Tuesday, December 24, 2013
On Advice to Revolutionaries
A lot of advice is given day and night over all the television channels as to how we must ally ourselves with the military and move forward because of the Muslim Brotherhood threat. I’ve read a lot of it that sounds great from a literary perspective, talking about deals to be made and compromises that we should do. Most of the advice is given to everyone other than the police, the military and the government.
I think such advice really patronizes those fighting for our cause. The problem is that the words sound good, but they mean nothing to those on the ground. It addresses none of our real concerns, it provides no way out. If advice is talking about building a real democracy then we all agree to it, but such advice ends up addressing the wrong party. The revolutionaries aren't running the country, they're just monitoring its progress.
While we all agree we want to build a democracy, some of us on the ground are worried about 'How'. How can you deal with a regime that offers revolutionaries positions in government and then offers them rape and death threats if they don't accept? How do you ally yourself with a military that is overreaching for more power and does not want to compromise any of its interests for the sake of the country? How do you address unjust laws passed that give police the power to select your next parliament and to keep you in jail? How do you address a protest law combined with a constitution that can get you tried in a military court for protesting. (Yes, you can get tried in a military court for protesting because CSF troops are not police, they're military conscripts and the police usually fabricates charges against protesters).
These are just a few simple examples, the rabbit hole goes deeper. So until there is solid advice that answers the real concerns and the how of the matter, I would advise the advisors not to give us advice that doesn't really give us much to do. If only it were that simple, if only it were that possible. In case they write away, they put out a disclaimer that this is just literature.
On the other hand and to be fair, there is a problem with revolutionaries too. They do have valid reasons for opposing the roadmap, the constitution and the protest law. They do have valid reasons for going out to protest and rejecting the unsound advice. But they do not articulate their ideas and their reasoning well enough. A few go out in protest and say ‘Down with military rule’, with this chant not being representative because the military now rules through proxy, and the chant alienates more than charges. To counteract this, some say ‘Down with MB guide’s rule’, another nonsensical chant because he isn’t ruling.
In a sense, both Rabaa and June 30 are the flip side of the same coin that undermines January 25. The trouble is that revolutionaries aren’t working on patiently counteracting the silly flawed arguments put forward by Rabaa and June 30 supporters turning as populist as their counterparts. In order to move forward, we must address the nonsensical notions of our advisors and our opponents by patiently coagulating our rhetoric so that it’s more cohesive and comprehensible and irrevocable. Until then we must, side-by-side, call the oppressors out on their oppression, call the liars out on their lies.