Thursday, 1 August 2013

Elite Angst in Sisi's Egypt 


    I doubt I'm alone among people with an interest in Egypt in finding myself shocked in recent weeks by the dramatic changes I've seen in many people I know. I'm talking about people who used to hold liberal views, professed to believe in democracy and the usual freedoms and respected the work of human rights activists, for example. Many of these people are well-educated and had travelled abroad and could see that Egypt had some serious governance problems at the most basic level – corruption, waste, cronyism, favouritism, negligence, inertia, lack of accountability and so on. The vast majority of them supported the 2011 revolution against Mubarak and looked forward to a fresh start that would try to put their ideals into practice and redress some of the deficiencies that were part of Mubarak's legacy.
     The ones that have shocked me most have been transformed into reactionary, intolerant, xenophobic, chauvinistic and irrational people who advocate the repression, exclusion and in some cases even the wholesale slaughter of their political opponents. They have called for the closure of television stations and newspapers whose editorial line does not please them, and even for the arrest and prosecution of the people who work in them. They are highly sensitive to criticism from non-Egyptian individuals, institutions and governments, and in many cases have started to dismiss out of hand such notions as democracy and human rights. “We don't want 'your' democracy!” is a phrase I have heard or read on numerous occasions this past month. On top of all that, they have embraced with the fervour of converts an institution that represents some of the worst aspects of late 20th century Egypt – an army that is parasitical, unproductive, wasteful, incompetent, class-ridden and ruthless in pursuit of its commanders' corporate and private interests.
     The other striking feature of this group is that, unlike in 2011, they do not appear to have any vision for how they would like Egypt to be, except in the most crude and negative terms. The phrase 'We don't want your democracy', for example, is not followed by proposals for improvements on the imperfect models of democracy prevalent in other parts of the world. Except for the previously unloved and now seriously compromised Mohamed ElBaradei, they have no inspiring leaders of any stature, no one with a high-minded long-term plan to turn Egypt into a functioning democracy.
     How to explain this sudden shift?
     My initial hypothesis (and I welcome any comment or input from others) is that many of these people saw themselves as the natural rulers of Egypt and assumed that once the dust settled after the 2011 revolution they would take their rightful place at the top of the hierarchy. In 2011 advocacy of democracy and human rights seemed like the best strategy for getting rid of Mubarak and correcting some of the worst features of his regime. Their liberalism won them foreign support and sympathy, and enabled them to assemble a broad domestic alliance bringing together groups that could not possibly aspire to political domination alone but would have a fair chance of some influence under a democratic system. They relished foreign approval at the time and many of them looked forward to Egypt taking its place in the world as a respected nation – a status it had signally failed to achieve under the corrupt and incompetent rule of Mubarak. This broad coalition largely held together through the first year of rule by SCAF, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, though differences did emerge over the extent to which people should challenge military rule.
     The turning-point came when SCAF started to organize elections, firstly for parliament and secondly for a civilian president who would replace the generals. The various Islamist groups, of course, won much more support in the elections than people had expected and completely dominated the first pro-revolutionary parliament, with more than 70 percent of the seats.
     Looking back at the course of events, and at the psychology of this elite demographic, we can detect during this period the first signs of serious alarm among Egypt's traditional rulers. It was at this stage that we started to hear complaints about the campaigning methods of the Muslim Brotherhood ('They tell people they'll go to heaven if they vote for the Brotherhood', 'They give them free sugar to win their votes') and references to the gullibility of the great unwashed. A well-known author openly questioned whether illiterate people should be allowed to vote at all (literacy tests were famously used in the southern United States to prevent black people from voting). 
    The Supreme Constitutional Court also took dramatic decisions that in effect undermined the popular will, dissolving the lower house of parliament on a tendentious technicality. The membership of the court was relatively diverse in conventional political terms but as a whole it certainly represented a traditional statist and elitist view of how the country should be run.
    The second round of the presidential elections helped to bring the polarization into focus. Faced with a choice between Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had no track record in government despite more than 80 years in the political arena, and Ahmed Shafik, a Mubarak associate who represented the traditional power system, about 15 percent of the electorate defected from candidates who embraced the 2011 revolution and voted instead for Shafik. Morsi won by 52 to 48 percent, a margin often described by the term 'wafer-thin' or other such adjectives, though decent enough by normal standards. That's about the same as Obama's margin in the 2012 elections.
    During the one-year period between the time Morsi took office and the time the army overthrew Morsi on July 3, the Egyptian elite faced no particular crisis of ideology. They could attack the Brotherhood from a traditional liberal perspective, accusing the movement of harassing the independent media, imposing a constitution that served its own special interests and trying to plant its representatives in every key position in the bureaucracy. Some of their arguments were rather feeble, but the framework was familiar and they could still elicit some sympathy from their traditional allies in Europe and North America.
    Everything changed with the army's intervention on July 3 and the welcome that this received from the main groups opposed to Morsi - the National Salvation Front (NSF) and the Tamarrud Movement.
    Faced with the reality of an Islamist movement that has millions of supporters and that does not recognize the legitimacy of the new rulers, and with foreign commentators who are sceptical about the wisdom of using military force to overthrow elected leaders, some of the Brotherhood's opponents seem to have been going through real trauma at the personal level, particularly with respect to outsiders.
    Let me cite one victim directly, someone who thinks that anyone abroad who didn't speak out against the Brotherhood while they were in power should now shut up and keep out of Egyptian affairs.
    "When you'd been ignored for over a year and decide to make a "pact with the devil" you no longer want to be distracted with "the voices" and you wonder: why now? And where were you before? Why you seem to care all of a sudden? And yes, when one's set of beliefs is shuffled ... one is in psychological turmoil," the woman wrote.
    An actor who hated the Mubarak regime and always advocated freedom of expression has been campaigning to close down media hostile to military intervention. When I pointed out the contradiction, he posted a term of common abuse against me and 'unfriended' me before I could respond.
    I suspect that this trauma is contributing to the clamor for the security forces to disperse the pro-Morsi encampments in Cairo. The encampments are a constant reminder of the Other in their midst, of those millions of Egyptians who do not agree with them. They want us all to close our eyes while they mandate the men of violence to 'solve the problem' for them. They don't want to see the blood, they don't want to hear the screams. As they keep saying, they want 'their country' back - a country cleansed of irritating troublemakers who have ideas above their station.   
           
