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The image of the military in Egypt

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Since the invention of iron, the instrument of maximum streamlined violence, it has constituted the central axis of political power in the state mechanisms to persist in a given socio-economic order. The dialectical relationship between political and military factors is almost biological. The maintenance of social order is the first and foremost function of the effectiveness of the national project representing a state, that is to say, its ability to evolve in line with the aspirations of the masses, drawing on the historical continuity The army is the institution within this framework that adheres most fully in the national project, as evidenced by the motto of the Polytechnic to this day "for the fatherland, science and glory."

Its symbolic function is immutable. However, the concentration by the state of the essential means of decision and action specific to contemporary society emphasizes the relationship of interdependence between political, military, scientific, technological, macroeconomic, cultural and ideological elements with the Industrial Revolution ; the Army became the place par excellence for capturing scientific and technological progress exponentially. Then appears a contradiction between the scientific approach, and the specific mission of the military, law enforcement.

There is a permanent tension within the institution, common to all modern states, among sectors that have a vision of order and traditional sectors that are intended to place a dynamic mediation between the order and progress. This tension is indeed separated from the problem of violence maximum streamlined in liberal democracies. But it is mingled in the case of authoritarian regimes, characterized by the lack of opportunity to protest. This is especially true of contemporary Egypt.

We must measure the influence of the image of the army of the ability to maintain mutual social order and the rule in light of the role and effectiveness of the military in achieving the main objectives that justified subjectively or objectively explain that, ultimately, the genesis of the regime: the common will of a real national independence and enriching the nation, though by different vectors according to the visions of the various mainstream and opposition political parties or associations of the interwar period.

These groups from rural and urban middle class, middle-class independence, workers and peasants, claimed in one way or another the creation of material conditions and cultural empowerment. Members of the officer corps influenced by some of these beliefs have captured the opportunity of the political situation of the early 1950s to finally install permanent interests of the military within the state apparatus. What is striking is the contrast between the deeply conservative nature of the regime the progressive goals that the various constitutions and charters, from 1952 to 1971, assigned to it: Despite the discourse surrounding every action, the survival instinct governs its ideological or economic activities.

The challenge for this type of army is to remain the symbolic unity of the nation without any contradiction between the referents mobilized and the results of the positive measures taken within or outside the country reaching levels that could discredit the values defended by the formal legal system, and thus the entire political system.

Tags : Military in Egypt, political reforms, Egypt's authoritarian regime, autonomy of state

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