Saturday, June 30, 2012

Morsi, SCAF and the revolutionary left

By Hossam El-Hamalawy
June 30th, 2012

"....The MBs are not a unified block. While the organization is in effect run and controlled by multi millionaires like Khairat el-Shatter, seeking compromise and reconciliation with the regime, their base cadres who hail from middle, lower middle and section of the working class are a different story. Across its history and with every twist and turn the Brotherhood were subject to splits......

A fascist organization is solely dedicated to the destruction of working class organizations. The MB is a reformist organization, whose leadership is just as reactionary and opportunistic as any of their reformist counterparts from other tendencies. The MB leadership which refrained for an entire year from mobilization in the streets, collaborated with the junta, for a share of the cake, was only forced to return to the streets recently, after it became clear they were being cornered. The junta dissolved the MB-led parliament in one day and the Egyptian people did not rise up to defend the “Revolution Parliament.” Why would they? What did they see from that parliament except laws banning porno websites, personal scandals that amount to soap operas involving Salafi deputies, failure on all levels to hold SCAF or the cabinet accountable for the state the country has gotten into?......

The Revolutionary Socialists refused to attend meetings with Morsi when they were invited. Instead the RS have been active with other forces in trying to build a third block building on the constituency that ended up voting for Hamdeen Sabahy in specific, largely the industrial base. But at the same time understanding the contradictions within the MBs, the RS refused to treat Tahrir as some leper colony to be avoided like what other leftists did. The RS were present in the marches and the square with their own red flags, with their newspapers (which made record sales), with their statements that were distributed widely all over the square. The RS were not and are not interested in reaching out to Morsi and the MB Guidance Bureau, but in reaching out to the middle and lower ranking organizers and supporters of the group. The RS presence in Tahrir provided a golden opportunity for opening up discussions with young MBs. The RS activists who went to the square in general reported positive feedback by the young MBs regarding the RS statement and position. Revolutionaries, I believe, must be present at any mobilization against SCAF, even when we know that the MB’s leadership is opportunistic and will not continue the fight till the end. We do not have illusions about the nature of the MB leadership, but their base cadres and sections of the population do. And we must do our best to reach out to them if we want this revolution to succeed......

As soon as Morsi’s speech ended in Tahrir, the square echoed strongly with anti-SCAF chants, including one directed at Tantawi, asking him to give the military salute to his president Morsi. In reality, and that’s what will those in the square will discover in the coming days, Morsi has no power whatsoever vis a vis Tantawi and SCAF. And every compromise he will make will cost him and his group disillusioned supporters and splits.

The revolution hasn’t ended and will not be diffused by Morsi’s victory. Morsi and the MBs have opened the pandora’s box, and the coming days will only exacerbate their contradictions. And it’s a process the left cannot be separate from. While continuing to build its base independently, and building alliances with other forces who seek an alternative different from what SCAF and the MBs could provide, the revolutionary left must continue to tactically intervene in any confrontation between SCAF and the MBs."

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