   

47 comments:

  1. One alternative hypothesis (although I wouldn't bet on it necessarily against yours) is that Egyptians have very low confidence in and expectations of both institutions and abstractions. The country's modern history has taught people that the gap between ideology and reality is vast - see Arab nationaism, Arab socialism, economic liberalization etc. - and that whatever the rules or institutions might say or appear to be, ultimately what matters is who is in charge and whom you know who might be close to them.

    Post-uprising institutions have performed dismally. Egyptians watched the first freely-elected national assembly acting more clownishly than the House of Commons and to less effect. The constitutional process was a farce, and in any case all constitutions of modern Egypt have been serially violated. State media carried on lying; police carried on being absent when wanted, present and abusive when not; and so on.

    In these circumstances, looking at the Brotherhood putting their people and friends where they wanted, with no respect to the provisional nature of their authority - Governor of Luxor an egregious example - was deeply worrying not only for the elite, but for many Egyptians. Without faith in the institutions and rules to exercise any restraining force on those individuals, how should people not be concerned? There was no sense of substantive democracy emerging, no commitment to compromise, protect minority rights etc. Procedural democracy had given a mandate to a group who showed little inclination to consolidate the other features of "your" democracy. The elites were predisposed to believe the Brothers would behave in this way, and no doubt did not give them a fair chance to buck that expectation. But they fit pretty smoothly into the narrative prepared for them, evoking all kinds of "Algeria scenarios" for the most nervous observers.

    In the end, the army is the least despised/useless institution in the country. That does not make it beloved, necessarily. It just makes it comforting in contrast to all the rest.

