Questioning ‘An Unreal Government’
Posted on Dec 24, 2011
A brutal and resilient junta. The myth of prevailing revolutionary secularism. An exhausted liberal class that risks capitulation and oblivion. In this uncommonly thoughtful reflection published at The New Inquiry, journalist Matt Pearce shines light on the flies in the ointment of the Egyptian uprising one year after its inception. —ARK
The New Inquiry:
Look first at the body of violence in Cairo and then at the clumsy and defensive government press conferences that follow, and you’ll see the organizational contradiction of killing without quite meaning to kill, but also without quite being too sorry about it. It was on display in January, in October, in November, and now, in December. There’s no particular reason to believe it will stop. The ruling military still clings to proposed supraconstitutional powers that would still trump any elected parliament, and the youth still cling to the streets in outrage. The junta has not shown that it will become less violent toward them over time. This is nothing new. It’s the continuation of a regime without coherence since 1952 with a million excuses for its own existence: First a force for Pan-Arabism and then a client state for America; first an administrator of socialism, then an administrator of the free market; first a transitional government paving a path to democracy, but ultimately, headed toward nepotism. The military now prides itself as the guardian of the January 25 revolution, once more carrying the torch toward liberty while aggravating the authoritarian circumstances that made revolution necessary in the first place.
It’s an unreal government, and like most authoritarian regimes, it’s upheld solely for the sake of having and keeping power. In philosophical terms, the continuation of means has, in practice, become the state’s only ends, no matter how incoherent.
Maggie Osama (CC-BY)
Protesters demonstrate in downtown Cairo in April of this year.