Mohammed Bamyeh: The June Rebellion in Egypt

Bamyeh is author of THE SOCIAL ORIGINS OF ISLAM (1999) and THE ENDS OF GLOBALIZATION (2000).

Despite two and a half years of revolutionary experience, the rebels of June had no plan for the day after Morsi, just as they had no plan after Mubarak. One activist eloquently conveyed to me a typical attitude: he joined the 30 June protests because he believed in harakat al-shari’, the dynamism of the street, which would somehow produce the desired outcome. It was the same underlying logic of January 2011: too much planning makes the revolution heavy and immobile. Revolutions now require lightness and dynamism, and any plan may (or may not) emerge later. If not, the crisis induced by harakat al-shari’ will in some way compel influential actors to figure out a solution. If the solution produces a result that eventually proves undesirable, the street moves again, in the same way, and by its very movement gives rise to a different solution, as often as necessary, until we arrive at a happy destination. That was, and still is, the preferred method of the Egyptian Revolution. But after two and a half years, one would expect this methodology to be accompanied by a vision of a political system adequate to the character of the revolution. Is there such an imagination?

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Published in: Jadaliyya
By: Mohammed Bamyeh