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    1. I agree with everything you said except that it cannot be expected that a perfect democracy that doesn't just include the ballot box but all the other trimmings of democracy would be just suddenly and miraculously born in Egypt. History tells us that it took the west hundreds of years to develop their democracy and like them we need to work on ours. The Opposition in Egypt instead of struggling with the Brotherhood in every election on every street , slum, and village within the framework of a democratic process, resorted to the easy was out; they went to the bully and fantasized that the bully will give them their freedom and and easy access to institutions.

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  2. only one problem with your theories bro : the elite cant even fill one square in Egypt and certainly dont live in the towns and villages outside of cairo. So,how do you explain the millions and millions of Egyptians who went out and practically begged the army to remove the MB and Morsy the idiot?

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  3. very simply,we the Egytians dont want Islamist rule.We tried it for a year,gave them a chance and decided that we dont like it....

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    1. People like ahlein was described by the author in this thought provoking article. They will do everything to cover the truth, even if entails lying through their anus! Pro military protesters are a disgrace to humanity and what's most laughable is that it was never their protests that the military needed to remove the MB. Yet they are so gullible, worst than the Egypt illiterates, to think their that the military was responding to their call.

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    3. The comments made by Akinlabi amount to hate speech, they do not comply with the high standard of discussion on this blog and are typical of the intolerance of islamists

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    4. I can't say I accept Akinlabi's analysis in full. Clearly we need more investigation of the role of media and political communication in mobilising large numbers of people. But I don't see grounds for removing his remarks. Sorry, Hany

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    6. f non Islamists were tolerant in the the first place, we won't have had the turmoil currently threatening Egypt at the moment neither we would have had more than 200 people massacred. The irony of these events is that the secularists blame the Islamists for virtually all the guilt purely attributable to secularists!

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    7. Non-Islamists are more tolerant than you expect; they just lived for freedom and better living that rose high after January 25, but they didn't find the president of dream

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  4. the answer, on the last point, is that the figures have been hugely exaggerated. they always were, from January 2011, but the coalition of people happy to see Mubarak gone turned a blind eye to the exaggerations begun by Al Jazeera concerning a million in Tahrir Square. Now the figure for june 30 varies from 17-36. it's ridiculous. Tahrir and roads around Ittadiyya together hardly manage 1 mln. Media manipulation has been a major element in events of past month.

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    1. Many thanks for the farcical number being thrown around

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    2. Hi Andrew, Of course I agree on the numbers. But it seemed petty to argue on the basis of numbers. The anti-Morsi people certainly mobilized large numbers. The media were very lenient with them on the 33 million signatures. There are hardly 33 million Egyptians who can sign their names, when you take into account children, and many rural people and old people.

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    3. The numbers were of people all over Egypt's cities not just in Tahrir square.
      There were millions

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    4. Jonathan , I just noticed your derogatory or to put it in milder form condescending remark about the numbers of Egyptians who know how to sign their names, you may have meant it as a joke, but it says something about the way you think, there is group who really patronize Egypt, they sit in safety outside it and think they should tell Egyptians how to act, because they are better, they know how to sign their names.

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    5. Hany, adult literacy is what? 75 percent? At least 35 percent of the population is under 18, so their signatures don't count politically. The Brotherhood has a solid 20 percent support. There are villages in Egypt I doubt Tamarrud ever reached. Where I live in Fayoum you have to drive ten miles to buy a newspaper, let alone find a petition form. Some women rarely go further than the end of the street. No one ever audited all those signature forms. Do the maths and use your brain instead of making baseless accusations.

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    6. I am not disputing the fact that the numbers mentioned above are in-correct,Tamarod btw never claimed 33 million,my point was the derogatory remark you made about Egypt not having 22 million people who can sign their name, it is not an accusation I make, it's what you said, which to me shows a very colonial arrogance

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    7. hi - just want to note that I was answering the first point put forward by ahlein on the millions who took to the streets against Mursi. I wasn't questioning the petition signatures.

