Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Egyptian Army Manoeuvres In Attempt To Cut Across Worker Protests

Written by Fred Weston
Tuesday, 15 February 2011

14 February, public transport workers on strike protesting outside Ministry of Interior. Photo: 3arabawy

The Egyptian military top brass have taken over the running of the country and, while they are promising a transition to “democracy” at some stage, they are more concerned in the short term about what they see as “chaos and disorder”. That is, not just the rallies that have gripped all of Egypt’s major cities, but something far more dangerous in their view, the growing strike wave.

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Titan Uranus 2 said...

Yes, the time for Egypt to move back to laissez-faire capitalism, roll back the worker-state through privatization, and put a firm foundation of economic capitalism under Egypt's future raod to prosperity is long overdue.

Here's to breaking the unionized worker-state!

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: They've already privatized much of the state, under Mubarak, that sparked the revolution. Jobs and food costs were the material basis of the success of the movement.

The workers need their own party and leadership, to win.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

lol! The Mubarak government had conceded the privatization issue to the unions months before his government fell.

This left the economic fate of Egyptians wholly in the hands of fickle union leaders and inept centralized government planners. It's no wonder that most Egyptians felt that the "light" of future economic opportunity had been extinguished.

A "workers soviet" government (what you propose) is a model already consigned to history's dustbin of failed ideas. It's time for the Egyptians to move to a proven viable economic model (laissez-faire capitalism) and permanently separate government leeches and corrupt union bosses from their pocketbooks.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

The lesson Egyptans need learn.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Of course, with Democrats, it's always really about winning. Democracy is merely something for appearances. When they know they can't win, they grab their balls and run home.

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: I don't defend Democrats. They are the main obstacles to social change in the US.

Most of the third world countries have incompetent planning. The model of most "national liberation" struggles, was China 1949, based on Stalinism, rather than the real socialism of Lenin and Trotsky.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

Incompetent planning? I'd agree with you there. From a Walt Williams editorial this am:

Egypt’s legal private sector employs 6.8 million people and the public sector 5.9 million. More than 9 million people work in the extralegal sector, making Egypt’s underground economy the nation’s biggest employer.

Why are so many Egyptians in the underground economy? De Soto, who’s done extensive study of hampered entrepreneurship, gives a typical example: “To open a small bakery, our investigators found, would take more than 500 days. To get legal title to a vacant piece of land would take more than 10 years of dealing with red tape. To do business in Egypt, an aspiring poor entrepreneur would have to deal with 56 government agencies and repetitive government inspections.”

Poverty in Egypt, or anywhere else, is not very difficult to explain.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

...Government is the very definition of "incompetent planning".

Titan Uranus 2 said...

btw - Why no postings on union subversion of democracy in Wisconsin? Or if the actual process of democracy (and the underlying Social Contract) gets subverted, it's okay so long as the "workers" benefit?

Oh, I get it. The Union contract is MORE IMPORTANT than the "social" contract and silly things like "democracy".

Titan Uranus 2 said...

There's only one thing proven greedier than a capitalist, and that's his workers.

Cut somebody else's pension benefits. My "union" negotiated mine and they're "inviolable" (especially when un-funded by Democratic politicians). ;)

SecondComingOfBast said...

You know what is really fucked up? These changes Walker is trying to make are the best chance of actually saving worker's pensions, and for that matter, maybe their jobs in the long run.

Even if they all, every single one of them, kept their jobs until retirement without these changes (and that is clearly impossible) the chances are damn good that they are going to lose their pensions. Every damn dime of it. You can't squeeze blood from a turnip, and you damn sure can't squeeze pension payments out of a state that has gone completely bankrupt and belly-up.

But rather than increase their own contributions to their pension and health care funds, they would rather take the chance on losing everything, including in many cases, their jobs, seeing as how it is clear there will be lay-offs if this change is not implemented.

These are just stupid fucking people, and they deserve to be out on the fucking streets. Maybe some of the taxpayers they've been ripping off for years will have mercy on them and let them mow their yards or give them blow jobs for a ten spot every once in a while.

