Forward with the Egyptian revolution

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HUNDREDS of people are reported to have been killed in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities throughout Egypt, and thousands injured after the army leaders launched attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood, whose arrested leader Mursi, shortly after he was elected President one year ago, appointed Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as the army’s chief of staff.

Al-Sisi is the organiser of the military coup that has overthrown Mursi, and the organiser of the current attacks on the Brotherhood.

What is being spelt out in blood on the streets of the cities is that Egypt has come to capitalism far too late in the day, when the system as a whole is in its greatest crisis ever, in fact its death agony, and there is no way that the Egyptian bourgeoisie can build some parliamentary democracy that can carry through the historic tasks that the bourgeois revolutions carried out in Britain and then France, centuries earlier.

Not only does the very weak Egyptian bourgeoisie face the remnants of medievalism and feudalism, it also faces an enormously strong working class that has its own class agenda.

The furthest the Egyptian bourgeoisie could advance was to overthow the monarchy and establish the army in power, first through Nasser and then Sadat and Mubarak.

This regime, in its youth, nationalised the Suez Canal to establish the independence of the Egyptian bourgeoisie, and then in its middle age produced Sadat, who signed the peace treaty with Israel, and in its dotage, Mubarak who functioned as a tool of US imperialism, with the army financed by the USA.

The Egyptian revolution, led by the working class, overthrew the Mubarak regime after massive battles with the army and the police. The revolution let the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood out of jail and the ‘free’ elections that followed were skewed to create the conditions where the Brotherhood would win.

President Mursi then proceeded to ally himself with the US, putting himself in the front line of the struggle to remove President Assad and dismember Syria. He also honoured the peace treaty with Israel and maintained the US supply of billions of dollars for the army. Most importantly, he also presided over big attacks on the trade unions and a major fall in the standard of life of the Egyptian masses.

This is what produced the 18-million-strong second revolution which took to the streets with unstoppable force with the aim of bringing Mursi down and taking Egypt forward towards socialism.

As Blair has explained, faced with this demonstration of working class power, the military was left with no alternative but to organise a coup to pre-empt the developing revolution, and to overthrow Mursi itself, posing as the liberator of the masses.

The general staff now occupies a Bonapartist position, where the state has raised itself above the contending class forces, with one foot on both and seeking to strike out at both so as to construct an open military dictatorship with a very meagre political front as the only way the bourgeoisie can hold power in Egypt.

First of all it is striking out at the Muslim Brotherhood, posing as ‘democratic coupists’, and it is summoning the masses to help it in the struggle against a ‘president’ who was oppressing them.

However, once it has disciplined the Brotherhood and weakened it with killings and jailings, it will then turn its attention to the working class and particularly the trade unions.

Meanwhile, the US looks on and refuses to call the coup ‘a coup’, since its democratic baggage would oblige it to cut its funds to the Egyptian army. As Israel has explained, this would be a disaster for it, the US, and for reaction throughout the region.

The Egyptian workers and youth must not, and do not, support the military coup. They will be next to feel the boot of the military.

The working class must organise its own revolutionary party, a section of the Fourth International, that will organise to take the revolution forward to the working class, leading the rural poor, taking the power and overthrowing both the Egyptian bourgeoisie and its military chiefs.

In this, the working class in Egypt will carry out the historic tasks of the bourgeois revolution in Egypt before going over to socialist measures as part of the world socialist revolution.

This is the nature of the permanent revolution.