We were taught that history does not recognize the hypothesis asking “what if…”, not because our folks used to say that “’what if…’ opens the door for bad things”, but because history is a branch of science that deals with already-complete facts or at least a phase of those facts is… and so it goes on discussing the pre-symptoms of such facts, its courses, and results according to certain research disciplines that became a well-established science… in such regard, studying history is different to studying other social sciences that accept hypotheses and scenarios, discuss them, and assess their probabilities.
We were also taught that there is a difference between calculations of commercial projects including retail, half-wholesale, and wholesale business and history calculations, since in the first case, gains, and losses as well, are measured by the criterion of increasing the materialistic revenue; meaning how much money we earned… reputation and commercial name have also their value…etc…
As to the gains in history calculations, they go to what is mostly abstract including invaluable issues… here, the one who adopts the discipline based on retail or wholesale calculations of grocery shops does not understand the meaning when nations sacrifice thousands of martyrs… when they put all their resources and potentials in resisting a foreign assault… in such case, those people who deal as per retail and wholesale calculations prefer the rule saying: if you get raped by whom you cannot resist, then enjoy!!... Since, according to their own opinion and calculations, your gain in enjoying is definitely better than losing your life if you insisted on resisting.
If we opened the door for the calculations based on the hypothesis asking “what if…”, it would apply to all questions inhabiting the human mind, starting from the moment of the first scene of creation to ask: “what if” God did not want to be known and did not create humans to know him?... “what if” God listened to the angels’ opinion regarding letting man inheriting earth when they asked inquiring and exclaiming: will you place on earth one who spreads corruption therein and sheds blood?... some may find that they; the angels, were right after corruption and blood shedding became everywhere.
And you too, dear reader, can go on asking using the “what if…” form and making calculations according to retail and wholesale business concept supporting your opinion by numbers.
In such regard, I remember a debate I was participating in more than ten years ago in one of the famous satellite channels about what is left of July, 1952 revolution. The other party was physician Dr. Mahmoud Game’a. During the debate, one of the viewers called – his name was Sami al-Nesf, a Kuwaiti businessman – and started his comment by criticizing me saying: this Arab-national Nasserist has a hollow loud voice just like his leader Nasser who committed the biggest crime in Egypt history; that was the nationalization of Suez Canal and what followed later of war, devastation, destroying the Egyptian people capabilities, and getting the region into an era of faking people’s conceptions with Arab-nationalism, liberation…etc. He added that Britain was going to leave the Canal in 1968 without war.
I replied to him saying that he is ill-bred since he started his comment by insult, and then said that the last people who should criticize Nasser are the Kuwaitis since it was Nasser who lied behind postponing Kuwait invasion for more than thirty years when he stood fiercely against Abdel-Karim Qassem’s attempt to add Kuwait to Iraq by force. I went wondering about who would guarantee that Britain was going to leave the Canal in 1968 as there is a clear evidence that Britain does not respect agreements, especially what have to do with water channels; that is Britain is still occupying Gibraltar until now despite the fact that the agreement Britain signed regarding the Suez Canal is the same one that has to do with Gibraltar!!
Back to the “what if…” question in history, one can find that if we took this question as an established rule in reading the history facts, then everyone who opposes a certain fact or era would have the right to consider himself absolutely right… for example, and not exclusively, there are some asking “what if” the Arabs did not succeed in invading Egypt and Egypt stayed a Byzantine state, and its historical root became the Greek-Roman and later the Christian one, wouldn’t it have been better for Egypt to be like any society who enjoys the same roots in its culture in the broad meaning of the word that include human behavior, way of thinking, literature, arts…etc… and that it is better than what the Arab-Islamic roots brought to us?
Moreover, those who wonder “what if” Nasser and July, 1952 have killed all who belonged to the class of big capitalists and land owners and all their off-spring mercilessly and not only nationalize all their assets and money, would have the right in their belief that that was the best thing to do since, as proved later, such class contributed to the corruption that hit Egypt during the era of unbridled Infitah and stood in the way of Egypt to achieve a real civilized renaissance. They actually distorted the concept of capitalism itself, and some of them did not even hesitate to deal with the Zionist enemy considering this a different point of view as they do not consider the Zionists enemies in the first place… they do not consider occupying Palestine, racism or anything that has to do with Zionism wrong.
We may continue talking later about the difference between retail business and history.
Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar
This article was published in Almasry alyoum in July 12, 2017.
To see the original article, go to:
#almasry_alyoum #ahmed_elgammal #history #Egypt