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: You're being naive. The governor's only agenda is busting the union.

Titan: I've never been timely about postings in this blog. I deal more with theory and lessons, than a news blog.

Because of historically weak, or peasant majority societies, most third world countries are run by generals, intellectuals etc. They are modeled after 1949 China. These governments are threatened by both workers and foreign capitalists.

Indigenous capitalists in small or poor countries, are unable to achieve the results of say the US and English Revolutions (democracy, land distribution, national question etc). That is why the capitalist revolution must be skipped. Capitalists are threatened by stronger countries, can't bring independence.

Most third world countries have a bureaucratic government, I call Bonapartist.

troutsky said...

Capitalism is so over. None of the jobs are coming back, all the contracts (pensions) are being broken, old age means living in the gutter, millions starve around the world. It's all "bankrupt and belly up" and no politician or demonstration can mean much now. Now we just sit back and listen to morons babble about "free markets". Right.

Joseph Dubonnet said...

Trying to focus on the actual post I would like to say that the revolution in Egypt is about to enter it's next phase. Just because one dictator was removed does not mean that the struggle is over by any stretch of the imagination. Workers are correct in pressing their issues via strike action. If all Egyptians get out of this is going from a civilian dictator to a military based dictatorship or a theocratic system then it would have all been in vain. Reactionary forces will work hard to regain their footing and control the legacy of the last few weeks. Let's hope that Egyptians keep pressing for real democratic (beyond liberal democracy) changes in that country.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

The governor's only agenda is busting the union.

Their "companies" (State governments) are bankrupt. That's a FACT. The Governors are legislatively required to balance their budgets. That's a FACT. The States need more revenue to balance their budgets and maintain taxpayer services (one of many paths includes increasing % workers must contribute towards their own pension contributions as PRIVATE employers have ALREADY been FORCED to do by government) That's also a FACT.

How you can now make the "leap" from the FACTS above to your statement about "it ONLY being about breaking unions" is beyond my ken.

Spare us the hyperbole, Ren, and stop denying FACTS that contradict your ideological arguments.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

In hard economic times, government union members need to sacrifice along with the the rest of the taxpayers. Either they'll share the pain collectively (all taking a % hit), OR they'll eventually share the pain individually (through large layoffs). The American people are THROUGH paying for their job security in recessionary times by borrowing from the Chinese as has been the on-going case for over two years now.

The bill is now due. SO either pay up voluntarily, or be prepared to be bent over.

Frank Partisan said...

Troutsky: There is definitely less room to maneuver. You're right the system, will never be like it was, even in the 90s. There are no reformist solutions, that aren't bandaid.

Steeltown: I agree with you.

Titan: I blame Democrats even more for this mess. Obama is freezing spending, without contract negotiation. Obama's policies are what strengthen Walker.

Mobilized workers show the insignificance of the Tea Party. Hardly a grassroots movement.

Walker isn't serious about the budget. He is just anti-labor.

I wish he would call out the National Guard.

Frank Partisan said...

Titan: Would Walker even raise taxes on the rich? In the 1950s, the economy was the best in the world history, and taxes were high on the wealthy.

What sacrifice to the wealthy, is Walker or Obama offering.

Frank Partisan said...

Reply on Madison at the top post.

ThePaganTemple said...

What part of the government is broke don't you guys understand? Titan spelled it out plainly and concisely. States are required to balance their budgets, they can't operate on billion on top of billions of dollars in deficits, like the federal government does.

What the unions are mad about is losing their collective bargaining rights. That's because they know that if they hold on to them they don't have to give up anything else, or very little.

Sorry, but the gravy train made its last stop some time ago. Now its time to live off grits for a while for you union boys and girls.

Titan Uranus 2 said...

I wish he would call out the National Guard.

The Left NEEDS victims, I see. The "merits" of their argument are never sufficient.

Sorry, but the American taxpayers ARE the victims of government union greed. It couldn't be plainer, or simpler.