WORLD CRISIS AND REVOLUTION In February 2011, the US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke was bluntly asked, during a speaking engagement, “whether the central bank was culpable for the revolution in Egypt” (Financial Times, March 26/March 27 2011). Bernanke, as it was expected, denied it. He protested that it’s unfair to blame US monetary policy, particularly “Quantitative Easing 2”(QE2) launched by the Fed in November 2010, for the tidal wave of inflationary pressures engulfing the “emerging markets” and the entire underdeveloped South, rising the energy and food prices and propelling the revolutionary storm in the Middle East. But the question posed it had only touched directly an open wound.
The “wound” in this case is not limited to the recent US Fed monetary policy but it refers to the world capitalist crisis itself that has exploded in 2007, and the consequences of the emergency measures taken by all central banks and States in the advanced capitalist countries, after the collapse of the Lehman Brothers in 2008, to halt the meltdown of the world financial system. by unleashing a flood of liquidity. This is the material historical ground out of which emerged the revolution shaking now the Arab lands, the Maghreb and the Mashrek, in the southern coast of the Mediterranean, at the doors of Europe.
The essential relation between world crisis and revolution, it is what all the apologists of Capitalism, right and “left”, ignore /and or try to keep in the darkness.
After the first shock following the unexpected revolutionary events in Tunisia and Egypt, the mainstream discourse in the West and in the bourgeois mass media exhausts itself into a rhetoric about democracy or on the peculiarities of each Arab social formation in the region, obfuscating the fact that “the key-factor of the movement is the economic crisis” (Le Monde arabe dans la crise, Maghreb Machrek No 206, winter 2010-2011).
It does not mean that we have to replace the concrete analysis of a concrete situation by an oversimplifying vulgar economicism. The conditions of possibility of a revolutionary Event, of a break in the historic continuum, should not be conflated with the Event itself, which it is neither identical nor exhausted to its material conditions; it has its own life, dynamics and dialectical logic. But if the revolutionary Event is cut off from its conditions of possibility, from its material base, its “event site” (“site événementiel” to use Alain Badiou’s terminology) with all its elements and their mobilization, then it appears as a metaphysical miracle that fell from the sky. The recent revolutionary developments could not be isolated from or reduced mechanically to their crisis matrix.
In the crisis matrix dialectic of the universal and the particular is involved. Some analysts tend to ignore that dialectic and focus exclusively on what they consider as peculiarities of the Arab social formations. But these regional and national peculiarities are not fixed; they have risen and developed historically in constant interaction with the dominant trends of world development, particularly with the ascent and world domination of capitalism, colonialism, imperialism. In the first place, the archipelago of States, statelets, emirates etc. in the Middle East emerged out of the break up of the Ottoman Empire by the imperialist expansion of Western capitalism and the division of the region among the leading imperialist powers of Britain, France and Italy.
Their fate has changed with the discovery and the role of oil in the world economy, from the 1930s but particularly after the Second World War.
James Petras, insists, in his approach to the recent events in the region( in Roots of Arab Revolts and Premature Celebrations), on the character of these states as “rentier States” providing a rather small part of their revenue from oil (or tourism) to their citizens: “ Neo-liberal privatizations, reductions in public subsidies (for food, unemployment subsidies, cooking oil, gas, transport, health, and education) shattered the paternalistic ties through which the rulers contained the discontent of the young and poor, as well as clerical elites and tribal chiefs. The confluence of classes and masses, modern and traditional, was a direct result of a process of neo-liberalization from above and exclusion from below”.
In that framework, the main antagonism, which has emerged is located between the rentier State and the “street”, where is mobilized the amorphous “modern and traditional” social strata, and not between capital popular democratic revolution” in Petras terms.
Social amorphousness of the Arab rebellious “street” is not an amalgam of disparate elements, modern and traditional, in any kind of equilibrium. It expresses a combined and uneven development of an ensemble of “contemporary” and “non contemporary” contradictions (to use the very actual dialectic notion of Ernst Bloch), where the modern, not the traditional, the contemporary capital/labour contradiction, globally and locally, not the non contemporary contradictions of anachronistic elements is the determining, at the last instance, pole within the fabric of the complex ensemble of social relations.
“Rentier rulers govern via their ties to the US and EU military and financial institutions”, Petras correctly writes. But these ties and the entire network of relations between the imperialist countries and the “rentier regimes” are evolving historically and are determined by world trends in capitalism.
