Thursday, 29 November 2007

Know your class enemy...

The November issue of al- Manshour, the magazine of the Leftist Assembly for Change, is now online.

The editorial calls for an end to wars and dictatorships in the region.

Bassem Chit's main article is on class struggle and change. He argues that both the Democratic Left (who are part of the governing coalition) and the Communist Party (who were part of the opposition) have abandoned any hope of change from below. This has led to a fatalism and a reliance on bourgeois parties.

He writes: "What seems clear is that the Left has lost hope in the Lebanese street and the working class, and have decided to achieve social justice and democracy within the system, or through direct and theoretical alliances with the ruling class.

"Both parties see change as an administrative process within the system. The Democratic Left sees the possibility of establishing an evolutionary path of democratic reform, while CP sees the Hizbollah-Aoun opposition implementing the 'democratic project and reform' once they topple the ruling M14 coalition."

The first principle, he argues, is that sectarianism and all its works cannot be reformed out of the system because it is an integral part of Lebanese capitalism—and thus any alliance with bourgeois parties will limit any movement for change.

The left should instead push for the transformation of the whole of society, and the only the working class acting in its own interest can achieve this.

He concludes, "Today we are living in the lull before the storm, but there is a rising level of struggle across the region. This gives the us time to build for the battles ahead."

In a piece on the US sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Mohammad Qariouti argues that the US is attempting to extinguish the flame of the Palestinian revolution by promising a two-state solution it cannot deliver.

He writes, "The Palestinian Authority has attempted, since Oslo, to work on the 'state-building' in the traditional format. It has become clear that this project has failed, and what is happening today is the greatest proof of that."

Farah Qoubaisi and Hiba Abbani examine the impact of rising food prices on families.

They write that a "simple comparison of the high prices of materials and goods during the past few months show clearly the suffering that has been sweeping the majority of Lebanese families." The found that the price of food has risen by over 30 percent.

In a second piece they report on the fate of transport workers who lost their bonuses after the government closed the company.

Al-Manshour closes with two confernce reports. The first outlines the discussions at a weekend political event. The second is an assessment of the group's work since March 2005.

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