Egypt – Which Form of Tyranny Will Win?

Below is a video of Egyptian Revolutionary Socialist member Hossam el-Hamalawy speaking at the British Socialist Workers Party run Marxism 2008.

The Egyptian revolution is no spontaneous event. The Egyptian and international left has been building to this for some years.

Revolutionary Socialist is but one element of the Egyptian revolution. It has both worked with and against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Starting in the late 1980s, small circles of Egyptian students, influenced by Trotskyism, gathered to study, eventually evolving in April 1995 into an organization named the Revolutionary Socialists’ Tendency. In contradistinction to the Stalinist left, these activists put forward the slogan “Sometimes with the Islamists, never with the state” in the literature they distributed on university campuses and elsewhere.

In practice, this slogan translated into taking up the cause of Muslim Brotherhood students on campus when it came to “democratic” issues, as when state security banned Islamist candidates from running in student union elections or expelled Islamist students from school. The “galleries” (ma‘arid)—impromptu broadsheets written on cloth or cardboard and laid out in campus squares—of Revolutionary Socialist students at Cairo and ‘Ayn Shams Universities regularly carried denunciations of military tribunals’ sentences handed down to Muslim Brothers.

At the same time, the Trotskyist students confronted the Muslim Brothers on issues such as freedom of expression and the rights of women and Coptic Christians. Whenever they felt the Brothers wanted to impose sex segregation in the classroom, or clamp down on campus theater and art, or whenever the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide made sectarian comments about the Copts, the socialists’ “galleries” would carry vehement denunciations.

The Egyptian revolution is not about tyranny versus “democracy”.

It is about which brand of tyranny will come out on top.


Author: Admin

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