Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The Fear Factor
The crowds in and around Tahrir Square in Cairo are said to number as many as 2 million or more, agitating and protesting against the continued rule of Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, aged successor to the assassinated, almost Pharaonic, Mohamed Anawar El Sadat.
The end of an era has come.
The coverage -- on Al Jazeera at any rate -- focuses on the absence of the Fear Factor among the crowds in the streets, not just in Cairo but throughout Egypt, in all the major cities and in many a smaller settlement as well. The Fear Factor had kept the People down for years, controlling mass movements, channeling discontent, dissipating energy. The Fear Factor made the Police State and the Dictatorship possible.
And it's gone.
The People fought the Power of Fear in many places throughout Egypt during the current uprising, but the events on the Qasr al-Nil Bridge in Cairo on January 28 are what is widely claimed to have broken the Fear the People had of the regime.
And they've broken the Fear Factor without the Internet, without social media, without even operating cell phones, and they've done it in the face of a constant barrage of propaganda from the state media.
Obviously, it can't be happening at all.