The regime of Hosni Mubarak is finished, crushed by the millions of workers, middle class, poor and – most importantly – the youth who poured onto the streets of Egypt demanding an end to the 30 years of corruption and poverty that have characterised it.
Everything Mubarak has attempted to quell this uprising has been met with defiance or ridicule.
Last Friday, at the same time as he was sending 300,000 riot police onto the streets and preparing army tanks to go in and physically put down the demonstrations, he was desperately promising to ‘embrace reform’.
This involved the 82-year-old Mubarak sacking the ineffective government that he uses as a front for his dictatorial rule and filling the post of vice-president – a post that has never been occupied in the 30 years of his rule – with an old crony, Omar Suleiman.
Mubarak’s pathetic attempt to quell the revolt with promises of ‘democratic reforms’ received strong backing from the US and European governments.
David Cameron along with Sarkozy and Angela Merkel joined with President Obama in calling on Mubarak to recognise the ‘legitimate grievances’ of the Egyptian people, with Cameron urging him to build ‘democratic legitimacy’ in the country.
This new-found concern for ‘democracy’ in Egypt does not go down well in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria where the people are only too aware that the regime has only survived with the backing of western imperialism throughout its 30 years.
The US pumps over $1.5 billion into Mubarak’s coffers every year while millions of Egyptians are forced to live on the streets in abject poverty.
As the world crisis of capitalism has driven up the prices of the most basic staples of human need, along with producing mass unemployment amongst the working class and youth, the situation throughout the Arab world has become unbearable.
When the Tunisian masses rose up two weeks ago and ousted its president, Ben Ali, all the highly paid Middle East experts proclaimed that it would not spread any further.
They were particularly vocal in denying that something similar could happen in Egypt with a population of 80 million and which was ruled with an iron fist by Mubarak, with his extensive secret police, US-supplied modern army and extensive use of violence against any dissent.
All these predictions have proved utterly false.
The world crisis is driving the forces of revolution throughout the world and it is erupting with ferocity in the countries of North Africa and the Arab world.
Far from being intimidated or put down by the police and the army, whole sections of these forces have refused to turn their fire on demonstrators.
Now that it is clear Mubarak is finished, we can expect an attempt to install a new ‘provisional’ regime based upon existing opposition leaders, men like the Nobel peace prize winner Mohamed El Baradei.
But such an interim government, whilst pledging all manner of ‘democratic’ reforms, will be able to solve none of the issues confronting the working class, the poor and whole sections of the middle class who face only starvation and poverty under the domination of capitalism.
The Arab bourgeoisie has long functioned as an agency of world imperialism and has proved incapable of liberating the Arab people from imperialist exploitation.
It is the working class that has the responsibility for leading the Arab masses in the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and breaking with imperialism through the socialist revolution.
To carry out this task requires the building of the revolutionary party, sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International, to lead the working class and the Arab socialist revolution to victory as part of the world socialist revolution.