I experienced a shameful moment, when I heard that Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party of Egypt was a full member of the Socialist International, the London-based global family of social-democrats and socialists. It is already one problematic thing when the US for geopolitical matters – stability in the region, rewarding Egypt’s peace with Israel – is supporting an authoritarian ‘’pharaonic’’ regime, but it’s much more problematic when social-democrats, self-declared ideological champions of democracy and social justice, welcome this party as one of its political sister-parties.
I experienced another shameful moment, when I found out that the Mubarak-party was expelled from the Socialist International just several days ago (31 January 2011). In his letter to the General Secretary of the National Democratic Party of Egypt, Luis Ayala , SI’s Secretary General, states that ‘’we are, as of today, ceasing the membership of the NDP. (…) The current massive calls being made today by the citizens of Egypt for freedoms and rights point to the dramatic failure of the Egyptian government to deliver to its people and to the failings of the NDP to live up to its promises. (…) Consequently, we consider that a party in government that does not listen, that does not move and that does not immediately initiate a process of meaningful change in these circumstances, cannot be a member of the Socialist International”.
True as this may be, of course, the SI’s late calling of democratic sensibility is shameful and opportunistic. This behaviour of the SI represents part of the ideological and moral crisis of the Left, being so much a non-critical part of the global establishment. Since the heydays of Olaf Palme, Willy Brandt and Bruno Kreisky within the SI, we have never heard anything substantial from this on paper mega-organisation any more. Rumours of ”imperial expansion”, self-congratulating congresses and meaningless manifesto’s only. The SI is no voice against the crisis of global financial capitalism, nor a voice for democracy in the Arab world, as was illustrated in the case of Mubarak’s SI-membership. The process of globalisation urges for a better global family of social-democrats.