The Egyptian revolution that overthrew the Mubarak dictatorship in January also created the conditions for uniting the masses of North Africa and the Middle East with the new movements that have emerged, particularly in southern
In overthrowing the corrupt authoritarian regime, the masses found themselves face to face with the harsh reality that the economic conditions which had driven on the uprising remain unchanged after Mubarak was removed. These take a unique Egyptian form. The armed forces, which were the backbone of the Mubarak state, own factories that make a range of products ranging from weapons to drugs, and even home appliances such as cookers. The state is reckoned to own a third of the economy through the army. The banking sector is also largely state owned.
Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the
The point of this story is that the IMF,
The detail is brilliantly outlined in an article by Adam Hanieh for the ezine Jadaliyya. He explains:
Despite the claims of democratic transition, the institutions of the Egyptian state are being refashioned within this neoliberal drive as an enabling mechanism of the market.
In essence, the financial initiatives announced over recent weeks represent an attempt to bind social layers such as these –
Hanieh is right. Democracy is neutralised while the power of the ruling corporate and military elites remains in place. That is the lesson not just of
These confrontations effectively join with the Egyptian revolution, which is at a crucial stage. Democracy, if it is to mean anything, must embrace co-ownership and control of economic and financial resources, the repudiation of foreign debt and telling the money markets to get lost. That would constitute a genuine revolutionary, democratic transition and could be achieved through a network of people’s assemblies in each country. That’s what you’d call a structural adjustment programme of a positive kind!