Egypt: What exactly are you supporting?

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Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2011 21:46
MT wrote:
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There are radical elements amongst the Egyptian workers now in revolt

name them please.

In terms of individuals, there are several participants who have been reporting on the situation around them from a left-socialist perspective; if you're looking for specific names, have a look at the "Egypt updates" thread; there are links to several Egyptian blogs, twitter accounts and so on. Obviously it's hard to tell what those who are not internet-literate or who don't have access to the internet, are thinking, but it's ultimately a moot point. There is no way of proving or disproving that substantial numbers of Egyptian workers now in revolt are informed or at least open to radical ideas. I certainly, despite your smears of "religiosity" and "irrational hope", don't assume most are socialists, but neither do I stroke my chin and mumble something about how "it's all doomed; they don't have the right ideas," as you seem to be doing. Rather, I'm interested to find out, as information gradually becomes available (although the fate of journalists there seems to be under a big fuck off question mark atm), what actually happens, and then form a definite opinion.

MT
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Feb 3 2011 21:51
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"it's all doomed; they don't have the right ideas," as you seem to be doing

quote this stupid shit or stop repeating it all the time, it is lame.

MT
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Feb 3 2011 21:53
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I also agree that it has nothing to do with your language competency. It's your ideology that I disagree with. You seem to be imposing your political views over events

I SEEEM TO... well, you seem to be acting like not reading what I write. so what now?

Quote:
, rather than seeing them dialectically, with a nuanced interpretation of what's been happening with class relations in Egypt during the most recent cycle of struggles (the strikes, mostly in textiles, since 2007).

so where exactly is this class battlefield NOW? on a square throwing rocks?

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Hieronymous
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Feb 3 2011 21:54
MT wrote:
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"it's all doomed; they don't have the right ideas," as you seem to be doing

quote this stupid shit or stop repeating it all the time, it is lame.

Come on, MT. Please be honest; this is exactly the message in every single one of your posts about Tunisia or Egypt.

MT
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Feb 3 2011 21:54
Hieronymous wrote:
MT wrote:
Quote:
"it's all doomed; they don't have the right ideas," as you seem to be doing

quote this stupid shit or stop repeating it all the time, it is lame.

Come on, MT. Please be honest; this is exactly the message in every single one of your posts about Tunisia or Egypt.

don't please me, use facts and argue, not your emotions...

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Hieronymous
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Feb 3 2011 22:04
MT wrote:
Hieronymous wrote:
MT wrote:
Quote:
"it's all doomed; they don't have the right ideas," as you seem to be doing

quote this stupid shit or stop repeating it all the time, it is lame.

Come on, MT. Please be honest; this is exactly the message in every single one of your posts about Tunisia or Egypt.

don't please me, use facts and argue, not your emotions...

What several of us (strangely NOT the ones from Eastern Europe) keep saying this that you're being disingenuous. You aren't making an argument, but simply snipe at what we're saying. And offer no substantiating details.

You also reduce the Egyptian working class to what's happening to the tens of thousands of protesters at Tahrir Square. Egypt has a population of just under 80,000,000; Cairo has just under 7,000,000. That means there are tens of millions of workers in the industrial zones, many of whom are veterans of wave after wave of strikes. What are they doing? If you don't know, what do you think they're doing? Working? Throwing stones at the Pinkertons?

Samotnaf
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Feb 3 2011 22:01

The road to blinkered ignorance is paved with "communist" intentions.

Judgement of oneself and of others, of movements on the basis of intentions is for those who live in their heads, those who want to ignore the tedious social effect of their activity and who reduce the social effect of movements of contestation to only their most probable outcome and their most easily observed contradictions, flattening out loads of different social movements and their nuances into some indistinguishable "incorrectness". Such useless impotence learns nothing new because it is incapable of making progress, even the slightest amelioration in their own miserable conditions, and projects such incapacity onto any analysis of any aspect of social contestation. It simply expresses an arrogant smug will to separation, a desire to contemptuously dismiss any current risks in the will to master one's own life. One might just as well endlessly repeat, "It'll all end in tears".

MT
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Feb 3 2011 22:08
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What are they doing? If you don't know, what do you think they're doing? Working? Throwing stones at the Pinkertons?

tell me, i am eager to know since my first post on the events here. this is exactly what interests me. and as I do not know and others SEEM TO know (judging from the posts claiming there are radical elements) I feel that they are the ones to answer, not me. and if they don't know, it is sufficient to say that.

