Tomorrow, Saturday, 17 December, marks the first anniversary of the Arab revolution. On this day, one year ago, Mohammad Bouazizi, a young Tunisian fruit vendor, driven by desperation, poverty, and anger, set himself on fire in the city of Sidi Bouzid. The revolutionary wildfire that began after his death — first in southern Tunisia, then the entire country, then erupting across the entire Arab-speaking world—marked a turning point in human history.

In his Preface to our new book, “Revolution until victory! – The Arab revolution: A Marxist Analysis”, [available from Wellred Books at the discounted price of £7.99] Alan Woods highlights the Marxist method of analysis which allowed us to predict several years in advance the coming Egyptian revolution, and the growing instability of all the despotic regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. Compare this to the complete lack of understanding of what was about to happen on the part of so many bourgeois “experts”.

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.

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