Egypt: Plight vs Class consciousness and U.S. chicanery
"US Vice-President Joe Biden urged that the transition should produce "immediate, irreversible progress that responds to the aspirations of the Egyptian people"." bbc
If you’re an idiot, or a run--of-the mill american, you might think, “because they’re the greatest nation and champion of democracy on earth”.
But if you’re an intelligent human being, or one who aspires to be, you might think,
“I wonder why...”
Well, the common, and quite true assumption is that the U.S. would love the secularisation and ‘democratisation’ of any country as it enables the mass influx of their capitalist piglets into the country for the purpose of making a swill out of their resources and markets.
But, in addition to this, i’d say that the U.S., though dumb, didn’t get where they are by brawn and hollywood alone. They’d have realised that revolution can be a contagious thing. Tunisia got it, then Egypt. The last thing the greatest champion of democracy-cum-hypocrisy would want is this masses-foot-in-the-elite’s mouth disease to spread across the region. That would result in a region that is not as predictable as it has been, for the U.S. that is. Even though they can’t exploit it as much as they would like, they are quite happy with the middle east serving as the ‘bogeyman’ to instill a sense of fear, and thus, subservience, on the part of the generally ignorant and linguistically deficient american.
The problem with revolutions that ‘last too long’ is that in the course of a long-drawn revolution, the people might realise that it is not just some authoritarian figure who is a problem, but the system itself that enables said authoritarian figure to not bother about their rants and raves.
The problem with revolutions that ‘last too long’ is that in the course of a long-drawn revolution, the people might realise that it is not just some authoritarian figure who is a problem, but the system itself that enables said authoritarian figure to not bother about their rants and raves. Additionally, a long drawn revolution can serve to increase mutual sense of empathy amongst the people. Earlier, they might have decided to take to the streets because they are being deprived of, say, cheap transportation charges, or sticky toffee pudding. That is a self-centred venture. Even though they’re all together kicking up a fuss over the same thing, there isn’t really what Marx would call, ‘class consciousness’ - that is, the people realising that whatever differences might divide them, they are still a part of the exploited class.
I’d personally term it ‘plight-consciousness’, not ‘class consciousness’. That is, they are conscious of their shared plight, but once the plight is removed, they mosey on along their self-absorbed merry way. ‘Class consciousness’ is not a main factor here. But if the revolution continues, and people get to know each other across classes, professions, ages, genders, sexual orientation, than the division begins to weaken, empathy is enhanced, and ‘class consciousness’ can grow. And with this, people might begin to fight for the interests of others as they would for the interests of their own family. The collective family that is conscious of itself as a class is born. Empathy is not fragmented to one’s own social group as it might have been previously.
If greater empathy is achieved, and all of the people get together for the interests of every group comprising it, the capitalist system wouldn't be able to withstand the rigours of mass mutual empathy and still maintain its hegemony.
You see, the capitalist system is able to screw all of the people all of the time because it does it at different times, in varying degrees, and various ways. And it can still survive because the groups comprising society aren't empathising with each other as much as they might with the group they perceive to be 'their own'. So, for instance, 'employees' in the UK presently may not bother as much with the fee hikes faced by students, and students may not be as bothered with retrenchment amongst employees - just as citizens are expected to be 'moderate' and not empathise with the plight of the citizens of other nations. This lack of empathy, in a nutshell, is compromised at the national level the longer a revolution persists and class consciousness is enhanced, and on a regional level if it spreads. If greater empathy is achieved, and all of the people get together for the interests of every group comprising it, the capitalist system wouldn't be able to withstand the rigours of mass mutual empathy and still maintain its hegemony.
But given that the mass of people out there are too busy being ‘consumers’, ‘techies’, ‘fans’, ‘mothers’, ‘fathers’, ‘employees’, et cetera, people wouldn’t really realise these things. Hence, the U.S. can step in and play saviour whilst hiding its collapsible pitchfork in its pocket.