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Hieronymous
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Feb 3 2011 22:18
MT wrote:
Quote:
What are they doing? If you don't know, what do you think they're doing? Working? Throwing stones at the Pinkertons?

tell me, i am eager to know since my first post on the events here. this is exactly what interests me. and as I do not know and others SEEM TO know (judging from the posts claiming there are radical elements) I feel that they are the ones to answer, not me. and if they don't know, it is sufficient to say that.

Try this advice from above:

mateofthebloke wrote:
"Egypt updates" thread; there are links to several Egyptian blogs, twitter accounts and so on.

I would be cool if you could take a look and give us a synopsis of what you find out.

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Iskra
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Feb 3 2011 22:25

It looks like I’m writing Chinese instead of English, so I’ll have to get that Oxford English certificate, so that you can better understand what I’m talking about. I’m really starting to doubt that this discussion have any sense, because I had really simple thesis which I backed up with the some argumentation and from what I’m reading here most of you didn’t even understand what I was saying. So, I’ll write it again – for the last time. Also, I’m really impressed with the amount of hostility towards MT and me here, just because we share same opinion that Egypt and Tunis scenarios have been already seen.

Ok, first replays then some kind of conclusion.

@ mateofthebloke

I hope that your intention is not to turn this discussion into Spain, Kronstadt and Ukraine “history competition”. I know quite a lot about all of this revolt/revolutions and I even wrote few articles on these subjects. The reason I used these 3 examples is to answer to Ed on this:

Quote:
I mean, can you give me any example of any uprising in history that didn't either start off with dodgy politics or never would have led to libertarian communism?

Regarding stuff you wrote you completely missed the point, at least you missed the point I made… So, my main thesis when I wrote about future developments in Egypt, Tunis etc. were that without some kind of revolutionary organisation you can not turn spontaneous revolt into revolution. All 3 of these history examples prove my thesis. In Spain there was CNT-FAI, in Ukraine there were various groups of anarcho-communists and in Kronstadt there were ex-Bolsheviks. Organisation has goal, ideology and it can mobilise people. You see, I doubt that some peasants in Spain in 1936 would organise and collectivised land if there was no CNT who taught them about importance of collectivisation in the past or during the revolution.

I wasn’t talking about theory and big theoretical debates which should determine when we will make revolution. Did I ever mention it? I the past all revolutions grew out of spontaneous revolts, but those who had some kind of significance had some kind of revolutionary organisation.

Also, I never rejected Egypt or Tunis because they haven’t been “carried through federated anarcho-syndicalist unions or anarchist militias”. I simply asked why libertarian communists should (Marxists or what so ever) support this when we can’t see any affiliations to our politics. In Serbia people marched on the streets, police forces joined them and they destroyed regime of Slobodan Milosevic. Situation was similar to Egypt and there were even gun fires. But what happened in the end? Old elites from Milosevic’s regime and new pro-EU elites formed some kind of government and later people new president. Milosevic regime wasn’t communist. Our point was, also that without revolutionary movement elites will make a deal and people will wake up in liberal democracy.

As I was writing this I saw that you made few comments on Eastern Bloc stuff. I would really want to know with what exactly you are backing up this “analysis”. As I can see your “analysis” is based on classic liberal stuff. For example there was nothing peaceful about Russia. Ok, this is kind of off topic (even though tanks and secret service don’t sound peaceful to me).

Again, you missed a point we made when we were comparing Egypt to Eastern Europe. First off all we weren’t talking about ideological aspect of these movements but the end results (liberal or limited democracies) and massive mobilisation. Also we were talking about the fact that even there were movements, whatever radical or not (which depended on country), the final word was not the one of the masses but the new and old elites.

In my article (the one on the Croatian) I posted here I wrote about analysis of Eastern Europe system changes made by 3 American political scientists: Rod Hague, Martin Harrop and Shaun Breslin. You probably despise liberal political scientists but they manage to do something you can’t – to make good comparative analysis. I advise you to get their book: Comparative government and politics.

Secularity of the movement is not important. We never talked about such things.

Also, you admit that you don’t have first hand information... personally - I do.

Uf, I’m tired.

@ Hieronymous

Croatia is of course liberal democracy and there are class differences as in any place in the World, but this is not important. My question was about your comparisment with South Korea and what was your point behind it?

You see, when I compared Egypt with something from East Europe I meant on this:

Let’s say it all started with the sponatious mob and massive movement demanding the end of tyranny. In some cases there was violent confrontation with the regime in other cases there was no confrontation and in the end it all ended up with the agreement between old and new elites who decided about future political system of the country.

