A Marxist Analysis: Arab Uproar
Long time in the making! Long time suffering poverty, inequality, official murder-torture-imprisonment, despotism, fundamentalism, and governments lackeyed to US/Western powers.
I am no expert on Arabic/Middle East history or politics, other than knowing that US/Israel-led imperialism has had a grip on the entire area for decades, and before that there were other foreign oppressors. I know that in part of the Arab world—so far not involved in this uproar—the US-led “humanitarian” operation has cost over one million Iraqi lives, created millions of refugees, tortured tens of thousands and destroyed incalculable cultural wealth and history. European allies assisted in this butchery. Something similar is occurring in Afghanistan, and extending into Pakistan.
Wikileaks’ disclosure of US Embassy cables from Tunisia—posted in the British Guardian, December 7, 2010 and January 28, 2011—show how duplicitous and corrupt all US governments have been in their relations with the Ben Ali family government over the past two decades.
The US ambassador to Tunisia, Robert F. Godec, wrote in one leaked memo dated July 17, 2009, that the Ben Ali regime is: “sclerotic;” and that “Tunisia is a police state, with little freedom of expression or association, and serious human rights problems.”
Yet at the same time, Godec expressed the need to continue supporting this regime because, “The government is like-minded on Iran, is an ally in the fight against terrorism…the US Mission has, for the past three years, [responded] by offering greater cooperation…notably in the commercial and military assistance areas.”
The US government similarly supports Egypt with $1.3 billion in military aid annually, making the country second only to Israel in US military aid.
Most shamefully, a number of Arabic governments have aided and abetted the US in its “war against terrorism.” Egypt, and Tunisia—where the courageous uproar began a month ago—have been among them. Now, in some of those countries—Yemen, Algeria, Lebanon—many thousands of people are supporting the Tunisian people, and are making their own similar demands.
Will this lead to revolution, to socialism, as a rejection of misery under capitalism? Marxist analysis of what it takes before a socialist revolution can break out and grow entails two aspects. First, objective conditions must be present: too much poverty, exploitation and oppression to ignore; plus a sufficiently high level of technology or industrial development, and acutely antagonistic productive relations.