The mass uprising in the most important cities of Egypt is a much more massive eruption of the unrest in the Arabian world than previously in Tunisia – the courageous trailblazer. While it is still uncertain how the regime will react, how long it can still persist, perhaps, and which political forces will eventually establish themselves in its place, the relatively uninformed observer from abroad has to restrain himself to expressing his sympathy for the country, with its more than 80 million inhabitants by far the largest in the region, and to stressing the desire for a real upheaval that succeeds in replacing the anti-people, anti-development, brutally exploitive and encrusted regime of Mubarak by new forces that will less deprive the masses of their rights, at least.
Hopefully, the masses will go beyond that, conquering more stable democratic positions and more political rights. The struggle for positions of power has only begun.
There is one point which, in my opinion, deserves to be stressed just now, for the insurgents in the Arabian world as well as for all those sympathizing in other parts of the world: the question how the many millions of youth and young grown-ups there, the large majority of which, about 80%, are without jobs and perspective, are going to find employment in the future. Why is it that the established regimes as well as the international economy have completely failed at creating economic fundaments, the indispensable prerequisites for democracy and the political and cultural emancipation of the masses? How could it happen that these nations are very young – more than half of the population of Egypt, for example, are less than 30 years old – and, simultaneously, their unemployment reaches 70 or 80 percent? Such information can be found, too, occasionally in our media, it deserves, though, to be put center stage ( its exactness needs to be checked, of course). The conditions are not very different in many more countries around the globe.
Here shows, in my opinion, not only the bankruptcy of the present regimes but also to which degree the present capitalist system is incompatible with the most elementary vital demands of large parts of today’s world population. This capitalism permits the development of the productive forces, in the foremost place the humans who can work and mature, only in a restrictive manner. Wherever masses of people cannot immediately produce profits for capitalism, where e.g. investments in economic fundaments cannot be turned into maximum profit, where capitalism may think of conserving underdevelopment, poverty, underconsumption and lack of education as more opportune (as ruling becomes easier, thus? as development can be permitted only in certain spots of the globe, because international structures of power must be preserved?), capitalism drops the development of the productive forces as blatantly as it gloats over them in other places.
Islamistic currents, by the way, in their peculiar ways and in their habitats, are especially radical promotors of this kind of anti-emancipation. Basically, they are opposed to an uprising as it is showing now. It is possible to talk of collusion, of a kind of backstage interplay between the most reactionary international currents of capitalism and those islamistic forces.
The criticism required now must, in my eyes, turn in the first place also against the international capitalist system, which is still keeping economies like the Tunisian and the Egyptian ones in dependency and over-indebtedness, in a humiliating way. The reactionary regimes rightly put under fire now obey these dependencies. Obviously, the debate cannot stop with them. Positive results will be obtained only if it encompasses the international reality, international capitalism and its leading centres of power, and if it results in concepts which promise to be new and vital in confronting those powers.
The uprisings in the Arab world could also be understood as a stimulus for the youth of the developed nations, who themselves are increasingly getting to know the brutal selection by capitalism and are being pushed to the margins of social life themselves, even if this is less openly and offensively put into practice here, yet. Certainly it would be a good thing if especially the young generations on both sides of the Mediterranean came into better contact now and also would discuss politics and economics.
(translation, of my own, of the previously published contribution in German)