The quadrupling of the oil price after the 1973 war in the Middle East and in the context of world crisis after the collapse of the Bretton Wood framework in 1971-73, had as consequences not only growing budget deficits, recessions and growth of external debts, but also the process of “recycling of petrodollars”, which played an important role in the transition to finance capital globalization and neo-liberalism from the 1980s onwards.
During the decades of finance globalization, the rentier regimes, particularly khaledji capital in the Gulf, were deeply integrated within the structures and networks of flow of global finance capital-not despite but because of the archaic structure of the local societies. The oil-producing countries in the Middle East were not transformed into “sub-imperialisms” as the claim was raised (for example, by the late Ernest Mandel). The historical inability of the belated and subordinated to the West Arab bourgeoisie to fulfil an effective modernizing role in the epoch of imperialist decline of capitalism, and lack of local outlets for investment in the non-oil underdeveloped production sphere, has driven the accumulated wealth of the ruling regimes to turn outwards to the globalized markets dominated by Western finance capital, and to all sorts of extravagant schemes of decadent nouveaux riches, an emblematic example given by the kitsch skyscrapers of Dubai.
Integration into global finance capital produced not solely tremendous corruption on the privileged few on the top but also a growing misery to the broad popular masses below that pay the high social cost for the implementation of neo-liberal policies. Unemployment became chronic especially among the youth, the overwhelming majority of society. Globalization and its new technologies (Internet etc.) had opened to a significant section of that youth (not necessarily only to the petty bourgeois sector) new international horizons and demands, beyond local limitations and the weight of conservative traditionalism.
Combined and uneven development made the Arab world the “weakest link” into the international chain of the global finance capital system into which was deeply integrated during the previous decades- in a similar way that Greece, integrated in the EU and joining the Eurocurrency revealed, at the end, became the weakest link in the Euro-zone. When the global financial system imploded, the youth revolt in Greece in December 2008 was the first political explosion of this unprecedented world crisis in the European Continent, preceding the official revealing of the State bankruptcy of the country and foreshadowing the “youth revolutions” in Northern Africa and the Arab East. In both cases, to use Trotsky’s metaphor, the powerful electric charges unleashed by the globalized contradictions of capital erupting in 2007-08 have short-circuited and melted down the weakest parts of the global network.
The arbitrary separation of world crisis from revolution plays a pernicious ideological function: it hides from the eyes of those directly affected- the exploited, the victims of the capitalist crisis- the revolutionary implications of the current crisis as well as the historical way out from the systemic impasse that threatens humanity with catastrophe.
The world capitalist crisis, now in its fourth year, after leading to the abyss banks, financial giants like Lehman Brothers and sovereign States as in the periphery of the Euro-zone, has reached the point that creates conditions for revolutionary situations, uprisings and social revolutions. Nobody expected that decades long established dictatorships, strategically vital to world imperialism and under imperialist protection, like Mumbarak’s and Ben Ali’s tyrannies, could collapse in a few weeks under the revolutionary wrath of the mobilized masses.
The ruling classes have the most immediate political interest to cover up ideologically the fact that the same world crisis, which is driving the revolution in the Arab world, could produce similar revolutionary events in their own countries. They are actually terrified by the prospect of an international expansion of the revolution not solely in the Middle East but also beyond it, in the core metropolitan countries of the North, first of all in neighbouring imperialist European Union as it is entangled in an insoluble sovereign debt, monetary and banking crisis, combined with a deep crisis of legitimacy of the existing political system of rule and growing social unrest.
For decades the dominant discourse of the dominant class was preaching as a dogma that “the historical circle opened by the 1917 October Revolution in Russia has been definitely closed”, that “the epoch of revolutions has been ended for ever”; even self-proclaimed “communists” or “Marxists” were unshaken in their belief that decades or centuries separate us from a revolutionary upheaval in the remote, indefinite future. Everybody now can see real revolutions in the real world taking place not in a far away exotic point in the planet but in our neighborhood, in the opposite side of the Mediterranean, a few miles in the south of the Greek island of Crete.
BOURGEOIS DEMOCRACY AND IMPERIALIST WAR
Like the world crisis that erupted in 2007-08, its new born legitimate children as well, the revolutions of 2011(and previously the Greek revolutionary youth revolt of December 2008) fell like an unexpected thunder in a clear sky over the heads of the think tanks of economists and political scientists in the service of the bourgeoisie.
