See also: • Wikirebels • Julian Assange • Killing Pigs in Egypt • Cascading Oppression • Hosni Mubarak's Speech • Well done Egypt!
Egypt and the evolving Simulacra
31 January 2011
egyptian flag
Toxic Drums is not a news site.  But, of course, world events will keep happening and sometimes they are pertinent.  The Egyptians are revolting.  They have been revolting for other reasons historically but that is just a play on words.  It was the Egyptians who oppressed the Israelites and finally drove them to exit the land of slavery and to head off to the Promised Land.  No such exodus is going to occur this time round.  As I write it is day seven of the unrest in Egypt and the focus of attention is on Tahrir Square which pertinently used to be called Liberation Square.

egypt-pyramid The reason this revolt is interesting to me is because it is all so predictable.  At the moment the US are hedging their bets and calling for Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian President, to enact reform.  The American administration seems to think that will suffice whether the current government prevails or the people overthrow the government.  But they can't see the  wood for the trees.  President Mubarak cannot survive.  Think for a moment of the possible outcomes.  The people in Egypt have had too many years of brutal oppression.  It has been the norm to torture prisoners to get confessions.  On all accounts many middle class Egyptians don't report petty crime because they know the police will torture their house staff.  Political opposition is ruthlessly oppressed.  Bloggers are imprisoned and journalism and state television are highly restricted.  The people are suffering more each day as the rich and powerful benefit from the relatively healthy Egyptian economy and the poor get less and unemployment rises.  So there is a protest against the government.  Attempts are made with water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and even real ones to suppress the uprising but this just enrages the people even more.  At one stage the government were ordering fighter jets to buzz the crowds in Tahrir square in order to intimidate them.  Yet again this only hardened their resolve.  What is Mubarak to do?  Start bombing the civilians?  If he did that and succeeded in suppressing the rebellion what sort of control could he maintain.  The oppression would have to be more severe and that is already the cause of the uprising.  The allegiance of the West would be severely tested by their own population and the whole point (for the US and Britain) of supporting Mubarak would be lost.  The whole of the Middle East would erupt anyway.  There is no way Mubarak can carry on.  So the US and the British and any other manipulative interfering oppressive interested parties would do well to simply stand up and state clearly that Mubarak should leave.  Retrospectively that would be in their interest.  What's more, it would be likely to bring the crisis to a close sooner with less damage than is going to occur as this crisis is prolonged.  On the other hand, if Mubarak did use deadly force and loose, the ensuing government is not going to be able to have the same allegiance with the West because of popular opinion.  The only way the West could maintain some credibility with Egyptians is to unequivocally support the will of the people.  But they are not doing that.

egypt protest There seems to be the old fear that when you seem to have control over people if you lose control they will be out of control.  Historical evidence indicates the reverse.  People liberated act in the interest of the people.  Generally democracies (for example) are more moderate and more stable.  The Egyptians are unlikely to suddenly vote for an oppressive right wing Islamic party.  They are fighting oppression not trying to increase it.

Here's a philosophical assertion:  Whatever it looks like in the local event it is always best to assert the truth.

The truth is that Mubarak is unacceptable and should leave.  Anything short of that is a fudge.  The values universally held in high regard by humans are of peace, love and truth.  Oppression, violence and deception are universally deplored.  So it is very easy to see what is right and what is wrong.  The problem many humans seem to have is that they have a limited logical thought span.  That is:  they can connect two or three sequential rational ideas together but more than that and they get confused.  But the trick is to look at the bigger picture.  Oppression never succeeds in the end so stop it now!  Simples.

If Cameron and the rest of the British Government are so keen to take such radical risks with education, the health service and the economy why not just take a risk and state quite clearly that Mubarak should go.  The answer is that they are hedging their bets.  That is succumbing to the oppression.  So they are wrong.  Simples!

This Egyptian crisis is currently being seen mainly as a serious crisis in the Middle East.  Without doubt it is that.  But very few people are seeing this as part of the internet evolution.  It is significant that Mubarak cut the internet off in Egypt.  It is the biggest threat.  In fact it is probably the vehicle through which the uprising has crystallised and formed.  I'm not talking about the discussions about a revolution and the coordination of the action.  They have clearly been aided by the internet.  But the more significant issue is the collective consciousness being brought about by the internet.  This is something that no matter how much regimes, governments and authoritarian interests try to prohibit and influence it, the internet is developing the interconnectivity which is resulting in the coherent collective consciousness.  It is like a child learning language.  The child is entirely unaware of the learning process and the fact that many of its internal paradigms are formed by the process.  It simply experiences growing "knowledge" of its surroundings.  But that interpretation and comprehension of the world is facilitated and derived from the language.  People assume that they are finding stuff out on the internet but it is more than that.  People are forming a collective perception of a wider reality.  This is what enables people to say "this is unacceptable".  They know other people agree with them.  This is the internet.  This is the Simulacra.  This is reality as perceived by the collective sentient life on Earth.

wikileaks WikiLeaks has become the symbol of whistle blowing on the internet.  The same logic expressed regarding the Egyptian situation applies to WikiLeaks.  There is no viable alternative.  The Americans are obviously being blatantly contradictory in their expressed values when it comes to WikiLeaks and it is profoundly important to stand against their oppression of Julian Assange and the whole business of controlling information on the internet.  To allow the dictatorial, blatantly fascist, and overtly evil suppression of the real people's views and information could only lead to a long period of struggle to overcome it.  But freedom will prevail.  It can do nothing else.

Well there is one possible variation on this.  If it is possible to actually suppress reality then this sentient, conscious life form has no future.  It will simply consume itself like a cancer and something else will evolve in its place.

So, yet again, humans, you have a choice.  Like it or lump it:  Reality The Simulacra exists and you are part of it.  Accept that and thrive - or deny it and descend into hell.  Ok so I'm getting a bit dramatic.  But I like it that way.

The serious issue here is that any censorship, oppression or other denial of reality imposed by authoritarian bodies is to be resisted at all costs.

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