The revolution enters a new phase

July 16, 2012

Egypt's parliament met last week in defiance of a court decision upholding an order of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolving the lower house after the regime's top court ruled that parliamentary elections were invalid.

The meeting of the parliament represented a showdown between the military council and the Muslim Brotherhood, which won a majority in the body. Parliament had been disbanded amid a high-stakes presidential election won by the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi over the regime's preferred candidate Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak. A few days later, hours after the polls closed in the runoff election between Morsi and Shafiq, the SCAF issued an "addendum" to the constitution that curbed the powers of the presidency and added to its own powers.

However, the meeting of parliament lasted only 15 minutes--and President Morsi later declared that the Brotherhood would respect the decisions of Egyptian courts regarding the parliament. Meanwhile, since Morsi was declared the official winner of the runoff, the Brotherhood has stopped calling on its supporters to mobilize for public demonstrations--in spite of the importance of mass demonstrations following the runoff in confronting the military's power grab.

Here, the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt analyze the current situation in a statement issued on July 8.

THE POLITICAL scene since the inauguration of Mohamed Morsi has been characterized by extreme fluidity. The defeat of Ahmed Shafiq in the presidential elections was without a doubt an important victory over the plans of the counter-revolution. However, it has not brought in a president who represents the revolution, but rather a president who represents political forces which cannot and do not want to complete the revolution, and which wish above all to make a deal with the remnants of the old regime to share power.

We have seen Mohamed Morsi's tacit acceptance of the Supplementary Constitutional Declaration and an open understanding between him and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and big businessmen. We have also seen the decision of the Muslim Brotherhood to break up their sit-in in Tahrir Square and continuing procrastination over the issue of the detainees.

We now have a president who is not only comfortable with the Military Council, but is adopting a presidential program which does not differ in its social content from the program of the former regime. Perhaps the symbolism of his trip to Saudi Arabia is the greatest proof of this. For the Saudi regime is the center of counter-revolution in our region, and with it stands Tel Aviv and Washington and the remnants of the old regime.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Egypt's new president, Mohamed Morsi
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Egypt's new president, Mohamed Morsi

However, because the victory of Morsi was only achieved through the mass pressure from the streets across Egypt, this has created a wave of expectations across wide sections of the Egyptian masses about the continuation of the revolution and the opportunities to implement the social and political demand of the masses.

This glaring contradiction, between a presidency denuded of its powers and unwilling and unable to realize in any of the demands of the revolution, and the hopes and aspirations of the masses which have been created by the temporary defeat of the counter-revolutionary forces, is a major determinant of the current situation.

So Morsi's accommodation to the Military Council--which is not the first or the last--does not mean the end of the conflict between the two parties or that there is no possibility of the renewal of confrontation with a new wave of mobilization by the Brotherhood in the streets. Likewise, the honeymoon between sections of the masses and the new president will not last long, as the masses will discover Morsi's limitations, just as they discovered the nature of the Brotherhood in parliament.

The promises Morsi made in Tahrir Square and the promises he made to the military at Cairo University and at Haikstep are a contradiction which can only explode in his face.

As expected, the capitalist liberals in the "Third Alternative Front" are afraid of the Brotherhood, and as usual, they are being tailed by a section of the left. This will continue as long as they are blinded by their fear of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the root of their historic inability to take an independent stance. For them, the conflict of the elites over the question of a civil or religious state is a top priority, rather than the actual conflict between the workers and poor of Egypt and their exploiters.

By contrast, we do not distinguish between Naguib Sawiris and Khairat al-Shater, or between exploitation in an Islamic form and exploitation in a civil or secular guise. Our project is the completion of the revolution and the realization of its demands at the social, democratic and national levels. We will challenge and expose Mohamed Morsi and his brothers in their compromises and accommodation with the military and the remnants of the old regime. We will challenge and expose their economic and social program which is hostile to the interests of the masses, and their dependence on the kings and princes of the Gulf and their masters in America and Tel Aviv.

We will participate in building a revolutionary front that is independent of the Muslim Brotherhood and the liberals, and that is implacably hostile to the military and the remnants of the old regime, and to anyone who wants to stop or end the revolution.

Despite the temporary retreat of the movement in the streets, there is a new wave of strikes and social protests, which will launch the coming phase of the Egyptian revolution. We will be in the heart of these struggles and in their frontline, as we have seen how the Muslim Brotherhood and the liberals together opposed this new wave. So we will struggle to organize, deepen and politicize the movement of the masses until it can become a genuine leadership for the Egyptian revolution in the new wave which is inevitably coming.

Victory to the revolution, glory to the martyrs, power and wealth to the people!

The Revolutionary Socialists
July 8, 2012

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