A few days before the Tunisian revolution, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the IMF was praising Tunisia as “a model for the entire African continent”, and Anthony Giddens, the spiritual father of the Blairite Third Way described it as the “Norway of Maghreb”!!(Their comrade, “Socialist” too and chairman of the “Socialist International”, George Papandreou had promised to transform Greece into a “Denmark of the South”, before announcing to the Greek people in a televised speech from the most remote small |Greek island of Kastelorizo that the country is bankrupt as well as enslaved to a Memorandum signed by his government with the EU, the ECB, and the IMF for a bail out…)
As far as Mumbarak’s Egypt is concerned, some “specialists” were hurried to include it into the emerging bloc of the BRICs with pretensions for an international hegemonic role.
But it would be a serious error to underestimate the world bourgeoisie. After the initial shock, Western imperialists, although split among themselves and weakened, started to develop a counter-revolutionary strategy, combining repression and concessions, promises for political reforms, invasions(Bahrain) and imperialist war( Libya).
Imperialism, after supporting for decades the dictatorships, belatedly tries to co-opt “democracy” and organize “orderly, peaceful transitions” to new forms of subjugation and social control, based upon and reproducing the pro-imperialist forces within the old tyrannical regimes, within their armies, police and CIA-trained secret services, in the various elites, old and new, among tribal chieftains.
This is the role played for example by the military council in Egypt that held a fake referendum introducing fake “constitutional reforms” to enable in a few months to transfer power to the organized forces of the former party of Mumbarak and their willing collaborators in the |Muslim Brotherhood. In Tunisia, the continuing mobilization of the masses has obliged the “transitional” government to apparently yield to the popular political demand calling for elections for a Constituent Assembly on July 24- as the “lesser evil” as the current prime minister Essebsi (a former collaborator of Ben Ali cursing now the same Ben Ali) has said. In Jordan and in Morocco, the promises are to “extend the powers of the people without restraining those of the monarchy, which is the symbol of national unity” etc. etc.
From the other side, as in the case of Libya, where Gaddafi had established a hermetically closed, family-centered dictatorship, preventing a Mumbarak like replacement, imperialist war came into the agenda. After leaving the Gaddafi military forces to massacre the military untrained and lightly armed insurgents and to come to the gates of Benghazi, then, the imperialists of France, Britain and the US, under the cover of the UN Security Council 1973 decision, intervened pretending to be the “saviors of last resort” and arbiters for a “post-Gaddafi transition”, following a stalemate in military operations between rebels and pro-Gaddafi’s forces. Apart from their supporters among the Transitional National Council in Benghazi, the imperialists are multiplying their calls for collaboration towards the inner circle around the Libyan dictator, including to such persons as the defector to London Mussa Kussa, former Foreign Minister and former chief of the Libyan secret services or Gaddafi’s corrupt and murderous sons like Saif al Islam al Gaddafi. The main aim of imperialism is to transform Libya into a NATO/UN protectorate, and a crucial strategic military stronghold against the Arab revolution, first of all the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.
The counter-revolutionary strategy of “democracy and/or war” is unified in its differentiation as well as the popular revolutionary process from the Atlantic to the Gulf is one single process despite the peculiarities, different social political configurations, different tempos, different levels of confrontation and relationship of social forces in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Syria.
Grasping this unitary nature both of revolution and counter-revolution is essential for revolutionaries to smash both tentacles of the counter-revolutionary monster, the pacifist bourgeois democratic “transition” to save the status quo under a different façade, and imperialist war.
The struggle to defeat the “democratic” traps does not mean any rejection of the legitimate popular democratic aspirations of the masses, which are deeply rooted not only to their bitter experience of decades long repression, torture, and extermination by the hated tyrannical regimes, but also they are interconnected with the social demands at the heart of the popular revolution. In this framework, the transitional demand of a sovereign Constituent Assembly can play an important role, without forgetting the traps set by rulers to hijack such a demand( as in Tunisia). The emphasis has to be given to the self-organization of the revolutionary masses into soviet-type grassroots organizations (committees, councils, etc.), which already had emerged although in an embryonic form in Egypt and Tunisia, and to the struggle to smash the repressive State apparatuses, to take power by the workers and the poor popular strata, to confiscate the wealth usurped by the dictators and their acolytes, to expropriate the expropriators, local and foreign, kick out imperialism and re-organize the entire Middle East( including a liberated Palestine) on new socialist bases.
In other words, the historical task is to make the revolution permanent, defeating all its foreign and internal foes.
