South African Communist Leader on the Significance of the Egyptian Revolution
Excerpts from a statement by Blade Nzimande, General Secretary South African Communist Party.
In a column by George Galloway analyzing the Tunisian and Egyptian developments in the British ‘Morning Star’ – the daily newspaper of our sister party, the Communist Party of Britain – reference is made to Lenin’s apt observations about revolutions:
“There are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen”.
This basically captures a number of things about capitalism and its manifold crises today. Firstly, a political lull (or even accelerated growth and consolidation of capitalism) may actually be a prelude to sharp revolutionary outbursts that within a short space of time can radically change the history of a country or the world as a a whole. Secondly, the Tunisian and Egyptian political developments can be seen as an expression of a moment in the deepening crisis of capitalism and its contemporary neo-liberal ideology, whose outcome marks a significant shift not only for the peoples of North Africa and the Arab world, but whose significance is global...
As Comrade Fidel Castro wont to say, in his weekly reflections, the current global capitalist crisis is not only a financial crisis. But it is a multiplicity of capitalist crises, mutually reinforcing each other, but whose foundation is the unsustainability of a system that is based on the exploitation of the global (impoverished) majority to sustain the greedy interests of a small globalised (and increasingly globalizing) capitalist class.
The world today is facing a multiplicity of capitalist crises: the crisis of the global financial sector, an energy crisis, an oil crisis, a food crisis, and the crisis of climate change and global warming. Whilst it would be foolhardy to predict an imminent demise of the global capitalist system, nevertheless there are important qualitative shifts that are taking place marking the possible beginnings of a new global era. It is a global era that may for a while be characterized by uncertainties and instabilities in many parts of the world, not least economic instability in pockets of the advanced capitalist countries. This is likely to be accompanied by a wave of successive crises whose outcome will in the end be determined by the organizational capacity of the workers and poor of the world to seize the political initiative.
One thing is however certain: the current global capitalist crises, coupled with the emergence of alternative economic blocs from the developing world, as well as the energy of the mass of the people in places like Egypt and Tunisia, are all indications of the beginnings of the decline of the US as a global economic power!
The Egyptian revolution in particular has a huge potential to impact positively on the struggle of the Palestinian people against apartheid Israel’s tyranny and oppression. There is a real opportunity for the emergence of a progressive Egyptian state, freed from the yoke of US imperialism. Such a state has the potential to wage a principled struggle and solidarity with the Palestinian people. In many ways, progressive solidarity with the Egyptian revolution is necessary to deepen the struggle for an independent Palestinian state.
The SACP is hopeful that these revolutions in themselves with further galvanise the oppressed Palestinian people to intensify their struggle against apartheid Zionism and put the Israeli regime on the back-foot. The Egyptian revolution may possibly provide the much needed impetus to the Palestinian struggles by further exposing the ‘on and off’ US-Egyptian sponsored peace negotiations as nothing more than a façade to delay genuine Palestinian liberation, whilst the further dismembering and colonisation of the Palestinian territories continues unabated. These developments, with the collusion of the Mubarak regime, are making it almost impossible to achieve an independent Palestinian state in the near future. The Mubarak government all along has been a perfect imperialist cover to delay if not frustrate the liberation of the Palestinian people.
The SACP is also hopeful that the Egyptian working class is learning appropriate lessons from the ‘week that has become decades’. The turning point in the recent Egyptian revolution has been the entry of the organised working class into the domestic struggles, thus forcing Mubarak to resign. It is a lesson that is important about the power of the organised Egyptian working class to change the course of history. Without the entry of the organised working class into this battle we might not have witnessed the advances made thus far by the ordinary Egyptian people...
“The sands of time have run out for the pharaoh. He may yet unleash rivers of blood in a bid to hold on. But this wind of change that blew sweetly firth through Tunis and now Cairo will not stop there”
What the above means is that it is incumbent on all progressive forces of the world to express concrete solidarity with these revolutions. It is also our fervent hope that this opening may create conditions for the long illegalized Communist Party of Egypt to strengthen and root itself in the current struggles of the Egyptian working class, as the only route to the radicalisaton of current struggles of the workers and poor in Egypt.The South African Communist Party is no tiny sect. It has tens of thousands of members and effectively controls South Africa's ruling African National Congress. It is the most powerful Communist Party in Africa, and one of the most influential in the world.Watch for increased South African diplomatic and economic interest in Egypt.
The SACP pledges its full support and solidarity to the Communist Party of Egypt, the broader Egyptian working class and the mass of the people of that country. These developments must indeed be seen as the blowing of the ideological and political cover of imperialism; and that the capitalist crises and their impact are not yet over, and perhaps their full impact are yet to be fully felt.
The Egyptian revolution is not about "democracy". It is about an Anti-Western Egypt confronting Israel and controlling one of the world's most strategic choke points, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
The Egyptian revolution is being viewed by the world communist movement as a major advance in the global revolution.