Thursday, July 23, 2009

57 Years of Military Dictatorship - Commemorating Egypt's 1952 Military Coup

In Egypt the military coup led by the "Free Officers" which overthrew King Farouq on July 23,1952 is referred to only as the "July Revolution." There is no mention of a coup d'etat or a military take-over, only "Revolution" or the "Victorious July Revolution." This is what Egyptian children are taught in their history books and this is the message transmitted to the people via the state-controlled media.

Similarly President Gamal Abdel Nasser's corporatist/populist system of authoritarian rule (1954-70) is referred to only as "socialism" or "Arab Socialism." In any case all remnants of this so-called "socialism" have been permanently erased from the Egyptian Constitution via the 34 constitutional amendments of March 2007.

When Premier Mohammad Naguib announced his demands for the army to return to its barracks, and for a resumption of civilian rule he was promptly deposed by the "Revolutionary Command Council" on November 14, 1954. Naguib's calls for a return to civilian rule are rarely mentioned or discussed.

Only three military dictators have ruled this country after 1954, and for the past 28 years we have been living under a police-state dick-tatorship. The influence of the military has since been eclipsed by the influence of the businessmen who control the ruling party, the ministries, the upper and lower houses of parliament, and the local city councils.

This so-called "July Revolution" has only moved us from the dictatorships of military men to the dictatorships of businessmen. It has achieved this by crushing and dismantling civil society. Ever since this military coup Egypt's independent trade unions were brought under state control, political parties were virtually wiped out, seats in legislative assemblies denied to opposition members, professional syndicates were manipulated and are still being interfered with, while NGOs and their constituents are subjected to constant harassment and arrests.

There were in fact more civil liberties and political rights during the days of King Farouq than there are currently under Dick-tator Mubarak. Sure, monarchies are probably the most absurd madcap and degrading forms of government, but police-state republics may be even worse. Keeping in mind that Mubarak Senior has been grooming Junior for the presidency for a decade now, it looks Egypt is devolving into a monarchy once again.

Hafez to Bashar El Assad in Syria, Fidel to Raul Castro in Cuba, Hosni to Jimmy Mubarak in Egypt. Isn't it about time for new revolutions, genuine popular revolutions?



radical royalist said...

Republican dynasties are far worse than royal dynasties. They are, as you said "police-state republics [and] may be even worse", because they have no letigimacy.

Jano Charbel said...

True dat Radical Royalist. There are numerous police-state republics which are far worse than constitutional monarchies. But I could never defend a monarchy like Saudi Arabia - that's almost as foul as Apartheid Israel.

I'm against all forms of states and governments - humanity simply doesn't need these artificial authoritarian institutions. I say neither monarchies nor republics - for they both lack legitimacy.