There is no future without the past. An empirical, mechanistic and a pragmatic approach to the revolution sweeping across the region from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea would end up in a flawed analysis and a disastrous fate for the mass upheaval.

The Arab world, from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf and from North Africa to the heart of Sudan, is in flames as one revolutionary movement after another unfolds. Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Algeria, Sudan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Morocco have all seen demonstrations for democracy and social reforms.

The wave of mass protests that have swept Bahrain since February 14 and culminated in huge demonstrations that brought onto the streets more than 100,000 people in the capital Manama (in a country with an estimated population of 1.2 million, half of which are immigrants with no legal citizenship) have been the biggest ever in Bahrain's history.

To say that a revolution has begun is not to say that it has been completed, much less that victory is assured. It is a struggle of living forces. Revolution is not a one-act drama. It is a complicated process with many ebbs and flows. The overthrow of Mubarak, Ben Ali and Gannouchi marks the end of the first stages, but the Revolution has not yet succeeded in completely overthrowing the old regime, while the latter has not yet succeeded in re-establishing control.

In the first instance the demands of the Revolution are democratic. Of course! After 30 years of a brutal dictatorship the youth long for freedom. Naturally, their desire for democracy can be abused by bourgeois politicians who are only interested in their future careers in a “democratic” parliament. But we are obliged to take up the democratic demands and give them a sharply revolutionary content. This will inevitably lead on to the demand for an even more fundamental change in society.

The Arab Revolution is a source of inspiration to workers and young people everywhere. It has rocked every country in the Middle East and North Africa to their foundations and its reverberations are being felt all over the world. These dramatic events mark a decisive turning point in human history. These events are not isolated accidents apart from the general process of the world revolution.

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