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  5. This level of intolerance you write about, and blind hatred on behalf of so called Egyptian liberals/leftists has led me to deactivate my FB and look very differently at some of my friends. I dont understand the Egyptian love affair with the military, and any criticism of it is seen as a vote for the MB.It will end in tears.

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  6. You encapsulated my thoughts exactly Jonathan Wright. I share your angst. An excellent piece and a good antidote to the nonsense, propaganda, hatred and falsehood I am hearing from my 'liberal' friends in Egypt.

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  7. what can i say, fantastic article!

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  8. Amazing article. As an Australian born second generation Egyptian and who also looks on in bewilderment at the goings on, I must say your article is 10 out of 10. Absolutely brilliant and it cuts the core issues that plague Egyptian society.

    Terrific article.

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  9. I agree with you till about halfway. A first point of disagreement: that this group had a vision for the country in 2011. It did not. The Tahrir protestors as well as the Zamalek elites did not have a vision beyond getting Mubarak and his clan out. The MB did have a vision of some sort, though.

    The wider elite in Egypt do not see themselves as natural rulers - they expect someone else to do the difficult job of ruling and hopefully be nice about it. They rely on a narrow state elite - the neo-Mamluks of the army and a wider technocracy - to do the ruling for them. They have absolutely no elaborate idea (a few HR activists aside - and even among that crowd you now see Hafez Abou Seada provide legal justifications for the repression of protestors if they are "armed") for instance of how to run an institution like the Interior Ministry in a country like Egypt (poor, porous, chaotic, overlaid with social violence that can quickly take an overtly political turn). In other words, the wider social elite has largely avoided looking at giving a go to running things themselves.

    Secondly, why did they oppose the MB with growing vehemence? Because of its incompetence and arrogance, to be sure (although that incompetence was largely due to the absence of access to governing positions, and thus experience, for opposition elites in Egypt). But also because the MB's approach was to alter the wider elite's social compact with the power elite, and in particularly the network of privileges that links business elites (the Sawiris types) and corporate elites (the professional syndicates, parts of the civil service, state trade unionists, university professors, etc.) to the state. The MB were taking over these networks for themselves on the Mubarakist model, which meant there were losers in the traditional elite in favor of the MB's (much better disciplined and organized) counter-elite. MB-connected lawyers and businesspeople were even muscling in on the felool to recuperate their assets under investigation (land in particular) at fire sale prices. The traditional elite was being muscled out of its place of privilege without responsibilities. In a country where wasta is everything, that meant losing quite a lot. And Egypt is not a nice place to lose a rung or two on the social ladder, whose scale tends to the logarithmic.

    As for the ambient hysteria, denial of reality, and general venom - one might see it as a mix of sublimated guilt and desperate attempt to impose a soothing, uplifting narrative. The elite we speak of here - globalized, cosmopolitan to some extent (unlike the MB counter-elite, which is globalized but anti-cosmopolitan) - has to reconcile its veneer of liberalism and previous democratic discourse with the reality that is more subservient than ever to its pact with a power elite that, since 1952, has also been anti-cosmopolitan (just a nationalist, even nativist, rather than purely Islamist version). I think that's why they have such a hard time dealing with their contacts, counterparts and references in the wider cosmopolitan world (from CNN to think tanks), which is itself having a hard time grappling with the new Egyptian reality. (Not so hard, mind you, when John Kerry has just said that the military intervened to restore democracy in Egypt - the global power elite is quickly integrating the Egyptian elite's narrative.)

    I think the reality is that many Egyptians, elite and non-elite alike, were unhappy with the late Mubarak era because of Gamal and the clan wars (and thus frozen governance) that the succession issue and Hosni's illness were causing. The revolution took them by surprise, they quickly bought in, but without any clear idea about what they wanted. The coup has provided them with an opportunity to entertain the illusion of progress under an evolved system, which can still neutralize (through repression and co-option) the Islamist counter-elites. They are about to be sorely disappointed.

