Al-Sisi’s Megalomaniac Military Rule and the People’s Despair

Despite the deteriorating economic conditions and security instability in Egypt, al-Sisi continues to speak about his wisdom and special abilities!

In an article published by Open Democracy, an independent media platform, titled: “On megalomania and despair: is Sisi really nuts?”, pointing that al-Sisi still praises his special abilities, and describes himself as the “physician of philosophers” and “idol of the world’s politicians, intelligentsia, media experts, and the world’s greatest philosophers, if you like.”

Al-Sisi once said, “God created me a doctor… a doctor able to diagnose the case… He created me like this. I know the truth and I see it. Hear it from me. Even the world now, they are all saying “Listen to him…”.

However, “if al-Sisi sees himself at the center of world leaders’ and philosophers’ attention, one can only imagine how much his own people are in trouble,” said Open Democracy.

In each speech, especially those that come after a crisis that necessitates emergency political and/or economic measures and actions, al-Sisi always showers his audience with his exaggerated self-appraisal or paternal authoritarianism.

In fact, al-Sisi is always addressing his public saying nothing at all. No one can understand his words as he isn’t in fact presenting any concrete information on any topic but emotional nonsense messages.

The Open Democracy described one of al-Sisi speeches as “bedtime story” when his mother advised him not to envy others’ belongings? Is this any way to help his public understand and often overlook their outrage at the handover of a piece of their country to another? It is noteworthy that the speech was one of the most debated issues in Egypt,on whether two islands in the Red Sea should be handed over to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this year, while giving a speech on austerity and the deteriorating economic conditions, the Marshal assured the public that if he could be sold for the benefit of the country, he would put himself up for sale . In the same speech, he brazenly enjoined the public to listen to him only.

“The way Sisi speaks about himself, his dreams and his special abilities, invoking things like evil forces, sounds like phrases from some fantasy movie,” said Open Democracy. As a result, People initially react with jokes and sarcasm, and “only after seeing how steadily the Egyptian economy is deteriorating, do many of them realize that it is not a joke.”

In this context, Open Democracy wonders how after this nonsense there would still be public acceptance for al-Sisi? Could it truly be unprecedented wisdom that is keeping Sisi’s audience somehow hooked? For quite sure there is absence in an increasing opposition, but rather attempting to decipher his ability to confidently come up with ever more stories of ‘wisdom’ and still maintain the public’s apparent acceptance every time he decides to take it a step further.

The Open Democracy raised a question “Why don’t his supporters, whether among the elite or the public, see the insanity in Sisi’s so-called gifts? And what is the contract that brings the two, the megalomaniac leader and his blinded followers, together to form this contemporary sociopolitical hegemonic bond?”

First of all, al-Sisi isn’t a strategically exceptional leader for leading a successful military coup against one of the most established political groups in the region – the Muslim Brotherhood –  and managed, over a very short period of time, to oppress a world-promising ‘revolution’ (January 2011). “However bewildering from the outside, nevertheless within the context of military attitudes, one realizes he is not the exception,” according to Open Democracy.

Moreover, one military general claimed he had found the cure for AIDS, HIV and Hepatitis C, “all with the approval and propagation of his military institution.” On a similar level of absurdity, another military general spoke of creative (naturally planned) preventive war tactics in cases of a nuclear attacks from Israel. The idea was that Egypt is blessed with a north-western wind and if Israel were to attack Egypt with “something”, the wind would take it back towards Israel. Yes, this was actually said. All with utter conviction and self-congratulatory self-worth.

The same general also spoke of an intense battle on one of his military missions in which he had to chase rats. Open Democracy wrote,” It is only then that one sees each of these people manifesting a seemingly interrelated phenomenon: “megalomania”(obsession with the exercise of power) . The fact that each of these incidents, among others, has been recorded and streamed for the public to see means that they are no exception and that there is little sense of shame on the part of the military institutions. Quite the reverse.”

