Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Responses to the Second Egyptian Uprising on the Radical Left

An odd fact about the response in Britain to events in Egypt is that radical anti-imperialists do not know how to react to this military takeover or else have come down in support of it despite the fact the Muslim Brotherhood was elected with 51% of the vote.

Neither John Pilger nor Tariq Ali, always cocksure in their opinions, have 'taken a stance' because they probably cannot yet portray the US as responsible and because the revolt against the Muslim Brotherhood is popular in Egypt. In fact, they rarely have an opinion on these sort of events unless the US is somehow involved.

Shamus Cooke in Counterpunch has no such doubts. In   How Egypt Killed Political Islam July 8 2013 he extols the military takeover as part of an ongoing process in glowingly optimistic terms.
"The rebirth of the Egyptian revolution ushered in the death of the first Muslim Brotherhood government. But some near-sighted analysts limit the events of Egypt to a military coup. Yes, the military is desperately trying to stay relevant — given the enormous initiative of the Egyptian masses — but the generals realize their own limitations in this context better than anybody. This wasn’t a mere re-shuffling at the top of society, but a flood from the bottom".
It seems Western radicals are set to get themselves into all sorts of contortions trying to frame events in Egypt. Ali and Pilger cannot yet pin the blame exclusively on the US nor can they merely portray the protesters as tools of imperial control without annoying their radical fan base.

Cooke is a radical anti-imperialist and revolutionary socialist who is against the old system under Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood. As such he is quite content to justify the overthrow of Morsi's regime in accordance with the dictates of permanent revolution.
"Political legitimacy — especially in times of revolution — must be earned, not assumed. Revolutionary legitimacy comes from taking bold actions to satisfy the political demands of the people: jobs, housing, public services, etc. A “democracy” that represents only Egypt’s upper crust as the Muslim Brotherhood government did, cannot emerge from a revolution and maintain itself; it was destroyed by a higher form of revolutionary democracy".
Given that revolutionary socialists are backing the 'second revolution' against political Islam it will be very interesting to see how Pilger and Ali are going to try and spin these events. They are always itching to pontificate on most uprisings. They remain curiously silent on this one.

Mt Cooke has no doubts about this revolution, however, and goes on to opine gleefully,
"What did the Brotherhood do with the corrupt state they inherited? They tried to adapt; they flirted with the Egyptian military, coddled up to the security services, and seduced the dictatorship’s primary backer, the United States. They shielded all the Mubarak criminals from facing justice.
The Brotherhood’s foreign policy was also the same as Mubarak’s, favoring Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, and favoring the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels against the Syrian government, while increasingly adopting an anti-Iran agenda. A primary financial backer of the Muslim Brotherhood government was the oil-rich monarchy of Qatar (a U.S. puppet government), who helped steer the foreign policy of the Egyptian government".
There will be lots of frantic polemicising, framing and reframing of the 'correct line' to take on the 'second revolution' depending on changing circumstances. But it seems that a number of radical anti-imperialists see Morsi's removal as a signpost on the way to true revolution. Or, as Cooke puts it,
"The Egyptian people have now had the experience of political Islam and have discarded it, in the same way a tank deals with a speed bump".

No comments:

Post a Comment