Internet Statement 2011-06

North Africa and Arabia in upheaval - Where does it go?

One divides into two - (social-) imperialistic deception or revolution?

2nd March, 2011      

The uprising in Tunisia has moved several things having been there under cover already before or has been developing. All these demonstrations of mainly young people in these countries are fascinating and to be judged positively. However, there is luring also a considerable danger in the attempt of influence of Islamic forces within this movement and if it is just so-called moderate Islamic forces and thereby finally representatives of the reactionary sort of international exploitation and despotism.

It can be constituted that the modern development of technics, of electronics, of international connection has born possibilities you could only have dreamt of in earlier times. This is great and that it is applied is also very good.

However, of course, it is also clear that the opposite side, the reaction does not stand still either and tries to draw its web in this upheaval. Therefore it is significant that one investigates very thoroughly which positive direction the various forces represent and how and in what way experiences are evaluated.

The Islamists as concentration of international reaction, who permanently serve as excuse to the relevant competitor to terrorize the mass movement, they are connected behind the scenes to the USA and other imperialists as well as exponents of international capital.

Yet, one should not underestimate that religion also has an important function for the coherence of a society and this, of course, applies especially to such countries where it still plays a crucial role. This applies also Islam as a matter of course.
On the other hand the significance of secularism, the division of state and religion, having been fought for and forced through by the French revolution, is of immense importance for progress and for the advance of societies, namely a true secularism and not a dilution of the same as it has set foot in today's Turkish society of the system Erdogan.

Has the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt actually changed their program?
Do they engage for the division of church and state?

The Arabic people have to understand that they do not need any muftis. A religion that also uses state means to prohibit to raise the question of the why, the question why something is, how it is, and instead declares the submission to Allah as the first commitment states an essential obstacle to every advance finally and the critique on it is inevitable. Modern thinking and modern development is finally not compatible with it and this also the critical, questioning way of thinking will succeed in these countries. Starting points of this are already there and should be continued by all means.

The foundation for the mass movement in the Arabic states, at first in Tunisia and now also in Egypt and others is, however, in any case the striving/urging of the masses, especially the young people, for democracy, for participation in societal and international progress, for self-determination. Another question is how the reaction behaves towards this, how this reaction splits up and what kind of competitive pursuits can be manifested in it.

Normally, however, there is no peaceful uprising of the masses, without violence, without revolutionary violence. This is exactly what is shown in Egypt now and all the twaddle of the human right watches and the mullahs is a mere deception. They will see that very soon.


"Arabic world - a lost generation?" It said like that recently in an article of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (a German Newspaper). What dies "lost" mean here? Lost to whom? For the imperialist exploiters, that is right. They are very quick with quashing of sometimes whole peoples or parts of them, the imperialists. And everything is justified against this and there are indeed connections in this situations here in our country and also in other European states.

Mubarak an autocrat? This may be. Yet, even an autocrat cannot use his power without the relevant apparatus. And to this not only belongs the police, but also especially the military, the militaristic apparatus, the army. And this army is such a one that has been financed by the USA imperialists with billions for a long time. Thus how can one seriously assume of such an institution that it supports the revolutionary, emancipative strivings of the Egyptian masses and contributes to its purpose? That this is a contradiction inevitably going to break open, is obvious. Not without reason Mao Zedong, who had led the Chinese revolution to victory, a fact that now as before states the foundation of today's development of the modern China, had always emphasized that all political power finally comes out of the gun's barrel. And it will not take any other course neither in Egypt. And we can already see clear indications of this.

There have namely been several demonstrations and strikes of workers and other societal classes demanding higher salaries. And what does the current government commentate, of which the former supreme commander of the army is the highest representative? The demonstrations should end and the people should go home or to work! We will see if this works. The press has not reported much about these proceedings so far.

The while exploding development in the Middle East has led to a further aggravation of the international contradictions as well as to a considerable intensification of antagonism among the various imperialistic and revisionist capitalistic cliques. The contradictions, on the other hand, also have an effect on the events in the Middle East just as the intensification of the class contradictions in the various countries themselves do.

To some extent modernity is revolting there. The youth in these countries owns certain achievements of modern development, but does not have any work/job, that means no perspective in their country to apply their abilities and their knowledge in any kind of progressive form at all. They rise up against the stagnation of society that is due especially to international exploitation of these countries to a great extent und in a certain way also against their dismissal resulting from it. And this is something to be much welcomed, something that has been missing, e.g. in many European countries so far, something that is missing here or put differently: is still to come!

