The extraordinary events that have convulsed North Africa and the Middle East since December represent a historic shift. After a long period of political reaction that arose following the defeat of the last wave of international revolutionary struggles (1968-75), the working class is returning to the political arena determined to fight.
The Egyptian Revolution is rooted in global processes that are shaping every country: the globalization of capitalist production, the growing social power of the working class, increasing social inequality and economic insecurity, the alienation of workers and young people from ossified political establishments, the decline of American imperialism, and the breakdown of the world economic order unleashed by the financial crisis of 2008.
In Europe, the United States and Canada these processes are impelling workers to struggle against big business' drive to make them pay for the capitalist crisis through job and wage cuts and the dismantling of public services. They are beginning to fight against the capitalist elite's increasing use of authoritarian methods of rule.
The revolutionary movements in North Africa and the Middle East raise the fundamental question of the struggle for workers' power and the socialist reorganization of society. But that can only be accomplished through the building of a revolutionary party of the international working class animated by the theory of permanent revolution-the strategy developed by Leon Trotsky that guided the Russian Revolution of 1917.
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