Your South Korea example is not a contra-argument on my thesis, because I never said that people of Egypt or Tunis won’t use this experience in other struggles that are yet to come. I simply claimed that end result of all of this can only be liberal democracy. We all know that it’s easier to organise radical movement in liberal democracy then in dictatorship, so I see no problem with the fact that Egyptian or Tunisian people learn from this struggle and from some kind of organisation to take their demands on next level.

I’m no Leninist. I’m Libertarian Marxist, but my arguments were never on ideological basis (as I don’t want to have these ‘you are wrong and I’m right’ ideological discussion bullshits) but on reality of what is happening there and that is not a new social revolution.

That is it from me.

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Hieronymous
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Feb 3 2011 22:26
Kontrrazvedka wrote:
It looks like I’m writing Chinese instead of English, so I’ll have to get that Oxford English certificate, so that you can better understand what I’m talking about.

Would you prefer Chinese? I'll just write in the traditional form (never learned simplified).

我是一個共產主義者從美國 我工作作為老師。

MT
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Feb 3 2011 22:32
Hieronymous wrote:
MT wrote:
Quote:
What are they doing? If you don't know, what do you think they're doing? Working? Throwing stones at the Pinkertons?

tell me, i am eager to know since my first post on the events here. this is exactly what interests me. and as I do not know and others SEEM TO know (judging from the posts claiming there are radical elements) I feel that they are the ones to answer, not me. and if they don't know, it is sufficient to say that.

Try this advice from above:

mateofthebloke wrote:
"Egypt updates" thread; there are links to several Egyptian blogs, twitter accounts and so on.

I would be cool if you could take a look and give us a synopsis of what you find out.

it would be cool from you to do the same. I have already acknowledged the radical elements in my posts. Which only proves you are ignorant to ask for them again. and I see you have a habit of not answering questions which are right to the point of the whole discussion - how do we view the events from class perspective and what libertarian elements can be seen there (not by form but by content)? and i really am frustrated of repeating the same thing again and being ignored and bashed for things I never claimed. people, think for a second how you behave to people who disagree with you, cos what i see that this debate is not with sane people but some fanatics and i would like to see that the stupid attacks stop cos me and K. hardly attacked anyone and we could for the bullshit we are getting...

MT
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Feb 3 2011 22:33
Hieronymous wrote:
Kontrrazvedka wrote:
It looks like I’m writing Chinese instead of English, so I’ll have to get that Oxford English certificate, so that you can better understand what I’m talking about.

Would you prefer Chinese? I'll just write in the traditional form (never learned simplified).

我是一個共產主義者從美國 我工作作為老師。

are you showing your ego here? or you think you are a joker?

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Iskra
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Feb 3 2011 22:35

I can write to you on Serbian:
много сереш

Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2011 22:40
Kontrrazvedka wrote:
Also, you admit that you don’t have first hand information... personally - I do.

Of Egypt? (Because obviously that's what I meant, as I was referring to the Egyptian situation.)
My analysis is not at all "classic liberal stuff" (yes maybe I under-emphasized the violence of the Russian situation, but you know that the rest is essentially correct). You're not the only one who's lived through those events, and while I believe that you are trying to make a point about the Egyptian conflicts not about Eastern Europe, it does very much seem as if you're touting your "personal experience" way too much.
The vicious ethnic and nationalist rivalries that existed, and exist, in Eastern Europe are not really there in Egypt. And yes the secularism of the current movement does matter. In any case, my point was that no easy comparison can be drawn between Eastern Europe 20 years ago and Egypt today.
As for Spain, Kronstadt etc., fair enough, I won't derail this thread into a discussion of their particularities (and good for you for publishing articles).

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Hieronymous
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Feb 3 2011 22:43
MT wrote:
mateofthebloke wrote:
"Egypt updates" thread; there are links to several Egyptian blogs, twitter accounts and so on.

I would be cool if you could take a look and give us a synopsis of what you find out.

Haven't you read any of the other threads on libcom -- or elsewhere? I've posted a few things about what I've discovered. Have you seen them?

Why should we play into your immature rhetorical game about "answering questions" and listen to you whine when we don't go along? Dude, that's what lib community is for. Take it there.

Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2011 22:42

Here's an actually compelling argument for why the "Egyptian revolution" could already be lost.

