The civilian opposition elites abroad, backed by groups in the community with an Islamic background, complain about the flatness and stagnation of the Egyptian people, and their unwillingness to change their bitter reality. Some intellectuals have begun searching in history for proof of their foolishness, sometimes twisting the facts to prove the validity of their opinions.
These opposition elites do not feel guilty as they blame their sins on the people. They are the ones who lost the revolution, dancing in front of Al-Sisi’s empty election committees. They are the ones who sold their dignity to support the tyrant in exchange for a humble meal. These accusations only indicate some elites’ lack of knowledge regarding the nature, history, and psyche of the people on whose behalf they speak.
The truth is that these elites have overlooked several matters:
First, they criticise the Egyptian people whenever they show signs of movement in any country for accepting humiliation, forgetting that the Egyptians did revolt, staging a great revolution that produced a respected democratic government, an elected president, a people’s and Shura assembly, and a balanced constitution. Egypt’s revolution was a particular model, distinguished by its movement and political aspects. This was until a coup was staged against it and a series of shocking massacres were committed, unprecedented in Egypt’s modern history. It was completed with the coup government getting rid of the legitimate president.
Secondly, the civilian elites are considered the basis for the confusion that the revolution became and the falsification of the people’s conscience. The elite called for principles in the January 2011 revolution and then rescinded them in June 2013, and this caused a shock of knowledge to the people in the streets. They contradicted every slogan they had promoted. How will the public understand the meaning of the revolution and its objectives if their teachers did not preserve the terms’ true meanings? How will they stick to their principles when they see the symbols of their revolution break their promises?
Third, the elites ignored the collective mind hidden in the Egyptian subconscious. The Egyptians instinctively know that power prevails over courage, that weapons prevail over numbers, and that the army is not as kind nor as good-hearted as they seem, based on their previous experiences with it. This is why they backed down after the planes broke the sound barrier above their heads during the January Revolution after they massacred, the most recent of which was Rabaa and Al-Nahda, and after they were disappointed in the January Revolution when they discovered that the military used them solely to overthrow Mubarak. The people believe that the revolution no longer has any of its rights and realised that the country still isn’t theirs, so they decided to cut their losses and retreat. The people know that only iron can fight iron and they are therefore waiting for an internal coup within the army.
Fourthly, the elites still promote delusional theories and do not want to be honest with the people and talk to them realistically. The elites are waiting for the public to come up with solutions, while the public is waiting for the elites to lead them. Ultimately, the people know which elites take action and which talk.
Fifthly, the military killed the people’s pride in itself and crushed its ambitions. Social media sites are filled with Egyptians mocking themselves, their revolutions, and even their successes, which the regime leaked its failure to through its media. The elites did not fix this discrepancy with education and raising awareness but instead joined in the mocking.
Sixth, the abuse of the revolution leaders in prisons, and portraying some of the January Revolution icons as mentally ill, on drugs, and sharing pictures and videos of them cursing, has sent disastrous messages to the Egyptians, saying, look, this is the fate of those who revolt.
Seventh, the collapses and declines in the Egyptian elite political infrastructure caused by the coup have made it difficult for them to rally behind one goal. Each group is afraid the other will take over the revolution, so we find that when some of the more popular elites approach leadership, they are hindered by other elites whose popularity levels do not allow them to take the reins.
Eighth, the elites did not play their role in raising awareness and educating the public about revolutions to protect them against the coup-led regime’s systematic misguidance.
Ninth, the elites have not differentiated between the nature of the revolutions in the world and the distinction of the Arab Spring revolutions. The Egyptians are a compassionate Muslim nation that values the shedding of blood and fears it. Therefore, its people are willing to be patient in return for not causing fatalities.
In short, jumping over events and forcibly trying to revolutionise the people by intimidating them and creating a revolution that erases the events that occurred from 2012 to 2019 is implicit acceptance of the coup. Objectively studying the activities of the January Revolution, the causes of the coup, and the rule of a legitimate president, away from exaggeration and misinformation, is the key to correcting the course. Anything else is the replacement of one coup with another.
The lack of awareness among a large segment of the Egyptian people is caused by successive dictators who have worked hard to keep them ignorant and uninformed for decades. When the people awoke from their slumber, the dictators made more significant efforts to mislead and suppress it.
The Egyptian people are not a side note of the Arab Spring revolutions. They were the first to write its political notes. Those who followed the numbers of those who took to the street to undertake a coup against their revolution and those who supported a killer who seized control over all aspects of the state will know that this nation folded under the threat of weapons. Those who have forgotten how the Egyptians took to the street in January and how many of them participated in the revolution to oppose the fascist coup, undoubtedly want to falsify history and underestimate the right of the people.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.