Five years after the protests that removed dictator Mubarak from power, a new dictator rules Egypt with iron fist. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the new Mubarak and has unleashed his police forces to arrest demonstrators who defy his government. El-Sisi came to power in a military coup that removed the only ever democratically elected president of Egypt. After winning the presidential elections which were undemocratic, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi became president restoring military dominance of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Western powers have no problems with this El-Sisi, he is a loyal supporters of western imperialism. Our ”democratic” leaders do not mind that he has issued laws which bans public protesting and gathering. That people find guilty of demonstrating against the government are jailed for many years. No, our ”liberal-democratic” governments do not mind this at all. Because Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is a supporter of the west and human rights always play second role!
A reason for the rise of El-Sisi was the failure of Egypt’s left-wing to present a socialist alternative. Many new political parties were created after the 2011 protests that removed Mubarak. But none of the alliances, fronts and coalitions offered a genuine alternative to capitalism. Most political alliances were centered around supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamism and those who support a secular democratic Egypt. The Revolutionary Socialists ( International Socialist Tendency in Egypt ) called for a vote on Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. This was completely wrong to do, Mohammed Morsi was a Islamic conservative. Still the RS told workers to vote on this man, who was eventually removed from power by the military!
Although some socialist parties were created, none would put forward a socialist program. Many like the Socialist People’s Alliance Party or the Socialist Party of Egypt joined big tent coalitions like the National Salvation Front, who supported the military coup against Mohammed Morsi. For the 2015 elections, leftists created the Civil Democratic Current, a vague organisation with no reference to socialism. This Civil Democratic Current then joined the ”Reawakening of Egypt”’coalition, created by secular yet pro-capitalist parties like the National Bloc and the Egyptian Social-Democratic Party. No mass party of the working class has been build and the Egyptian left-wing remains committed to support pro-capitalist coalitions, fronts and alliances!
The El-Sisi government enjoyed some support from secularists in the beginning. Because Mohammed Morsi carried out politics which many fear would lead to a Islamic Egypt and the establishment of a theocracy. Also Morsi became authoritarian and used the police against demonstrators, a trend which is common for many dictators. El-Sisi is no stranger when it comes to using force, last year over 2.500 people were killed in violent clashes with the government. Workers and youth are not willing to be submissive, they do not want to bow to the military again. The lessons of the last four years show that only united action of the working class can put an end to military rule and religious sectarianism. Because this is also a problem in Egypt, sectarian hatred against Christians and Shia-Muslims has grown. Terrorists attacks by the Islamic State may also happen as Egypt lies on the front line of the War against IS. Egypt is meanwhile also intervening in the second Libyan Civil War. Here dictator El-Sisi support the western backed Libyan government, who fled Tripoli and now govern from Tobruk. Supporters of the Islamic led; New General National Congress meanwhile govern in Tripoli and oppose El-Sisi and his western allies!
Bourgeois liberals put their hopes in the western world, but this hope is misplaced. Western nations support dictator El-Sisi because Egypt remains a western ally. Also the western world needs Egypt for their attacks on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. That human rights are violated means little to western politicians who only use them to criticize nations like Cuba. Human rights issues are a weapon, used by capitalist powers only against governments which reject western style politics. Nations who bow to western imperialism are never criticized so strong as the western world does to Castro’s Cuba. Although human rights are far more violated in absolute monarchies like Saudi-Arabia, the USA keeps Cuba under a trade-embargo and claims that only a full commitment to ( western style ) democracy would end it. This while the 1975 imposed trade-embargo against the ”Socialist” Republic of Vietnam was lifted in 1994!
Egypt has always been ruled by dictators. From the ancient pharaoh’s and Roman emperors to Islamic sultans and kings. Even the republican era has never been democratic. Also 30% of all Egyptians cannot read and write, this group is easily manipulated. Although Egypt’s youth has been radicalized by the 2011 protests, the working class is not. Most workers just want to survive in the capitalist hell that Egypt has become. Tourism ( vital to the economy ) is dropping as many tourists stay away out of fear. Then there is the Ukrainian crisis which resulted in economic sanctions against Russia, crippling its currency and making its more expensive for Russian tourists to go on holidays in Egypt.
Workers must understand that there is no alternative then to fight for socialism. But in order for this to work, they need to unite. Which is not easy in a country divided on religious and ethnic lines. Still revolutionary socialists need to rally workers against El-Sisi and all capitalist powers in Egypt!