The social revolution cannot be advanced without fighting imperialism, its “democratic” traps as well as its war aggressions, and imperialism cannot be defeated without deepening and expanding the social revolution.
ON LIBYA AGAIN
On this basis, our Party, the EEK, in the case of Libya, fights uncompromisingly the imperialist aggression, and at the same time, supports the popular revolutionary struggle of the rebelled “shebab”( youth) against Gaddafi’s tyranny, warning about the reactionary role of the Benghazi self-appointed “government” of former Gaddafi’s officials and other willing collaborators of imperialism. We say “Imperialists out from Libya and the Middle East”, and at the same time, “Down with Gaddafi and all tyrants! Victory to the revolution!” You cannot fight Gaddafi without fighting to defeat imperialism, and you cannot fight imperialism without fighting to overthrow Gaddafi.
It is totally counter-revolutionary a position of support to the UN Security Council 1973 Resolution giving the green light for imperialist intervention in Libya like that taken by all the liberal “left” in Europe but also by sectors of the “radical left”, expressed in a very clear way by Gilbert Achcar (the Lebanese left economist, politically close to the former ‘United Secretariat of the Fourth International”. See Gilbert Achcar, “A Legitimate and Necessary Debate from an Anti-Imperialist Perspective”, ZNet, 25 March 2011). Later, Achcar opposed the NATO bombings although still defending his initial position of support to the1973 SC resolution, and presenting the Transitional National Council as a carrier of a “program of real democratic change”. Alex Callinicos, the leader and theoretician of the “radical left” British SWP, although rejecting Achcar’s position and opposing the imperialist intervention, was careful to keep a friendly, soft attitude to this openly pro-imperialist position, writing in a comment in “Socialist Worker”, the paper of the SWP, on April 2: “The most intelligent case for supporting the intervention has been made by my old friend Gilbert Achcar. A consistent opponent of Western imperialism, Gilbert argues that this is an occasion when anti-imperialists should be willing to make compromises” etc. etc. How you can describe in the most friendly and even flattering way as “intelligent” an unashamed defence of imperialist aggression?
We have to make very clear the following: the popular uprising against the dictatorship of Gaddafi, the ally of the US in the terrorist “war on terror”, and friend up to recently of Tony Blair, of Berlusconi, and of Ben Ali up to the last moment of his overthrow( the Libyan services had actively helped the repression of the Tunisian revolution) is an inseparable part of the Arab revolutionary process and not a “conspiracy” organized by imperialism, as claim many self-styled “anti-imperialists”, ALBA in Latin America, Chavists everywhere or neo-Stalinists, including, in Greece, the “libertarian” Takis Fotopoulos of ‘Inclusive Democracy” or the neo-Stalinist George Delastik, chief editor of the weekly paper PRIN of the New Left Current( NAR), unashamedly supporting Gaddafi.
Fotopoulos attacked the EEK and personally the author of this article as “agents of the transnational elite and of Zionism” because we have said the obvious by calling the Libyan dictator “a man of imperialism”. According to his opinion, the Gaddafi regime has to be supported because it remains “anti-imperialist”, “not a client State”, and it is connected not directly but “only indirectly to the West by the internationalized market”. Only indirectly?
It was long ago when the former admirer of Nasser was in conflict with the imperialists, demonized by the West, and winning the sympathy or the support of anti-imperialist and left wing forces (among others, of the International Committee of Healy-an international Trotskyist current, with which the EEK has split in the 1980s- that had manifested a crude form of opportunism towards the so-called |Libyan “Jamahiriya’). After the collapse of the USSR, capitulating to imperialism, the Gaddafi regime started in 1999 its collaboration with the CIA; from 2003 became openly subservient to the West, giving shelter in Libya for special torture center for people accused to belong to Al Qaeda, betraying to the British MI6 the IRA and providing information on every connection, real or fictitious, with anti-imperialist movements and revolutionary organizations internationally; it gave the oilfields of the country to the British ,Italian, French and US companies( in a deal very profitable for the Gaddafi family itself and its friends); on this basis, the Libyan tyrant was transformed from a pariah to a valuable friend praised by all the Western rulers.
But the political problem is not the pro-Gaddafi guru of a self styled “anarchist” sect called ‘Inclusive Democracy’. In Greece, as well as in Italy and in other countries, a kind of Stalinoid, hollow “anti-imperialism” came forward in defence of the Libyan butcher of his own people.
