British academic and Socialist Workers Party member Philip Marfleet, on the Egyptian revolution – it ain’t over yet.
Revolutions are invariably complex and lengthy processes. In the case of Iran, with which there are some striking similarities, protests which began in 1976 only took their full effect three years later with the fall of the Pahlavi regime. There were numerous episodes of advance and retreat of the students’ movement, the petty bourgeoisie of the bazaar, the clerical establishment, the national minorities and the peasantry, before sustained mass strikes expelled the shah.
These struggles threw up a host of forms of social organisation including local committees and workplace groups, some taking on a proto-Soviet character before they were dispersed by the Ayatollah Khomeini’s offensive.
There will be similar episodes in Egypt, as a movement initially animated by democratic demands addresses the possibility of further radical change—a generalisation of struggle that addresses the inequalities of the Mubarak era, the ownership of societal resources including industry and the land, and the problem of power wielded by the state itself.
The entry of the workers gives cause to believe that the Egyptian Revolution is indeed “growing over” into a movement for wider and historic change—that a process of permanent revolution with global implications is under way.
Yes indeed. This disaster, will have “global implications”.
Communists instigated the Iranian revolution and worked with the Islamists to achieve it. Once in power the Islamists executed ed, imprisoned and exiled thousands of communists.
The left does not intend to allow this to happen in Egypt. They aim to come out on top.