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Revolution in the Middle East by Alexander Gachikus

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Revolution in the Middle East by
Article Posted: 05/19/2012
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Revolution in the Middle East

Party Ideas
The beginning of the new decade is marked by the beginning of the new upsurge of revolutions in the world, which have pleased us, proletarians. Naturally, it is only the beginning. What are the prospects of the revolution in Arab world? What sort of a revolution is this? What is the role of “Islamic factor”? This revolution was brewing for a long time, for several decades, as many analysts recognized. As a result of the last revolution, which took place at 1950’s in Arab world and overthrew colonial rule of Britain and France, the military officers came to power. The military officers were the first intelligentsia in the 3rd world generally. They often studied in European countries (later in USSR too) and adopted European ideas, including revolutionary ones – the ideas of national liberation, Marxism-Leninism etc. However, those military officers were far from the masses of indigenous population from the outset, they adopted European prejudices about “progressive role” and “civilizing mission” of “advanced nations” in “culturing” of indigenes. But in general at that time the military, which came to power in the course of those revolutions and proclaimed “Arab socialism” as their goal, was the progressive force. However, they began to transform into the puppets of USSR and USA already in a short time. The influence of the old lords - Britain and France – also remained in many respects. The overthrowing of the old colonialism didn’t yield the independence to Arab peoples; colonialism was replaced by neocolonialism, i.e. colonialism under the mask of the independence. Imperialist powers could no longer rule over colonies directly, and they began to do this through the new military elite, which was more or less obedient, predictable, although sometimes it could contradict its “lords” and maneuver between USSR, USA etc. Economically those countries reached some advance at that time, but in general their economy remained dependent on superpowers. Heavy industry, which is the necessary condition of the real independence, was never built. “Friendly aid” from USSR and the West turned out to be the extraction of super-profits. Imperialists developed mainly the extractive industry there, and plundered the oil, the gas from there in return for the “aid”. Of the manufacturing industry only the assemblage developed mostly. The military regimes increasingly detached from the masses, corrupted, the bureaucratic machinery was swelled. The size of armies of those countries was inflated strongly, which didn’t conform to the level of external threat. Why the regimes did so? The answer is evident: for the suppression of their own peoples. Naturally, already since 1950’s, since the beginning of the “independence”, dissatisfaction of the masses with the military power began to rise. Regimes of “Arab socialism” from the very outset – Nasser in Egypt, as well as Baath in Iraq etc. – punished cruelly the opposition, even moderate one: Islamists and communists were imprisoned, tortured and killed. In spite of this fact, Brezhnev’s USSR considered those regimes as friendly ones and asserted that they “build socialism” – it is clear, why Brezhnev’s USSR did this. As a consequence, official communist parties in those countries, which were the agents of Soviet influence in many respects, supported those corrupted regimes, even if in critical manner. This fact discredited communism and Marxism-Leninism among masses. People became to turn to Islamists, which were thoroughgoing in the struggle against regime. For example, in 1992 Islamists have won the parliamentary election in Algeria, but the military (which was armed by Soviet armament practically by 100%) perpetrated coup d’état and massacred any opposition. At 1990’s, after the collapse of USSR, Russian bourgeoisie has temporarily retreated from foreign policy, including Middle East, because of its interior problems. However, since the beginning of 2000’s, it restored itself after the crisis and began to recover lost time with redoubled efforts. Russian corporations plunged into absorbing of the economy of Middle East: Lukoil, Gazprom, Tatneft and other oil-and-gas corporations took possession of oil and gas fields; AvtoVAZ and KamAZ began to create affiliated assembling plants there; Russia began to buy up fixed property and the facilities of tourist industry there. If we look at the geography of modern Russian foreign investments, we would see that North Africa represents the area of strategic interests for Russian capital. The conquering policy of Russian business was reinforced by the craftsmanship of the insidious Kremlin diplomacy, which set elites of the Middle East against the West and inclined them to Russian side. Parallel with Russia, young Chinese imperialism strengthened its influence in Africa sharply. As a result, leaders of those Arab countries became to turn to Russia and the East imperialist bloc in general again. Let us consider Egypt, for instance. At 1960’s, under Nasser, it was more