Uprisings from Egypt to Iraq, Lebanon to Sudan, give the lie to the bourgeoisie’s illusions and reveal the widespread desire, shared across the region, for a new, human society.
A view of what the failed coup in Turkey has wrought, including mass arrests of teachers, trade unionists, doctors, medical personnel, and others as Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, makes a grab for total power.
Part II of the Draft Perspectives 2016: The worldwide war against women includes attacks on abortion rights, counter-revolution in Egypt, attacks on women by UN troops. Women celebrated International Women’s day in Turkey and other countries.
Contents: Introduction; I. Discontent, revolt and reaction in the U.S.; II. The worldwide war against women; III. Chinese labor in revolt; IV. Counter-revolution and revolution in the Middle East and North Africa; V. Toward organizational new beginnings. The fact that the old, crumbling order will not go away quietly explains why we print the Marxist-Humanist Draft Perspectives in the pages of the paper of News and Letters Committees. It is an open window onto the needed philosophy of revolution, without which all revolutions and freedom movements remain incomplete.
We condemn these horrific massacres and the reaction that feeds upon them. To destroy ISIS and all other counter-revolutionary forces will require a battle of ideas, even more than a struggle of arms.
In the absence of successful social revolution, today’s total crisis is shown in a world capitalist order that is falling apart economically, politically, environmentally, and in thought. That does not mean that we can wait for capitalism to collapse and step aside for a new society. On the contrary. Its desperation makes it that much more vicious, and it threatens to doom all of humanity with it.
Revolution and counter-revolution contend now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end. The question arises: where is the needed banner of total uprooting of the system and creation of new human relations as the goal? This objective need is present in every struggle from outright revolution in the Middle East to movements in the U.S. Beset by attacks and contradictions, they have in turn sparked counter-revolutions.
While experiences in the squares of the Arab Spring, in Turkey’s Gezi Park, in the streets of Spain and Greece, and in the U.S. Occupy Movements have revealed moments of what new human relations between women and men could look like, those moments of hope and exhilaration have been followed by devastating reaction and retrogression.
Three years ago, the Egyptian Revolution was fighting for its life in Tahrir Square. For 18 days and nights, the women and men of the Square faced off against President Hosni Mubarak’s security forces and thugs. In the end Mubarak was forced to follow Tunisia’s President-for-life, Ben Ali, into retirement and shame. The light of freedom spread–Square to Square, occupation to occupation. It was a historic turning point.
It was this global struggle that the military coup that ousted Morsi, and led to the massacre of over 800 of his supporters, was meant to stop short. Now, revolution continues, and the freedom idea lives, but the old world has tried hard to destroy it. Egypt’s newest new Constitution, passed Jan. 15 under the military rule of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, evokes only faint echoes of Tahrir. As artist Hanaa Safwat said, “The referendum is stained in innocent people’s blood. It has been built on the dead bodies of 800 people in Rabaa al-Adawiya.”
For Egyptian women to experience freedom, the revolution has to continue, and for that to happen the revolutionaries have to oppose both Morsi and Sisi’s bloodthirsty military and fight for the vision of a new society that sustained them in Tahrir Square.
The horrific events taking place in Egypt today show the dead end of all alternatives to revolution. The military, led by Deputy Prime Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has been all too happy to retake power and impose capitalist “stability” once again.