Saturday, July 27, 2013

What basic logic suggests to me about the situation in Egypt

I was just listening to the latest news out of Egypt about the hundred or so people killed today and I kept wondering what kind of convoluted logic would be used to blame it on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  And, sure enough, I heard one pundit saying that the demonstrators were responsible because they were not peaceful but armed.  Another commentator then admitted that holding the democratically elected president in jail was not an option and that new elections should be organized in which Morsi should be allowed to participate.

Does any of that look totally crazy to you or is that only me?

Honestly - I find no redeeming quality to the MB, nor do I want to see these guys in power in Egypt.  I dislike their ideology which I see as profoundly reactionary,  I don't like their leaders whom I see as irresponsible and, frankly, rather stupid, and categorically disagree with Sunni Islamists' stance on the war in Syria.

But for all my dislike for the MB, it is rather obvious to me that they simply cannot be blamed for the violence in Egypt.  Violence needs to be looked at two levels here: an individual one and a corporate one.  On an individual level I am sure that both pro and anti Morsi demonstrators have used violence, as did individual policemen and soldiers.  However, in this case the individuals are to be considered responsible - not the organizations they belong to.  But on the corporate level, the only ones who used violence are the coup leaders and the police.  As an organization the MB did not unleash the current wave of violence - the Army did - and at the most the MB can be accused of defending itself or responding to violence.

Furthermore, if the military and the police are the only one guilty of the corporate violence on an immediate level (i.e.: they directly engaged in it), on an formal level the cause of all the violence is the coup itself (they created the circumstances which made it all possible).

Considering the above, I am baffled to hear somebody suggest that new elections have to be organized.  Organized by whom?!  By the same military which is guilty of the current violence and the coup which preceded and triggered it?  And, if Morsi is allowed to run, will he do that from his jail cell?  Or will the MB be banned by the "democratic military" as a "terrorist organization"?!  Would it not be more logical to have the MB organize these elections and ban all the parties and political figures which supported the coup?  I know, just kidding.  But seriously - would that not be at least as logical.

As I said, I intensely dislike the MB and I really do not wish them well.  But I have to admit that if I was an Egyptian member of the MB I would have to come to the conclusion that the entire democratic process and ideology is, at best, a farce and, at worst, an evil and toxic lie and that real change in Egypt can only happen as a result of an armed insurrection followed by a *real* revolution, one which does not only remove puppets, but achieves an irreversible regime change.

Is that not the only logical conclusion?

This all reminds me of a poem by Bertold Brecht:

Die Lösung
Bertolt Brecht

Nach dem Aufstand des 17. Juni
Ließ der Sekretär des Schriftstellerverbands
In der Stalinallee Flugblätter verteilen
Auf denen zu lesen war, daß das Volk
Das Vertrauen der Regierung verscherzt habe
Und es nur durch verdoppelte Arbeit
Zurückerobern könne. Wäre es da
Nicht doch einfacher, die Regierung
Löste das Volk auf und
Wählte ein anderes?

The Solution
Bertolt Brecht

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writer's Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

(check here and here for historical context)

The Saker