40 percent of the people in Egypt, maybe even more, live below the minimum of existence, below the limit of poverty. 60 percent or more people there are under the age of 30. The very opposite of ratios is, for example, our country! The very mirror image. There are young, partly well educated people without perspective, here as well. Yet, over there they take up a much larger percentage of the population and the youth is the majority overall. The regime there keeps its head above water because of international power relations, because of international exploitation.

The Iranian experience

What does it tell? It tells that nearly the whole left-wing back then, in the year 1979, in the struggle “against the reactionary Shah regime” – as it sounded back then repeatedly – completely ignored that the Islamic forces intervened into this movement and thus did not contribute to a small extent to the final success of an Ayatollah Khomeini und the construction of an Islamic dictatorship in a modern country like the then Iran. Certainly, the Shah regime like any government of exploiters had an absolutely reactionary and mass hostile face. Yet, it also had other sides and these did not fit into the concept of the USA especially. For example, a certain striving of the Shah to enforce a modern development in the Iran. Well, one could remark here, it was not of much use to them in the end because in today’s Iran they now have Ayatollah plus modern development, at least in some areas like atomic energy! What a surprise that the USA today do in “democracy” there again!

Back to the overthrow then and the resulting massive suppression of the popular masses, especially the workers, in Iran, many times stronger than before under the Shah - without doubt – also not reserved in this sector. Very soon the newly installed Ayatollahs, with massive support also from European states like France, started to harass the whole progressive movement, to put to jail or even murder. Then they would look around, the popular mujahedin, what was that? And promptly it went off autumn of 1979 that these started to complain massively about this approach by the Islamists. Yes, what had they represented themselves before? And had they not rejected those who had warned them, e.g. as we had? Now that it revealed that this Islamic regime turned out to be much more brutal than the overthrown Shah regime, these forces began a great lament without any single word on their own role in it leaving out to criticize these! (see “Iran report” 1979). On this topic a lot will have to be worked up.

Today many leftists or revolutionary forces do not have an easy job in certain aspects: they have to fight against the Islamic ruling and thus naturally like to pick up everything that supports them in this. This is not without consequence though because these forces mix with USA imperialism and other reactionaries whose path this modern development crosses. If one falls into their trap, it will take a similar course as it against the Shah back then: one supports the forces which do the opposite of what one wants and represents oneself. To some extent even today there is some kind of “double situation” in Iran for the left and the revolutionary forces!

Thus, there it has to be analyzed carefully, otherwise one falls into the trap of imperialism and in the end the result will be the opposite of what one fought for originally.

On the role of USA imperialists in the current situation

The USA say to themselves: if upheaval at all, then for us!

The situation in the Middle East (for them) was in a bad tangle. There was no progress in the issue of Iran. The antagonism to Israel intensified.

What looms to them in the Middle East is a system Erdogan, some kind of pseudo-modern, but in reality neo-Ottoman regime, which guarantees them “peace at the home front” and is to protect their back for wars and disputes in Asia (the “concept Obama”).

For this they sometimes also heat up people’s upheaval through their secret services under some circumstances, which are to achieve exactly this result.

Mubarak a despot?

In principle even a despot cannot keep up his rule without the relevant power apparatus, military and police. This is the case also in Egypt. Yet, here some specialties emerge somehow because of the connection to international powers, above all the USA imperialists.
This leads to the strange situation that in Egypt the people have expelled a dictator with the help of this very apparatus that had so far guaranteed the power of this dictator. How can this be?

A real upheaval of the people cannot do without military means themselves in the end, in most cases it is forced to resistance by the actions of the reaction itself. Therefore here we have some deception surely being revealed soon.

Another aspect is that here the imperialists are also driving some kind of encirclement of the Iran they have not been able to crack so far.

What does the “system Erdogan” mean?

How is this embedded into the imperialist objectives for the recovery of the system of international exploitation?

Recently a commentator wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (German newspaper) in reference to the movement of refuges from Tunisia that the official side in Europe should not make such a fuss about it, it was not that bad. In principle it was actually very good that many come because they would be the very young, well-educated forces needed here. Because they were very few here and not enough and they would already think about recruiting some increasingly. Some kind of demographic osmosis that some people dream of here.
There is a giant hitch to this though. First of all there are actually also young people over here who want to be well educated. And actually more than enough if one looks at the absolute overfilling of certain universities and the very limited places there. On the other hand in these countries like Tunisia, Egypt and others exactly these talents are drawn away there needed by these countries themselves. Because there should take place development and there the youth should apply their talents. In this aspect this refugee movement is absolutely not to be welcomed because it would definitely not lead to that what is necessary for the gathering of the proletarian forces, but on the contrary to further splitting of them.