Some of the consequences of this stand, we saw in a demonstration in Athens, on March 22,( and in which the EEK too has participated) originally called against the much publicized EU Summit of the 24/25 March to finalize the “grand bargain” to deal with the crisis in the Euro-zone at the expense of the European working class. The NAR and its coalition of centrist organizations ANTARSYA are very proud (as they write in the paper PRIN on 27/3/11) that through the coordination of a number of rank and file unions that they control they succeeded to “re-orientate” (?) the demonstration, taking with them also the small group around the trade union bureaucracy of GSEE and ADEDY, and substituting the demonstration against the EU by an anti-war demonstration against the imperialist intervention in Libya.
There is no doubt that a mobilisation against imperialist aggression in Libya was (and is) necessary and timely. But it was a disorientation (not “re-orientation”) to cancel an anti-EU mobilization and substitute to it a (small in numbers) anti-war demonstration, where the majority of the organizations manifested a (not so) “critical”| or even quite unconditional support to Gaddafi.
What was-and is- absolutely necessary to do was and is to connect the struggle in support of the Arab revolution and against the imperialist aggression in Libya with the dramatically deteriorating crisis in the European Union and the prospects of a social revolution in Europe itself.
THE EU SUMMIT FIASCO
War and revolution in the Middle East coincide with a resurgence of the aggravated sovereign debt crisis in the Euro-zone and political crises all over the EU. What unifies all theses developments is the world capitalist crisis, now in its fourth year.
From November 2010, Sarkozy and Merkel were supposedly working on a scheme, nicknamed later as “the Grand Bargain” to impose German anD French interests on the entire EU as a “long term solution to the crisis”.
The plan was nearly agreed in its final form on March 11, 2011 and it was presented for ratification in the EU Summit in Brussels on March 24-25. Precisely on the eve of the Summit, the Grand Bargain proved to be a Grand Fiasco. The Euro-zone sovereign debt crisis was exacerbated with the downgrading of Greece, Portugal, and of 30 banks in Spain, the fall of the Portuguese government putting on the agenda the bail out of the country and complicating the implementation of the EU decisions, the bank crisis in Ireland and the refusal of the newly elected Irish government to accept the German-French blackmail. But above all, the architects of the “grand bargain” pretending to be the united leadership of the European Union, Sarkozy and Merkel, fighting each one for his or her political-electoral survival, split ranks: the French President put the uniform of Napoleon to wage war against his old friend in Libya, and his German counterpart refused categorically any involvement in the military campaign in the North African deserts were the German general Rommel was defeated long ago. Despite the split, both of them suffered devastating defeats in the March local elections in their respective countries.
Sarkozy pompously presented himself in 2007 as the “new Thatcher to burry definitively the May 1968 legacy”. Now who really buries whom? Insofar the so-called “Iron Lady of a German Europe” is concerned, she suffered a humiliating defeat as her Party, Christian Democracy, ruling Baden-Württemberg for 58 years, saw its Walhalla collapsing in the elections of March 27. Not only the German-French axis proved to be less than resilient but political regime crises are rapidly deteriorating in both countries, at the hard core of the EU.
The “Grand Bargain” was formally ratified on March 25, but as the Financial Times has written in an editorial on March 26 “What was agreed will not help, what helps was not agreed”…
The next day of the Grand Fiasco, only a few months after a rebellious youth, during a massive mobilization against the increase of the high education fees, had burned the headquarters of the ruling Tory party, half a million British workers flooded the streets of London in opposition to the draconian cuts that the Tory/Liberal government wants to impose.
The simoun, the wild wind of the Arab desert, starts to blow in the European Metropolises.
FROM THE GREEK DECEMBER TO THE ARAB SPRING, AND TO A HOT EUROPEAN SUMMER
The European Union has Greece not solely as a most problematic member, the weakest link in the sovereign crisis in the Euro-zone, but also as its geopolitical link to the Middle East in revolutionary turmoil.
On the eve of the “Grand Bargain” EU Summit turned into a Grand Fiasco, a flood of articles in the Western European Press reflected the growing anxiety of the European bourgeoisie for the short term future of a Greece in undeclared State bankruptcy despite the bail out of May 2010 and the enormous sufferings imposed on the Greek people by the measures by the troika of the IMF /EU/ ECB faithfully implemented by the PASOK government.
