A three-way power struggle
This polarization is driven mainly by emotions; people become attached to a proposition based more on their individual preferences and less on substance.
We are in a frightening era in which emerging political events are deepening this polarization. The overconfidence individual citizens have in their knowledge, their belief that they know the whole truth and the accusations of ignorance and national disloyalty leveled against opponents are further aggravating our polarization. This division poses a greater threat to society than our poor economic conditions.
Egyptians are politically divided into three clear groups. The first is strongly affiliated to the ruling regime, happy with progress and always finding excuses for the government’s errors. The second is constituted of political Islamist entities for whom religion is the single common dominator and who perceive the entire world from the Islamist perspective. Finally, the third cluster comprises revolutionary citizens; many dynamic people with genuine intentions to change our country for the better, but lacking in political experience and extremely fragmented.
The first two groups have clear leadership and good organizational structures, and know how to mobilize citizens during elections, but their governing cadres and their policies are obsolete and they decline to waste any effort on modernizing them. These groups probably derive their strength from being old-fashioned and corrupt, which keeps them united. Partisans of the third group are political pioneers with revolutionary attitudes who want to modernize Egypt drastically, but who lack leadership and have no organizational structure.
Events of the past few years were based on two of the three groups teaming up to kick the third group out of power.
None of Egypt’s political camps seem to realize that they will achieve nothing without engaging the nation’s youth.
At present, Egypt is steadily moving toward another wave of instability. The current polarization of society, accompanied by the state’s failure to make sound decisions in a timely manner, are once again strengthening the revolutionary group, fueling its frustration with the traditional ruling regime.
The government’s inability to stabilize society is reinforcing the dynamic revolutionary group that, by default, knows nothing better than revolt; a revolt that the opportunistic political Islamists will eventually back, recreating my proposed equation: two-thirds will always prevail over one-third.
Egyptians are strong believers in exclusive rule, which has worked perfectly over the past decades, but is not good enough for today. The political stability that the state is always aiming to achieve will never happen, until it receives the true blessing of our youth, who account for two-thirds of society.
The mock gatherings of Egyptian youth with the president are weakening the regime, not strengthening it. Egypt is a young, dynamic society that has been suppressed by various old-fashioned governments; genuine stability will only occur when the state engages youngsters in politics and responds positively to their demands. The only alternative is a repeat of our most recent political history.
• Mohammed Nosseir, a liberal politician from Egypt, is a strong advocate of political participation and economic freedom. Twitter: @MohammedNosseir
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