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Stop the military regime

Democracy means that also the Muslim Brothers are entitled to enjoy it

21. August 2013
by Wilhelm Langthaler

By the military coup, the cracking down on the Muslim Brothers and the declaration of the state of emergency the generals attempt to restore the rule of the old social and (partially) also political elite. The army has been the central pillar of the global capitalist order in Egypt.


All those who believed that the popular movement could use the army against the Muslim Brothers have been taught a bitter lesson. It happened the other way round: the movement was used by the army against the Brotherhood suppressing the democratic achievements altogether!

As revolutionary democrats we condemn the military rule and the massacre against the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). We demand democratic rights for all including the MB, despite the fact that they themselves did not act according to the same principle. In Egypt the strategic main enemy of revolutionary democrats are the old elites assembled around the generals. Political differences and conflicts with Islamists including the MB must not lead to neglecting the old oligarchy and their power apparatus.

The military coup and the dictatorial roll-back pose a serious threat to the democratic popular revolt – the biggest and most imminent danger along the past two years since Mubarak was toppled.

What actually made the return of the junta politically possible has been the deep rift within the popular opposition against the old regime between Islamist and secularist forces.

On one hand the MB bear heavy political responsibility as they proved incapable to engineer consensus. To do so it would have been decisive to reach out to and join hands with the Tahrir against the military and the remnants of the old regime. Unfortunately the contrary did happen – the Tahrir was declared the main enemy. The MB have been waging their cultural struggle against secularists. They have no concept whatsoever for administering a plural society. The more the MB revealed to be unable to implement the central ideas of the revolt – bread, freedom, social justice –, the more they lost support, the more they stuck to their exclusive claim to power. In this way they pushed away people including among the Islamic cultural environment. In a certain sense they even provoked the revolt against their rule.

On the other hand the leftist popular opposition committed the reciprocal error. Instead of reaching out to them on their turn without giving up the demands of the revolt, they simply returned the cultural struggle declaring the MB to be their main enemy. The political idea of proposing co-operation, even if not being accepted immediately, apparently did not find many followers.

Thus the mass movement against Mursi first turned into an appendix of the liberals (National Salvation Front) and eventually of the military and the old elites. The Tahrir was taken over by Tamarrod which continues to back the generals until now while el Baradei already withdrew. Many asked even for the intervention of the army and welcomed their coup as they still regard the MB as their main enemy.

Those revolutionary democrats who remained true to the Tahrir’s struggle against the military have been politically paralysed. As long as Islamists and military are categorised as tantamount enemies one is faced with an impossible two-front war.

As revolutionary democrats we demand:

Halt the repression against the Muslim Brotherhood and restore democratic rights.

Search for a compromise with the Muslim Brothers allowing for new elections as soon as possible.

Against the bloody military junta (lightly disguised as civil) develop a project of a popular government based on the demands of the revolt against Mubarak.