Class struggle in times of Plague Inc.
Year 2019 was a year of worldwide class movement of the scale and intensity not seen for decades, perhaps since the wave of revolutionary struggles in sixties and seventies. The capitalist normality of business as usual had been profoundly shaken by myriads of protests, strikes, riots and in some places even military and police mutinies. Hundreds of thousands of angry proletarians had taken to the streets of Chile, France, Lebanon, Iraq, Haiti, Hong-Kong, Iran, India, Colombia and many other places. For many communist militants these movements represented a breath of fresh air. On this momentum we were watching riots in Sao Paulo, Recife, Rio or even subway occupation in New York or protests against polluting business in Wenlou in Pearl River Delta with a lot of anticipation that these are the signs that the proletarian wildfire is spreading further and starting to engulf these huge centers of the accumulation of Capital. New Year came and the movement was showing no signs of losing energy. On the contrary, new eruptions were appearing almost every week in yet another city, region, country… And then, three months into 2020 it all came abruptly to halt. Or so it seemed.
We do not claim, as some do, that Covid-19 pandemic as such is a hoax or propaganda of the State, fabricated in order to crush and silence the class movement and to re-forge the “social peace” and inter-class united front against the “common enemy”. But in practice, it brings exactly the same effects. As the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading around the world, so are the repressive measures of the State against the proletariat with massive curfews, ban on gatherings, hacking of the Smart Phones in order to “trace the virus”, updates of face-recognition software behind the omnipresent CCTV cameras to recognize faces of people wearing a medical mask, sealing the borders, etc. Hand in hand with those measures comes a bourgeois ideological narrative of a struggle for the common good, of the need to stay calm and patient, while “our national heroes” on the front line wage a battle against “the invisible enemy”. And make no mistake, the narrative says, these heroes are not just doctors and nurses treating the Covid-19 patients, but also cops guarding us “for our own good”, “philanthropists” like Bill Gates or Elon Musk with their visionary solutions to save us all (while still making “few” bucks along the way) or media reporters bringing the new analyses and reports on number of dead to the confined masses.
We also cannot claim for sure that Covid-19 was deliberately created in a lab as a weapon, although there is a long history of military-scientific complex of the capitalist State doing precisely that: from experiments with Syphilis in Tuskegee, through outbreak of Marburg virus out of “Cold War” virologist lab in Germany, up to the development of Bubonic Plague bacteria carried by war-heads in Soviet Union, and not to mention the famous Wuhan Institute of Virology (and its lab P4), one specialization of whose is precisely the research on… coronaviruses, and which fueled so much the fertile imagination of some conspiracy milieus, it is clear that infectious diseases have their firm place in Capital’s murderous arsenal. Most probably Covid-19 originated in one of the wild animals sold at a food market and mutated to human transmittable strain. But whatever is its origin, what creates the conditions for spreading of infections is the very nature of the capitalist society – centered around densely populated urban hubs, poles of accumulation of Capital and trade links between them serving the circulation of resources, commodities and workers, including future workers (students) and workers in a process of reproducing their labor power (tourists).
As Capital’s accumulation inevitably also represents accumulation of misery, each such agglomeration contain overcrowded neighborhoods, public transport vehicles, factories and offices where production logic makes it impossible to protect oneself, a health care system that is only designed for a purpose of “quickly fixing workers”, etc. Of course due to modern transportation we are all required to travel further, faster and in higher numbers than any time before. And as the situation in Brazil shows us, even bourgeois can spread the virus with their leisure or business trips. Yes, everyone can potentially catch the virus, this is a grain of truth in a bourgeois propagandist fable, that: “We are all in it together”. When these billionaire bastards spread the virus to their nanny or Bolsonaro himself on a public meeting, it will be once again proletarian neighborhoods that it will decimate.
Of course it is a proletarian who is once again given free and democratic “choice” of getting sick with Covid-19 or going hungry and homeless or being brutalized by repressive forces or all of the above. But this time imposition of this terror does not come so smoothly for Capital and its State. The pandemic and related lock-down had initially a huge pacifying effect on the raging proletarian movement, but at the same time it clearly exposed the inhumanity inherent to this society based only on generation of profit at all human costs. We are supposed to believe that measures imposed by the State are meant for our protection. We are irresponsible hooligans, when we take to the streets to oppose their law and order, when we meet to discuss and organize ourselves or when we are looting supermarkets, yet when we travel to work in a bus full of coughing people or when we sit shoulder to shoulder by a conveyor belt or by an office desk, we are somehow vaccinated by the surplus value that we produce. The reality is simple: it has always been in the interest of Capital to make us “social distance” in order to cripple our ability to organize ourselves for class struggle, but not when it needs us to produce commodities, and/or to reproduce social peace and therefore the capitalist social relation, through the mediated cooperation. Face to face with this fallacy, it did not take long before the lock-down propaganda started to crumble and class resistance started to erupt again.
In Italy, it first started with prison mutinies all around the country when visits had been banned. At the same time, no means of protection against the disease had been provided to prisoners. Violent confrontation with guards and cops hit twenty-seven prisons, with prison in Modena practically destroyed. Guards were taken hostage and some prisoners managed to escape. At least seven prisoners had been murdered. State propaganda will later shamelessly claim that their deaths were due to drug overdose.
Soon after that, a wave of wildcat strikes swept across the country, when workers of many industrial companies including FIAT and Arcelor Mittal (ex-Ilva) demanded and in many cases successfully imposed the immediate closure of the factories. This was followed by strikes in supermarkets and strikes of food delivery workers demanding protective equipment and sanitation. Trade unions first openly opposed these strikes for undermining the economy, only to later pathetically give some of them “their blessing” when the struggle was over. Meanwhile in Southern Italy, which is less affected by the actual infection, but where curfew pittance is even smaller and food distribution is crumbling, occasional confrontations with cops and looting of supermarkets threaten to grow into “hunger riots”. But it did not end with Italy.
