The Six Emotions Of Revolution: What Egyptians Are Feeling Now

by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash

Egypt waves shoes If you really want to know what's been happening in Egypt, you have to know what folks there have been feeling for decades, and all the new feelings rippling through them now.

Take a basic emotion: fear. Before a revolution can even get started, it has to face down fear.

After all, how do you prevent a revolution from happening? You put fear, massive fear, in the minds of your population. At one point, the Shah of Iran's secret police, SAVAK, had a surgeon cut off the arms and legs of a dissident in prison; then they sent his live torso back to his family and friends as a living warning of what could happen to anyone who resisted. A pretty effective fear tactic.

Revolutionaries swim in that fear. Like fish swim in water.

The conditions that breed revolution may be material: oppression and poverty. Egypt had 15,000 political prisoners to torture. Up to 50% of its workers unemployed. But there is something more lacerating than physical hurt and deprivation to consider: the psychology of revolution. A revolution is an intensely emotional experience. It has to be, to break the chains of fear.

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