Did Egypt’s Military Ever Stop Ruling?

That’s Judis’s theory:

I want to reiterate something that I wrote two-and-a-half years ago about the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. I wrote at the time that it was a mistake to describe Mubarak’s ouster a “revolution.”  My argument, drawn from Max Weber and Lenin, is that the possession of state power requires a monopoly over the use of force. In Egypt, in the wake of the 1952 coup that brought Gamel Abdel Nasser and a group of officers to power, the military gradually fashioned a state apparatus in which they would not formally govern, but would function as a ruling class—enjoying not merely control over the country’s armed forces, but also over a large part of its economy.

In State and Revolution, Lenin wrote that a revolution would have to “smash the state.” That was a vivid way of saying that it would have to alter fundamentally the terms of state power. That did not happen in Egypt, where the military itself eased Mubarak out of power.

Jeff Martini thinks the military taking direct control would require buy-in from Islamists:

Together, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists won nearly three quarters of parliamentary seats in the 2011-2012 election. Although the lower house of parliament has since been dissolved over a technicality in the electoral law, those results and Morsi’s own 2012 victory cannot be dismissed out of hand.

An intervention absent Islamist support would risk an Algeria-like scenario, in which the military’s overturning of an Islamist electoral victory led to a civil war that embroiled the country throughout the 1990s. To mitigate against the possibility of a violent response, the military could try to coax the Muslim Brotherhood to the bargaining table with the opposition. Failing that, it could try reach out to Islamists from outside the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the Salafists, or breakaway groups, such as the Strong Egypt and Center parties.

Nour Youssef’s thoughts on military rule:

Shortly after the ultimatum was delivered, pictures of the “blue bra girl” resurfaced on Facebook with the caption: “Remember this?”

“The SCAF conducted virginity tests, they dragged, beat up and killed people, this (meaning the intervention) should not be cause for celebration,” according to my brother. His objection to toppling an elected president aside, he believes, along with the presumed majority of people, that no one other than the SCAF can run the country, given the continued lack of alternative leadership. “(The SCAF) is a necessary evil,” he concluded, after cursing out the people for being deserving better, the president and the SCAF for not being better.

Laura Dean chats with protesters in Cairo:

The “what next” question remains unanswered and each time I ask anyone tonight, I get a different answer. And no answer at all to the question of “who?”