Mubarak’s departure is no bad thing in itself; it shows, if nothing else, that things can change. But while it may represent a 'political revolution' in Trotsky's sense of a reshuffling of the political deck within the framework of capitalism, it certainly does not constitute a social revolution and it will have little effect on the economic austerity suffered by poor and working class people in Egypt. The real test now is whether the Egyptian working class – whose strike activity in the last few days has been of less interest to the media than the protests – can struggle effectively against Egypt’s new rulers, whomever they turn out to be.
In their most recent online article, the International Communist Current analyse the Egyptian situation well, placing it in the context of other global working class struggles and pointing to the challenges ahead. The ICC article also offers a welcome antidote to the euphoria of the capitalist media, so I shall give it the last word:
“There is much talk about ‘revolution’ in Tunisia and Egypt, both from the mainstream media and the extreme left. But the only revolution that makes sense today is the proletarian revolution, because we are living in an era in which capitalism, democratic or dictatorial, quite plainly can offer nothing to humanity. Such a revolution can only succeed on an international scale, breaking through all national borders and overthrowing all nation states. Today’s class struggles and mass revolts are certainly stepping stones on the way to such a revolution, but they face all kinds of obstacles on the road; and to reach the goal of revolution, profound changes in the political organisation and consciousness of millions of people have yet to take place”