Politicising revolution — تسييس الثورة

تبدأ معظم الثورات مستندة على المطالب الاجتماعية والاقتصادية، وكلما تقدمت تحولت إلى سياسية

فينتقل الناس من المطالبة بالخبز وفرص العمل وحقوق الإنسان والكرامة الأساسية، إلى الرغبة في الاطاحة بالحكومة التي حرمتهم من كل هذه الأمور لينصبوا مكانها حكومة جديدة وهم على أمل أن تضمن لهم هذه المطالب

في حين أن هذا يبدو منطقيا إلا أن هذا التصرف تقريبًا يكون دائمًا خطأً لسببين على الأقل

أولا لأن مسألة التحول من المطالب الاجتماعية والاقتصادية إلى مطالب خاصة بنقل السلطة تزيح تلقائيا الأسباب الأصلية للثورة، فالحل لن يكون في تغيير الحكومة ولكن الحل سيكون تغيير السياسة نفسها، وتلك هي بؤرة التركيز التي لا يجب الحياد عنها

ثانيا فإن هذا النهج يتغاضى عن حقيقة أن الحكومة في الواقع ترتع داخل إطار نظام سلطوي أكبر، وهو نظام السلطة الذي يهيمن عليه أصحاب رؤوس الأموال العالمية

فتغيير الحزب الحاكم لا ينزع الحكومة خارج هذا النظام، وبدون مواجهة هذا النظام فسيصبح أي طرف في الحكومة حتمًا مقيد بشدة في قدرته على وضع الأولوية للمطالب العامة فوق مطالب المقرضين والشركات وسماسرة السلطة المتواجدين في القطاع الخاص

Most revolutions begin on the basis of social and economic demands. As they progress, they become political.

People go from wanting bread, jobs, human rights and basic dignity, to wanting to overthrow the government which is denying them these things, and installing a new government that will, hopefully, guarantee them.

While this seems logical, it is almost always a mistake, for at least two reasons.

Firstly, because transforming  socioeconomic demands into demands for a transfer of power automatically displaces the original causes of the revolution; the solution is not a change in government, but a change in policy.  This must never cease to be the focus.

Secondly, this approach overlooks the reality that government exists within the context of a larger power system; a power system dominated by global owners of capital.

Changing which party is in government does not remove government from this system, and without confronting that system, any party in government will inevitably be severely restricted in its ability to prioritize public demands over the demands of international lenders, corporations, and power brokers in the private sector.
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4 comments

  1. I can’t understand how the policies should be changed without changing the government? Shouldn’t they both go in one package government&policies… is there any other way to change the policies except by removing the government and then replacing it with a new government that is loyal to the new policies? Or are you taking on “where” the focus should be regardless of how it’s done!! I can’t get this point completely.

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    1. The major thing that has to happen with government, is liberating it from the influence of private sector influence. Theoretically, you can elect an administration that will change policy, but as long as government itself is subordinate to private power, this will be tremendously difficult; as we see with Syriza in Greece.There are basically two things we need to do: maintain strict focus on policies instead of parties; and exert pressure directly on institutions of private power

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      1. The way I understand it now is that the government will have to go anyway but that we need to look further to that by being fixated on the policies (something like what Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail used to urge in Egypt), but in practice and away from theorizing I still can’t see how this can be done without creating a vacuum (or a pause) that will surely rise from breaking-in the new government to listen to our demands! This means more unrest and turmoil on an already exhausted state and people! We can’t be dreamers and expect a government to come and just be submissive to our demands neither can we expect them to capitulate from the first few months! So what are our odds really…!!??

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      2. It is generally illegitimate to seek the overthrow of the government, and, perhaps more importantly, it is generally pointless. What needs to happen is policy change. If we have recognized that policy-making is dominated by private power, the power of multinational corporations and their owners, the only way to achieve policy change is by developing a mechanism for imposing accountability on corporations and the super-rich. If you can successfully pressure these to withdraw from control of government, then, yes, you can resume the conventional method of influencing government to achieve policy changes. If not, then the only way I can imagine to pursue policy changes is to redirect political activism towards institutions of corporate power

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