En Route to Cairo and Enter the Blog’s Rebirth: Red Emancipation

21 Dec

It’s 7:32 am in Zurich, 5:32 in the UK, and 12:32 on the U.S. east coast, per the title you can probably guess where this is coming from. A friend and collaborator in the U.S. suggested that I reinvigorate my writing muscles (and tendons too) and write and introductory article on my trip to Egypt today.

Currently, Egypt has been undergoing a counter-revolution by the military, who claim to “safeguard the revolution” but the military has been on the offensive since the former dictator, Hosini Mubarak was ousted from power in February. Since then, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) have controlled the country and promised national elections that began this past November and will end in the election of the President in 2012. Nonetheless, the elections are being done in phases as opposed to all at once, the military has enforced “constitutional power” to draft the new constitution on its own, in a nutshell: the repression is clear, the power play between government and the people is being shown in graphic detail.

So, there’s a possible military managed ‘republic’ being created in Egypt, what’s new? The Arab Spring was an unexpected event and in a significant way defines the position of players in our post-cold-war society in the 21st century; which I would argue, is the people versus the government.  The Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions are liberal democratic revolutions, as far as I know yet they came at a time where economic stagnation and political autocracy, either or technocracy (in the middle-eastern case, authoritarianism) converged after successive attempts at organizing and reform and the correlative effect was anger.

Anger, can be a powerful thing and it may cause protest, redress, riots, or revolutions but it is always the fuel for the incineration of the old to make way for the flourishing of the new. Therefore, the anger that the Egyptians felt and their tactic of occupying the square has resonated with activists from Athens to Oakland.

The conditions which fermented and matured this anger originate from the antagonism between governments and their people at the moment, with different conditions and relationships within different varying national structures. The technocratic coup in Greece and Italy (particularly apparent in Greece) represents an extreme deficit in democracy, or rather, the rule of the citizenry or the people et al (yes, even immigrants have a voice! Vive les sans-papiers!). To call enforced technocracy or private-sector interventions, a ‘coup’ seems rash but, when a foreign or politically illegitimate group of people pressures a government to abdicate in order to install a government that will create certain civil and socioeconomic relations, I call that a coup. On the other hand, in Egypt is much more complicated and it was not a liberal republic but a presidential dictatorship that is now experiencing military-led counter-revolution.

This is going to be an interesting week, as I feel indignant at the mistreatment, abuse, and decimation of my brothers and sisters in Egypt. I am equally encouraged by the tweets and the facebook posts and the images of protests from those who remain. Egypt will be the crucible and like in Spain in 1936, if we can win here then we can win again unelected technocrats, single-state dictatorships of the proprietors, or outright dictatorships and as opposed to default to simple reformist liberal democracy at best we can wipe away the refuse of our social history and build on solutions to our grievances.



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