Cover Story

Revolution or restoration?

Print edition : September 20, 2013

An anti-government protester carries a soldier at Tahrir Square in Cairo on February 12, 2011. Photo: REUTERS

June 29, 2012: Egypt's Islamist President-elect Mohamed Morsy delivers a speech in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Photo: REUTERS

General Mohamed Neguib and Lt. Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser (right), of the Free Officers Movement which deposed King Farouk in a military coup in July 1952. Nasser went on to become the President of the country. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Bishop-General Macarius, a Coptic Orthodox leader, walks around the vandalised Evangelical Church in Minya governorate, about 245 km south of Cairo, on August 26. Attacks on churches and Christian properties earlier this month have been the worst in years. Photo: LOUAFI LARBI/REUTERS

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (centre) with members of his Justice and Development Party on August 20. The AKP is considered a moderate version of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Photo: ADEM ALTAN/AFP

Qatar's former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani with his son Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. The father mysteriously abdicated in favour of the son in June. Photo: KARIM SAHIB/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP

For all their spectacular and performative grandeur, the uprisings of 2011 and 2013 are not revolutionary because they have not paved the way for systemic shifts that rearrange domestic class relations or international political alignments. Until the mass movement develops a clear agenda for social transformation and institutional mechanisms of mobilisation, it will always be hijacked by forces from the Right: the military or the Muslim Brotherhood.
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