Feb 20 2011

POTD: Mubarak propaganda

by in Egypt, Middle East, Photo of the Day

Trying to get back into the swing of things as far as posting daily and figured this would be a good photo to highlight due to the recent situation in Egypt. The above photo was taken in April 2005 at a police checkpoint outside Dendara, Egypt. The giant poster is of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was recently ousted. I imagine that these posters and other assorted cult of personality items are long gone by now.

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2 Responses to POTD: Mubarak propaganda

  1. From Roger:

    Good to see you posting again…

    My own gut feeling about Egypt is that it had more in common with the 1989-90 revolutions in the USSR and eastern Europe than your typical Third World uprising.

    Remember Egypt spent 20 years as an effective Soviet satellite (Mubarak himself was as we used to say in the Cold War ‘Moscow-trained’) and even after it threw out the Russian advisers retained the party, the nomenklatura caste and a statist and dirigiste form of state capitalism masquerading as socialism (BTW did you know that until February 9th Mubarak’s NDP was the official Egyptian section of the Socialist International and thus the sister party of British Labour, the French PS and the German SPD?).

    What is different is that while in the Soviet bloc the nomenklatura caste (or at least strong ‘modernising’ elements within it) constantly chafed at the restrictions on its wealth and power imposed by the old ideology and just could not wait to fulfil Trotsky’s prophecy and transform itself into a real property-owning capitalist class, in Egypt the bureaucracy had already gone a long way towards this through privatisations that had produced a group variously numbered at ’30’ or ‘100’ oligarchs who already ‘dominate’ the economy.

    And it appears to be divisions between this nascent klepto-plutocratic New Class led and symbolised by Mubarak’s ‘technocratic’ son and the old bureaucracy and particularly the army officer-class who had no such easy opportunities to transform themselves into new Abramoviches or Berezovskys that actually paralysed the regime at the crucial moment and made the sort of repression we are now seeing in Libya impossible.

    As an old-fashioned Leftist this makes the situation considerably more promising to me than the fall of the USSR and its EE satellites (which even the most anti-communist analyst would have to admit had decidedly ‘mixed results’ the further east you went) – The Egyptian people are already wised-up about the perils of massive privatisation and marketisation and some unions are already striking specifically against the outrageous privileges grabbed by the new owners and managers of recently privatised banks and plants.

    As the Chinese curse goes ‘interesting times’….

    Posted on February 22, 2011 at 6:17 am #
  2. From Lindsay:

    Hi Roger,

    I didn’t know about the NDP’s connection to Labour, et al..too funny, seeing as they aren’t at all alike.

    I’ve been fascinated by these uprisings over the past few weeks. Just incredible, although the violence in Libya is troubling/maddening. No doubt Gaddafi will get his soon enough…

    Posted on February 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm #
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