Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Ten Days That Shook the Arab World

''What is happening today is the largest popular revolution in the history of our country and of the entire Arab world. The sacrifice of our martyrs has built our revolution and we have broken through all the barriers of fear. We will not back down until the criminal 'leaders' and their criminal system is destroyed.''
From the Statement of the Revolutionary Socialists Egypt

"People have changed. They were scared. They are no longer scared. We are not afraid of Mubarak's system any longer and when we stopped being afraid we knew we would win...We will not again allow ourselves to be scared of a government. We will not be afraid to say when we think the president is wrong or the government is bad. This is the revolution in our country, the revolution in our minds. Mubarak can stay for days or weeks but he cannot change that. We cannot go back."
Mahmoud, a 35-year-old Egyptian teacher

''I was in Alexandria meeting some comrades on Monday of last week. I was followed by plain-clothes police who questioned the café owners about me, saying I was not from there. Only days later we can sit in the open talking about revolution and socialism, and no one is watching...''
Sameh, Egyptian revolutionary socialist

''The people that fought and won on the barricades is an altogether different people from the one that assembled before the castle on 18 March to be enlightened about the meaning of the concessions obtained, by the attacks of the dragoons. It is capable of altogether different things, it has an altogether different stance with relation to the government. The most important conquest of the revolution is the revolution itself...''
Frederick Engels in revolutionary Berlin 1848

The transformation of mass consciousness represented by the Egyptian Revolution is truly the most remarkable aspect of the revolt so far - a matter of days ago people in Egypt may have had a so-called 'democracy of newspapers' of sorts where people could criticise pretty much anything as long as nobody mentioned Mubarak - the hated dictatorial tyrant currently still hanging onto power - and if they did they faced imprisonment, torture or even death at the hands of the secret security services. Now they openly burn effigies of him in Tahrir Square and call for him to not simply go but face punishment for his crimes. Yet the revolution is still in the balance - and events continue to change fast -for updates from the frontline see Hossam's blog. Those of us in the West can best help above all by building solidarity - as John Molyneux notes:

As someone who has often visited Egypt and has many friends in Cairo I appeal to everyone everywhere who reads this blog to do everything they can to mobilise support for the ongoing and embattled Egyptian Revolution. Demonstrate, picket your Egyptian embassy, organise meetings, whatever you can do.

Above all it is necessary to combat the idea that the Egyptian people are divided or that it is just chaos and confusion. What has happened is an organised attack by plainclothes police, paid thugs on behalf of a brutal dictator and his regime to attempt to crush the amazingly heroic uprising of the Egyptian masses. Mubarak must not be given another 6 months to scheme, kill, and shore up his position.

Come to a Socialist Worker forum with Tariq Ali, Egyptian activist Wassim Wagdy, Judith Orr and a Tunisian speaker. Wed 9 Feb, 7pm, Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ
Edited to add: A special solidarity T-shirt produced by Philosophy Football:

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home