attracted by USSR. At 1970’s, under Sadat, it have grown cool towards USSR and began to developed relations with USA. Under Mubarak and especially since the beginning of 2000’s Egypt, didn’t breaking relations with the West, became in fact to incline to Russia in many respects. At those years Mubarak met with Putin (and then with Medvedev) practically every year. Another example is Libya. The leader of Libyan revolution of 1969 Muammar Kaddafi, also the representative of the army, had sharply anti-West position, but he established “friendly relations” with USSR (then with Russia) very quickly. About ten years ago he said that Chechnya can’t live without Russia (similarly Saddam Hussein said that Islamic world needs strong Russia). At last decade Kaddafi also met with Putin, and many Libyan oil fields were passed into the hands of Russian corporations. Today, when Kaddafi’s regime shoots at demonstrators by practice cartridges (not by rubber bullets!), Medvedev together with representatives of Gazprom negotiate with Berlusconi, and Gazprom buys the half of Italian share in one of the large Libyan oil fields (Libyan people today are shot for what they share!). After that redistribution one third of that oil field belongs to Italy, another third – to Russia, and the rest – to South Korea and Libya, i.e. Libya has less than one third (contrary to cries of “our” patriots, that “the West have conquer Russia”, Russian imperialism never allow such thing towards the West Siberia, for example). Moreover, Medvedev’s visit to Berlusconi took place at the moment of scandal on Berlusconi’s orgies with juveniles, at the moment of anti-government demonstrations. Italy is in crisis today, and, evidently, Berlusconi needs money in order to win over the people, in order to keep a whole skin, and Russian bourgeoisie made use of that fact cunningly. But although Medvedev and Russian bourgeoisie in general have acted there as “sly dogs” from the commercial point of view, they have discredited themselves both in the opinion of Italian people and Libyan people (I nearly said “of Russian people too”, but I foresee, that many readers will object that Medvedev have already discredited himself so heavily, that’s the limit). What is the class structure of people in North Africa? Firstly, as I said, that countries relatively developed in comparison with other countries of 3rd world (for example, in comparison with Africa to the South of Sahara, excluding South African Republic). The percentage of urban population is comparatively high there. At one of discussions at the TV-channel “Russia-24” on the latest developments in the Middle East some specialist in the Middle East, wishing to slander Marxism-Leninism once more, said: we studied that revolutions occur in the weakest link, however the events in the Middle East refute that, because those countries are not the poorest (similarly bourgeois specialists on “Islamic extremism” in Central Asia said about Uzbekistan which is the most developed country in Central Asia and the center of Islamism of that region at the same time). But Russia in 1917 was not the poorest country of the world, there were more poor countries – China, India etc. Bourgeois “analysts” confused notions “the poorest country” and “the weakest link in the chain of the world imperialism”. Certainly, the necessary condition for the revolution is the presence of vast proletarian and semi-proletarian masses. But proletariat is not simply the poor (the poor can be also rural, but it is backward in many respects), it is the urban poor, and proletarianization is not simply the process of impoverishment, it includes urbanization, concentration of proletarians in the cities. In the Middle East there was the rapid growth of the urban poor (which is the social base of radical Islamism) during last decades because of the rapid growth of urban population, but also there was the growth of middle classes, which must be taken into account. Urban middle classes introduce their interests into revolution (as the peasantry too). So, what occurs in North Africa? What have already happened, i.e. the overthrowing Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt, is similar to February revolution in Russia in 1917. This is bourgeois, national-wide revolution against despotic regime, when proletariat goes in alliance with middle classes against corrupt leaders, and the contradictions within that united front yet imperceptible. However, the overthrowing of those dictators in itself gives nothing (as the overthrowing of tsar in February of 1917). The military, which is linked with imperialists, remains in power as before, and it will be more difficult to crush it. It will be the split in the ranks of opposition naturally: one part (middle classes) will be satisfied with the achieved results, while another part (proletariat) will go on. It is interesting to look at the attitude of the ruling circles of superpowers towards those events. Capitalists, if they are not too pig-headed, understand perfectly the old truth, which was expressed already in 19th century, that “it is silly to oppose the revolution, because it would crush you; one should adapt to it”. In this case their behavior is similar. Bourgeois plan is simple: to sacrifice dictatorial persons in order to pacify people, thereby