Monday, January 31, 2011

Freedom's flame: Ash-sha'ab yureed isqaat an-nizam


The revolution live

Marko Hoare: Victory to the revolution! Yasmine El Rashidi: 'Hosni Mubarak, the plane is waiting’/ ‘Tomorrow, to Tahrir Again’. Adam Schatz: Mubarak's last breath. Tom Streithorst: Hobbes vs Kropotkin on the streets of Cairo. Modernity: Last days of a dictatorship. Zunguzungu: I have no words but all I have is words.

Emancipatory forces
Centre for Trade Union & Workers Services: The labour movement is in the heart and soul of the Egyptian revolution. Mohammed Ezzeldin on the roots of the revolutionary movement. Atef Said on Egypt's long labour history. Juan Cole: Egypt's class conflict Stroppy: women of Egypt 1 & 2.

Lots more from LabourStart, KellieEntdinglichung and Shiraz Socialist

Reactionary forces: The Muslim Brotherhood
A short exchange with a Trotskyist at James B's place. A sophisticated analysis of the British far left and its dalliance with the Muslim Brotherhood from Carl P. David O on the class nature of the Brotherhood.

The American role
It seems to me that the equivocal comments from the Obama administration show that having a friend in the region is more important to them than having democracy, and that "stability" and "order" are more important than freedom. This is important, as it shows the limits of the pro-democracy rhetoric of liberal and conservative American commentators. Although the neoconservative pro-democracy commentary has hit the right note on Iran's Green Revolution, the pro-democracy movement in Belarus, or the secessionist movement in Southern Sudan, when it comes to Egypt it faces a harder test.

However, it seems to me wrong to focus on this as the defining issue of the Egyptian uprising, or to attempt to frame the pan-Middle Eastern conflagration as first and foremost "anti-Western", as for example the commentary at Empire Burlesque does. That seems to me like just another variant of the solipsist America First isolationism of the right. And it also seems to me important to highlight the positive role that America has also played - i.e. that the American role is ambivalent rather than wholly reactionary.

Solidarity US: Tunisia breaks free - includes the statement of the 14th of January Front, which includes some depressing anti-Zionist content. Andrew C: The struggle continues against the new administration. And why was Ben Ali's party in the Socialist International?

Andrew Coates: Street protests in Sudan.

I heard Sami Zubeida talking last week about his new (and timely!) book Beyond Islam, a celebration of the dirty, vernacular, cosmopolitan citizenship of the Middle East. The cover illustration is of the great singer Umm Kulthum (often rendered Oum Kalthoum), and she came to mind while watching the wonderful videos of Fifi Abdou posted by Richard S, so I'll play out with her, and the Stones via Terry.

[H/t BLCKGRD for some of the links.]

Keywords: Egypt, Tunisia


modernity said...

Bob, you old dog, you beat me too it....but wait I have a better post coming....

Sassy said...

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Sassy said...

Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you