The Revolution in North Africa is Shaking the World!

The revolutionary change sweeping North Africa and the Arab world offers great hope for the workers and oppressed people of the Earth. The demands for democracy and a decent life are shared by millions, if not billions, of people. At the same time the world’s capitalists stand exposed, out of touch and terrified by the movement they are witnessing.

The revolution so far has had a liberal political character; that is, to remove the old dictators like Ben Ali, Mubarak and their corrupt circles in favor of a real parliamentary democracy. At the same time, however, the actual struggle shows the people organizing their own mass democratic institutions: committees of resistance, trade unions, defense committees, &c. This is particularly evident in Tunisia. There a ‘transitional government’ including members of the old regime is trying to hold capitalism together while offering a few liberal reforms. The ministerial poo-bahs do this, however, while the workers and peasants build their own organizations of popular power. In the city of Kasserin, a resident reports that the city has been on general strike for over two weeks, the old administration and police have fled, and that a regional people’s committee is effectively running the city. In Egypt independent unions have announced the formation of a new independent federation and the formation of factory and enterprise committees of struggle. In short, the workers, peasants and at least some soldiers of North Africa are building the beginnings or real dual power. The revolutions are far from over.

Whatever capitalist governments emerge at this time—even the most radical-sounding ones—cannot carry out the promises of the revolutions: democracy and a decent life for the masses of people. Among the first problems they will face is inflation and unemployment, both inherent byproducts of capitalism and a market economy. Any government committed to preserving such a system cannot make a real effort to eradicate its problems. Thus, whatever democracy such a government gives (as if democracy is something which can be given) it will take back as it tries to save capitalism against the struggle of workers and peasants.

A revolutionary leadership and a revolutionary program is critical. By this we don’t mean a democratic centralist (read: centralist) group which claims to speak for the workers and peasants in the name of some ‘laws of history’. However, we do feel that a libertarian socialist organization with a program which in practice aims to expropriate all the capitalists—not just the ones directly associated with the corrupt dictators—is essential. To that end there should be no political support for ‘transitional’ governments and every effort made to broaden and deepen the popular committees so that they can replace the state and take power themselves.

Further, the revolution must spread. This is both to protect itself in any one country and to enable the economic and social development of what would be an ‘international’ federation of popular councils, committees, or whatever they may be called.

The imperialist powers will fight these revolutionary struggles with anything at their disposal. They may even be joined by rhetorically ‘anti-imperialist’—but still capitalist—countries. The principal task of revolutionary-minded and politically conscious people in these countries is to prevent this by any m

New York Local Union, North Eastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists
9 February 2011

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