The removal of the Morsi government is not a victory for the proletariat and the exploited Egyptian masses.
Victory can only be achieved by the proletarian class struggle against capitalism!
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 10; Winter-Spring 2014)
After massive peaceful demonstrations against the Morsi government, which gathered together millions and millions of protesters throughout Egypt, the military overthrew the government, arrested Morsi and dozens of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, closed their television stations and suppressed their newspapers. An interim president was appointed and it appears that negotiations are underway to appoint a new government.
These events were greeted with enthusiasm by a large part of the population, exasperated by the government’s inability to improve its situation and the reactionary authoritarian politics of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many people have seen these events as a «victory of the people» and proof that the army, in fact, obeys the wishes of the masses.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The army intervened only to protect Egyptian capitalism, to save social peace by preventing the widespread discontent from leading to violent and uncontrollable confrontations. On several occasions in recent weeks the military leaders – appointed by the Morsi government! – called, without success, on the government to compromise with opposition elements so that the economic and social crisis in which Egypt is immersed does not transform into a political crisis.
The petty bourgeois «Tamarrud gathering which organized a petition campaign to demand the resignation of Morsi obtained nearly 20 million signatures in a few weeks , demonstrating the unpopularity of the government, but also the strength of democratic and pacifist illusions. Of course Tamarrud («Rebellion») did not call for a social revolution, but the formation of a government of apolitical technocrats who would be able to solve the economic problems of the country. It is therefore not surprising that Tamarrud welcomes the actions of the army and it is arrayed behind the candidacy of former Nobel Peace Prize winner (2005), the bourgeois Mohamed El Baradei, for the post of prime minister.
But the laws of capitalism are inflexible; regardless of the political or religious tendency of the bourgeois government which succeeds the Morsi government, in order to restore the economic health of the country, it will have no choice but to obey them, which means increasing the exploitation of the workers, reducing the already very meager social measures and strengthening repression to accomplish these anti-proletarian measures.
Since January 2011 more than 4,500 factories have closed in Egypt (1) and more than a million people have lost their jobs, and despite government declarations on new job creation, unemployment has continued to rise. 78% of workers have only temporary employment and half of the 80 million Egyptians live below the official poverty level, that is to say, one US dollar a day (2). Inflation has officially reached 13% per year, but in some cases has reached 40% for basic necessities. Regular power cuts and fuel shortages due to the economic problems of the state further exacerbate the difficulties of daily life, including for large sections of the petty bourgeoisie.
To this brief outline must be added the reduction in foreign investment, the fall in tourism income (which is still one of the most important economic sectors) and even revenues from the Suez Canal, not to mention the large budget deficit; All these factors threaten the finances of Egypt, meanwhile it must import foodstuffs to feed its 80 million inhabitants (Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat, bread is the staple food of masses), according to some economists the economic crisis in Egypt is the most serious since the thirties.
The financial support of Qatar being insufficient, the government had sought help from the IMF, but it is unwilling to grant loans at low interest rates unless the state puts its finances «in order» , to be clear, reduce its expenses and increase its revenues. Concretely this means to remove or drastically reduce subsidies to basic commodities which are the largest expense of the state, in other words ... to starve the impoverished masses! Very aware that a decision of this type would almost certainly trigger violent riots (as was the case in 1977 when dozens of people were slaughtered by repression), the Morsi government hesitated until the end...
In this serious situation, it seems that beginning this spring, capitalists were pressuring for a seizure of power by the army – which the army heads then refused (3).
But if the Morsi Government had hesitated to follow the anti-social recommendations of the IMF he had not expected to conduct a repressive anti-worker policy and lay the foundation for its worsening.
A law on trade union freedoms, written shortly after the fall of Mubarak, which accorded fairly extensive freedom of struggle and organization to the workers, was never enacted because of the opposition of the military; the new law in preparation by the Morsi government planned various measures to regiment the new unions which were recently created (prior authorization to establish a union, control of their finances, prohibition of trade union pluralism – which means recognition of the old state monopoly union , etc.). But even before this law, arrests and dismissals of proletarians trying to self-organize and fight against the capitalists, the criminalization of strikes, continual violations of internationally recognized workers rights have made Egypt a «hell for the workers» according to the very bourgeois ILO (4)!