Quote:
While much of American media has termed the events unfolding in Egypt today as "clashes between pro-government and opposition groups," this is not in fact what's happening on the street. The so-called "pro-government" forces are actually Mubarak's cleverly orchestrated goon squads dressed up as pro-Mubarak demonstrators to attack the protesters in Midan Tahrir, with the Army appearing to be a neutral force. The opposition, largely cognizant of the dirty game being played against it, nevertheless has had little choice but to call for protection against the regime's thugs by the regime itself, i.e., the military. And so Mubarak begins to show us just how clever and experienced he truly is. The game is, thus, more or less over.

The threat to the military's control of the Egyptian political system is passing. Millions of demonstrators in the street have not broken the chain of command over which President Mubarak presides. Paradoxically the popular uprising has even ensured that the presidential succession will not only be engineered by the military, but that an officer will succeed Mubarak. The only possible civilian candidate, Gamal Mubarak, has been chased into exile, thereby clearing the path for the new vice president, Gen. Omar Suleiman. The military high command, which under no circumstances would submit to rule by civilians rooted in a representative system, can now breathe much more easily than a few days ago. It can neutralize any further political pressure from below by organizing Hosni Mubarak's exile, but that may well be unnecessary.
.............
Read the rest here: http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/02/game_over_the_chance_for_democracy_in_egypt_is_lost?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d4aaadb8df55857%2C0

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Hieronymous
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Feb 3 2011 22:46
Kontrrazvedka wrote:
I can write to you on Serbian:
много сереш

How about Korean:

저는 미국의 공산주의자였습니다. 나는 선생님이었습니다.

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Hieronymous
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Feb 3 2011 22:46

.

MT
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Feb 3 2011 22:52
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The vicious ethnic and nationalist rivalries that existed, and exist, in Eastern Europe are not really there in Egypt.

you are simply wrong here. EE is not Russia and you overlooked (not only) antiizraeli elements of the events in Egypt

Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2011 22:55
MT wrote:
Quote:
The vicious ethnic and nationalist rivalries that existed, and exist, in Eastern Europe are not really there in Egypt.

you are simply wrong here. EE is not Russia and you overlooked (not only) antiizraeli elements of the events in Egypt

Please explain why you think "anti-Israeli elements" are a prominent and defining feature of these developments, in the same way that (religious) ultra-nationalism was in Europe.

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Iskra
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Feb 3 2011 22:55
mateofthebloke wrote:
My analysis is not at all "classic liberal stuff" (yes maybe I under-emphasized the violence of the Russian situation), but you know that the rest is essentially correct. You're not the only who's lived through those events, and while I believe that you are trying to make a point about the Egyptian conflicts not about Eastern Europe, it does very much seem as if you're touting your "personal experience" way too much.

I'm not "touting" about my personal experience because I'm too young to have such. And yes I'm trying to make a point on Egypt and to say what could happen there.

Quote:
The vicious ethnic and nationalist rivalries that existed, and exist, in Eastern Europe are not really there in Egypt. And yes the secularism of the current movement does matter. In any case, my point was that no easy comparison can be drawn between Eastern Europe 20 years ago and Egypt today.

Nationalism is our reality. I don't think that you have to remind me of it, because I survived the war and you didnt wink I saw it in the front of my face and you saw it on television. You can't compare Eastern Europe and Egypt on nationalist question because there's no national minorty which is endangered with this revolts in Egypt.

Secularism matters, of course, but it dosen't matter in what I was writing because I wasn't refering to it. New government will be agreemant between politicians not between religious leaders. Even though, there's strong islamist faction in Egypt but they are not strong enought to make an Egypt "muslim country".

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Iskra
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Feb 3 2011 22:57
Hieronymous wrote:
Kontrrazvedka wrote:
I can write to you on Serbian:
много сереш

How about Korean:

저는 미국의 공산주의자였습니다. 나는 선생님이었습니다.

How about Albanian?
Enver Hoxha jetoi. Vdekja e në perëndim!

(I don't really know Alabanian. Just this phrase grin)

Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2011 23:00
Kontrrazvedka wrote:
I'm not "touting" about my personal experience
Quote:
Nationalism is our reality. I don't think that you have to remind me of it, because I survived the war and you didnt wink I saw it in the front of my face and you saw it on television.

As a matter of fact I did not just "saw it on television," although I accept that in Yugoslavia the effects of ultra-nationalism were immensely more destructive than in the surrounding regions (which is why I said so in my false "liberal analysis").

Quote:
You can't compare Eastern Europe and Egypt on nationalist question because there's no national minorty which is endangered with this revolts in Egypt.

And that is just one aspect on which they are not comparable, the point being, again, that they are not very comparable at all.

