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Title: Egypt: Failed emergence, conniving capitalism, fall of the Muslim brothers — A possible popular alternative
Authors: Amin, Samir
Keywords: political economy
minimum wage
gulf country
Western power
popular movement
Issue Date: 2016
Series/Report no.: Rethinking International Development series;
Abstract: Egypt was the first country of those in the periphery of globalised capitalism that tried to emerge. Even at the start of the nineteenth century, well before Japan and China, the Viceroy Mohammed Ali had conceived and undertaken a programme of renovation for Egypt and its near neighbours in the Arab Mashreq (Mashreq means East, in other words, eastern North Africa and the Levant). That vigorous experiment took up two-thirds of the nineteenth century and only belatedly ran out of breath in the 1870s, during the second half of the reign of the Khedive Ismail. The analysis of its failure cannot ignore the violence of the foreign aggression by Great Britain, the foremost power of industrial capitalism during that period. Twice — in the naval campaign of 1840 and then by taking control of the Khedive’s finances during the 1870s, and then finally by military occupation in 1882 — Great Britain contributed to blocking the emergence of Egypt. Certainly, the Egyptian project was subject to the limitations of its time, since it manifestly envisaged emergence within and through capitalism, unlike Egypt’s second attempt at emergence — which we will discuss from the next paragraph on. That project’s own social contradictions, like its underlying political, cultural and ideological presuppositions, were undoubtedly responsible, at least in part, for its failure.
Appears in Collections:Archives Samir-Amin

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