Make it or break it, it all boils down to the people

Monday, March 19th, 2012

"There's one hole in every revolution, large or small. And it's one word long ... People. No matter how big the idea they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened. It's people that kill every revolution." - Spider Jerusalem, comic book gonzo journalist from the future once said. Or will say.

The military doctor accused of conducting virginity tests on female protesters has been acquitted; so have several police officers charged with shooting protesters; the consensus candidate, Mansour Hassan, has been revealed; talk of ousting the ruling military council has all but died out while the people, revolutionaries included, turn their focus on the upcoming presidential circus.

We need to be honest here, and have the courage to admit the seemingly depressing fact that the January 25 revolution has failed.

I say seemingly because this is actually no cause for depression and defeatism. Well, maybe a little, but that does not mean one should stay home and give up.

Perhaps, I should argue that the first waves of the revolution have failed. After all, historically most revolutions take several years to achieve their goals.

The first and most fatal mistake was obviously going home on February 11 and letting the military take over. The revolutionaries were tired after 18 days and were ready to relinquish responsibility to someone else.

They deluded themselves into thinking the military's passive neutrality was their way of "protecting the revolution."

Then came the referendum, a process that should not have been allowed to see fruition.

Revolutionary legitimacy had already rendered the 1971 constitution void. Instead of allowing themselves to be swept into the Yes - No battle, revolutionaries would have done well to reject and boycott the referendum. Boycotting then would have been much stronger than any boycott of presidential elections could ever be.

Then, there was the fiasco of a constitutional declaration, which gave SCAF divine powers; these should have been rejected, but, as it was, they were not even voted on.

From this moment on we were split into Islamists and secularists, and a pointless identity war commenced, overshadowing the real important issues.

Political parties, weak ones at that, then took over the scene, and the revolutionaries let them.

But the most important, biggest mistake that led to the failure of this revolution was allowing it to lose public support. The people were scared; they craved stability and readily ate up the crap SCAF fed them.

However, it is unfair to put the blame all on the revolutionaries; for most people were ready to abandon this revolution at first chance.

They looked at the short term economic losses, Mubarak's doing, not the revolution; they looked at the lack of security, a product of the interior ministry's agenda of breaking the Egyptian spirit once more; they saw labor strikes, a healthy process, and believed state television's lies about derailing the economy.

Unfortunately, though, no revolution can succeed without the people. It's the people who make it or break it.

So here we are now, the January 25 revolution is now an uprising, soon to be the January 2011 protests, maybe even "incidents."

And even though the revolution did not achieve its goals, it has at least better equipped us to resist. The barrier of fear is shattered.

Eventually, we will be victorious.