However, if this UN organization was indignant, it was not out of solidarity with the workers, but because it feared that an overtly anti-proletarian government policy would lead to struggles, while it advocates a democratic policy of class collaboration intended to prevent them.
And this is what happened!
According to the International Development Center (an independent Egyptian NGO) in the first six months of 2013 Egypt experienced the largest number of social «protests» in the world: 5544, The month of May was the hottest with nearly two «protests» breaking out an hour, moreover with increasing «violence»!
What the IDC means by «protests» is not very clear, it seems that they are not always strikes; but two-thirds of these «protests» that can be demonstrations, marches or even attacks on official buildings were related to working conditions, social demands and deficiencies in public services, in short, they were of a proletarian nature (5).
Although there is no complete information, it seems that June saw a continuation of the wave of protests even before the gigantic anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations at the end of the month in which the workers participated en masse, we can find a proof in the workers’ agitation in the textile centers of the north, especially in the gigantic Misr Spinning in Mahalla, where thousands of workers protested against the government of the Muslim Brotherhood and for their own demands (6 ).
The fall of the Morsi government after the enormous demonstrations of recent days will inevitably revive illusions of a fraternal union between the classes and the goodness of the military and state apparatus, which had dissipated under the government of the Muslim Brotherhood: this is an asset that the Egyptian bourgeoisie will be quick to put to use to calm the workers. But the reality of the capitalist crisis will dispel these illusions.
The facts will demonstrate to the workers of Egypt that their real enemy is not only the regime of the Muslim Brotherhood, after that of Mubarak: it is the entire capitalist system; they will demonstrate that against this enemy it is impossible to count on the support of other classes, the petty-bourgeois and bourgeois laity, because they too live off their exploitation, nor that of the army and of the bourgeois state whose ultimate function is to maintain this capitalist exploitation. The only allies of the proletarians, are the proletarians and the exploited of the entire country, and in all countries.
The facts will demonstrate that it is not possible to defend themselves and fight against this mortal enemy, against the capitalists and their state, with petitions or peaceful demonstrations: Only the proletarian class struggle, the revolutionary struggle to defeat the bourgeois state and to establish on its ruins the dictatorship of the exploited can definitively put an end to capitalism and all the bourgeois regimes that continuously succeed each other.
And to lead this fight, the necessary condition is independent class organization, both in terms of the «immediate» and «economic» struggle (class union organization) and on the broader political level (class party), future battles await the proletarians of Egypt as those of the whole world, it will depend on the ability of each and all of them to reconnect with the historical perspective of proletarian emancipation, the communist program which synthesizes the lessons of the major international battles of the working class, so that these struggles are victorious.
July 7, 2013
(1)See: http:// www. egypt independent. com/ news/ rise- factory -closures- reflects- egypt-s-compound- economic- malaises
(2) See: http:// www. csmonitor.com/ Commentary/ the-monitors-view/ 2013/0705/ Why-Egypt- now-deserves- world-s-help
(3) Egyptian General el-Sissi said in May that a seizure of power by the army could not solve the problems See: http:// www. isj.org.uk/ index. php4?id= 904&issue= 139 # 139marfleet37
(4) See: http:// hebdo. ahram.org.eg/ NewsContent/ 979/ 10/ 124/ 3002/ LEgypte, -un-enfer- pour-les- ouvriers. aspx
(5) http:// www. egypt independent. com/ news/ report-egypt- averaged- two-protests- hour-may
(6) These claims give an idea of the working conditions: immediate implementation in the minimum wage, increased food allowance, obtaining permanent worker status after 20 years of work, transport allowance, recognizing the rights of qualified women workers, etc. See: http:// menasolidaritynetwork. com/ 2013/ 06/ 28/egypt-mahalla-workers-join- rebellion-reject-privatisation- pl
International Communist Party