Counter-revolution

Do revolutions always fail?

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The counter-revolution in Egypt, together with the confused outcome of the upheavals in Ukraine, has revived the old argument that real popular power is impossible. John Molyneux explains why this is wrong.

The state of the world - with climate change, poverty, wars, racism and much else - is such that it is not easy for our rulers to persuade people that everything is alright. But they don't need to. All they need to do is persuade people that there is nothing they can do about it. This is why, when it comes to justifying capitalism, inequality and war, the mantra of: "But you can't change human nature" has always been popular with the powerful and drummed into the heads of ordinary people.

Tunisia: Revolution in the balance

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Fathi Chamkhi is a member of the Popular Front coalition, and Mokhtar Ben Hafsa is a school teacher and union activist. They spoke to Jaouhar Tonsy about the struggle for the Tunisian revolution.


The third anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution is marked by political gridlock and a crisis for the ruling Ennahda party, the Islamist government elected in the wake of the uprising. What form is this taking?

Ennahda has been weakened by waves of widespread protests and deep popular anger that have forced it into discussions with the other opposition parties over a future "non-political" government.

Egypt: Revolution contained?

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The 30 June military coup marks the gathering strength of the counter-revolution in Egypt.

Egypt is under threat from "terrorists" and "murderers", says General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Justifying the army's assault on the Muslim Brotherhood in August, he used rhetoric familiar from decades of repression under ex-president Mubarak. Blink, and it could have been Mubarak, with his talk of national unity and a mission to act as "guardian of the people's will", coupled with chilling threats about the fate of those who resist.

Lessons of defeat: German communists and the rise of Hitler

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Eighty years ago Hitler came to power, crushing the strongest workers' movement in the world. Donny Gluckstein, author of A People's History of the Second World War, looks at the fatal mistakes the German left made in response to the rise of Nazis and draws lessons for today

This year, 2013, marks a tragic anniversary. It is 80 years since Hitler established his dictatorship over Germany. On 27 February 1933, shortly after his appointment as chancellor, the parliament (Reichstag) burned down in a fire which was probably started by the Nazis. This was the excuse needed to ban the Communist Party and begin mass repression. On 22 March the first concentration camp opened at Dachau near Munich.

Egypt: the Muslim brotherhood under pressure

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In recent months thousands of Egyptians have protested against President Mohamed Morsi. Sameh Naguib, a leading Egyptian revolutionary socialist, argues that the liberals and Muslim Brotherhood are losing their influence over the movement in the streets and workplaces

The starting point for our analysis has to be the crisis which has engulfed the Muslim Brotherhood and the so-called "secular" liberal opposition forces. In part, this crisis stems from both camps' misunderstanding of the nature of the Egyptian Revolution. Liberal writers, for example, refer to the democratic transformation which took place in Spain in 1974, or the democratic transition in Eastern Europe and the "colour revolutions".

Under pressure

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After Mohamed Morsi's victory in Egypt Phil Marfleet looks at the fractures in the Muslim Brotherhood's base and the challenges that face the left

Egypt has a new civilian president, but one shackled by the army and the Mubarak state. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood takes office without a parliament and with the country's generals breathing down his neck. He is also under intense pressure from the revolutionary movement, which expects results promptly from an elected leader.

Libya: The West's new client?

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The uprising in Libya was inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. But the intervention of Nato forces changed the situation dramatically. Simon Assaf asks if Libya is now destined to become a client state of Western powers or whether its revolution could revive

The revolution itself appears to have stopped, becoming instead a Western-backed revolt. While in Egypt young revolutionaries are storming the Israeli embassy, in Libya Western leaders are greeted as heroes. French, US and British flags fly over the centre of Benghazi. In Cairo these flags are being torn down.

Taking sides in Syria

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The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were major reversals for the US and Israel. But Nato intervention in Libya's popular rebellion has raised the possibility that imperialism could hijack the revolutions. Simon Assaf asks, can Syria's uprising avoid falling into the hands of the West?

Syria has long been a thorn in imperialism's side. The Baathist regime has given crucial support to the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements who depend on Syria for their survival. So those who found themselves on the same side over the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia have suddenly found sharp disagreement over the movement for change in Syria.

The Islamists and the Egyptian Revolution

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Egyptian socialist Sameh Naguib looks at the role of Islamists in the Egyptian Revolution

There is something of a state of hysteria in the discussions on the left and among the liberals about the Islamist movement in Egypt at present, fuelled by the fact that while we are in the first stages of the biggest popular revolution in Egypt's history, the forces of the left are small and divided, but the Muslim Brotherhood is the biggest organisation on the Egyptian political scene. This state of hysteria has increased with the entry of the Salafists and the extremist Islamist groups into the political arena.

Confusion

Act II of the Egyptian Revolution

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The revolutionary process in Egypt is deepening. There is now a protracted struggle going on to shape Egypt's future, as the ruling Military Council seeks to counter militancy from below. Phil Marfleet looks at Act II of the Egyptian Revolution

Act I of the Egyptian Revolution culminated with the fall of the dictator. Act II is a far more complex process in which Egyptians address the problem of the dictatorship. How to consolidate and expand their new freedoms? How to continue the momentum of change? How to alleviate the problems of everyday life? How to challenge military rule?

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