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    1. ^ Wonderfully stated, and worthy of a blog post in itself.

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  10. You do not need to agree with all here for appreciating the logic in this article. Good responses as well. Why have so many liberals embraced the army's ouster of the MB so easily? I think the answer is mostly, 1) hatred for MB and its abysmal performance 2) the enemy of my enemy is my friend 3) we do not think much about long term impact of policy in general 4) wicked state of the economy.

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  11. 1-some of the anti revolution are exactly as you describe, but how would you categorize-since you obviously like to categorize people-someone like me, I voted Morsi and the MB in,hoping that the Nahda "renaissance" program advertised in the election campaign would propel Egypt forward, the brotherhood admitted immediately after the election that there really was no such program.
    2-I watched with horror as the TV stations you defend promoted Shia hatred till I saw Shia being lynched to death in the streets near the capital, promote Coptic hatred till I saw mobs attack the main Coptic cathedral during a funeral for Copts killed in sectarian incidents.
    3-I and millions like me impeached the same man we elected on 30/6, millions went out in every Egyptian city, not just in Tahrir square.
    4-it is true that after 30 years of Mubarak we still don't have a clear way forward, but the MB wasted a golden chance handed to them on a plate to lead this country and establish democracy, what did they do?
    They sent their civilian militia to beat up our sit in in front of ittehadeya on 5/12/12, I was there, hit by a rock in my leg.

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    1. do u seriously want anyone to believe that u voted for Morsi u guys have been shamelessly spinning lies of epic proportions for an year now and ya if u really believe pepl are with u y oppose a referendum on morsi every one will.accept.the result on MB side no more sitins the .but u won't becoz ur partisans can't use fraud signatures hmmm tamarood and ya must have hurt that stone on ua leg my sympathies but don't take revenge by asking for shooting 1000s in head and chest. u have already killed 300 of those second class.citizens ur revenge is not.complete still

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    2. Your hatred would not allow you to see the truth if it punched you in the face, thats your illness-Actually if it wasn't for our votes, the "lemon squeezers" like myself, Alaa El Aswany, Nawara Negm, no way Morsi would have got his small majority over Shafik, I campaigned for him and against Shafik publicly, I was on the BBC news at 10 and declared that I was a Morsi supporter

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    3. Hany, will you kindly bend your head and stop this embarrassment. Where in the world has an elected government solve problems in 4/8 years let alone in 12 months? Coupled with all attempts by egypt elites and military strangling morsi government! It's just a shame that you are one of the many that have been fooled by the West and mubarak remnants

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    4. Morsi himself promised people would notice change in his first 100 days in office,unforced promise,however no one really expected a miracle,but 12 months were enough to see the trend,and that was very negative,unlikely to reverse in future due to incompetence,lack of experience, and employing loyalists rather than experts, hundreds of examples, but one I saw personally,Kishk the Assiut governor a loyalist MB professor of cardiology with zero admits treatise skills

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  12. Bravo Jonathan.. spot on! it is exactly as you describe it. I'm shocked and appalled by the reactions of people I thought I knew well! Many of them are no longer rational in their arguments and see only what they wish to see. Most have adopted an intolerant "You are either with us or against us" attitude. There's a lot of hatred as well and it's as if many Egyptians have been stripped of their humanity. Really tragic!

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    1. Hi, Shahira. Hope you're well. Good luck

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  14. Openid, I don't think we disagree at all. I was focusing on the trauma of the ex-liberals, while you have more to say about the behavior of the Brotherhood, which I left aside. But I basically agree. On the minor point of whether the elite had a vision back in 2011. I think they did. They (people like ElBaradei and Amr Moussa) thought they could defeat the Islamists at the polls. My view was that it would be healthy in the long term if the Islamists had a chance to rule and then proved to be incompetent. Unfortunately too many Egyptians weren't prepared to let matters take their course

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  15. Prove incompetence and then let things take their course at the next election would have been the best course, but the brotherhood also cheated on democracy by converting every non religious ballot issue into vote for us/vote for god/vote for Islam ,vote for the others then you are voting for the enemies of Islam.
    Morsi had a golden chance to focus on economy,health,education and defeat all his critics by performance and he busted it,and was partly responsible for the failure of Egypt's budding democracy,meanwhile I believe the military never lost total control,they just swapped Mubarak/Gamal with Morsi/MB, time for a new mask

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  17. I'd like to suggest an additional factor that I think is worth consideration here. That is, I wonder what is the occupational background of the 'ex-liberals' (who probably still consider themselves liberals) that are discussed here?

