Enter Sandman ..err.. -monkey
Sandmonkey says that as all the familiar old faces emerge to start their activism at square one again, he’s back too.
I have to agree, at least partially, with the sentiment. We’re back to 2004 with all the political “actors” and activists beginning to reemerge and feel each other and the scene out. Of course, I’m sure he recognizes (and is just being facetious) that all is not exactly the same. Egypt 2009 is not the same as Egypt 2004, nor will the Parliamentary and Presidential elections be a replay of 2005; a reprise maybe.
Some things have changed (in the particular order of their occurring to me):
- The constitution has been doctored
- The economy is different. Egypt may still be a neoliberal poster child (growth! growth! growth!) but the poor are having a harder and harder time, and where, 5 years ago, it took hours of conversation to get them to realize/admit/vocalize it, people now know who to blame and are hardly reticent.
- Hosny is much older while Jimmy-and-Krew much more firmly entrenched in the system
- The global political and regional climates have changed: No more Bush Freedom agenda followed by absolute apathy; Gaza and Lebanon and the ensuing dynamics have altered/highlighted the regional power balance (financial, moral and political)
- The regime has learned a lot battling the activism of the last 9 years or so.
- The activists have learned some things. Though, as SM makes it clear, they still havent figured out how to be political actors, really.
- There is a much more active labor movement than there was then
- The MB will not be surprising the NDP this time around.
- The media scene is vastly different. For one thing, trailblazing Dostour and Masry El Youm of then have since been oneupped by even newer publications. Web 2.0 is taking hold and try as it might to thwart, the government is the reactionary and could find itself caught off balance at any moment.
- And much else that doesnt immediately come to mind, I am sure.
In any case, cursory list aside: Welcome back to Sandmonkey and all the familiar (and hopefully unfamiliar faces) of yester-semidecade.
Here’s to it not being a repeat.