All around the world, prisoners are among the most severely impacted by this double inhuman reality of the deadly disease and repressive measures of the State, because of the overcrowded conditions and isolation inside the prisons. Whatever they did to be thrown in jail, whoever they are prisoners are essentially proletarians persecuted by the capitalist society for disrespecting to some of them its holiest fetish (i.e. private property), while most of the others are cynically locked down for disregarding the conventional and legal process of appropriation of desirable commodities. Generally speaking, they are locked up for breaking the monopoly of violence usurped by the State, after being pushed into fratricide bloodshed by the social contradictions and alienation inseparable from the capitalist modus operandi: “property is theft” and vice versa. They were among the first who have risen up against the new social control measures, against further atomization and dehumanization and separation from their loved ones. Against the extraordinary high rate of Covid-19 mortality due to the disgusting and unhealthy environment they are forced to live in. Despite the horrible State violence and the little organized solidarity from outside, all around the world, they were among the first to break the enforced “social peace” of the lock-down and to fight the guards and special police units, to burn down the prisons, to try to escape and reach the comrades outside. This was also the case in Colombia, Venezuela, France, Argentina, USA, Brazil, Lebanon, Russia, Iran, etc. In this sense, they represented through their social practice (at a specific time and under particular circumstances) a spark of the current and upcoming class movement; they embodied the driving force of our class, what our class is called upon to do for its liberation. They have cut through the numbing curtain of the “public health” propaganda and have shown to the rest of the class the naked reality we are facing and how to fight against it.
And a surge of wildcat strikes, riots and looting is re-emerging across all the continents – in France, Cameroon, USA, Indonesia, Kenya, Colombia, Lebanon, Venezuela, Chile, India, Russia, Belgium, Turkey, Iran, Senegal… to name just a few. Although the movement is still far weaker and more sporadic than before the pandemic – because of the repression, more sophisticated social control or fear of contracting the disease, the social contradictions that gave birth to the last wave are still here and are bound to get even more extreme in the coming months.
In Lebanon as elsewhere in the world, the proletarian anger has been boiling under cover of lock-down measures since March to finally spill over in the form of an uprising in Qoubbeh prison in Tripoli on April 8th. Soon after, the streets of many cities all around the country again filled with angry protesters. This time, huge but largely pacifist demonstrations that formed a big part of the 2019 movement are replaced by smaller, but determined and violent confrontations. The militant proletarian current that had been always present in the movement has resurfaced and it again chooses the targets belonging to our class enemy – burning down banks, police stations, military check-points and vehicles, looting the supermarkets, etc.
Let’s note in passing an important element: the fact that the proletariat, in its struggle against exploitation and more particularly in its struggle against the increase in the rate of exploitation, is targeting through direct action the banks and financial institutions of national and international capitalism, this is a fundamental thing that we do support. Now, the fact that some militant structures are developing a whole theory that comes to personify Capital through the disgusting face of the bank and financial capital, and therefore to straddle the workhorse of denouncing “bancarization”, “financial oligarchy” and “plutocracy”, this is yet another thing and we cannot follow them on this dangerous terrain whose consequence is about diverting the proletariat from its struggle against the very foundations of the capitalist society and ultimately denying our communist critic on the totality of what exists. Definitely the proletariat is the irreconcilable enemy of money but the latter is nothing but an abstract form expressing the exchange value and it cannot in any way be amalgamated with the very essence of Capital and its social relations…
But let’s go back to the development of our class struggles in times of pandemic. As we were writing this text, the murder of George Floyd by cops in Minneapolis has proved to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back and massive demonstrations against State violence and misery are spreading across USA, with daily riots, attacks on police stations, on bourgeois media, looting of commodities, blocking of highways, etc. and had forced Donald Trump to hide in a bunker. With years of accumulated anger and the reality of crushing poverty, cynical attitude of the government to handling of Covid-19 pandemic and 40 millions of unemployed, there seems to be no calming on the horizon.
To understand, what this pandemic and related curfew means for social and economic conditions of this society and why it is potentially a point of no return, we have to take a little bit closer look on the capitalist “business as usual”.
In order to realize profit a capitalist has to sell his commodities on the market, commodities that realize thus their value, the value that is crystalized within them during the process of production. As he has to constantly compete with other capitalists for it, he has to try to sell his commodities cheaper than competitor. To keep their rate of profit, they have to constantly push lower the production unit cost of the commodity. This can be done by lowering of labor costs (the well named “variable capital”) – e.g. to push down a worker’s hourly wage. However the wage of a worker cannot be squeezed under the minimal level necessary to allow him to physically survive and also to reproduce his labor force. The only other choice for the capitalist is to try to increase the productivity of a worker, to make him produce more commodities for the same time period, or in other words to increase the rate of “unpaid labor” provided by the latter. This way a capitalist can pay fewer workers to produce the same amount of commodities. The amount of labor a single worker can perform for a given time period also cannot grow forever, but it is determined by the physiological limits of a human body.
A capitalist can overcome this problem through automation – through replacing as much human labor as possible with machines. The worker then becomes more and more just an appendage to the machine, loading the resources and unloading finished products, controlling their quality, repairing and maintaining the machine, etc. while the machine is autonomously spitting one product after another. This allows an individual capitalist to lower the production unit price of a commodity and through selling more units of this commodity at a lower price to conquer a larger part of the market than his competitors.
This capitalist loses this advantage however, at the moment his competitors introduce the same technological innovations and new lower price of a commodity becomes a new average. The only logical way forward for him then is to repeat the whole cycle. The problem is that by getting rid of workers and replacing them with machines, this capitalist has decreased the ratio of living labor (which is the only one that can be exploited to generate surplus value and therefore a profit – i.e. workers) to dead labor (which on the contrary requires investments to keep it running – i.e. machines). As all factions of Capital follow the same logic, at a certain point the average rate of profit (in a given region or globally) drops under the level necessary for the investment to restart this cycle. The final option, in an attempt to postpone an inevitable crisis, is to take out a loan– i.e. a monetary expression of the profits promised to be realized in the future.