This could be explained by analyzing one of the main features of military institutions is that “they are very hierarchical, in a deifying, top-down sense. If one serves in the military for extended periods of time, it is quite likely that one forgets what it feels like to be second-guessed, mistaken or criticized.”

In the military, if you fail to salute your senior, you are interrogated and maybe even punished. If you fail to obey ‘his’ orders, you will definitely be punished. I am speaking of the silliest, absolutely trivial orders, not qualifying, opposing or criticizing your senior. “After extended periods of time of being in a ‘yes, sir’ environment, climbing up the military ladder, it’s safe to assume, due to human adaptability, that one might forget what it feels like to be wrong. Is this when megalomania sets in?,”explained the media platform.

Later on the problem increased dramatically with the absence of “any sort of scholarly reference, deteriorating education over decades and rising ignorance. The sole source of what is right, nay righteous and sensible, becomes his almighty – the general’s words. A general, not to mention a marshal, can speak and lecture subordinates about any topic in any field. ” In this context, if one  dare second-guess an army official, she/he will most likely be accused of treason, and if he is from within the military institution he is also most likely to be punished.

For example, when Essam Heggy criticized the AIDS device ‘invented’ by a military general for not deploying scientific methodology. The scholar was accused by treason, misleading the public, and conspiring against his own country. Can you imagine then what the combination of ignorance and utter impunity can possibly achieve between them?

Accordingly, the military authoritarian regime delivers unconvincing nonsense, but makes the audience listen and believe in what is being said?

In fact, the elitist figures; politicians, media men, celebrities, etc… support the political leadership of Egypt for two main reasons. First, they are by default less affected by the state’s negative socioeconomic decisions. Second, they are more likely to benefit from lip-serving the ruling leadership.

However, what about the ordinary man who strive living in this mess. “What is it that makes them hang on to this malarkey? They pay the price with every decision taken. Are they hypnotized somehow by the unprecedented wisdom of their leader? Or do they truly believe what is on offer to them?,” wondered Open Democracy.

The media platform said that the “secret lies in a recipe of hope and despair.”

Sometimes when people are in desperation for change, they hang on to any sign of hope,” even if it is false hope.” This irrational wishful thinking hangs onto something, anything, or anyone that promises a better tomorrow. “Tomorrow becomes a metaphor for a time that may never come. It almost does not matter, as long as the promise is renewed the next morning,” said Open Democracy.

In addition, even when people worry that they wont be truly satisfied with this reality, they are too desperate and tired to face the reality of being manipulated with false hope again.

After a promising revolution, five governments, two parliamentary elections and two presidential races (with all the controversy around the legitimacy of those held under Sisi), each filled with much promise, “the people are too tired to rise up against the ugly social reality. ”

What if not everyone believes the leader’s mad statements, and even those who believe them just cannot be fully hypnotized. At this time, the military regime has created a larger framework in place to stifle the people’s consciousness in the moments when they realize they are fed up with being lied to. “This is where Sisi’s military, police and judicial state come in to play,” said Open Democracy.

The regime tends to” demonize” everyone who speaks against the rgime, the regime exclusively possesses the right to be the righteous. The regime raises the the flag of being in danger and “fighting terrorism” to simply justify “oppressing thousands in jails and ignoring any public questioning about its own alleged promises.”

For example, General Kamal Amer  commenting last August on the deteriorating economic conditions, decided on behalf of the people that the rise in prices was a very reasonable cost for safety and security that Sisi’s state claims to offer the people. Not surprisingly, the cost of ‘thinking’ of opposing the regime has sky-rocketed as oppressive measures have simultaneously been set in place: political imprisonment , forced disappearances  and mass trials .

In the end, Open Democracy said that the Al-Sisi regime has constructed what looks like “a closed circuit of public despair and emotional drainage.” As Karl Marx has once described religion as the “opium of the people”, in Egypt’s case that this “false hope” has become the opiate and slow death of the people’s aspirations for an actual better tomorrow. The people will remain afraid of the unknown until they face this reality, that they are being led on by false hope.