Revolution

Could there be an international revolution?

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Emma Davies argues that international revolution is possible - and essential if we are to overthrow capitalism

The past few years have shown the increasingly interconnected nature of the world we live in. We've seen the knock-on effects one event can have internationally - whether it's the financial crisis or the wave of dissent that has spread across the Arab world and beyond. Capitalism is truly global in nature. Any revolution that seeks to put an end to capitalism would have to spread internationally. Could this ever happen?

Do we need reform or revolution?

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Lois Clifton argues that in a period of serious crisis the debate between reform and revolution becomes even more important

The revolutions that have swept across the Middle East have forced the question of reform or revolution back onto the political agenda.

As Western elites scrambled to regain political leverage in the region, a contradiction became clear - revolution is fine in Egypt, but elsewhere workers should only fight for gradual reforms.

Workers are brought up to believe that capitalism is normal. Society tells us that anyone who believes the status quo can be changed is simply extremist, utopian or unrealistic.

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.

What is permanent revolution?

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Regi Pilling looks at what Leon Trotsky meant by permanent revolution and if it still has relevance today.

At the start of this year the dictator Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for three decades, was toppled by mass protests and strikes. But today we see the military violently retaking Tahrir Square, protesters attacked and strikes outlawed. Should the revolution stop now that Mubarak has gone? Could it move beyond political changes to economic and social transformation? Could socialism be brought about?

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?

Could we win the army to revolution?

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Mariam Green looks at how a revolution can split the army


Events in the Middle East and North Africa make the question of the role of the army in revolution more than just a matter of academic interest. If the army is not won over it remains a tool for counter-revolution, capable of drowning a revolt in blood. How the army responds to such a situation can decisively affect its outcome.

As the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky put it, "The fate of every revolution at a certain point is decided by a break in the disposition of the army."

Bahrain: uprising and intervention

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The arrival of Saudi Arabian troops has raised the stakes for Bahrain's fledgling revolution. Tim Nelson reports on the uprising in the Middle East's smallest state

On 14 March Saudi troops crossed the causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The United Arab Emirates has also sent about 500 police into the country. They were invited by the Bahraini government after it was becoming increasingly clear the security forces were unable to contain the mass protests against the authoritarianism of the ruling Al Khalifa family. Since 14 February there have been mass protests against the regime, demanding democratic reforms and, increasingly, the removal of the ruling family.

Libya: at the crossroads

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Libya's revolution faces stark choices. Simon Assaf looks at the roots of Gaddafi's regime and the danger posed by Western intervention

As we go to press, Libya's revolution is at a crossroads. The uprising that erupted on 17 February faces two dangers - the possibility that an offensive by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi could crush the revolt, and that the West could intervene and undermine the revolution. This crisis is not of the revolution's making, but is nonetheless one that throws into sharp relief two possible options - to make an alliance of dependency with Western powers, or to draw on the forces that have been pushing for change across the region.

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