There Is No Plan

Nobody Reads This Blog

Egypt: The Strange Case of the Self-defeating Revolution

leave a comment »

Tahrir is a prison

Tahrir Square is starting to turn into a city within a city. It has its own pharmacist, food and power supplies, and makeshift police forces drawn from protestors. The military oversee entrance into the square, politely frisking protestors and sending them on their way to merrily pray and sing their hearts out.  Slowly but surely, the military will choke the life out of the rebellion, killing it with kindness rather than water cannon.

All this is rapidly becoming almost laughably ironic.

Instead of taking the revolution on the road and fomenting pressure for change in Alexandria and  other poor as all get out delta cities, it has been voluntarily contained. The pitched battles in Suez and other cities seem to be over. The police have gone underground again, and world journalists are now conveniently camped out in Tahrir, where they’re surrounded by the military.

Meanwhile, the US has signaled it supports a Suleiman-led ‘transition’ government, which means – as predicted – the military is asserting its authority and Mubarak will get to pass the mantle, painlessly, to the Army, which is banking the worldwide hashtag creators will move on to the next story during that ‘transition’.

What the army won’t do is throw out the baby with the bathwater. Too much democracy and there will be popular pressure to rescind the peace treaty with Israel, which if acted upon will mean the army has to go back to being a fighting outfit rather than a patronage and business-driven organization. That’s bad for an officer’s bottom line.

The outcome depends on the cohesion of the democracy protestors. Already, there are fissures developing between Islamist and secular groups, between moderates and radicals, between the bourgeoisie which has far more to lose than the poor. It’s the same old story of just about every revolutionary cycle. Do the middle class drivers of revolution lose control to the mob? The answer in this case will almost certainly be no. Not because the mob will be appeased and enfranchised so much as that the bourgeoisie will seek protection from a military establishment that will be only too glad to help.

In Tahrir Square right now, the military are in total control, protecting and isolating the demonstrators all at the same time. With a few bumps and bruises along the way, it’s likely that Tahrir will become a metaphor for the future of Egypt.

Despite all the soaring talk of emancipation, there simply aren’t enough voices in power who want it any different.


Written by coolrebel

February 5, 2011 at 2:35 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s