Quote:
New government will be agreemant between politicians

Or it could be a military junta, as the article I linked to above argues. You are again generalizing based on very spurious "evidence." For all your calls to rationalism, that doesn't seem very rational to me.

MT
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Feb 3 2011 23:01
mateofthebloke wrote:
MT wrote:
Quote:
The vicious ethnic and nationalist rivalries that existed, and exist, in Eastern Europe are not really there in Egypt.

you are simply wrong here. EE is not Russia and you overlooked (not only) antiizraeli elements of the events in Egypt

Please explain why you think "anti-Israeli elements" are a prominent and defining feature of these developments, in the same way that (religious) ultra-nationalism was in Europe.

sorry, but you speak about some prominent and defining features now and not previously. i cannot answer something you make up just now and try to say i referred to it when I didn't. all I said was that vicious ethnic and nationalist rivarlies did not exist in EE as such. and that when you try to operate with them then you should also look into such elements in Egyptian events.

Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2011 23:03
MT wrote:
mateofthebloke wrote:
MT wrote:
Quote:
The vicious ethnic and nationalist rivalries that existed, and exist, in Eastern Europe are not really there in Egypt.

you are simply wrong here. EE is not Russia and you overlooked (not only) antiizraeli elements of the events in Egypt

Please explain why you think "anti-Israeli elements" are a prominent and defining feature of these developments, in the same way that (religious) ultra-nationalism was in Europe.

sorry, but you speak about some prominent and defining features now and not previously. i cannot answer something you make up just now and try to say i referred to it when I didn't. all I said was that vicious ethnic and nationalist rivarlies did not exist in EE as such. and that when you try to operate with them then you should also look into such elements in Egyptian events.

Ok, then at least explain who the "anti-Israeli" elements involved in the events are in your opinion, besides the Muslim Brotherhood, which everyone agrees is not in any position to "take over" the current revolt.

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Khawaga
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Feb 3 2011 23:03
Kontrrazvedka wrote:
As I was watching the News (on Croatian television – HRT1) right now I heard information that opposition parties/elites along with West are calling for new government. This is really similar to Eastern Europe. I don’t get it how can’t you see that.

I've seen similar reports elsewhere, on al Jazeera recently that the PM wants to hold talks with protest representatives, which probably means El Baradei. Might even include the Muslim Brotherhood.

For what it's worth Kontrrazvedka, I actually think that you're correct in believing that the most likely outcome of this is a liberal capitalist democratic government that will more or less continue the economic policies of the current regime. However, that there are signs of self-organization in factories and communities means that the uprising could be moved in a way towards social revolution. Unlikely, but with a general strike who knows.

MT, you keep asking for communist elements. I don't really care about the label, but there are plenty of local workers' groups that arose out of the wave of strikes and factory occupations that has swept all of Egypt since 2006. These are the so-called "communist" elements because they are the most militant sections of the working class. There are plenty of small socialist and communist groups (such as the Trotskyist Revolutionary Socialist Organization), but in the grand scheme of things they are not as important as people realizing that they can organize without the state and bosses. I don't understand why this is so hard to understand. And I do agree with Hieronymous that you are not adding anything at all to the disussion other than snide comments. At least Kontrrazvedka argues his point (and he has more of a point than you MT).

By the way Hieronymous, Cairo has roughly 25 million inhabitants not 8 million. Though no-one really knows the exact figure. Still that leaves 55 million more. It is significant that those instances of workers ejecting their CEOs from workplaces is outside of Cairo. Perhaps a political struggle in Cairo and an "economic" one taking place other places?

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Iskra
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Feb 3 2011 23:05

@ mateofthebloke
Do you really believe that EU will allow military junta to exist?

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Khawaga
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Feb 3 2011 23:06
MT wrote:
antiizraeli elements of the events in Egypt

Fucking hell. Probably every Arab is against Israel and pro-Palestinianm but it's not an "element" to the protests. These are not folks that want to drive the jews into the sea but folks that are fed up with the Egyptian govt's complicity in the occupation of Gaza. And where the fuck do you think all of this started? Protests were allowed briefly right after the start of the second Intifada and during those protests people started shouting anti-Mubarak slogans. Seriously, MT you are getting fucking annoying as you seem to be continually talking out of your arse and don't bother to actually read up on anything.

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Iskra
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Feb 3 2011 23:07
Quote:
However, that there are signs of self-organization in factories and communities means that the uprising could be moved in a way towards social revolution. Unlikely, but with a general strike who knows.

Do you have more information on this? Like links about this self-organisation in factories etc? I would really like to know more about such stuff.