    My guess is that the vast majority of the most vocal supporters of the coup -- who, as noted, are the very same people most ardently condemning the Muslim Brotherhood, labeling it a terrorist organization, calling for repression and violence, etc. -- occupy professional and managerial positions: doctors, lawyers, bankers, mid- to high-level government employees, social workers, engineers, academics, teachers, marketers, journalists, entertainers, managers, and so on.

    These are people who still get paid a wage, but they don't necessarily directly produce goods or services. Instead, they produce the 'culture' (attitudes, beliefs, values) and social relations necessary for maintaining the state-capitalist system of production: obedience, passivity, submission to authority, isolation, acceptance of the rule of business and of mass consumption as the means to attain happiness, and all the corresponding ideological justifications for inequality and injustice that we find in media and political discourse.

    They fill positions that we wouldn't consider to be traditional 'working class' jobs, because they are usually the ones overseeing production (managers, engineers) or overseeing the cultural and social lives of working people (teachers, academics, journalists, social workers). However, like workers, they are still paid a wage and don't own large amounts of income-generating property, so we also wouldn't consider them to be part of the 'owning class' (those who wield true power in Egypt and elsewhere), yet much of what they do is to manage affairs on behalf of the real owners of the economy.

    Thus these professional and managerial types are not workers and not owners, but constitute a third class that is antagonistic to both workers *and* to owners -- and they are highly significant because they make up nearly 20% of the population in most advanced industrial economies.

    (continued…)

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    1. (cont'd from above...)

      I put this suggestion forward precisely because of a few clues in Jonathan's post: the 'ex-liberals' are happy supporters of the overthrow of the MB, which they saw as a threat to their liberalism, and more importantly their autonomy; they express a deep-seated distrust, and often even disgust, toward the working class and the poor; and that they wanted to overthrow Mubarek and Morsi in part because they 'see themselves as the natural rulers' of Egypt. (An outlook quite similar to Bolshevism, we should note.)

      All of this is quite consistent with what we would expect to be the attitudes of a class situated between workers and owners. They despise the limits on their skills and expertise set by capitalists and their political representatives, and believe that if only the guys at the top were gone, they could run society much better themselves (on account of their expertise). At the same time, because it is their role to manage, indoctrinate and service workers and the poor, over time they come to believe that workers are incapable of managing their own affairs -- thus the convenient and self-interested 'need' for experts, managers, social workers, teachers, and so on.

      Of course this is a general analysis, and it would be ludicrous to suggest that *all* doctors, lawyers and managers support the overthrow of Morsi, or support al-Sisi, or support the violence and repression against the MB.

      But I think it is crucial for all those who wish to transcend political, economic and social injustice and inequity of all kinds, whether dictatorial or liberal-fascist in nature, to understand the three-class (workers, 'coordinators', owners) nature of contemporary state-capitalism if we wish to move toward a society based on cooperation, equity and justice.

      We would surely build our movements and choose our strategies much differently if we awoke ourselves to such a reality.

