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THE British philosopher Will Durant wrote, “States are only defeated when they begin to destroy themselves from within. This is because, when they do not have the ability to keep pace with the general changes that occur to them, they cannot maintain their survival for a long time, and their fate remains threatened with collapse.”
According to Arnold Toynbee, a state falls when it cannot confront the challenges it faces, and it works to kill the spirit of the state and its creative capabilities.
Throughout ancient and modern history, the subject of the unity of the state was a symbol of its strength, especially in the kingdoms where the unity of the ruling family formed the basis of that strength.
This is due to the fact that a house in which disagreements abound, its doors and windows become open to various interference, especially when some of them seek the help of external parties to bully other family members.
Hence, the ruling houses need to be united, and should not allow any other party to interfere in its affairs. This is because, when the head is healthy, the body also has a better chance to fight illnesses.
In modern history, there are many examples of how countries collapsed from within due to the differences that raged between the pillars of government, either those who share power as if it were a company on the verge of bankruptcy like the Lebanese model after the state became three heads, or when disputes spread among the ruling family like the case of the Kingdom of Iraq or within the Tunisian ruling family during the era of the beys when measures were taken to stop the privileges that were granted to members of the ruling family, leading to some ruling family seeking the help of political parties and forces to support them against their cousins.
It is true that the traditional media had a major role in fueling the disputes due to the use or funding of the influential in the ruling family, but in the modern era, due to the huge technological development, easy access to social media that revolutionized the expression of opinion, and the formation of support armies through that means, the differences became public, and everyone has an opinion about them, which increased gaps between them.
There is no doubt that, in light of the disagreements and defections, gaps appear through which the lurkers penetrate to work to fan the flames between the members of the same house. In this regard, it is possible to look at the plan that the Muslim Brotherhood followed in Egypt during the royal and republican eras, and how it was able to weaken the monarchy and help the Free Officers Movement seize power.
It is true that disputes soon arose between it and Jamal Abdul Nasser, but it managed to weaken the state and tarnish its image abroad. After the death of Jamal Abdul Nasser, the group tried to gain access to power by trying to win over President Anwar Sadat, but he aborted its plan.
In the year 2011, the group attempted to usurp power again, but the army confronted it after one year of practices through which it sought to seize Egypt’s capabilities. The presence of a firm leadership headed by President Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi destroyed all its hopes of ruling Egypt again.
In some Gulf countries, the ruling families worked on the unity of their decision and did not allow any of their members to open the doors for the poisonous winds to blow on the state or the government. This is because it realized from the beginning that any multiplicity of decisions not only means its weakness, but also leads to the preparation for the fall of the state as a whole.
In this regard, the strength and unity of decision-making can be observed from the great reform movement initiated by King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which restored the strength of Saudi Arabia, corrected its course within a few years, and strengthened its international and regional presence.
That is why it was said in the past – “A thousand enemies are outside the house, and there is not a single enemy inside it.”
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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