[Marxism] Egypt's Black Bloc Doesn't Want to Be Your Friend

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Feb 14 07:34:44 MST 2013

On 2/14/13 9:14 AM, Daniel Rocha wrote:
> Right, what about the whole World War that was happening?

Daniel, WWI was one of the causes of the Russian revolution. However, 
that has nothing to do with revolutionaries using violence. WWI was an 
instance of capitalist violence. Capitalist violence, economic misery, 
etc. Those are the factors that drive people to make revolutions. Under 
a dictatorship, revolutionaries are forced to use violence. For example, 
the July 26th Movement used to firebomb sugar plantations in Cuba. But 
the July 26th Movement had massive support. People working in cigar 
factories in the U.S. used to take part of their meager wages and send 
them to the movement in Cuba. Students all through Cuba used to organize 
demonstrations against the Batista dictatorship, risking arrest and 
torture. Many of these students became guerrillas later on.

In Egypt the main obstacle to revolution is not the repression of the 
army and police, although they are definitely intimidating. It has been 
the failure of a class-based party to challenge the Islamists. Many 
working people in Egypt are deeply religious and inclined to give credit 
to a party that does have a record of charitable handouts to the poor. 
In some ways the Egyptian left has the same problems that the Iranian 
left had after the overthrow of the Shah. How do you organize workers on 
a class basis? In Iran the left adapted to the clergy while in Egypt 
this has not been a big problem. Instead the problem has been how to 
organize people around resistance to austerity, the neo-Mubarkism of the 
Muslim Brotherhood. This will be done by mounting opposition around 
class-based demands, such as the right to a job, a living wage, etc. It 
will also involve solidarity with the Palestinians and all those 
fighting for democracy and social justice.

Firebombing the Muslim Brotherhood offices will not make progress toward 
the goal of social and economic emancipation. It will only retard it.

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