donderdag 5 september 2013

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…
[Translated from Hors Service, n°39, La révolution se heurte à la politique et à l'armée, August 9, 2013]