Submitted by bulmer on May 30, 2011

As far as I'm aware this hasn't been discussed here, so just want to know people's thoughts on this...

Egypt: Birth of the Libertarian Socialist Movement

The Libertarian Socialist Movement was founded on 23 May 2011 in Cairo, at the heart of the Egyptian Revolution and in the midst of the revolutionary wave that is sweeping over the world today, from Tunisia through Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria and even reaching Spain, bringing back memories of the waves in 1848 and 1968. This revolutionary wave should also reach other countries.
The Movement has published a Manifesto and is currently preparing a more detailed statement of its basic principles. It aims to involve all those opponents of capitalism (private and State) and all opponents of bureaucracy and centralization, the suppression of individual liberties and those who are against the erosion of human rights, all supporters of self-management in the workplace and building cooperatives, all supporters of economic emancipation, administrative decentralization and direct democracy. The Movement is organized into working groups whose members meet up and coordinate with the other groups, and is made up of elected delegates from these groups, who communicate through the use of modern means of communication in order to avoid the formation of organizational hierarchies.

As the Movement has no other source of financing for its activities other than the contributions of its members and the voluntary work they do, and as its activists are wage-slaves, none of whom are wealthy, and considering that they do not want their freedom limited by financial dependence, the Movement has decided to use internet as it is the cheapest way to communicate. It also intends to produce paper publications when possible. For the same reason, the movement is not in a position to buy premises and thus its activities are carried out within the various popular organizations such as trade unions, workplace and neighbourhood committees andcooperatives, and we ask our members who are present in all the popular protest movements to coordinate and communicate through internet.

Libertarian Socialist Movement

We libertarian socialists struggle for a socialist society without classes, an anti-authoritarian society free of the repressive apparatus of the State and of Capital. We stand against the introduction of State capitalism, such as in the oppressive regimes that existed in "socialist" countries. We reject and oppose the capitalist system.
We believe that the working class is capable of leading a vast coalition arising from tenacious efforts to bring down the power of both capitalism and the repressive State.

Our immediate aims are:

Administrative decentralization without governors and mayors, managed by local neighbourhood and area councils, the right of popular control with elected, recallable delegates of local councils and citizens' committees.

The conversion of all service companies and production plants into cooperatives self-managed by their members in a democratic, decentralized society with the aid of freedom and independence from the administrative State.

The cancellation of tax incentives given to investors and the application of progressive taxation in order to support the service cooperatives which will include sectors such as education, healthcare and so on.

Trade-union pluralism, freedom of association in factories and workplaces and the creation of unions for all State employees and military establishments in order to support the participation of all workers in the management of workplaces, self-management in the factories and companies that were privatized amid injustice and corruption during the Mubarak era.

The confiscation of all money of illicit origin and its distribution among the cooperatives.

A Constitution which guarantees all forms of human freedom, such as the freedom of religion, association and thought; the creation of a parliamentary republic, decentralized governance with permanent popular control by the local administrations and citizens' committees who take the place of the Government and the Head of State; the right of delegates acting on popular mandates to propose laws and referendums.

The constitution of a socialist society, that does not depend on an act of liberal authority but rather on the will of the cooperatives without a central authority, so that a society without classes can be self-organized through popular committees and local committees, against the authority of a central, repressive State.

Libertarian Socialist Movement

Khawaga

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's been mentioned in another forum, but no discussion as far as I can tell. The statement is a bit weak in some parts. It doesn't advocate the actual negation of state and capital; only an administrative state (whatever that means) and that money should still be in circulation. I know that the statement has got its critics within Egypt as well (both anarchos and not).

I am also somewhat confused by the fact that they've chosen to use the internet as the main form of communication. This points to a relatively affluent member base, or at least the majority of the members would have to be able to afford at least a few visits to an internet cafe a few times a month, which is out of the reach of a lot of working class Egyptians.

Still, it's a welcome statement and a point of departure for discussing anarchism in Egypt.

klas batalo

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

we in nefac have been in contact with these comrades for some time. they are quite solid. i know some comrades from the anarkismo network have even visited them.

regarding the internet they say so themselves that they are poor so it is the most freely available form of communication.

regarding their immediate program, i take it as a minimum program for the current revolutionary situation. does it make sense to have a maximum program in something is not obviously yet a total social revolution?

Khawaga

10 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

regarding the internet they say so themselves that they are poor so it is the most freely available form of communication.

If all of them can afford internet, they can't be *that* poor. But tbh that's really secondary. It's more worrying if it's the main form of organization.

regarding their immediate program, i take it as a minimum program for the current revolutionary situation. does it make sense to have a maximum program in something is not obviously yet a total social revolution?

Doesn't hurt to have both. It's hard to tell from this statement what their politics really are like.

posi

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This lot held their first conference yesterday, with about 40 present. It wasn't an organisational conference as such, but clearly represented a step forward in coordination and debate for the milieu.

Choice quote from a conversation with one Alexandria-based anarchist.

I got kicked out of the Communist Party 20 years ago for 'anarchism'. Honestly, I didn't know what it meant. When the internet arrived, it was in the first 4 or 5 words I googled. Until the revolution,each of us thought we were the only anarchist in Egypt. Then someone set up a facebook page...

Khawaga

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

did you have that conversation with him posi? or is it from a publication? Would like to read if possible. And when you say 40%, do you mean 40% of the membership (and if so, how many would that be roughly?).

Until the revolution,each of us thought we were the only anarchist in Egypt.

That seems to be the feeling of a lot of them. In my time I met two anarchists in Egypt. They also thought they were the only ones...

redsdisease

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

And when you say 40%, do you mean 40% of the membership (and if so, how many would that be roughly?).

They said 40, so I think that meant 40 people total (though I definitely read it as 40% at first too).

Khawaga

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lol! Yeah, now I see it says 40 present not 40 percent.

posi

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Khawaga - yeah, I had that conversation with him. The most in the room at anyone time was 36 by my count, but people were coming and going... so I think over 40 is fair.

posi

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Khawaga - yeah, I had that conversation with him. The most in the room at anyone time was 36 by my count, but people were coming and going... so I think over 40 is fair.

posi

10 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Khawaga - yeah, I had that conversation with him. The most in the room at anyone time was 36 by my count, but people were coming and going... so I think over 40 is fair.

Mark.

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A group of Egyptian anarchists held the "First Conference of the Egyptian Libertarian Socialist Movement" in Cairo, on October 7. Dozens of anarchists and other socialists were in attendance, along with a number of students and activists.

This first conference was intended to be an introductory get-together. Panelists spoke of anarchist theory, history and practice. Experiments in workers' self-management in Egypt, and direct democracy were discussed.

Panelists also spoke of developments among grass-roots civil society organizations - such as 'Popular Committees' and independent trade unions - which have been established since the January 25th Revolution.

Further conferences are planned for the near future. More workers, students, and farmers are to be invited - as speakers and attendees. The upcoming conferences aim at coordinating efforts/struggles amongst activists in Cairo, Alexandria and other Egyptian cities.

Although it is not yet a movement in Egypt, these conferences aim at creating the popular basis for a libertarian socialist/anarchist movement in the country.

http://she2i2.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-conference-of-egypts-libertarian.html

happychaos

9 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Egyptian anarchists occupy Muslim Brotherhood headquarters, which had been burnt out in anti-government protests. Photo taken from Arab Anarchists.

Mark.

8 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A member of the libertarian socialists interviewed in Barcelona in December
(in English - ignore the Spanish intro)

[youtube]mDWrwt7PLdo[/youtube]