providing safety of the system. Such was the point of view of western rulers in general – especially because Middle East dictators became to incline to Russia and China last years. The response of Russian capital to those events owing to aforesaid was more contradictory. On the one hand, there were lying official assurances that “we don’t interfere in the internal affairs of other countries” (and sent diplomats on a mission there at the same time!). On the other hand, the part of “our” bourgeoisie grumbles discontentedly that those events were plotted by the West (in fact the West is in crisis today and is occupied with its internal problems), that it was incorrectly to “stir up the wasp nest”, and now the situation is beyond control, and radical Islamists can come to power. It is noteworthy, how Medvedev responded to those events: one day before Mubarak’s retirement Medvedev WISHED him a peaceful adjustment of the conflict, understanding, that the violent use in that case is “plucking the tiger at its whiskers”; after his retirement Medvedev wished Egyptian people quickest RETURN to democratic standards – as if that standards existed under Mubarak! It is also noteworthy, how Russian “communists” responded to the events in Egypt. In his interview for TV-channel “Russia-24” the representative of parliamentary group of Communist Party of Russian Federation, self-confident youth in white brand-new suit (really typical dandy!), was anxious only about Russian tourists in Egypt – he said that they don’t return from there because they are poor, and they grudge money they paid for ticket (although in fact English tourists didn’t return from there at all, even when Russian ones returned, furthermore, the situation in resorts was quiet). Certainly, those tourists are not magnates mostly, they are middle class (but not proletariat!); certainly, communists must take an interest in conditions of middle class too. But first of all real communists must take an interest in conditions of proletariat, moreover, not only their “own” proletariat, but the world proletariat in general, otherwise they are simple nationalists. The most ridiculous was the fact that this “communist” stated at the end of his speech: “Mubarak will hold his post till the end of the term of his office” – the events have showed that “our” “communists” have shamed themselves once again and have demonstrated their disbelief in masses. The majority of left activists in rich nations support that revolution in such manner: “It is well, if only Islamists don’t come to power”. In February 1917 world bourgeois and petty-bourgeois community was delighted with February revolution in Russia. But then, when Bolsheviks came to power, that community has greeted them with rabid anger. Today there is similar case: the majority of left activists in rich nations, due to their privileged labor-aristocratic condition, unable to understand, that Islamists are representatives of revolutionary lower classes in the East today, like Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917. Of course, there are different currents among Islamists (the majority of left activists don’t distinguish those currents). For example, Tunisian En-Nahdha, which was banned under Ben Ali, is ordinary liberal party in the name of Islam. Egypt “Muslim Brotherhood”, which was also banned as early as under Nasser, is not “radical” party too, although it is named so by mass media today; it is enough moderate opposition - the fact, which was recognized by bourgeois analysts many times. Also in Egypt there is Al-Jihad – petty-bourgeois party, which advocates individual terror, just as “esers” (“socialists-revolutionaries”) in Russia 100 years ago; there is “Takfir wal Hijra”, which position in fact is similar to Marxism-Leninism, even if it is expressed by Islamic language (see my work “The development of Islamism…”, 2009, last chapter); at pro-imperialist sites, which try to discredit Takfirists in the opinion of common Muslims, there is written: “How can anybody call them Muslims? They are followers of atheistic Jews Marx and Lenin, which oppose private ownership”. There are different currents among Marxists in the Middle East too. As I mentioned above, official communist parties, which act according to the principle “The dictatorship of the military is better than Islamists”, discredited Marxism strongly in the opinion of the people. On the other hand, many honest communists broke with official communist parties and became to cooperate with Islamists within Islamist organizations. For example, it was mentioned about some Trotskyite group in Egypt that it acts according to the principle “Sometimes with Islamists, but never with regime”. We shall not make assumptions about the prospects of this revolution, because many factors play a role there, and it is impossible to take all of them into account. But it is clearly, that the process, which begins today in the Middle East (I emphasize: “begins”, no matter how capitalists want to stop it at this stage), will influence profoundly the whole world economically, politically and, above all, morally, inspiriting hundreds millions poor, oppressed and abused throughout the world to revolutionary struggle. February 21st, 2011 A. G.

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