I popped the champagne cork to celebrate the Egyptian people`s success in driving out of office the American puppet, Mubarak. However, as I wrote on February 1, Mubarak`s departure doesn`t guarantee that his successor will not find himself wearing the same American harness. As Gerald Celente puts it, "Meet the new boss, same as old boss."
It remains to be seen how much of a revolution has occurred. Marx and Lenin would be put off by the idealistic jubilation over a spontaneous revolution that caused Mubarak to resign after a couple of weeks of protests. Marx and Lenin would say that nothing has changed. The materialist basis of the old order is still in place: the elites, the police, the army, the bureaucracy, the U.S. Embassy. Moreover, no vanguard has appeared to lead the revolution to completeness. Marx and Lenin would heap scorn on the prevalent idea that the material interests of the old ruling order, which is still in place, have been brought in line with the material interests of the Egyptian people.
Marx and Lenin, and their disciple Pol Pot, believed that no revolution could succeed that did not destroy all representatives of the old order. The effective force in history, Marx and Lenin said, was violence. The Bolsheviks murdered every member of the Czar`s family in order to obliterate any hope that the old order could be reinstated.
How many revolutions have succeeded without violence? Even the American Revolution was violent, and not merely against King George. Colonists who thought of themselves as British and remained loyal to England were dispossessed and had to flee to Canada. Although not Marxists, the American revolutionaries were unforgiving.
Perhaps what we have witnessed in Egypt is just the opening stage. If Egyptians find out that not much has changed, they will erupt again in a more decisive manner, this time under focused leaders. If this revolution is put down, the next development could be civil war, leading on to Celente`s prediction of regional wars developing into the first "great war" of the 21st century.
The elites are greatly outnumbered, and in every country the elites have monopolized resources and opportunities and possess more wealth and income than they know what to do with. The few armed with vast wealth are unlikely to prevail against the many armed with vast anger.
Still, too much should not be given to Marx and Lenin. Material interests are important, but they are not all. There is good and evil in the human breast. People can change their mind. The Soviet Empire was not overthrown by a revolution. It collapsed because the ruling class, the communists themselves, changed their minds, acknowledged the wrongness of their system, and let go of it.
Perhaps this will happen in Egypt and elsewhere.
Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan`s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow`s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.