Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fight for a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly in Egypt

The fall of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak under the intense pressure of the fed up Egyptian masses has embolden the most downtrodden sectors of Egyptian society while still leaving power in the hands of the military.

The strikes that Egyptian workers have carried out to meet their social demands for better jobs and higher pay in recent years have fueled the unrest that toppled Mubarak on Friday. But though Mubarak is gone, Egyptians finds themselves in a situation where the military is in power and expected to bring democracy by organizing elections. The military is not a vehicle for democracy. Its primary concern is with maintaining order and stability so that the daily operations of capitalism are not disturbed. Meanwhile, the workers are more interested in radically improved social conditions than order. The task therefore is to link the social demands of the working class with the widespread sentiment for democracy and the way to do that is through the call for a revolutionary constituent assembly.

Side by side with the call for a revolutionary constituent assembly is the need to break the workers away from the corporatist (state-controlled) "unions," and build independent unions that embrace workers throughout Egypt. So that workers can utilize the calls for a revolutionary constituent assembly to put forth its own class interest and fight against the capitalists, it will be required to construct a revolutionary workers party that can pave the way for the overthrow of capitalist relations and the establishment of a collectivized planned economy and a workers democracy.

From The Transitional Program Of The Fourth International (1938):
"It is impossible merely to reject the democratic program; it is imperative that in the struggle the masses outgrow it. The slogan for a National (or Constituent) Assembly preserves its full force for such countries as China or India. This slogan must be indissolubly tied up with the problem of national liberation and agrarian reform. As a primary step, the workers must be armed with this democratic program. Only they will be able to summon and unite the farmers. On the basis of the revolutionary democratic program, it is necessary to oppose the workers to the “national” bourgeoisie. Then, at a certain stage in the mobilization of the masses under the slogans of revolutionary democracy, soviets can and should arise."

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