[OPE] Brief Thoughts on the Egyptian Revolution

From: GERALD LEVY <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>
Date: Fri Feb 11 2011 - 19:49:04 EST

I'd be curious to hear what others think about this ongoing process
and its likely impacts so I'll say a few words (and purposely
keep this brief) to get a discussion started.

1. In a sense, one could see the current revolution as the second
- and long overdue - stage of the bourgeois revolution which began
in 1952.

2. THe military ultimately played a decisive role in this change.
While it was unclear until today whose side they would come down on,
the generals and the high command ultimately feared for themselves
if they sided with Mubarak and ordered a bloodbath. There is also
the question whether the rank-and-file in the military would have
obeyed orders to open fire on the people.

3. So now you have a situation in which the military has (temporarily?)
taken command over the nation. It's widely expected that they will
lift martial law and this will create a space for political organizing
in advance of the expected September elections. This represents an
opportunity for all sides - from the Muslim Brotherhood to socialists
and others on the Left. In this there is at least the possibility of a
further radicalization and movement towards a socialist revolution.
In the near terms, I consider that unlikely for a variety of reasons
but this is a very fluid situation. Given the extent of mass poverty
and low wages, an anti-capitalist and truly anti-imperialist alternative
might find mass support.

4. While the Muslim Brotherhood and other right-wing Islamist parties
will appeal to many in Egypt - and will likely be elected to at least
a minority position in government - I think it's highly unlikely
that Egypt will become (the West's fear) "another Iran". More likely
they will play a role in a multi-party bourgeois democracy.

5. The US, other major imperialist powers, and international lending
agencies will attempt no doubt to control the nature of change that
happens in Egypt. However, I think it's highly likely that there
will be resistance to following Washington's game plan. Ironically,
this resistance will come because any government which
comes to power must attempt to be seen as being independent of
their influence for nationalist reasons (I wrote 'ironically'
because Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, after all, were nationalists who
all came to an accommodation with international imperialism).

6. Will this revolutionary movement, which began recently in Tunisia,
lead to 'regime changes' in other Arab nations? That I'm not so sure
about, but In think it likely that this victory will inspire
revolutionaries in those other nations.

7. Socialist revolution isn't exactly on the horizon yet, but this
portends important changes re Israel and Palestine. I predict that
following the elections whatever the new government is in Egypt
will rescind the 1979 peace treaty and could break off diplomatic
relations to boot. They will have to do this, imo, in order to
have credibility with their own people and remain popular. What will
it mean then re Israeli policy once its biggest collaborator in the
Arab world is no longer a collaborator? How that plays out is also
dependent on what kinds of changes happen in other Arab nations.
But, clearly, the Zionists are concerned. After all, it was the
complicity by governments in other Arab nations with Israel
which allowed them to repress Palestinians in the way that they
have for decades. Yet - let us remember - that whatever the policy
of their governments the people of those nations have overwhelmingly
been sympathetic to Palestinian rights and statehood. If these
governments again stood on the sidelines and were complicit with
Israel, they would likely incur the wrath of their own people.
Whether this leads to a regional war and an independent
sovereign state of Palestine remains to be seen - but the right-
wing in Israeli remains very much in command and that will create
possibilities for heightened conflict. Although it will try, I doubt
the the US will be able to successfully control what happens or the
pace of developments,

OK, what do you think?

In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Fri Feb 11 19:50:17 2011

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Feb 28 2011 - 00:00:02 EST