The nature and the programme of the July 1952 Revolution (Coup) were expressed in the famous “Six Principles” set forth by Nasser:
1. Liberation of the country from colonialism and its network of agents;
2. liquidation of feudalism;
3. elimination of the rule of capital over state power;
4. establishment of social justice;
5. creation of a national army; and
6. democratisation of Egypt’s internal life.
After 60 years of Military rule, who can tell which of these principles has really and fully went to port? Let us review them one by one.
I. Nasser may have succeeded to free Egypt from foreign occupation by signing the evacuation agreement with the British; but he contrasted his own principles by handing over the country first to Soviets (the High Dam), then lost Sinai to Israel. And his followers delivered Egypt as an easy prey to the jaws of international Financial Institutions ( loans + SAPs), to the USA (Technical Assistance + Military aids…Etc) and to Israel (uneven commercial and industrial treaties).
II. The 1960s revolutionary laws to limit the land-ownerships and to redistribute properties, overlooked the negative aspects presented in the fact that it created one major Feudal Patron (the state), delegating his responsibilities to too many bailiffs; thus forming an army of parasites working on behalf of the state owned Agriculture Credit Banks. And the farmers (turned into owners of very small lands) became more indebted than before which lead most of them to migrate (Remember the forced emigration to Iraq in the late 60s?). Adding official corruption and wrong politics with mismanaging water resources, Egypt reached the phase where it couldn’t decide on its own which crops to cultivate ( deterioration of the cotton business, the wheat, the rice…etc). Even today there are many (Egyptians and none) who became land-owners of more than 10000 acres, recruiting under aged boys and girls to work part time in inhuman environments, exposed to cancer provoking chemicals with no health care whatsoever! Worse than before 1952.
III. Right after Nasser’s death, Egypt opened completely to the Free Market while on paper (constitution) it was still considered a Social State. That created a chaotic management of the Public Sector which has lead to substantial losses and gave room to the debtors to present their conditions of Privatisation to protect their “Interests”. (Khedive Tewfik was criticised by the Revolutionary Hierarchies of doing exactly the same).
IV. The long history marked by Police abuse of force and power over citizens (subjects) from Shaarawy Gomaa to Nabil Badr passing by Mamdouh Salem and many others, are testimonials of an era signed by the total absence of Social Justice.. On the other hand, there are still 80% of the population out from the Social Security Umbrella (No Welfare at all). Needless to say any word on Education, Health, Information, Culture or Justice.
V. As a matter of fact, only the fifth principle did partially materialise, yet not totally in full because our armed forces, though have proved skilful and modern, were never logistically allowed to stand head to head with other regional powers like Israel, Iran, Iraq or Turkey. Until today, our weaponry is still at least one step behind, is defensive, is controlled by foreign inspections to determine its developing.(Pentagon and NATO Liaison Officers) under the pretext of monitoring the right appliance of the Military growth to the Aids objectives and time tables.As for the last principle, I believe that the latest events of the past two years are sufficient enough to mark the degree of our Democratic achievements.. After 60 long Years, full of sacrifices.