This brings us back to the reality of pandemic, of global lock-down and the realization of many bourgeois factions (and their creditors) that there is no future profit waiting for them. Not only most of them were not able to produce their commodities, but with many workers (who are also primary consumers of commodities in capitalism) losing their jobs now or in a near future and with further deepening of general misery, there will be nobody to buy them. Bankruptcies of many businesses are popping up like mushrooms after the rain and soon the banks and insurance companies will follow. As the majority of the world is either still under at least partial curfew, or is waking up from it into a reality of boarded-up shop-screens, the Holy Cow of the Economy is ailing from the Foot and Mouth Disease.
Global bourgeoisie is beginning to split into two ideological alliances, depending on their economical and strategical interests. The first one was either able to scrape more profit from the lock-down situation or had savings that allowed it to temporarily postpone it and bet on “new” strategies in social control to keep the proletariat off of the streets and safely under bourgeois ideological dominance. It is aligned with the sectors that can make their workers work from home over the internet, that deliver the goods and services to the consumers trapped at home or provide medical and pharmaceutical services.
Of course the military-industrial complex also falls into this category. Military spending is not only not decreasing during the pandemic, but on the contrary many national factions of the global State are investing heavily to both their social control capacity (further police and border guards militarization, new spy software, etc.) and murderous capacity (fighter jets, tanks, missiles, etc.). It is clear that this is a preparation for repression of the anticipated class struggle or for an attempt to hijack it and turn its participants into cannon fodder in yet another capitalist war. With ever present competition between USA, China and Russia as well as many smaller powers, the peril of the global inter-bourgeois war grows every day. Especially as the bourgeoisie of these countries will find it more attractive as a mean to channel the proletarian anger at home.
The second alliance has been affected much more, its profit is in free fall and it wants to restart the business immediately, even if it takes few millions of dead workers. Either way, the proletariat is expected to make sacrifice for “common good” – e.g. to support the continuation of the capitalist society of misery, exploitation, alienation and oppression.
Covid-19 pandemic has blown off the bourgeois masquerade and has uncovered the deep structural crisis of capitalism. We can already see the unemployment skyrocketing as millions of workers are being fired in US, Europe, Russia, Brazil, India, etc. and we can expect this trend to continue in the future months. The proletarian reaction seems to be inevitable and just a matter of time.
But our class enemy is not going to wait with folded arms. The State violence and terror will intensify along with increasing utilization of the digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to control the labor force and to suppress any expression of proletarian resistance. As our homes will on much larger scale than ever before become part of our workplace, so will our exploiters and their State develop further means (technical, social, legislative, etc.,) to spy on us, to control us even at home. Hand in hand with that comes an ideology of “new technical revolution” and “Industry 4.0”, trying to convince us that we should support and embrace the development of AI and automation and capitalist progress in general because “it will make the work of all of us easier”. Even if those robots are meant to accelerate disposal of us as a labor force and leave us with no means to sustain ourselves. This tendency inevitably creates a reaction of our class, which materializes into “modern or digital Luddite” movement opposing the automation and the adoption of AI in a context of resistance against capitalist progress. Unfortunately, this movement is often co-opted by primitivist social-democracy that instead of expropriating the digital means of production and repurposing them for the needs of proletarian struggle, push for a vulgar rejection of the technology and leave it solely to our class enemy to weaponize it against us.
As usual, we can expect a whole range of pacifying techniques used by every variation (“socialist”, “communist”, “anarchist”, unionist, left- and right-wing, ethnic) of the social-democracy – which is nothing but a bourgeois organization for the workers. Some of these techniques have a long history of being used to weaken and divide the proletarian movements in the past, to scare off, co-opt, separate, isolate, disorganize us, they will appeal to our “common sense”, threaten us with unemployment, pit us against each other based on the national, racial, gender, religious, political, etc. lines, they will promise us breadcrumbs and invite us to participate in the organization of our own exploitation. We can see it clearly for example in the pacifist and divisive approach of career activists from Black Lives Matter movement, co-opting the movement against State violence in USA. “Green” bourgeois faction – fronted by groups like “Extinction Rebellion” (that should be renamed more properly “Extinguish Rebellion”) and backed by Big Energy investors – will get more active and will aggressively try to sell us a program of “individual green choices” and “support for sustainable alternatives” as a false solution to the capitalist catastrophe. Last but not least, there is always a possibility of a second wave of the pandemic, and many other pandemics in the future as further exploitation of the nature will uncover new pathogens like for example the anthrax and other “giant viruses” that would resurface on earth when the deep frozen soils of the permafrost where they are contained since centuries and millenniums will melt down as a result of the warming climate). But this time global bourgeoisie – armed with a new scientific knowledge and vaccines, with newly equipped repressive forces and with new methods of social cooptation – will be prepared to efficiently and selectively weaponize it against the movement of our class.
So, what does this new normal of capitalist status quo mean for us communists and for the proletarian movement as whole? How to struggle against the inhumanity of Capital and its State and for a global human community while at the same time protect ourselves and our comrades from the deadly disease? It turns out that the movement is already able to organically grasp this issue and in practice come with solutions through class self-organization. Protection against the Covid-19 is being produced by the proletarian movement itself, just like other means necessary for sustaining of struggle (food, medicine, weapons, shelter, etc.) have always been produced by past proletarian movements. Doctors and nurses on strike or in other way involved in the struggle supply the masks and disinfection, face shields are being 3D-printed and distributed, and so are food and medical supplies looted from supermarkets – in USA, in Lebanon, in France… We have to stress that there is a need to catch and develop this energy in order to broaden it to counter-strike all murderous means the Capital unleashes against our movement besides diseases – guns, tanks, chemicals, spying, arrests and isolation, starvation, propaganda…
It is more and more clear that whole this curfew episode was just a temporary break in the activity of our class, that instead of smothering it, it served rather as a pressure cooker and stripped away all the pretense of the bourgeois society to reveal the bare bones of the capitalist contradictions. Now we once again stand on the crossroad of history. The end of this pandemic may be coming soon, but the pandemic of capitalist catastrophe can only deepen. The decade that lies ahead of us may be the most brutal in human history with global generalization of war, poverty, destruction of nature and disease and maybe the end of human race or it can be a period when whole this inhumane society will be ripped apart in a revolutionary class struggle.