And exactly this kind of concept of social cutting to pieces or segregation concept is represented by Mr. Erdogan. Mr. Erdogan would like to "keep together" here in Germany and other European states "his" Turks and if possible also keep them on one (low) language level as it is now (slogan: Turkish has priority) and concerning the German it should be improved as a maximum, but else integration to be permitted only to the degree as it suits his power objectives. At the bottom of this are the USA, of course, and other imperialistic forces which have an interest to take part in the division of this country. And if immigration is to come increasingly from further countries, then there will emerge further so-called national minorities here, but no uniform coherence. This can hardly be managed on such a basis. Yet, in the original countries these people are missing, while here the population is divided further. The whole is then comes up under the green banner of saving energy, of targeted reduction and taxation of elementary food. One can hardly imagine the consequences of this today. A green "paradise" of mass pauperization and cultural and human devastation! Certain areas of Berlin nowadays are just a weak foretaste compared to this.

However, despite all these mischievous plans of the reaction one should not forget: The masses are the ones who advance history. They "thirst for modernity" as the Focus recently expressed it from its (reactionary) position. And what the imperialists do, are answers to that. In the end what is proved also in this case: The productive forces burst the conditions of production. And the greatest productive force is still the man.

Is there any better instrument to the USA imperialists than in the various countries and states who have opposed them and which they could not get under their control, to influence a movement in such a way, to heat it up so much or to evoke it acting in their sense "for human rights", "democracy", for "freedom" and whatever else? Whatever might be your understanding of these pretenses, you do not get to know anything concrete about it, so far.

And one thing is for sure: as a matter of course such an issue always relies on materially existing conditions, on materially existing contradictions, this is self-evident. You could say that they create some kind of volcano where you can just hope that it will not break out. The latter also applies to those forces who assist them in it.

What is obvious: Humanity overall aims at liberation of exploitation and suppression and the possibility to self-realization in the sense of development of individual talents and abilities for more and more people. Yet, for this exactly those forces have to be beaten which use such words right now, but have a completely different understanding of it, namely the contrary: the conservation and exploitation of the majority and cashing of fruit for some few.

Now, the situation is obviously that certain forces of the reaction play with fire here in order to get out of their trap. This is not going to work though as they wish.

You cannot prevent the reaction to put to the sword individual people, sometimes also whole countries or parts of them. They can always do that. Yet, what they cannot do is to liquidate the masses as a whole because then they do not have anyone any more to exploit, then they are all in the air. How bad for them! What will they do then?

Therefore the material demands (of the masses) are the ones which have to come on the agenda, not the general phrases of so-called freedom, of so-called democracy and so-called human rights. There are no human rights in a system of exploitation, at least not for everyone. There is the (self-announced) right of the exploiters, namely to exploit the masses. Therefore the twaddle of general human rights is absolutely reactionary. That is pure idealism. It must be removed by revolutionary mass movements.

And where such idealism spreads, you have to be careful and say: Stop, what kind of movement is this? Either it is so inexperienced, so that it does not get to the bottom of it. Then one has to throw light on things and it has to be oriented from top to bottom. Or the reaction is a part of the movement, so that it has to be fought and beaten.

In the system of exploitation there are no human rights for everyone. You have to see that and you have to make relevant conclusions.

Since capitalism is a system being based on the exploitation of humans by humans, the twaddle of general human rights is always a twaddle of exploiters themselves. It is always idealism reflected by it, namely the idealism of the exploiters' class and you must not fall into the trap of it.

The same thing naturally applies to revisionism in every appearing shape.

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Some things are simply not that easy to crack. Finally you will succeed nevertheless though.
In the students' movement of the 1968s there were also various different components. In the USA there was then a massive opposition against the Vietnam War and a massive social pressure to end this war. This had effects also on Europe and played a special role in Berlin (especially in those parts where the USA had control). Of course, it was absolutely right and one had to support it. And it happened broadly. Nevertheless you had to see that this was not everything. And what came out of such a movement, showed later, namely being the intensification of the class contradiction in this country and the emergence of revolutionary forces.

It is obvious and unavoidable that such a differentiation also has to take place in the Arabic states and will take place.

However, who already at this point sells this movement as a so-called revolution as certain forces of the bourgeoisie and revisionists do, falls into the trap and actively deceives. It is not that simple. It has to differentiate and will differentiate to the extent that the masses have experiences and exactly then one will see which forces to support and which to fight.

It is self-evident that the proletarian, revolutionary, progressive forces in these countries and everywhere on earth have to get the support of all revolutionaries in this country and also in the other European states and will have. What we cannot support though is imperialistic and social-imperialistic deception.

Gruppe Neue Einheit - Maria Weiß
2nd March, 2011

[translation from the German original]