The fact that Egypt's democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi has been given the death penalty by the military junta is an upsetting development in terms of democracy and human rights. However, this situation takes us to a process that will teach us many lessons. The EU countries and the U.S., which turned a blind eye to the military coup in Egypt, have remained silent once again when a popularly elected president has been given a death sentence after standing in a so-called trial at a pro-coup Egyptian court. This, beyond any doubt, implies that the Western values, which were politicized with the French Revolution, are being trampled by the West itself.
The year 1989 was the bicentenary of the French Revolution. When he was asked what he thought about the French Revolution, Zhou Enlai, one of the founders and premiers of current China, said that it was too early to talk about the matter. What has happened in Egypt shows us that Zhou Enlai was right in his statement: It was too early to talk about the French Revolution in 1989, because it would be more precise to address it in light of the military coup staged by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Egypt.
Now we need to take a closer look at Egypt, because the story of Egypt in the 20th century is the story of all of us, i.e., it is "de te fabula narrator" as the Roman poet Horace said. This is why Karl Marx started his "Capital" with this phrase. Figuratively speaking, Egypt is a laboratory for a social scientist who wants to get the bottom of the whole 20th century and the history of the Middle East.
Since the very beginning, Egypt, along with Israel, has played a determinative role in the Middle East, which was formed under the hegemony of the U.S. after World War Two. From 1945 onwards, Egypt has been administrated by three different political regimes that complemented each other. King Farouk's monarchy regime lasted between 1945 and 1952; Gamal Abdel Nasser's statist and "reformist" dictatorship continued until his death in 1970, Anwar Sadat's "collaborative" dictatorship lasted until his assassination in 1981. Hosni Mubarak, who succeeded Sadat, liquidated Nasser's "nationalization" policies in line with the U.S.'s "new world order" and came to power as the dictator of the Egyptian bourgeoisie, which started to grow rich during King Farouk's period and rested on global capital. Actually, the Mubarak regime deepened the "infitah" policy, which Sadat introduced in 1974, implying opening the door to private investment. Mubarak continued the Sadat regime in this regard.
With a law enacted in April 1974, the Sadat dictatorship terminated nationalization and the state's confiscation and started a reconciliatory political line with Israel and the U.S. Until the early 1990s, the Sadat and Mubarak regimes easily maintained their dictatorships by obtaining oil revenues, its investments in the Arabian Peninsula and the U.S.'s donations. After Iran was hampered, they maintained the dictatorship by obtaining the majority of oil revenues. When the boycott of Arab countries came into play following the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in 1979, the U.S. started to transfer capital, which would substitute for Arab countries, to Egypt.
Until recently, Egypt has survived with oil revenues and the Arab world's investments. However, the Egyptian state spent this immense capital on defense, redundant imports, housing construction and consumption. It created a plunderer and lumpen bourgeoisie, which rested on the dictatorship, and to which we are not a stranger.
Large amounts of foreign capital flow, high civil servant wages, high inflation, negative real interest rates and overvalued investments in the country's currency, pushed the country to speculative fields, rather than to industry and leading sectors that can compete with the world, such as housing construction, transportation and tourism.
In such an atmosphere, Egypt's external debts continued to increase in the 1990s. This was because oil prices were falling and foreign capital inflows came to a standstill in those days. As of the late 1980s, the IMF's stand-by agreements often came into play. Egypt's state-supported plunderer bourgeoisie could not go beyond textiles, food, chemicals, plastic products, construction and tourism.
As is seen, Egypt, one of the most fertile and richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources and the cradle of some of the most significant civilizations, has been plundered by quasi-military dictators who have collaborated with the external powers since World War Two. With the policies it pursued, the Nasser regime paved the way for the Sadat and Mubarak periods.
Egypt got rid of the Mubarak dictatorship during the Arab Spring, which was left half-finished. The Muslim Brotherhood, which was led by death-sentenced Morsi, played a key role in this process. Contrary to what is claimed, the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terror organization, but a very common civil political structure that is organized in every neighborhood of Egypt. Now the el-Sissi junta is trying to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood with arms. This is a step that will not only throw Egypt into fire once again, but also the whole Middle East. Obviously what happens in Egypt is "de te fabula narrator." Let us find the truth and object of what is happening.
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