- Let’s organize ourselves against the global State and all its murderous arsenal including diseases! We have to put an end to the police killing, maiming and arresting us! We have to practically resist the attempts of the State to starve us into submission by expropriating all the necessities, by expropriating the land, by expropriating the means of production!
- Let’s develop means – physical, electronic, organizational, programmatical – to protect the movement! We have to come prepared! Or better said we have to go where the State is not waiting for us! We have to “be water”! We have to denounce and attack the toxic pacifism of the social-democracy! We have to denounce and attack the defenders of private property!
- Let’s oppose every attempt of the bourgeoisie to turn us into cannon fodder in the capitalist war! We have to organize together with our proletarian brothers and sisters in uniform sent to suppress our movement to break their ranks and turn their weapons against their own commanders!
- Let’s spit in the face of all the bourgeois ideologues trying to divide us with their myriad of positive identities, symbols and flags to defend!
Against the Sword of Damocles of the capitalist catastrophe hanging over our heads we oppose the insurrectionary revolutionary struggle for Communism!
# Class War – Summer 2020 #
Just like the rest of the world, we were caught unprepared by the pandemic of Covid-19 and the related lock-down that affected our organizational capacity. We were unable to finish the publication of our materials on the rapidly developing global class movement that shook the world in 2019 and the first months of 2020. For this reason, we are publishing our text here as “an appendix” to our analysis of new “post-Covid” reality. We are convinced that not only is it important to embrace, celebrate, analyze and learn from this high tide of the class struggle yesterday, but that it is intimately related to the tsunami tomorrow.
Weeks and Months that Shook the World
Over the last few weeks and months, a wave of massive street protests accompanied by violent clashes with repressive forces, attacks on the infrastructural and organizational points of the bourgeois State, looting and redistribution of commodities and strikes in workplaces has been engulfing a large part of the world. The circulation of commodities, raw materials and labor force as well as valorization in the transportation field in itself, is regularly being disrupted by roadblocks, transport strikes, toll gates destruction, fare strikes, etc. In some areas, the intensity of the struggle and the level of rupture with bourgeois society are approaching a quasi-insurrectionary quality as demonstrations turn into generalized attack on the seats of power, bastions of repressive forces and poles of accumulation of Capital. In Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Chile… in the most confrontational moments of the struggle, small groups of the most determined proles have assumed the task of organized armed violence against private property, against the State and its monopoly on violence.
As was often true in the history of class struggle, an initial spark could be some austerity measure with very minor, partial and limited impact on the living conditions of the proletariat, like a fuel tax in France, a minor increase in metro fare prices in Chile, or a new tax on social media software in Lebanon. It could even be something that had nothing at all in common with even the “immediate” interests of the class – like the arrest of a bloody warlord in Iraq or disputed election results in Bolivia.
We do want to emphasize here that we as communists of course refuse to make a distinction between the “immediate” and “historical” needs of the proletariat. We see the struggle against misery of everyday life under capitalism – low wages, rising prices of basic commodities, unemployment, lack of basic services, deprivation of our vital energy and perspectives as humanity, etc., not in its limitations expressed as the stated goals of this or that local movement, but as an organic part of historical struggle of our class against capitalist society as a whole. The only way in which the proletarian movement can reach a conscious understanding of its historical role, is through practical experience from these limited struggles, their partial victories and defeats, their subsequent discussion and analysis, and the growing gap between the capitalists’ State and the gravedigger class of this age-old nightmare. It is also a priority of our enemies to prevent this generalization and to lock these movements within their limited scope and therefore suffocate their potential to overcome their initial premise. Of course the primal and savage energy that provokes the uprising of our class is of vital importance but let’s emphasize, nevertheless, that the social revolution that disrupts and overthrows the entire established order and its social relations can in no way be summed up in a simple addition of demands, in a trivial improvement of working and living conditions, but rather in their dialectic overthrowing and overcoming.
Regardless finally of what the spark was in each of these particular cases we analyze in this little contribution, in the straw house of the capitalist society it has burst into a wildfire, fueled by the social contradictions, misery and exploitation, by shared experience of the class struggle from the previous years and anger against the ruling class and its minions (e.g. army, police, clergy, political parties, trade unions,…). Once again the proletariat is proving that it is “a dangerous class” and once it starts to assert itself as such, it starts to push the limits of what is possible.
What makes this wave exceptional is a combination of its qualities:
# The scope of the movement is genuinely global, not limited to one particular region of the world, but affecting practically every continent (with two centers: in Latin America and in “the Middle East”).
# On many levels, this movement directly recognizes itself as a global struggle, with many connections, references and expressions of international solidarity between the local struggles.
# Many traditional bourgeois structures and tactics used to appease the proletariat (elections, trade unions, calls for reforms and referendums) do not work and moreover are actively denounced and attacked by the movement.
# Let’s point out the continuity of the proletarian militancy, which has not been seen for decades – with months of violent struggle against the State, despite repression and regardless of the changes in the political sphere like new governments, new presidents, new constitutions or attempts of social appeasement like the cancellation of austerity measures.
In some places many texts, leaflets, communiques and blog posts bringing attention to and supporting this wave of proletarian upheaval have been produced by class militants and groups. These comrades, directly involved in these struggles, are taking on very well and with a huge amount of militant energy the task of spreading the materials produced by the struggle, to keep track of the day-to-day development of the movement. Without trying to duplicate their effort, and without an attempt to write a chronology, let’s take a closer look on the current class upheaval in different countries around the world.
