The following excerpts come from a statement issued by حركة عصيان / Disobedience Movement in Tunisia, which begins by addressing some of the failures of the revolutionary movement to achieve lasting, material change in people's everyday lives:
Now over two years have passed since the outbreak of the uprisings. Yet, despite the creation of a new government and in spite of the abundance of promises and electoral programs, the economic and social crisis continues to worsen and the conditions of the majority of people (wage-earners, the unemployed, the poor and the marginalized) are deteriorating. The political parties’ worsening rivalry over power is driving the country toward civil war. Political institutions, especially the Constituent Assembly as well as the government, the prefectures and sub-prefectures, etc., claim bankruptcy and have proven incapable of finding solutions. These institutions have actually become part of the problem.
The new rulers scramble over privileges and rush to grab positions of local authority and influence. The system of favoritism, patronage, and loyalism is back. Moreover, both police and the military fail to provide real security and are executing the same brutal repression tactics against protests. On the other hand, while the owners of fortunes, businessmen, and brokers of every sort are getting richer, the State keeps boosting prices and calls for the removal of subsidies on all basic consumer goods (as dictated by the International Monetary Fund). The State is also cancelling unemployment insurance, cutting jobs, and calling off all the social gains earned by the masses during the early part of the revolutionary movement. The masses pay the price of the crisis under the mottoes of “Commonwealth” and “Saving the National Economy” -- that is, saving capital from its generalized crisis.
However, our Tunisian comrades also have some suggestions for addressing this situation:
The above-mentioned weaknesses, among many others, urge the revolutionary elements to take the responsibility of creating a practical organizational and planning structure that is capable of unifying forces which is the only starting point if we are to overrun the current system. In this context, we would like to suggest to our comrades the following points that could represent a unifying general plan of action:
1- Struggle to create a new economic and social system that breaks with capitalism and all existing economic mechanisms based on profit and competition. This break cannot be achieved unless labor and the ownership of the means necessary for the production of social wealth are turned into social ownership managed by cooperatives where all members of society contribute on the basis of solidarity and fair distribution of wealth, and unless production is oriented towards the satisfaction of people’s real needs not the accumulation of profit.
2- Militance against the authoritarian State apparatus and its hierarchical structures no matter the form it takes, whether liberal democratic or fascist/totalitarian, theological, or progressive. The objective is the creation of cooperative self-managed administration of public affairs where every member of society contributes in a direct way without political representation. According to historical experiences of revolutionary movements and the lessons learned from them, the most convenient way to achieve this is through local autogestion councils in cities, districts, villages, and counties which create a national autogestion federation through the direct election of delegates who are assigned for predetermined tasks and who could be ousted by the peoples' councils. In this context, our revolutionary tactics are based on supporting and contributing to all spontaneous initiatives taken by the masses in revolt in order to establish revolutionary councils with the goal of expanding militancy and building a cooperative self-managed power parallel to the authority of the State and its apparatuses.
3- Resistance against all tools of social domestication seeking to hold back the massive revolutionary movement within the limits of the prevailing social system -- no matter what forms they take, whether syndicalist (bureaucratic unions), partisan (both ruling and opposing political parties involved in the regime), or religious (theocratic parties and religious institutions legitimizing oppression and exploitation). In this context, we support and contribute to any initiative aimed at the creation of free, independent and self-managed social spaces which manage the material and spiritual life of all society's members on the basis of liberating beliefs from all sorts of constraints, especially initiatives to resist the division of the revolutionary movement into any religious, sectorial or tribal factions.
4- Linking our struggles to all revolutionary movements fighting global capitalism worldwide -- for we consider the promotion of international solidarity among revolting masses in the East as well as in the West to be, on one hand, the only practical way of resisting all forms of political and military interventions seeking to counteract the revolutionary wave witnessed in many countries, and, on the other hand, of preventing any attempt to drag workers and all the victims of capitalism to stand behind the rivaling bourgeois parties in the name of “Defending the Nation,” “Spreading Democracy,” “War on Terrorism,” or any other kind of illusory ideological motto.
There is much here that resonates with our struggles as well, and much for us to learn. To read the full statement in Arabic, see here via Tahir-ICN.