In January 2011, the people of Egypt, long dispossessed by the ubiquitous corruption and brutality of a repressive State and the privations enforced by its policies, rose up to cast it down. As the protests unfolded and the reactionaries viciously reacted, I began to suspect that Hosni Mubarak was not as benevolent as billions of dollars in American military aid might suggest. The president and his circle seemed fairly detached from the reality of their countrymen, which was unexpected, since they had been entrenched in power long enough to get an authoritative, leather-clad grip on the nuances of public opinion. But sometimes people just surprise you. It happens. In the end, the Egyptian people deposed their dictatorship through their courage, audacity, and solidarity. In an equally courageous act of solidarity, the Mubarak military committed itself to overseeing a steady, peaceful transition to the free and just Egypt that the revolution had struggled to achieve. This transition took a steady 16 months. Their commitment to the rest of the equation was less than stellar.
On June 24, 2012, newly elected President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was sworn into office, ushering in both the first democratically selected Egyptian government and a disastrous one-year rule of staggering ineptitude and authoritarianism. The Morsi regime and Brotherhood leadership managed to fall short of every conceivable standard of competency and claim to represent the best interests of the Egyptian people, including the Brotherhood rank and file. This is a very, very hard thing to accomplish. It requires an almost conscious effort to be abysmal at what you’re supposed to do. On June 30, 2013, a considerable number of concerned citizens lodged their public complaints with the managing classes. On July 3, the military rode in high on the motorized tiger of entirely plausible justification. Matters have proceeded smoothly since that point.
In his Counterpunch article, S. Fitzgerald Johnson puts forth the proposition that the conditions for fascism are ripe in Egypt. The long-established and deep state marriage of capitalism and military force is realigning itself, either to return to the status quo of the halcyon Mubarak days or to slip into something a little more violent and coercive.