The downfall of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Egyptian Military high command, is an important victory for the Egyptian masses who rose up against the 30year old dictatorship. The blood of over 300 martyrs and many thousands killed in under the dictatorship, the idealism of the youth of the April 6th movement; the long battles fought by the industrial workers which led to the current strike wave; the soldiers and officers who joined the opposition; and all those from every class who rallied for 18 days to end the regime, have struck the first blow in the battle for democracy and national independence.
This battle so far has proved many things. First it proved that the revolutionary struggle of the masses of poor workers and farmers, joined to the fight of the marginalised youth, can begin to make a revolution. All those who claimed that the age of revolution was over with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that capitalism had triumphed and declared the End of History, are proven wrong. Imperialism and its client dictators are not evidence of the End of History, but of its impasse. The Egyptian masses stood up after 30 years of dictatorship broke through that impasse and removed the hated dictator.
Second, against the liberal commentariat who excitedly rediscovered the semi-colonial masses and praised the miracle of the ‘revolution’, searching for metaphors and fancy allusions to mask their ignorance, is the flesh and blood proletariat. There was nothing ‘miraculous’ about this revolution. It was a revival of the national democratic revolution fought against the British, breaking out as a Pan-Arab nationalism under Nasser, but then being pushed backwards by a succession of military regimes subordinated to the neo-colonial rule of US imperialism and its Middle Eastern attackdog, Israel. The re-opening of the Arab national revolution sparked by the Tunisian uprising, proves that this revolution did not fall out of thin-air, that the national revolution has been fomenting for decades, and that of every other national democratic revolution suspended in its tracks by imperialism, is over-ripe for completion.
Third, the revived national revolution will have to be completed as an international socialist revolution to realise the demands raised by the mass movement. “Freedom” and “democracy” is not possible in the modern capitalist imperialist world. Neither the military nor any new parliamentary democracy can realise these demands in any single country while imperialism and the national bourgeois regimes rule the nation and the region. The fact that Tunisia sparked off the uprising proves that the revolution has to be based on the pan-Arab masses who are suffering terrible misery, oppression and repression at the nands of imperialism and its local lackey dictatorships. The fact that the US, Israel, and the whole Arab national bourgeoisie from Hamas to the Saudi princes backed Mubarak shows that the forces of the Arab counter-revolution are a real danger to the revolution.
Fourth, all of these realities point to the truth that all of the demands raised by the youth and the workers and farmers cannot be won while capitalism and imperialism rules the world. The crisis facing imperialism demands that the workers and farmers of the world pay for the crisis with slave labour, hunger and even death. The most basic demands for a wage, a house and for human rights are incompatible with the survival of imperialism. Just as this revolution was part of a wave of uprisings begun across North Africa and the Middle East, its completion will not be possible without the masses of the imperialist countries turning on their ruling classes to stop armed invasions to suppress the popular revolutions in the Middle East such as that of the Palestinians.
The victory of the revived national revolution in Egypt must open up the prospect of the international socialist revolution. To prevent the Egyptian revolution from being overturned by the military or by imperialist counter-revolution, the Arab masses must rise together. To prevent the Arab masses from military defeat by US invasion and Israeli attacks, the workers of the US and EU must strike against the military machines of their ruling class. The images of the millions mobilised in Egypt must become the inspiration for new workers struggles across the world. We must all learn to lose the fear and walk like Egyptians, and not rest until we have completed the revolutionary process that has just begun.