# “¡Derecha, izquierda, la misma mierda!”
(this slogan meaning “Right-wing, Left-wing – same shit!” comes from a banner of Chilean militants unfurled during a “Yellow Vests” protest in Paris in the fall of 2019)
Left-wing or right-wing governments allied with Russia and China or US, Bolibourgeoisie or students of the Chicago school… none of this matters! All around Latin America, the very fabric of capitalist society is being exposed to a big danger of being torn apart! Bolsonaro of Brazil and Macri of Argentina are shitting their pants and quickly backpedaling on their proposed “economic solutions”, terrified by the possibility of this movement’s influence spilling over the borders of their national States and waking up the proletarian volcanoes under their own feet.
Bolsonaro’s government is known for its “honesty” with which it openly declares its defense of its own class interests and its hatred of “the poor”. They made it clear that the austerity measures they want to introduce are postponed in order to prevent the movement from Chile from being replicated in Brazil. It remains to be seen if their containment strategy will be successful, but recent riots in Rio, Recife and Sao Paulo seem to point otherwise.
Almost daily mass protests and clashes with the security forces, mass looting – the world has been used to see these images coming from Venezuela. Thanks to the “Socialism of the 21st Century” rhetoric and paraphernalia of the Bolivarian bourgeoisie, this has presented the ideologues of the opposing global capitalist camp with an opportunity to once again blur the lines between the social-democratic executioners of the proletariat and the genuine class movement and at the same time once again assert the dominance of “the West”. What could previously be arrogantly dismissed as an anomaly, due to an economic crisis caused by either local “economic mismanagement” or “foreign sanctions”, is now spreading to the whole continent.
The intensity of confrontation is such, that it forced two “heads of State” (so far) to leave the country (Bolivia) or at least to abandon the traditional seat of power (Ecuador), it forced all the affected countries to call some sort of state of emergency or curfew and call the army to the streets, without any impact on the movement, which completely ignores and defies this!
Naturally global bourgeois forces do everything in their power to frame and split the proletarian movement in Latin America according to their partisan and geopolitical interests and loyalties. This is not limited only to attempts to control protesters on the ground in Latin America, but it also produces an enormous global propagandist war through all means possible from “serious news” to myriads of blogs and YouTube channels. They try to distort or deny the proletarian nature of the movement and instead interpret it only as a limited movement pro- or anti- this or that political figure, against this or that specific economic measure, as a struggle of this or that ethnic or social minority (Mapuche, “Alteños”, etc.).
In some areas, this strategy of our class enemy was partially successful – leading for example to deadly confrontations between “pro-Morales” and “anti-Morales” demonstrators in Bolivia. But even in Bolivia, many in the movement refused to be pushed into political categories and made it clear that they despise both Morales and Áñez. There is also an ongoing strike movement in Bolivia – for example miners at San Cristobal silver mine, known for their militancy, which commenced their unlimited strike in August 2019, during which they and their families blocked roads and railway lines and attacked a police station.
A strong and militant current in the movement in Chile is emerging and practically taking on the tasks of direct action international and internationalist proletarian associationism in order to regroup and to support each other, as well as attempts of “convergence of the struggles” between the Chilean movement and “the Yellow Vests”, etc. Territorial assemblies, which function as an organizational backbone of the movement in Chile, represent the attempt of the struggling proletariat to re-appropriate the reality of everyday life from the hands of the Capital and its State, to create a new quality of social relations in a rupture with alienated and commodified normality.
Without fetishism of one organizational form of the class struggle over the other, we claim the communist tendency within these structures, expressing itself in the practical critique of private property via organizing massive looting and re-distribution of the commodities, co-ordinates attacks against the State and defense against its repression and other vital tasks of the struggle. Their organizational base is directly social and inherently overcomes the sectorial, partisan and other divisions imposed on our class by the life in capitalist society. As comrades on the ground put it:
“In being an organ of the neighborhoods, the assemblies are immersed in the daily life of the territory; therefore their functionality is their main weapon. Their capacity to expansively cover the needs of the struggle – such as supply, self-defense, health, transport, communications, solidarity with their prisoners, etc. – will be the force that will endow them with legitimacy. In this sense, the assemblies are the autonomous expression of the community that self-organizes its needs and its struggle against the State and Capital.” [on this subject, read the series of texts translated and published on our blog]
Other countries in Latin America are following the pattern, with daily violent demonstrations in Colombia. Regional economic giants – Brazil, Mexico and Argentina – have so far just seen limited local explosions of proletarian rage, and overall maintain a calm “business as usual” appearance, but you don’t need a crystal ball to see that this shell is about to crack soon.
It remains to be seen if the proletarian movement in Latin America as a whole will manage to decidedly overcome the ideological and nationalist division imposed on it and to bring the organization on the directly international level.
# Nothing Quiet on the [Middle] Eastern Front!
An enormous proletarian uprising is shattering the bourgeois State order in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.
Mass street protests, blockades, looting and very bloody clashes with security forces of both official governments and those of opposition or sectarian factions. The repression is vicious – hundreds of protesters have been murdered by the State in Iran and Iraq and dozens in Lebanon. Tens of thousands have been injured or arrested.
One of the strongest weapons of the movement is its uncompromising resistance to all attempts of control and imposition of political and sectarian divisions on it. Protesters refuse, denounce and attack all politicians and all parties. For example, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who with his Mahdi Army played in past years an important role in co-opting and crushing the proletarian movement in Iraq (in coalition with local Stalinists), tried to talk to the protesters in order to pacify them, but had to be promptly escorted away by the government security forces, after being threatened by our class fellows. Al-Sadr changed his strategy several times during the course of the events. At first he expressed his “support” – cynically as any Social Democrat – to the proletarian struggle in the streets and called for “a protest against Iran”. When it became clear that nobody cared about his Islamo-citizenist program of national liberation, he switched allegiance to Iran and in favor of crushing the movement. Later he switched sides again and attempted to weasel his way back. In the end, he took the last option left and escaped to Iran in order to save his skin. What an admirable flexibility! Lenin and Muhammad would both be proud!
