Tunisia, Egypt: the dead end of the ‘Arab revolution’

With the so-called ‘Arab revolutions’ celebrating their second anniversary, the riots and mass demonstrations of the last few months and weeks in Egypt and Tunisia are a reminder that despite the departure of the dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak, nothing has been resolved. On the contrary, the economic situation has got worse, bringing growing unemployment, poverty and attacks on the working class. Meanwhile the reigning authoritarianism, the violence and repression being handed out to the demonstrators, is no different from what went on before.

1848: Communism as a political program

The previous two articles in this series[1] have to a large extent focused on the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 because they are a rich vein of material on the problem of alienated labor and on the ultimate goals of communism as envisaged by Marx when he first adhered to the proletarian movement. But although Marx had, as early as 1843, identified the modern proletariat as the agent of the communist transformation, the EPM are not yet precise about the practical social movement that will lead from the society of alienation to the authentic human community. This fundamental development in Marx's thinking was to come about through the convergence of two vital elements: the elaboration of the historical materialist method, and the overt politicization of the communist project.

How the proletariat won Marx to communism

"The theoretical conclusions of the communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer. They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes." (Communist Manifesto)

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