In the name of maintaining “unity” with the upper classes, all socialist demands must be suppressed. There is not a word in the article about the independent interests of the working class. Nowhere does Sustar propose that the working class seize political power and implement socialist policies to realize the demands of the mass movement for jobs, decent living standards and political rights.
The ISO is oriented in a completely different direction. The working class is relegated to lending its weight to the bourgeois democratic movement. The emasculation of the revolutionary strength of the working class—which is the most prominent force in the mass movement—will lead not to democracy, but to dictatorship and a bloodbath.
The ISO has also promoted the views of Mostafa Omar, whom it describes as an Egyptian “activist and socialist.” In a January 26 interview on its web site, Omar presents the state-controlled, pro-corporate Egyptian Trade Union Federation as a progressive force.
“The Egyptian national trade union federation—led by people appointed by the government,” he writes, “has partially broken with the government in the two weeks following the Tunisian uprising. They want price controls, an increase in wages and a system to subsidized outlets for basic food… For the union officials to demand this is unheard of, because these people supported neo-liberalism. That is the impact of Tunisia.”
Hostile to any independent mobilization of the working class, the ISO has long promoted such state-controlled unions as legitimate workers organizations. Its adulation for the AFL-CIO in the US is well known. Last month it hailed the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT)—a long-standing prop of the Ben Ali dictatorship—as the “critical nucleus” for the Tunisian uprising. (See, “The American middle class “left” and the Tunisian revolution”).
In a three-part series posted on the Socialist Worker web site last year, Omar explicitly praised ElBaradei, saying his “new movement for democracy” had “electrified a country ravaged by poverty and political repression for so long.” If supported by the Egyptian working class, he claims, this movement “could signal the start of the first serious challenge to US imperialist domination in the region since the days of the Arab nationalist project of the 1960s.”