12 years after the January Revolution: Military dictatorship chases the legacy of the democratic revolution

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On this day 12 years ago, ordinary youth demonstrations began, chanting “Freedom”, which soon developed into a more complex and comprehensive chant expressing the masses of the Egyptian people, “Bread, freedom, social justice”, and in more expanded versions, it was added to this group. Human dignity” not often. Not only were these young people affected by what was happening in Tunisia, those who believed that the economic deterioration and the political and social deterioration resulting from the previous regime’s management of the country for 30 years should stop, but that was a semi-popular conviction in all of his direction.

The military council, and at the heart of it the current president, saw that the country was in a deteriorating situation, while the most significant dissatisfaction was with the project to bequeath that regime to the son of the former president at a time when, although army officers enjoyed material benefits throughout and after service, they were losing control day after day over the public sphere. In contrast, the regime’s secret police, the State Security, is rampant. During the first three days of the revolution, most of the police departments fell, and now it was the turn of the armed forces to deploy. Some of the forces clashed with the revolutionaries out of excessive enthusiasm and military commitment to protecting the regime. Still, later, the army’s words will be, “There is no fear for you,” indicating that there was nothing wrong with overthrowing Hosni Mubarak. There is consensus on that.

The revolution succeeded but later aborted

It is apparent to the eye that the revolution succeeded in what it aimed for. Hosni Mubarak’s regime fell, but the army, the most coherent institution usually aspiring to rule, took over the country’s administration, and the public sphere was opened up. During the year and a half that followed the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, during the period of the military council’s rule, apparent differences arose between the political forces, at the heart of which was the Muslim Brotherhood, which saw itself as the alternative that would replace the regime of Mubarak in all its aspects, and between the military council that would replace the two later. But those disagreements were like the ashes that contained under fire the demand to subject the army to control, in the sense that the people own everything, so that the sentence of Major General Mahmoud Nasr, Assistant Minister of Defense for Financial Affairs, came in March 2012, as a manifesto for the armed forces and their new contract, in which it stated: “We will fight over our projects and this is a battle that we will not abandon. The sweat of 30 years will not be left to anyone else to destroy, and we will not allow anyone else to approach the projects of the armed forces.”

The Muslim Brotherhood reached power on two pillars, the first being widespread popular religiosity and the second confronting the productions of the previous regime represented by one of its faces, Lieutenant General Ahmed Shafiq. The Muslim Brotherhood in power chose the youngest member of the Military Council, Major General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to assume the defence portfolio at the rank of lieutenant general and then first lieutenant general. The second criterion was his apparent religiosity, a measure usually favoured by the group to co-opt and recruit new members.

All these political tensions and disagreements, whether in the street or the institutions of government, ended with the conviction of the majority that the Brotherhood regime must not be formed, which is what happened. The power of former President Mohamed Morsi fell, with the prominent forces with the same project. So, everyone should have managed the dispute based on a social contract prioritising rights as sharing wealth and governance affairs. The greed of the various factions is running the scene, while the street is trying every moment to restore the moment of February 11 to “get rid of all this” by bringing it down using the ether phone. The people want to overthrow….” to destroy the military council.

A hand holding a weapon

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, to Mushi, and from Mushir to take off the military jacket, wear the traditional civilian presidential dress, and assume power as President of Egypt. The current president began his rule with a hand holding weapons and a hand rebuilding the security system. This security-military system will unite, and those behind it who feel threatened by political Islam groups will eliminate it, beginning with the protests of their supporters in the street and even eliminating the last leader of the group in Egypt. Then the president’s regime turned to the civil opposition until it reached the most familiar and close opposition to the government, as the new ruler feared any voice that might be the beginning of the unrest, as happened during the late rule of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

At the same time, the army’s “sweat” was the primary concern for its extension, as the military-controlled almost all the outlets of economic life in the country. There is no longer an area that the army and its companies did not enter, while the police force, which ducks itself in interests that no one talks about, dares not compete with. With this “sweat”, the president develops material and material advantages for his officers, from salaries that rise without a ceiling to positions held by generals upon retirement age and even immunity from any possible prosecution, which are the same advantages to a lesser extent to the police, and accordingly to the judiciary. So, the state submits to the new president as the force that is most numerically equipped and has the legitimacy to use violence from national and legal accumulations, which has now become the backbone of controlling the country.

Pillars of governance

In addition to tightening security and military control over the country’s economic, political and social spheres, which is the first rule for consolidating power in dictatorial regimes, while the second rule is “questioning”. The current regime knows that the moment of the end of the previous regime came due to a general conviction that everything that happens must stop immediately, a sentence that almost everyone believed in, “except for the direct beneficiaries of the system and the system itself,” even the regime itself was convinced that the situation was terrible. And he has no choice but to justify what is happening, and from this sermon, the current president went off, the conviction that the situation is terrible should not expand, even if it is wrong. That should not be said.

This strategy was built on two axes. The first is the expansion of construction operations throughout the country, projects that citizens see every moment and when they move, roads, bridges and new capital, the highest flagpole and the largest mosque and church. The homes of the poor will remain as they are, but they will be given an aesthetic look with cheap paints, even if all this is by expanding borrowing and making the poor and middle classes bear the cost of these “reforms”. As for the second axis, it was dual in terms of a state of assimilation that every individual in this system possesses, starting from the president to the lowest official, always talking about breakthroughs and achievements and following up and chasing any negative talk to silence it, even if it was an ordinary woman who says that the high prices devour people.

The president himself was following the reports revolving around the last axis, and when he listened to the popular grunts in the messages received, he used to call on the people to “stop the nonsense,” or when an official or one of his close entourages, because of the projects of the “sweat” of the armed forces, tried to deviate from the script, the response is decisive. Here, reference can be made to the most famous sentence, “Who are you? Have you studied what you are saying?” Even before the anniversary of the current revolution, he criticized the reference of the media, which is controlled by his apparatus, to the concern of citizens to “eat and drink” and considered what was happening shameful. On the other hand, referring the accusations in a canned and complete manner to the January 25 revolution, starting with “exposing the shoulder and back” of the country, considering the movement that the president benefited from and whose interests once agreed with him, is the leading cause of the country’s crises and problems, starting from the economic troubles to the Renaissance Dam crisis.

New memory

Supporters of the current president and his regime woke up before the opponents on an economic crisis that is the most severe in the last decade, with unprecedented inflation rates, with a significant shortage of foreign exchange that caused a major problem, whether for importers who need foreign currency or for the government that has to pay interest and debt instalments annually, followed by Government measures are the most challenging and severe for the market in all its aspects, whether investors, workers or consumers. No reliable polling centre can work to reveal the extent of the decline of the president’s popularity, but it is suffering. Even he fears it, and he was recently forced to defend the course of “national projects” in his last speech. He confirmed his adherence to it and considered criticism of it, and held it responsible for the current economic crisis as” Misleading.” And amid the usual state of denial, he blamed, as members of his government do, the Russian war on Ukraine, which the International Monetary Fund itself says and which the president cited in his speech, that this war has just showed the shortcomings of the government’s economic approach and showed its weaknesses, which is the case that says that the president is continuing the path he has drawn for himself.

There is now a conviction among the supporters of the revolution and the circles close to them that the moment of Mubarak’s fall, even if it is possible to be repeated, will not be the solution, which prompts more questions in different formats, on top of which is “How is it possible to reform and confront deterioration, in light of an environment that has become inevitable to live with?” “,” How can the current regime be dealt with without a revolution? If we go back to February 11, what can be done? Or, in a correct sense, “How can the most powerful force in the country be tamed without confrontation?”