The tenth anniversary of the fall of the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia (January 14, 2011) takes on a particular significance and clarifies the budget to be drawn from that event so important for the Tunisian masses, Arabs ones and not only.
The Tunisian comprador bourgeoisie currently represented by the Mechichi government (supported by the Islamist reactionaries of Ennahda, by the secularists of the post-RCD diaspora of Tahya Tounes and Qalb Tounes and by the social democrats of the Democratic Current and the People’s Party) using the excuse of the pandemic has prohibited the demonstrations planned for the tenth anniversary of the Popular Uprising and the fall of the Ben Ali regime, decreeing a 4-day lockdown starting on January 14, associated with a curfew from 16:00 to 6:00 in the morning. Furthermore, all courses in schools and universities of all types and levels have been suspended until 24 January. The government decree also underlines, in order not to leave any doubts, that all demonstrations are prohibited during this period.
The type of government policy is evident on the one hand aimed at exorcising the specter of revolt that is continually manifesting itself in strikes and roadblocks in the four corners of the country for ten years right up to these days; on the other hand it represents a further confirmation of the analysis provided by the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist-Maoist forces in unsuspected times, that the Tunisian Popular Revolt of 2010/2011, with the opening of the constituent phase and subsequent approval of the new constitution in 2013 has entered a phase of progressive Restoration in which month after month and year after year the composite restorer pole made up of Islamist and secular reactionaries but also of useful “left” idiots such as the pseudo Marxist and pan-Arab components of the Popular Front, have contributed to weaken the popular and revolutionary pole remained faithful to the slogans of the Intifada of ten years ago or “Choghl, hurria, karama watania” [work, freedom, national dignity ed.].
On the contrary, the revisionists and the social democrats, by inappropriately shaking the concepts of revolution and “democratic transition” (the latter misleading) and not understanding that the revolution is first and foremost a question of conquering political power, have objectively followed the Tunisian ruling class and to imperialism by also praising the “constitution among the most advanced in the world” and building in their heads that “Tunisia as a laboratory for democratic transition” which would advance step by step in the long term towards full victory (“democracy”).
In reality, even from a revolutionary point of view, Tunisian events can be considered an interesting “laboratory”, albeit not as understood by the supporters of the “democratic transition”.
Revolutionaries also follow the movements of history and of the class struggle in a long-term perspective, but the problem is the class point of view with which these movements are interpreted, and how one therefore intervenes in the real power relations on the terrain that collide and determine whether the direction of social development goes towards the Revolution (democratic transition some would say) or towards the restoration of a form of power more similar to the ancient regime but in current and modern forms, without RCD and without Ben Ali, however, deceased. A practical example of this was the attitude of the revolutionary forces in the recent political and presidential elections in which they built an active boycott movement for the former and instead gave indications for a “critical vote” to Kais Saied for the latter (see to last year’s specific posts on this blog for more in-depth discussion of this issue).
But returning to the events of ten years ago, since the abortion of the Casbah 2 movement, in which young people besieged the seat of power precisely at the Casbah of Tunis, in favor of an attempt to send everyone home with the of the constituent process, the revolutionary and popular pole began to be put in serious difficulty, finding itself fighting, unprepared, a restorative front formed by the Muslim Brotherhood, by the transforming wing of the RCD led by the deceased Essebsi and by the useful “left” idiots of the former PCOT and Watad all united in the work of normalizing the revolt or in sending the masses home and then recalling them in the sacred act of bourgeois democracy: the elections of the constituent. That act that some interpret as the start of the “democratic transition” after the flight of Ben Ali, actually marks the first step in the restoration of the old power in the forms appropriate to the new context, in other words the Tunisian comprador bourgeoisie that from 20 March 1956 as of January 14, 2011 it was essentially represented by the same party in power (albeit formal label changes) headed first by Bourghuiba and then Ben Ali, after the transition phase of 2011-2013, it expanded its social base to exponents of the large bourgeoisie represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as sectors of the professional and intellectual middle and petty bourgeoisie who have actually snatched young people from the streets to hand them over to dozens of European and American NGOs by drugging young people as well as with their funding, even with the illusion of this phantom transition to “democracy”.
To dispel this true rant, there are the arrests and police abuses that have gradually intensified over the past six years, reaching their peak in recent weeks, targeting political and social activists in a targeted manner. But on the flip side in the same period there were two riots that came very close to reaching the magnitude of that of 2011: one in 2016 and the other in 2017, both erupted in the marginal and border region of Kasserine which well soon it infected the other regions including the capital and in both cases forcing the governments of the time to decree national curfews;
It must als add to all of this that there have been innumerable revolts on a regional and local scale, just to name a part we remember: the fishermen and oil workers in the Kerkennah Islands, the oil workers and the unemployed of Tataouine, the workers and unemployed in the mining region of Gafsa, the farmers the Oasis of Jemna in the Kebili region, the farmers and ranchers of Beja, the youth and proletarian uprisings in the capital’s banlieues in particular Ettadhamen, Kram, Hammam Lif, the sector and general strikes in the public sector, among students, among young doctors and lawyers, just look at the FTDES annual reports to realize the social barometer of protest in this post-revolt decade.
On the tenth anniversary of the great Tunisian popular uprising, what remains is once again the confirmation that history is made by the masses, by the peoples. The Tunisian people with a violent revolt (not the “Jasmine Revolution”) and with their martyrs, still not officially recognized today, overthrew the autocratic government in power for over 20 years. Today the association of blessed and family martyrs of the Revolution were the only ones who defy government decree and marched to the streets facing police repression (watch the video here).
The objectives of the Revolution have not been achieved but in these ten years the memory of those months between 17 December 2010 and 14 January 2011 and the following months has remained alive in many popular sectors that daily struggle and have fought against the 9 governments “Revolutionaries” or “democrats” after January 14, 2011.
The contradiction between imperialism (and their Tunisian lackeys) and the Tunisian people is there ready to reach its logical consequence sooner or later …
It is not known when the next Popular Revolt breaks out, what we can venture is that:
next time Muslim Brotherhood and “left” revisionists will be known for the role they played against popular interests,
next time they will not make the mistake of handing over their weapons to the army to have them pointed again after a couple of years by the same police as Ben Ali without Ben Ali,
next time, the UGTT will not be allowed to curb the strength of the workers to defend their role in the current state dominated by the Tunisian comprador bourgeoisie,
next time strengthened by the experience of recent years in Tunisia and the recent experience of the Algerian peoples, Sudanese will neither be “democratic transition” nor defeated intifada nor all the interpretative junk typical of post-modernist degradation that ideologically denies existence and the role of social classes, of the revolutionary party, spreading confusion and illusion among the popular masses and thus contributing to their defeat. The most advanced revolutionary experiences of today, the People’s War in India, the Philippines and Turkey show the way to the peoples of the whole world: it will be a New Democracy Revolution on the march towards Socialism and Communism.