A worst case scenario published by Standard’s and Poor’s warned that the Greek public debt, already now an unsustainable burden calculated as 143 per cent of the GDP, could jump to an astronomic 330 per cent of the GDP in 2015! (Le Monde, 24 March 2011)
Despite the fantastic lies of the government and of the mainstream mass media in Greece, the Greek and the European ruling classes are trembling. Only the eternal sceptics of the bureaucratized and even the so-called “anti-capitalist” Left, continue to underestimate the revolutionary potential of the Greek workers’ and popular movement.
The specter of the December 2008 youth revolt is still here terrifying the forces of capitalist social order. This revolt – “the first political explosion of the current world economic crisis” according to the correct and unforgotten assessment, at that time, by the IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn- is the prologue, connection, and transition to today’s revolutions in Maghreb and |Mashrek, which, not accidentally, were called “youth revolutions”.
Many of the questions of the Greek December that have remained open up to now, they can find answers if we study the development of the Arab revolution, which actually changes the map of the region and of the world. A revolution, which includes in itself and simultaneously supersedes (as an Aufhebung in Hegel’s dialectical term) the revolutionary experiences of the 20th century, is neither simply a national democratic nor an Islamic one but a social revolution.
The face of this revolution of the 21st century has paradoxically the innocent features of the face of adolescent Alexandros Grigoropoulos (the 15 years old young boy killed by the Greek police in 2008 igniting thus the December revolutionary fire), a face very similar to that of the youth in the banlieu of Paris, in the villas of Buenos Aires, in Istanbul, Cairo, Aden or Manama.
Many people speak about an Arab 1848 to emphasize not only its international expansion all over the Middle East but mainly its democratic character. But the 1848 European revolution itself was characterized not solely by the national and democratic awakening of the European peoples but, essentially, by the exhaustion of the 1789 French Revolution and of the historical mission of the bourgeoisie, by the betrayal of the revolution by the German bourgeois and petty bourgeois democrats, the revolutionary ascent of the working class, the massacre of the heroic Parisian proletariat by the democratic bourgeoisie in June 1848.
Drawing the lessons of the 1848 revolution, Karl Marx, in the famous Appeal of the General Council of 1850, re-elaborated and re-formulated, on a new class basis and with a new historical content, the old radical Jacobin slogan for a Revolution in Permanence.
The Spring of the peoples of Europe in 1848 marks the apogee of capitalism and the beginning of its slide into historical decline, in which entered at the end of the 19th century-early 20th century. The Arab Spring, on the contrary, comes in an advanced point of capitalist decline, in the middle of the unprecedented crisis of capitalist globalization.
The working class played and still plays a crucial role in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, even Saudi Arabia spreading shock and awe not only to the threatened ruling regimes but also to the bourgeois and Islamist oppositions, who give solemn oath to democracy and repeatedly call for an end of the workers strikes, and for “self-restraint” of the radical, uncontrolled youth.
But the Djin is out of the bottle, and came to stay free for a long period of time. In front of us opens not a “new stage of bourgeois democracy”, as the Stalinist Nayef Hawatmeh of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claims (in an interview in the Greek paper Avgi, March 20, 2011). On the contrary, the unfolding revolution clashes with the historical inability and failure of Arab bourgeois and petty bourgeois nationalism to achieve freedom, national unity, and independence for the oppressed Arab people; it is in collision with former anti-imperialist regimes, institutionalizing national liberation struggles( as in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Syria), and degenerating into pro-imperialist corrupt despotisms.
The current revolution also goes beyond the manipulation and frustration of the messianic expectations of the deprived masses by the theocracy of the mullahs, of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafists, who, for an entire period, tried to occupy the void left by the bankruptcy of the secular nationalist movements and regimes, and by the collapse of the Stalinist Communist Parties of the region that tail-ended nationalism.
The revolution of unemployed youth in the Middle East defies all the established norms – as the rebellious youth of the Greek December did, to be classified, by the “politically correct” conservative minds in the Right and in the Left, under the oversimplified category of “anarchists”.
Only a libertarian revolutionary Marxism that continues from the point that Lenin has stopped in the “State and Revolution” in 1917 and renews the theory and practice of the Permanent Revolution of Trotsky could speak a common language with that young generation of the world revolution and build the revolutionary International of its victory, the Fourth International.
As the future of the Russian Revolution depended from the victory of the German Revolution, the victorious future of the revolution in the Middle East is situated in the European coasts of the Mediterranean. The responsibility is ours!
Paris, March 29-April 3, 2011
_Savas Michael Matsas