[Marxism] The Bouazizi Spark: The Beginning of a Long Revolutionary Process | Al Akhbar English

Clay Claiborne clayclai at gmail.com
Thu Feb 13 21:58:14 MST 2014

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real
suffering and a protest against real suffering. *Religion is the sigh of
the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of
soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.*

Clay Claiborne, Director
Vietnam: American Holocaust <http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com>
Linux Beach Productions
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1536

Read my blogs at the Linux Beach <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/>

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 3:10 PM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

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> The Bouazizi Spark: The Beginning of a Long Revolutionary Process
> By: Gilbert Achcar
> Published Tuesday, January 10, 2012
> We know the crucial role that the worker's movement played in both Tunisia
> and Egypt in the revolution's first stage, bringing down the dictators and
> sweeping away the symbols and institutions of the old political order.
> Nobody can ignore the fundamental role played by the Tunisian General Labor
> Union in this respect, nor the decisive role of the workers' strikes
> movement in Egypt which began to expand in the days leading up to Hosni
> Mubarak's resignation. These also led to the creation of the Egyptian
> Federation of Independent Trade Unions whose ranks swelled to nearly 1.5
> million members within a few months.
> Herein lies the paradox of the revolutionary process that we are
> witnessing. The men and women of the labor movement paved the way for the
> revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and played a decisive role in ousting the
> old regime, but they have been completely absent from the electoral stage.
> While the labor movement is arguably the only progressive force that has
> popular roots and a national reach capable of beating the conservative
> parties and raising itself up to the leading position in order to implement
> the necessary revolutionary change, it was physically absent from the
> electoral battle, as it lacked political representation. Hence it was also
> absent politically, with the parties that dominated the electoral scene
> almost completely ignoring the working class's problems and demands,
> pushing them at best to a very secondary position.
> The same goes for the youth movement, with its significant female
> component, which initiated the uprisings and revolutions, and continues to
> stand at their forefront everywhere. Yet, it was almost completely absent
> from the electoral stage, which has been dominated by political
> organizations led by older men who advocate a puritanical moral regime and
> an obscurantist cultural regression, far away from the aspirations of the
> vast majority of the revolutionary youth.
> In short, we stand before a historical discordance in social nature
> between, on one hand, the forces that paved the way for the revolutionary
> movement, ignited it and pushed for its radicalization, sweeping out the
> institutions of the old regime; and, on the other hand, the forces that
> came to dominate the electoral scene and win the majority of parliament
> seats, all of which joined the revolutionary mobilization after it had
> already started and after having initially denounced those who set it off.
> It is a discordance in nature between, on one hand, the deep problems that
> provoked the revolutionary explosion and continue to afflict the workers,
> the marginalized, the women and the youth; and, on the other hand, the
> forces that have seized the political spotlight and are trying to reduce
> the battle to a struggle between "secularism" and "Islam." They claim to
> represent "Islam," which they put forward as "the solution," thus
> illustrating the appropriateness of the critique of the use of religion as
> an "opiate of the masses" intended to distract the people from facing the
> basic problems afflicting them.
> This discordance can only be overcome through the build-up of the
> political representation of the workers' movement and its entry into the
> electoral arena with the aim of coming to power in alliance with the
> independent youth and women's organizations. As long as this is not
> achieved, the causes that provoked the revolutionary upheaval will not fade
> away but indeed will get worse, thus ensuring that the revolutionary
> process that was first ignited in Sidi Bouzid on 17 December 2010 will
> truly be a long-term process.
> full: http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/3232
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