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I read with interest the comments of Joseph Green on the Revolutionary
Socialists of Egypt. (I urge people to write out the full name before using
abbreviations, by the way.) I was in Egypt, in Tahrir Square, shortly after
Mubarak was driven from office and I had quite a few conversations with the
Revolutionary Socialists (RS), who had a tend there. Two things of note:

During the occupation of Tahrir Square - and in similar occupations
elsewhere in Egypt at the time - the occupiers had established committees
to run the occupation. These committees concerned themselves with
sanitation and similar issues, according to the RS comrades I spoke with.
According to them, a conscious decision was made that these committees
would not discuss politics. The explanation given me was that this was
because there were so many diverse groups there that any political
discussion would have led to huge debates. The RS supported this decision.

I questioned this at the time, and I'm now more convinced than ever that
this was a mistake. All of Egypt was in turmoil in those days; the
beginnings of a revolutionary process was under way. Inherent and necessary
to any revolutionary process is debate over different views, over what is
the way forward. It seems to me that there was the potential for these
occupation committees to become the beginnings of workers councils and the
beginnings of dual power to have emerged. Take one example:

At the time I was there a group of workers in a factory had a case in court
against a boss who was shutting down the plant. Suppose the RS had demanded
that the occupation committee hear the case and rule on it. Suppose the
committee had refused so, instead, the RS established a public forum to
hear the case in Tahrir Square. Then, a decision could have been  made as
to how to come to the aid of those workers.

Something like that would have had the potential to spread like crazy
throughout the area, to other work places and working class communities.

Instead, the revolutionary moment was lost.

Subsequently, when Morsi ran for president the RS supported him. They
argued that if he were elected it would give more time for the revolution
to develop. We see how well that worked out.

In addition, as one aspect of a growing counter revolution, we saw the
increase of mass sexual assaults on women. In response, some women
organized armed self-defense groups. To my knowledge, no revolutionary
force, including the RS, took this up and helped build and publicize it.
Imagine if they had, and such armed self-defense groups also were
integrated into the strike wave that followed.

So, my general point is that there were some huge opportunities for some
genuine revolutionary socialists in Egypt. it is very unfortunate that the
"Revolutionary" Socialists were not up to the task.

John Reimann

"No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them."
Asata Shakur
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com and //
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