A leading motto at the demonstrations in Iraq is: “From Baghdad to Beirut, we shall continue. No Sunni no Shia…” Let’s not forget that this is a region where internalization of the sectarian Shiite vs. Sunni and nationalist Arab vs. Kurd divisions allowed the bourgeois forces to successfully channel along these divisions and crush several previous proletarian movements. In Lebanon, infamous for sectarian conflict and separation both in the sphere of bourgeois politics and in the daily social life of the proletariat, our class movement has from the beginning been organized on a consciously anti-sectarian basis as a refusal of all political parties and figures.
In Iran, the scale and force of the protests forced the State to shut down the internet for a week. After this curfew was lifted, the importance of the struggle and of the brutal crackdown from hands of the Islamic Counterrevolution Guard Dogs and other scum of the repressive forces, with more than 1,500 dead, has become apparent. Proletarian masses had taken to the streets of more than 180 major Iranian cities and countless smaller towns. Banks, police stations, government offices, petrol stations, mosques – all those became targets of the proletarian rage. We do not know precisely the extent of the class movement in Iran, but we can assume it was massive in scale, considering that despite the total information blackout the Iranian national faction of the global bourgeoisie attempted to impose, it was nevertheless forced to admit that the streets were full of angry proletarians (or “thugs” as their propaganda calls us).
On the background of these movements, strikes have been going on for months. In Iran, strikes in the agricultural sector, road transport and in the schools are commonplace all around the country. Each time the security forces repress one, another flares up. Jordan and even some parts of war-ravaged Syria have seen street protests and strikes as well – both in “rebel” held Idlib province and Assad controlled areas. In Iraq, the oil terminal has been blocked by protesters, joined by striking workers in Basra port and on the oil fields. This had seriously affected the export of the country’s main commodity.
The details about the concrete forms of proletarian associationism in Iraq and especially in Iran are scarce and very limited because, for many reasons – heavy repression, internet blackout, problems with translations, to name a few – there is very little written material produced by the movement that makes its way to communists in other parts of the world.
There exist in Iraq some forms of territorial assemblies [shuras], centered around the main square in each town or neighborhood, where protesters can discuss, organize and coordinate their activities, identify the targets to attack, arrange the distribution of supplies, etc. The most central is the Tahrir Square occupation in central Baghdad.
“Since the beginning of the movement and until now, even with massive repression and murdering of the State, this movement continues and it is expanding the scope of its struggles and tactics day after day. For example, in Baghdad, the movement formed combat units and spread all around the city to interrupt the traffic, and take control of the bridges and important points. It set up its collective coordinating activities to extend and expand its struggle to plan the next day and the next target, it published leaflets about its struggle, and it treated injured comrades… all of this is the coordination, organization and expansion of their struggle capacity.
The proletarian struggles in the past always took energy from each other. That is how the struggle continues and exercises its class interests and internationalism as well. By breaking the geographical borders, ideological, economical and democratic frameworks and the national State… this movement targets the Capital and global capitalism.” [See the text “From Baghdad to Beirut, we shall continue. No Sunni no Shia…” signed by Internationalist Proletarians, November 2019, published on our blog]
As we wrote in our text “From Gaza to Iran to the whole World… Down with the exploiters!”, one of the main reasons for the economic crisis that pushes the bourgeoisie in Iran to jeopardize the “contract of social peace” of their own construction by attacking the living conditions of proletariat so directly is its involvement in war. This underlying reason, along with high unemployment, lack of basic services, rising prices, police and militia violence, etc. is still the present reality of the proletariat in this part of the world. Nothing in this respect has changed since the last waves of class struggle in 2017-2018, except that the antagonism is growing much more and the class confrontation involves ever-wider sectors of the class, all of whom rapidly lose the few illusions they has maintained towards this miserable society and its managers.
Indeed, these are the effects produced by inherent contradictions of the capitalist mode of production and social relations that go along with. On the one hand, both war itself and the subsequent scramble for reconstruction and investment in the peaceful period are nothing else than a concrete form of competition between capitalist factions. It is nothing else than the expression of the underlying need of the various factions of global Capital to expand their market in order to face the decreasing rate of profit. At the same time, war serves a purpose to use and intensify the existing division in the class into categories along the national, regional, religious, political, etc. lines in order to suppress the class struggle and break the international solidarity of the proletariat. National (and supra-national) States also represent one organizational level of the competition between the bourgeois factions, they are a political expression of the necessity each of these factions have to always expand the market for commodities they produce and to impose its own organizational “flavor” of the exploitation of the human labor and to shape social relations in the most desirable way to give it a competitive advantage.
In an analogy with industrially produced ice-cream, we use the word “flavor” in this text to describe a particular form of some aspect of the capitalist reality that may on the surface wildly differ from another form. For example a news channel may be owned by a big media corporation pushing an agenda of an industrial lobby or by a small NGO aspiring to “humanize” capitalism, a political movement may be organized by the right wing, left wing or extreme-left wing of Capital, it may be “grassroots” or led by a scholar possessing wisdom from Holy Book(chin). In essence, all of them are shitty products of the same capitalist system and giving preference to any of them would mean fooling ourselves.
Moreover, all national States constitute of course local parts of the global State, the organized violence from the hands of the global bourgeoisie, its tool of class war against the proletariat. It consists of many layers beyond just the governments or repressive forces and includes other structures that Capital needs in order to keep the proletariat separated into an obedient labor force consisting of atomized citizens – political party, trade union, corporation, family, religion, school, “social system”, etc. It’s only when confronted with determined internationalist proletarian movement that inter-bourgeois competition is temporarily forgotten and that all the national factions of the State democratically unite in order to crush it.
