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When the Mob Rules: between Royal and Republican Tyrannies

When the Mob Rules: between Royal and Republican Tyrannies

Published in Arabic in November 2, 2016

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

Firstly:

1- What we intend by the word ''mob'' here is the lowest, basest types of people who lack morals and adopt as a way of life corrupt values of hypocrisy, ignorance, meanness, betrayal, submission to the powerful, and tyranny over the weak. The word ''mob'' does not describe the poor at all; in many instances, those suffering poverty have qualities like conscience, generosity, dignity, magnanimity, reasonableness, and being noble-natured. In general, moralistic attitude has nothing to do with the financial status of a person, or even with one's relations, upbringing, or parentage; within one family there is an evil sibling and a good one, or a good father whose offspring are corrupt scoundrels. We do believe that this is a personal, individual choice; every adult would opt for a certain lifestyle and moralistic level. One would choose to be noble-natured, or join the base mob, or to fluctuate within a continuum between both choices!

2-  Times of tests, trials, and tribulations usually come in situations of looking for a way to earn a living. There are those who seek money by any means, regardless of one's dignity and morals, and there are those who earn a living within self-imposed moralistic standards that make one avoids ill-gotten money and to never humiliate oneself for the sake of money, as believers are sure that earning one's living is assured by almighty God. Hence, those true believers in God seek to earn a living using legal, lawful means and to spend their earned money in a legal, allowed, permissible thing. Sadly, there are some people who do not care how to earn money, within legal or illegal means, without thinking of dignity and moral responsibility at all.

3- We are to understand that authority and wealth are two faces of one coin; worship of money and power is the root of all evil. The one who has authority and power seeks to use them to amass wealth, and the one who has amassed wealth seeks to protect such wealth by getting closer to those having authority and power. Within the top of any authority (rule and government), authority and wealth embrace each other in the center (the ruler's palace / the capital) and even in all small villages and hamlets (ruled by the rural mayors with  their guards). Typically, a tyrannical state meddles in all minute details of the daily life of citizens: from issuing birth and death certificates, school and university certificates, security reports, incomes, prices, employment, passports, traveling… etc. Moreover, support from people of authority and power would turn a poor person into a filthily rich one, and licenses of building and importation would turn the indebted into millionaires, and millionaires into billionaires. In contrast, the Egyptian peasants have to deal with the ''deep state'' in all governmental institutions: in schools, houses of worship, irrigation, drainage and sewerage system, agricultural periods and cycles, taxes, agricultural banks and societies, policemen, military service, insurance, civil registry, etc. and all of them are run by bureaucratic employees who have authority and power and manipulate their posts to gain ill-gotten wealth within means of overlooked corruption.

4- Tyrannical authority in Middle East countries are mostly republican and few are still monarchies. In our topic here about the mob, we find them increase in number within republican rule, while their number diminishes within royal tyrannical monarchies. Why is that?!

5- Attempting an answer, let us remind ourselves of some facts of history. In the first half of the 20th century, the monarchies were dominating the Middle East that suffered under the yoke of colonialism. Revolutions, or rather coups, established republican rule in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, etc. whereas monarchies and royalty have persisted in the Gulf states, Jordan and Morocco. Within republics, the mob increased and ruled over nations, but their influence was diminished within previous monarchies. The question now is: why is that?!

 

Secondly: the difference here is peaceful transfer of power:

1- In democratic regimes, there is one stable system of transfer of power by elections and creating a balance between the legislative, judicial, and executive powers, within abiding to laws, free press, culture, and media. As for the Middle East, transfer of power was a problem posed within past monarchies, but it is a catastrophe within republican regimes. This is linked directly to the scope of the emergence, control, and rule by the mob.

2- In monarchies, inheriting thrones has been the biggest problem – since the second Umayyad caliph Yazeed Ibn Mu'aweiya inherited the throne of his father, an event resulting in massacres in Karbala, Iraq, and Yathreb, in Hejaz, and the siege and arson of the Kaaba Sacred Mosque in Mecca, Hejaz, and decades later, inheriting thrones within a dynasty created a major civil war in Arabia, Persia, and the Levant that led to the collapse of the Umayyad caliphate, as explained in many of our online articles and books. The problem that accelerated the downfall of the Umayyad caliphate was over who would be a crown-prince, heir to the throne, and who would succeed him, and quarrels within the Umayyad caliphate over keeping and breaking such oaths (by setting heirs among a caliph's progeny instead of a caliph's brother) brought about weakness that helped Abbasids to take over after putting an end to the Umayyad caliphate. The same problem re-emerged within the Second Abbasid Era of weak caliphs, as well as the Fatimid dynasty and the Ayyubid dynasty, to their collapse decades later. The Ottomans, however, had invented a most cruel way to end conflicts within their dynasty; the new enthroned sultan/caliph would readily kill all his brothers! In modern times, in the Kingdom of Jordan, King Hussein's heir and successor was his younger brother, Prince Hassan, but shortly before King Hussein's death, he appointed his own son, who has become later on King Abdullah, as his heir and crown-prince. Troubles of the same nature have occurred within the KSA; the Saudi royal family created a system of inheriting the throne within sons of the founder of the KSA, King Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, but now the generation of the grandchildren of the founder exacerbated matters as there are now two crown-princes to succeed one another, just like the Middle-Ages cases within caliphates! Such troubles and conflicts are typical within royal dynasties and have no effect on the citizens, who would see no difference: one king is as good as any other king. Anyway, a royal dynasty would just carry such ulcer inside it until its downfall because of either internal or external factors.

