Crisis seems to be coming to a climax Friday evening in the Reign of Ramesses II committee, and the vulnerability currently experienced by Egypt is a perfect storm for destruction manufactured from within. If Egypt crumbles, it will be its own fault.
Delegates have been informed of trouble on multiple fronts, including a food shortage, a rising cult, and a threatening prophecy of Egypt’s demise. In a recent report, the committee learned that an unprecedented and wholly unexpected food shortage has been caused by several threats, including not only over-consumption by the Egyptians but also sabotaging of their fields.
But evidence clearly shows that the Egyptians are not merely victims of sinister sabotage; they are enablers.
Earlier in committee, hopes were high for a bountiful harvest. Faith in great floods to yield lush grain fields led consumers to abuse Egypt’s position adjacent the Nile and buy more than they needed. Their hopes were not fulfilled, however, as the fields suffered from lack of rain and severe salt damage. Even considering their innovative drought-resistant crops, their success was undermined by sabotage.
Amid nutritional concerns comes another risk: the cult of the dead. Recently created, the cult claims to have raised five individuals from the grave five days following their deaths. The group has experienced a massive spike in its following in the short time since its inception.
The new cult is also accompanied by an ancient inscription found in a remote cave which translated states, “The reign of ancient Egypt is coming to an end soon… [it] will not end well for people who do not believe in the one true god and his messenger.” It is unclear if the new cult is associated with the old message, but regardless, it is evident that the reign of Ramesses II is under immense pressure, and it will likely soon crack.
The struggle Egypt is currently experiencing is multifaceted but unsurprising. Historically, Egypt has relied entirely on its agrarian and communal society; the nation has essentially invested its existence into one fallible resource. Everyone depends on farming while virtually no one specializes in additional needs. This season has demonstrated the irresponsibility such an investment as both natural and human forces have counteracted Egypt’s long-sought stability.
Similarly, ancient Egypt has held fast to its religious structure with the divine Pharaoh at the head. Relying on Ramesses II to mediate between abstract, polytheistic gods without any personal interpretation or understanding has led the people to understandably resort to their one means, hence the rising cult. The people are made only more vulnerable by the monotheistic sentiment in the cave inscription, which threatens Pharaoh’s power and national unity even further.
Surely, the fall of a dynasty does not rest on agriculture, religion or politics alone. But with the pace of this committee as it presently stands, ancient Egypt appears to finally be on the cusp of total dissolution.
Should the dynasty remain, and prevail through these monumental trials, it must embrace significant social change. Ignoring the struggles will not remove them; carrying on as before will make their downfall inevitable. Outdated traditions and regulations have brought them to this precarious point. Now it is time for Pharaoh Ramesses and the Egyptian people must adapt to the future as it comes.