The geographical area known as “Middle East” lies at the intersection of the interests of several of these factions – both regional and global “powers” compete here for control of the natural resources, important trade routes and for imposition of their geopolitical interests (which are indirectly also an expression of their economic interests). One concrete materialization of this capitalist competition in the region is Iran’s military involvement in Syria and Iraq as well as the investments in the oil, gas and other natural resources extraction and the transport infrastructure on the “liberated” territories (those projects are managed and realized by companies often directly owned by the Iranian Army or “Revolutionary Guards”) and its economic goal is to link Iran’s oil and gas producing facilities with Mediterranean sea.
We see the attempts to attack this military-industrial complex everywhere in the region, in continuity with the militant actions during the previous wave of class struggle in Iran and Iraq in years 2017-2018. In Iraq, several military commanders with a status of “war heroes” from the conflict with Daesh, who have become local politicians and businessmen, have been attacked by the crowd on the streets. In Lebanon, there were multiple cases of Hezbollah soldiers who after returning from Syria deserted and refused to go back, and when their commanding officers tried to force them, some of them fought back, which has cost two officers their lives. In Iran “The Guardian Dogs of the Islamic Counterrevolution” barracks have been targeted and burned down. Protesters are also demanding the immediate withdrawal of Iranian troops from Syria, Yemen and Iraq and an end of the foreign military spending. Clearly, we see the limits of these demands, poisoned with nationalism and suffering from illusions about the “fair” re-direction of the State payments from military to “social spending”.
The limitation of such demands is that they follow the false dichotomy between the satisfaction of the “immediate” human needs of the proletariat, of the means of physical survival (food, shelter, etc.) and its “historical” need to destroy the class system, which makes the existence of a unified humanity impossible, through the centralized revolutionary action of the global proletariat. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the most advanced class militants, who were able to express the positions of the revolutionary defeatism in an uncompromising way, like for example the radical students in Tehran University, were specifically and brutally targeted by the State after the crushing of the rebellion from 2017-2018. Nevertheless, these expressions represent a piece in the mosaic of the active proletarian resistance against being turned into either cannon-fodder or cannon-makers.
In light of this development, we would like to stress the importance of this proletarian movement, directly attacking the ability of the State to wage bloody capitalistic war. In the tradition of the most advanced elements of the proletarian movement at the times of “First World War”, “War in Vietnam” and “Gulf War (even if not yet at the same level of generalization and “theoretical” expression), it is subverting the economic base of the war machine and attempts to fraternize across the national and sectarian lines. Its central position in relation to the biggest battlefield of our times turns it into a centralizing point for the rest of the global proletariat in the struggle to turn the war between bourgeois factions into a class war against Capital! It is our revolutionary task as communists, to highlight the proletarian nature of this movement against all bourgeois machinations. It is also our tasks to point out the expressions of proletarian resistance in the armies and military business across the line in the USA, Russia, Israel, Turkey, etc., however unclear and limited they are, and together with our comrades in these countries fight to help them to shed their Social Democratic framing and to clarify and generalize their class objectives.
# “China and America – two countries, one system!”
(graffiti on the wall of a ransacked bank in Hong Kong)
Southern provinces of the realm of the Capitalist Party of China have seen months of riots, bringing the Hong Kong economy into recession. The initial spark of the movement was the so-called “Extradition Bill” that would facilitate, legalize and intensify the practice of sending prisoners to concentration camps on the Mainland.
As a “shop window” of capitalism, Hong Kong and in extension the Pearl River Delta as a whole, represent an enormous pole of accumulation of Capital. For decades, Hong Kong served as the biggest container port in the world as well as a hub for transoceanic trade, tourism and as a financial super center. This started a long time ago, when it was still a part of the British Empire and continued and even accelerated after handover of its administration to China. And the wider agglomeration of Pearl River Delta has for more than thirty years provided a manufacturing base producing commodities to be exported through Hong Kong port in the sweat-shops often owned by the corporations traded on its stock exchange.
This set-up, protected by the enormous repressive system of the Chinese bourgeois State, has produced nightmarish living conditions for the proletariat in the Mainland part of the Delta. Preexisting “social compromise” from the times of Mao’s “village communes”, that allowed the workers who were part of these production collectives to supplement their wages indirectly by food from the fields and gardens “leased to them”, has been violently dismantled and land has been turned into new industrial zones and housing projects. This left them with no other option than to take the jobs in those newly built factories of multinational corporations, joined by migrant workers from the interior as well as prisoners, to face extreme rates of exploitation, health destroying and life-threatening working conditions and brutal social control. In Hong Kong the same process led to the world’s most intensive commodification of social life and the world highest property and rent prices – forcing many proles for example to live in infamous “cage” or “coffin” flats of only a few square meters in size and with bathroom and kitchen shared by several families.
Of course the capitalist progress in Delta (and in China in general) has never gone as smoothly as the bourgeoisie would wish or as its media present it. Every year hundreds of wildcat strikes in factories, shopping malls, call centers as well as protests against land development, pollution and State violence erupt in the Delta, often turning into street battles with the police and army units, looting and attacks on corporate offices and government facilities. The latest example of this being a protest against the construction of a huge crematorium in Wenlou in Guangdong province which ended with a whole village attacking the repressive forces with cobblestones and fireworks and many of the protesters brutally beaten by them. This is happening in parallel with the protest movement in Hong Kong itself.
The original movement against “the Extradition Bill” has been massive in scale since the beginning, reaching up to two million participants. Although it started as “peaceful” marches, the tactics of self-protection with masks, umbrellas, helmets and basic practice of conspirative confidentiality has been present since the beginning as a shared lesson from the previous protest movements during the years 2012 and 2014. As the movement radicalized, partially as a reaction to brutal violence of the State and its “China style” utilization of modern technologies to spy on and repress it, it has turned itself into a true laboratory of innovative insurrectional tactics in the modern Capitalist mega-city. It is also wonderful to see cross-fertilization with proletarian movements elsewhere, as some of these tactical elements are spreading to Chile, France, Lebanon… The local economy has been massively disrupted by the movement, with blockades of metro stations, big roads, port and international airport, with a huge wildcat strike in public transport in August, burning down the ruling party offices, looting and arson of “pro-Beijing” shops, restaurants and banks, occupations of the universities and huge street battles with the cops.
