The prices are rising beyond the reach of an increasing number of Egyptians, jobs are a few and those who provide them exploit the crippling unemployment by paying less for more working hours, takfiri thoughts are spreading unchecked and the state is doing nothing to combat them, policemen are disrespectful towards citizens and the youth abhor them, the parliament and the government are both wrapped around the president’s finger, and critical voices are silenced. This boilerplate paragraph has been relevant for more than 15 years now. Everything is exactly the same. January 25 has achieved nothing and people know it, they don’t need a pundit telling them that, especially a pundit who earns six-figure payments for regurgitating boilerplates on T.V., they are weary, tired, and apathetic. We have been numbed by the same events played by different actors to be talked about by the same pundits using slightly different vocabulary. If you don’t work in politics and don’t make money out if it, politics becomes cigarettes: an instant fix but a massive waste of time and brainpower. Although Ibraheem Eissa had some dedicated viewers, I’m willing to bet that the talking heads making a fuss about the cancellation of his show are journalists and politicians: suits who make money or score points talking about him.
It’s unknown, however, what will the regime do with apathetic people disillusioned with a media apparatus -often used as PR for the state- who are beginning to show signs of willingness to change their moral guidelines due to rising poverty? I’m referring to Egyptians mulling eating donkeys and, but that’s a very tiny minority, even cats and dogs. We don’t know what the rulers think and we don’t care, and neither do they. But apathy is unpredictable if prone to shift towards anger. And political apathy is one thing Islamists amazingly exploit to enshrine their rancid ideology in glorious realms. The less people care about politics while living conditions are steadily deteriorating the more quickly they will forget about Morsi’s disastrous period and the rhetoric of “Islam is the answer” will be revived. Extreme communist ideas also gain popularity when the practice of democracy is on hold. When you can’t, or don’t know how to, do anything to better your life and you know your ceremonial participation in a cryptic pseudo-democratic process won’t yield anything, your mind begins entertaining and believing in romantic and dramatic solutions. And maybe ruling is not the strong suit of Islamists or communists, but fomenting dissent is. I have been observing Egyptians who would have never paid any attention to Muslim Brotherhood propaganda searching for their satellite channels, broadcasted from Turkey, and YouTube videos, because they can’t tolerate the lies spread by government and private but government-obedient media. In a sense, the regime is unknowingly creating the good conditions for its antithesis to grow, however, the entire synthesis is bad. We know, we have seen it before.