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  18. Andre, the majority of MB leadership non practicing medical doctors,I am a medical doctor,the MB support was very high among medical doctors,we elected them for our union 20 years in power.
    It has really dropped now, this organization thrived for 80 years as it was perceived persecuted by government,one year in power nearly killed it.
    It's power base is in educated middle class Muslims, completely the opposite of your assumption

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  19. It is kind of strange equating liberalism (in the classical sense and not the progressive one) to democracy. Liberalism is based on the rules of politics being placed so as citizens protect as much of their natural rights as possible, on consensus of every single significant group, on citizens depositing their trust and giving agency to rulers and not their sovereignty as well as the ability to seek guidance from heaven on when to overthrow a government that has breached that trust. Reality is that after all these rules and practices are set then elections are used as a method of bloodlessly overthrowing incompetent governments every now and then, elections are never a goal in themselves within a liberal framework.

    Many revolutionaries in cairo and alexandria thought that they had done the right thing when they allowed islamists who didnt believe in human rights to control the country, they thought that they would both exemplify their great tolerance and ability to contain the brotherhood. When MB got to power they turned more extreme and moved swiftly from revolutionary allies to extremist islamist allies, they took a top down view of the nation and used electoral results to do as they pleased. Those people in cario and alexandria were caught up, they knew they made a mistake. They looked foolish and naive in the eyes of other secularists while at the same time MB was not reforming the state but claiming it. It was an existential fight against the brotherhood that had to be won.

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    1. In a nutshell, thank you Hala

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  20. I think the main culprit is the education system. The education system in Egypt is mostly subsidized by the government and therefore shallow and unproductive from a human perspective. Many professionals do not have a real understanding of their career, and the same applies to the way they embrace high values and ideals. As a journalist I can see that very well in almost all media in Egypt. Those people co-existed for decades with a repressive state as long as they receive their livelihood. They are not exactly rulers but the servants of rulers and facilitators of repression. Most of them do not have the moral or emotional depth to be called liberal or ex-liberal. They simply remind me of a man I met at a shop near my house who insisted he is a liberal and believes the word is synonymous with the hate of MB.

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  21. Well said. You have spelled out clearly the frustration and odd contradictory beliefs many hold, and hinted at some of the underlying causes.

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  22. One of the major issues is that the liberal elite is over-represented in English media. Thus you see a lot of Egyptians posting on Reddit how the MB is an evil, oppressive force and that the coup is both not a coup and is going extremely well when it isn't.

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  23. Hi Jonathan,

    Many parts in your article lack precision and many facts are missing, making it quite misleading...

    For example, one wonders why -while you make a political account of events- you totally neglect the constitutional decree announced by Morsi, which gave him above-the-law (almost divine) rights... You also did not mention that pro Morsi gangs occupied the constitutional court, hindering its judges way to meet and issue their sentence with regards to the Islamic constitutional committee, who were trying to shove down our throats a Sharia based constitution intended to stay forever, in a very unconstitutional manner...
    You seem to care a lot about the safety of the sit-ins at Rabaa and Nahda, but you do not bring a hint about the barbaric attack that the pro Morsi supporters made in front of Itehadeya against liberals, killing a number of protesters and torturing others...

    You live in Fayoum, a salafi governerate 'par excellence'... I hope you do not take polls in this area to get a sense of Morsi's popularity nationwide. It would explain, however, your evident bias to Morsi’s camp, which I am sure the majority of your discerning readers, already realize...
    Jonathan, we the 'liberals' want YOUR democracy the right way... We do not want a western democracy disguised in a veil and chocked by the rules of an intolerant Islamic-Shariaa-based law... Should I remind you of Iran? They have ballot boxes too! The game looks fair, and they have 5 or 6 candidates for president; but guess what, they all have to be approved by the grand ayatollah or else they are excluded... Is that something you would like to see in Egypt, and so eagerly defend?

    No, we do not need to be reminded of the ‘Other in our midst’ because THEY constantly remind us of how intolerant they are, and what they think and do with us ‘the kafir liberals’ and with you ‘the foreign kafirs’… I earnestly invite you to read the below report by Amnesty Int’l about the encampments that you mentioned. Perhaps you would get a hint of what they were all about, and who knows; maybe you will come to understand why we will not tolerate them: because we will not tolerate intolerance…
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/egypt-evidence-points-torture-carried-out-morsi-supporters-2013-08-02

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