Statement on the present situation in Egypt
March 4, 2011 Leave a comment
Egypt’s situation today:
A revolutionary process is underway in Egypt today. The revolt in Tunisia which ousted the Ben Ali regime there has catalyzed a chain of revolutionary processes throughout the Maghreb and the greater Arab world. In Egypt the ouster of President Mubarak was a culmination of the events that had transpired in the three weeks preceding it. It was becoming clear right from the beginning of the Egyptian uprising in late January the country had been in the throes of a revolutionary situation. Independent neighborhood councils and defense committees had been formed, whilst an organ of dual power had emerged in the defense committees in course of the gathering at Tahrir Square. The vast and seemingly omniscient security apparatus had already been rendered powerless by these tools of control which were in the hands of the people. The rank and file of the army on which the regime had to rely on had effectively shifted their support away from the regime towards the masses. Whilst the generals remained in fear and attached to the top echelons of power, the rank and file of the Egyptian army (composed primarily of conscripted urban working class elements) had remained supportive of the protesters on the street. The events which transpired on the 11th of February which saw the collapse of the Mubarak regime in Egypt was the culmination of the developments of the revolutionary struggle being waged since January this year. However, throughout the struggle what was evident was the lack of any coherent leadership of the masses let alone revolutionary leadership. The main demand of the protests aimed solely on the overthrow of the president without much perspective on what would transpire thereafter. It was clear that the struggles till that point were limited exclusively to national democratic perspectives, namely in the overthrow of the regime in place. With the overthrow of the Mubarak regime a new phase of the revolution has begun.
Where to for the revolution? :
In any revolutionary situation there are always necessarily two decisive factors. One is the objective factors which act like a catalyst energizing the masses into action, the other is the subjective factor of concrete political leadership which can channelizing this energy into a concretely revolutionary direction. Presently, we see that the objective conditions have fulfilled in their culmination to this exact point of history, but this alone will not determine the conclusion of the Egyptian revolution let alone the Arab revolution. Firstly, it must be understood that the revolution in Egypt at present has only accomplished the first steps towards securing a socialist revolution, one that would be led and consummated by the working class of Egypt. Presently what we are witnessing is the completion of the bourgeois democratic revolution in the spirit of the February Revolution of Russia which saw the overthrow of the Czar. In other words it is not yet a conscious socialist revolution but the beginning of a revolution that combines the most elementary democratic demands (freedom of expression and freedom of association and organization) with the most elementary socialist demands (Jobs, healthcare, education) . Secondly, it has to be admitted in the negative that despite the positive developments of a mass upsurge, it remains leaderless and hence direction less. In the course of the uprising most popular demands were aiming at the removal of the Mubarak regime, but there seemed to be no political force capable of presenting a sound alternative to the Egyptian people let alone a revolutionary one! This state of affairs persists. The masses have for the time being it seems reposed faith in the armed forces to govern it thereby allowing the military leadership of Egypt to take control of the helm of power in place of Mubarak. The nature of the government itself is transitory and the situation still remains unclear as to what will transpire from here on. Whilst the military rank and file on the streets was no doubt sympathetic to the revolution, we warn against having any illusion of the same from the commanding officers at the helm of power. The men on the top have vested interest in derailing the revolution and returning the status quo of imperialist rule which stands shaken. The opposition parties too including El Baradei himself represents nothing more than sections of the Egyptian bourgeois vying for becoming an agent of imperialism in the country. We warn the Egyptian people that Egypt being the most vital Arab country in the region, Imperialism will make all efforts especially covert ones to reimpose its domination over the Arab people. Fulfilling the question of revolutionary leadership in the Egyptian context is therefore of utmost importance to the success of the Egyptian revolution. The key is in the hands of the Egyptian working class and its class vanguard. A third factor which would be no less decisive in the determination of the Arab revolution would be its international spread. It remains to be seen how and where the wave will spread but recent actions by other authoritarian government suggest in no small degree a sense of acute fear of the revolutionary movements spreading to their countries. Even a Great Power like China isn’t immune from this fear and has censored news from Egypt from its internet coverage. Within the Maghreb region, it is Libya today that has risen up in struggle.
The international significance of the Arab revolution in Egypt:
Egypt being the most populated Arab republic and home to the Suez Canal has tremendous international importance. The revolution here it must be noted was never an isolated process to begin with but a continuation of the Tunisian uprising. Egypt today is at the centre of a much wider Arab revolution. Cairo which is the cultural heartland of the Arab world from the Western Maghreb to the eastern ends of the Gulf acts as a socio-political beacon for the rest of the Arab world. The revolution in Egypt today acts as an inspiration and a model for the rest of the Arab world. Being located on the culmination spot of three continents (Africa, Europe and Asia) Egypt holds tremendous strategic importance for Imperialism. The Suez Canal is one of the most important assets for Imperialism to control. The first jolt came when the then Arab nationalist regime under Nasser nationalized it causing the first Suez crisis. Presently this canal which is the natural asset of the Egyptian people is controlled by the Imperialist proxy Egyptian bourgeois. Should it pass to the hands of the Egyptian working class the entire chain of the imperialist system between Europe and Asia would be broken. Additionally, Egypt’s proximity to Israel and given its history of conflict with the Zionist proxy state, the revolutionary developments in Egypt has a special significance to the liberation struggle of Palestine. The natural affinity between the Egyptian proletariat and its allies to the Palestinian struggle was shown when crowds were chanting slogans in favor of Palestinian liberation at Tahrir Square. As long as Egypt remained under Imperialist domination, the Arab people could be kept under chains where they were most powerful. The revolution has already begun the process of breaking the imperialist stranglehold over Egypt. The sheer rapidity with which the revolution developed in Egypt has for now paralyzed the Imperialists for any action. However, the battle for the Arab revolution has not ended yet as the full culmination of the Arab revolution remains in the formation of a Socialist federation of the Arab world. Egypt is that fulcrum from where the future Federation can emerge.
Demands we put forth:
For full freedom of organization and agitation! Full right to strike!
For Nationalization of the Commanding heights of the economy! Worker’s Control over Industry!
For Universal Employment along with a plan for public works to provide them!
For a wage adjusted to inflation levels!
Land Reforms! And full expropriation of the property of the ruling families without compensation!
Rescind all Imperialist treaties! Open the borders with Gaza!
Out with the Military Junta! For a people’s militia!
Open all accounts of the Government! No more government secrets!
Free All Political Prisoners!
For a Workers and Peasants government in Egypt to fulfill the aspirations of the masses!
For a Federation of Arab States!