30 millions of Egyptians
took to the streets in order to demand ‘early presidential elections’ and
that the intervention of the army put an end to the political power of the
Muslim Brotherhood. But this is a swindle, a big nationalist and political
fraud, which has been spread and prepared for some time.
The army is no friend of the people; it is an institution devoted to the
defence of the State and so it defends the social order. And what is
tragic is that this army, that was responsible for so many bloodbaths
while it was in power in 2011 and 2012, managed to convince a great many
people that it is the friend of the people. They made people believe that
it was the generals who threw out the Muslim Brotherhood, whereas this was
nothing but a great spectacle.
It is the revolutionary movement in the streets, the movement that over
the last year fought like a wild lion with sharp teeth that led to the
fall of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The courage and tenacity of the revolutionaries and the oppressed in
revolt produced something great. It had been in the air for a long time:
power would fall again.
The political campaign of Tamarod (a coalition of political parties at the
origin of the appeal of June 30) was launched at the opportune moment to
snatch the revolution from the streets and turn it into a political
spectacle. A spectacle between political parties, presidents, elections
and parliaments. The army, which among other things owns 40% of the
Egyptian economy, is riding the wave of the moment with only one aim: to
save the State and order from the social revolution.
June 30 marked a new phase. It is important to pay attention to this fact
because the revolution is being seriously threatened by all sides. First
of all by one of the most powerful armies in the world, which is only
calling on civil war to divert attention away from the revolution and thus
protect the wealth of the privileged from the devouring rage of the streets.
Secondly the revolution finds itself faced with the barrage of one of the
most powerful ideologies in the world: democracy. Democracy has the sole
aim of keeping the peace between the oppressed and the oppressors. It
invites people to vote and choose their own oppressors, sanctions that it
is possible to demonstrate peacefully, and transforms everybody into sheep.
And so: let’s sharpen our lion’s teeth, let’s just make a huge fire of
this Egyptian nation that loves the army, let’s make a huge fire of all
the political parties and ideologies, all the religious or secular
leaders. And let’s find answers to the needs of the social revolution.
Let’s push it ahead, with courage, shamelessness and confidence. For only
through social revolution will we be able to come near to the end of oppression.
There are also people who are taking to the streets in order to oppose
both the army and the Muslim Brotherhood, who are fighting for the
continuation of the revolution, for their claims: bread, freedom and
social justice. May each one find the methods they consider opportune to
express solidarity with this movement.
Down with the army, down with the Muslim Brotherhood, down with the State
and any kind of power! Erhal*!
*Literally means ‘get out’, a slogan of the revolution against Mubarak,
the army, Morsi and again the army…

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