A Statement by Workers Action
We stand in awe and admiration at your historic victory, as you removed one of the world’s worst U.S.-sponsored dictators. You liberated yourselves and at the same time liberated the imagination of ordinary working people around the world.
We just have a few requests.
As you know better than anyone, the corrupt elite enriched themselves at the expense of the Egyptian people. As they got richer, the poor got poorer. Please do not let them keep this wealth. The poor deserve relief from the grinding poverty they were forced to endure so that the rich could become ever richer. These trends were not coincidental; wealth was transferred from the poor to the elite to enhance their opulence. By redistributing the wealth downwards, a little justice will be achieved.
The inequalities in wealth soared during the past decade. Yet great inequalities are like a cancer: they undermine a sense of community and a sense of the common good; they breed corruption; and they cripple the economy since they suppress demand, removing an incentive for businesses to expand. We know all this from our own first-hand experience.
We assume that you will allow the elite to participate in the democratic process of creating a new state. We can assure you, they will use their ample wealth to bend the political process in their favor. They have vested interests they will want to protect. So this is another reason why they should not be allowed to keep their wealth. They will use it to obstruct your historic advance.
For all of the workers who went on strike and thereby tipped the scales of the revolution in favor of victory, do not revert back to the old ways. Keep yourselves organized and demand veto power over the operations of the companies or institutions you work for. After all, you are the majority, and this was a democratic revolution. The interests of the majority should prevail. And the working people of Egypt, like working people around the world, want a better life for themselves, their family, and their friends. Corporations are not in business to improve the life of their workers; they worship only profits. And gains for those who work must be extracted at the expense of profits. These two poles stand diametrically opposed.
Your employers will insist that in order for the company to remain competitive and survive, you must accept less. Insist in return to look at their books. You decide if sacrifice is indeed necessary. And if so, ask the rich to sacrifice even more. They can afford to. There will be no real democracy unless it penetrates every aspect of life. They want to restrict your democracy to the empty ritual of voting for one of their candidates every four or six years.
Again, we salute you! Your victory will send convulsions not only throughout the Middle East and North Africa, but the entire world. We can’t wait for them to arrive here.