The Maghreb, What Movements For Which Perspectives?

February 10, 2011 at 3:10 am (Uncategorized)

A statement on Egypt and beyond by  Internationalist Perspective

The deepening of the world economic crisis, since 2008, has caused a significant degradation of living and working conditions in the “poor” countries and frontal attacks through austerity plans, the increase in unemployment, and the revocation of many [long standing] “social gains” in the “rich” countries.

Class reactions have multiplied throughout the world, there are strikes, riots with violent confrontations with the forces of repression, demonstrations…

What is significant in the current movements is the mobilization of youth. Greek youth have been the cutting edge of contestation since 2008 but in their wake, French and English students and, now, Tunisian, Algerian and Egyptian are the motivating force of the movements. But these young people, in Tunisia, in Egypt seem to have forged a link to other demands. They have been set in motion

The movements unfolding in the Maghreb must be situated in this context of a major aggravation of the world economic crisis and its repercussions on the proletariat, working or unemployed. They express a revolt against the price increase, but also, and this is fundamental, against the complete absence of any perspective represented by the capitalist system. This absence of any perspective manifests itself more and more strongly and affects the whole planet.

These movement are important in other ways too: they constitute an experiment in collective struggle, in the capacity to oppose, the capacity to say “No”, to reject the established order. These experiences, combined with the questioning about [the lack of any perspective, will not fail to have an important impact on the future development of the political consciousness of the proletariat.

The risk exists that the current demands in Tunisia and Egypt will be swallowed up by the illusion that a change of President or of the government will give work to the young people, will fill the shopping baskets of the housewife, and will allow freedom of expression and of organization.

Remember that the transformation of Latin America dictatorships and the so-called “communist” regimes into more modern, “democratic,” political systems, corresponded to a change into regimes better adapted to the present needs of the accumulation of capital, and the need for a democratic control of the working class. But, if these political adaptations allowed a better exploitation of natural resources and some industrial development, they only very partially masked the overturning of existing health care, housing, educational, systems, and the creation of an even wider gap between a newly enriched class and an increasing mass of the poor consigned to unemployment, to poverty, to drugs, and to the violence of the shantytowns and the street.

Thus, the movements of revolt agitating Tunisia and Egypt express at the same time the refusal of the poverty generated by the capitalist mode of production, the search for new perspectives, but also the hopes invested in a change [in the mode] of political management. They reflect the difficulty, for the world proletariat, to envision a new society and thus to break with the economic, social, and political functioning of capitalism.

It is now clear that life in this system, under whatever form it takes, can only produce more poverty, wars, destruction of the environment, and, at the end of the day, a major degradation in the conditions of existence of human beings.

Only putting into question the very bases of this society on a world scale can open up a revolutionary perspective for the creation of a society offering radically different perspectives.

Internationalist Perspective

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