14/12 The Arab revolutions: Alain Baron

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Outline

1.Introduction

1.1.Double break in 2011 with previous dominant discourse: a)a break with the vision linked to colonial tradition : “peoples of the Arab region dedicated to authoritarianism and obscurantism b)refusal on a massive scale of the neoliberal model 1.2.A slow rise of resistances who accelerated suddenly 1.3.The process is still going despite current difficulties

2.The major phases of the revolutionary processes in Tunisia and in Egypt

2.1.Tunisia a)The fall of Ben Ali b)The attempts to regain control face popular mobilisations (a bit more thanone month) c)The new government answers to certain demands and regains the initiative (8 months) d)The impact of the elections of the 23rd of October 2.2.Egypt a)The fall of Mubarak (18 days) b)The military take power c)The reactionary forces take the initiative d)…but the resistance organises itself e)The confrontations in November f)Victory of the Islamists at the November elections

3.Key elements in the revolutionary crises in Tunisia and in Egypt

3.1.Fundamental reasons a) The context of the global capitalist crisis b) A crisis of the rule by oligarchies in power : “ Those from above …” c) “Does from below don’t want to be governed as before” 3.2.The masses take to the front stage a)Youth is at the front, role of unemployed with higher education diploma’s b) Mobilisations of the workers: Tunisia, Egypt c) Mobilisation of “intermediary layers” d) The role of violence e) Elements of self organisation f) The question of elections 3.3.Unstable situations in Tunisia as well as in Egypt 3.4.The dynamics of a chaotic extension to the whole of the region

4.The limits of these processes

4.1.The burden of decades of dictatorship 4.2.The mass Islamist parties 4.3.The discontinuity between revolutionary periods 4.4.The gap between level of mobilisations and of consciousness 4.5.A radical left weak in numbers and fragmented 4.6.Limited self organisation 4.7.The difficulty of linking between youth and the adult organisations 4.8.The difficulty of links between cities and between the poor regions (Tunisia) 4.9.The old state apparatus remains fundamentally intact 4.10.The capacity of the ruling classes and of imperialism to regain the initiative

5.What strategic perspectives?

5.1.Which program for breaking with capitalism and with imperialism? 5.2.Towards “a democratisation at the level of the region Maghreb and Mashreq 5.3.Towards a stabilisation of conservative religious regimes? 5.4.Towards totalitarian religious regimes?

6.Tactical questions

6.1.The necessity of an emergency plan 6.2.Confronting institutionalisation 6.3.The electoral question

7.The party

7.1.Continuity and discontinuity 7.2.A small weak radical left 7.3.Unity of the revolutionaries 7.4.United Front 7.5.The question of alliances a) Alliances with the Arab nationalists? b) Alliances with the Islamists? 7.6.Building the party and building mass organisations 7.7.The periphery and the centre

8.Develop international solidarity

Campaign against the debt Act against the manoeuvres of the imperialist countries Support the mobilisations : workers struggles, trade-union links, defence of women’s rights, mobilisations of the youth and for freedoms Help, without paternalism to the building of a revolutionary vanguard.

Reading materials