3- When monarchies in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq collapsed, different military and one-party republican regimes were established instead with different political orientations. Yet, all of them under the motto of the republic practiced tyranny, leading eventually to crisis – not just a problem – of hoe to apply peaceful transfer of power or who would inherit it.

4- Supposedly, real democratic republican regimes have no such notion of bequeathing power to someone in particular: ex-presidents there lead a normal life out of office. The opposite occurs in tyrannical republics; a president is either in rule, in a grave, in prison, or in exile (e.g., Saddam Hussein, Kaddafi, Mubarak, and Ben Ali). Tyrannical presidents in such republics never cede rule willingly and are deep-seated in corruption of all sorts. They tend to protect themselves, along with their families, along with billions of ill-gotten money, by appointing their sons or nearest kin as presidents after them.

5- The Egyptian case or model is unique and strange; the republican regime began as a promising, flourishing one, but it gave social justice and bread in return for tyranny. Tyranny wasted away all achievements of the late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser. In Egypt, it is often been claimed that his vice-president, Sadat, conspired with the USA and KSA and assassinated Nasser by poisoning to get rid of him and rule as president instead. It is often been claimed that Sadat's vice-president, Mubarak, conspired to assassinate Sadat, allegedly under the auspices of the USA and KSA. Mubarak adamantly refused to appoint a vice-president so as to avoid fates of the presidents before him, and he stuck to the throne. Within the last years of his rule, he was fluctuating between bequeathing the presidential post to his son or to grant himself another presidential terms.

6- Within such labyrinth, republics' presidents in the Arab world stuck to their thrones (e.g., Hafiz Al-Assad, Kaddafi, and Saddam Hussein), and each prepared and heir to the presidential throne. Eventually, revolts and civil strife followed the ouster of the republican regimes' tyrants. The main reason behind this is, of course, the crisis of bequeathing or inheriting power within such Arab republics, whereas no change whatsoever occurred within monarchies in the Gulf, Jordan, and Morocco.

 

Thirdly: when the mob rules within tyrannical republics:

1- A given tyrannical president within a republic has deep-seated fear of the emergence of any rival in the ranks of citizens or ranks of the military; such a president cannot possible open the field of freedoms to citizens; as such freedoms would lead sooner or later to his downfall, ouster, or death. Such fright is not that great within stable tyrannical monarchies, because citizens there learned to be loyal to the royal families and the crown-prince is known to them and to the whole planet.  

2- Such deep-seated fright drives republics' tyrants to hate and feel jealous of all experts in all fields who are more efficient than any tyrants and whose honor and dignity never allow them to accept to praise and glorify tyrants; hence, such tyrants appoint in all posts trusted cronies (the real mob) who obsequiously praise tyrants and walk in their processions.

3- Such mob in any real democracies are to be imprisoned for corruption and fraud; but in tyrannical republican regimes, they are the cultural elite, leaders, trusted cronies, the retinue, and masters who control slaves/citizens. When the mobsters are masters, ruin and corruption thrive. The mob in Egypt, in our view, includes high-rank Azharite clergymen, corrupt businessmen and businesswomen, media anchors, and other famous ones of the satellite channels. The culture of the mob has dominated Egypt, causing the degeneration and decay on all levels: language of address and discourse, sexual harassment, corrupt erroneous fatwas, low arts, fake stories and news about inventions, etc. Sadly, the mobsters of bad language and verbal abuse became stars chased by media and paparazzi. Worst of all, ignoramuses of Al-Azhar are made ''sheikhs of Islam"!

4- The thriving mob-class is not overt within tyrannical monarchies; as such royal regimes rely on the support of filthily upper-classes of tribes and factions who live in the lap of luxury and in a civilized, aristocracy-like cultured atmosphere, and whose offspring are educated abroad and are appointed in high-rank posts in the government, to combine being trusted cronies with proper experience and efficiency. Kings in tyrannical monarchies take pride in such people and support their regimes by them. There is a vast difference between the upper classes that led the social, intellectual, cultural, and political life in Egypt before 1952 military coup and the military rule that has allowed now the emergence of the mob that control all Egyptian military, security, political, religious, cultural, economic, and media institutions. 

5- Political despots and tyrants are deep-seated in corruption and tyranny, and their cronies/retinue persons are corrupt and lead to more exacerbated corruption of unprecedented levels, exploiting and making use of the dominance and hegemony of tyrants to gain ill-gotten money. The longer tyranny goes on, corruption and ruin exacerbate and spread until a state would collapse into the quagmire of civil strife and split. Such final stage before imminent collapse witnesses the retinue among the worst mob who struggle for more gains gleaned from the ruins of a nation and a homeland.  

6- Such mobsters are never welcome!                         


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