The most programmatically advanced minorities of the movement have been able to go beyond purely tactical aspects of the insurrectionary struggle, explicitly calling for struggle against Capitalism as a totality. We can see it in slogans and graffiti clearly recognizing Capitalism as the root of all the misery, that the movement is revolting against, recognizing and denouncing the capitalist nature of the “Mainland”, calling for fraternization with the struggling proletariat on the Mainland, as well as in Europe, expressing the need for a centralized response to Tech-repression…
In this context we have to unfortunately say that these minorities are really tiny and have little visible impact, that we see a strong dissonance between the radical nature of the movement and the profound impact of deeply internalized nationalist, localist and liberal ideologies, to the point where they serve as an obstacle and disorganizational influence against the assumption of the historical task of generalizing the class struggle. Even if, up until the new elections in November 2019, the direct impact of the bourgeois political parties, NGOs and trade unions on the movement had been very limited, the “Hong Konger” identity, illusions about parliamentary democracy and confusing Mainland political regime with communism are dominating the movement and have prevented any massive connection with the class struggle on the Mainland.
However, the movement is not yet finished and the social contradictions that led to its birth did not disappear. On the contrary, the lesson drawn from the struggle in Hong Kong is very important as it is in many ways a glimpse of the struggle against the future reality of the global capitalist society.
# Let’s make the future a present…
It is not over. The riots, blockades and strikes that have been creasing the brows of the global bourgeoisie for months are not going away. Moreover, new hot-spots are erupting in Africa and especially in India, where a very contradictory, but massive and militant movement (including the biggest strike in history), is crippling the economy and shaking the whole society.
The recent wave of class struggle is like a breath of fresh air. Its characteristic re-discovered continuity of the proletarian militancy gives us hope. For years, the class movement either remained largely trapped in a legalistic, unionist and partisan framework and expressed itself through defensive minimalist “demands”, or took the form of violent and wild but short-lived and quickly repressed eruptions that could not create a space for developing radical minorities.
Now this separation is melting in front of the surprised eyes of the bourgeois.
It is increasingly difficult for the repressive forces and the media to point out “the troublemakers” as the rest of the movement is not applauding this tactic anymore and on the contrary come forward in expression of solidarity and unity. This is repeating itself over and over again– in France, in Chile, in Iraq and elsewhere.
Just like at times of the proletarian uprising of 2011, labeled as “Arab Spring”, the propagandist forces of our class enemy (bourgeois media of “corporate” or “alternative” flavor, and various structures of Social Democracy – those bourgeois organizations for workers) are trying to disguise the class nature of the struggle – bringing up the “good ole’ racist card” – and to portray it as something happening due to “exotic local circumstances”.
Only now again it is becoming increasingly difficult as the same scene is unfolding in “developed and democratic France”, “theocratic Iran”, “dynamic Hong Kong”, “socialist Venezuela”, “impoverished Haiti”, “sectarian Lebanon”, “war-torn Iraq”, “post Pinochet Chile”,… “Do those protests have ANYTHING in common?” is the rhetorical question asked by Deutsche Welle, Russia Today, Al Jazeera…
In fact, of course, proles have nothing in common with the bourgeoisie in their “own” country and on the contrary have everything in common with their class brothers and sisters in the rest of the world, as we are facing the same system of exploitation, misery and oppression everywhere.
It will be crucial for the various proletarian movements around the globe to reach this level of understanding in order to clearly identify our common class enemy, to overcome the false dichotomy between our “immediate” and “historical” needs and despite and against many Social Democratic factions waiting for an opportunity to seize on our weaknesses in order to co-opt us, to take the direction towards our organic unification as a self-aware class in the struggle for the abolition of capitalism.
The most important tasks for communists in this moment are:
# Actively denouncing and attacking all Social Democratic falsifications and structures, regardless how “radical”, “anarchist”, “Marxist”, “communist”, “anti-capitalist” they claim to be, which try to distort the goals of the global proletarian movement, to strengthen and consolidate its limits, weaknesses and illusions, to keep it separated according to national or ideological borders in order to co-opt it, to sterilize it, and to ultimately lead it to its defeat.
# Insisting on the class nature of this global movement, against the veil of localist and particularist identities.
# Participating in the struggle against “our own bourgeoisie”, against “our own exploiters”, against “our own Motherland”… and leading this struggle as the organic most advanced part of the class. As communists are never a bunch of intellectuals external to the class, but on the contrary they are an integral part of it, a product of the real class struggle and there is no difference between their historical goals and the historical goals of the class as a whole!
The attack against “our own bourgeoisie” is the most effective form of the internationalist proletarian solidarity, as it cripples the ability of the global ruling class to concentrate its repressive forces against the most advanced elements of the movement.
# Helping to re-group, shelter and support our comrades, all around the world, facing State repression. Helping to organize defensive and supporting structures for our global community of struggle.
Let’s take steps forward, towards the era of the global proletarian struggle against the Capitalist Catastrophe and for Communism – the global human community!
By way of an afterword…
“War against the virus” is the continuation of the permanent war waged against us
Throughout this bulletin, we didn’t spend too much time on the seriousness or not of the Covid-19 epidemic, transformed into a pandemic by our masters and according to official figures (i.e. those of our class enemies: the State of the capitalists and its medicine) has already infected several million people across the planet and led directly or indirectly to the death of several hundreds of thousands of people. We don’t care about all these pseudo debates about masks and lock-down that touch only on a superficial aspect of the Covid-19 issue, i.e. its management by the various governments (bourgeois, by definition), and whose unique obsession is the growth of Capital and its rate of profit. On the other hand, we know full well that the effectiveness of generalized lock-down appeals more to the ruling class in terms of control and domestication of the “dangerous classes” (to use the expression of our enemies), in terms of counterinsurgency measures (even as a preventive measure) against an exploited class that has been more than greatly restless in recent months.
What we do know very well too is that the bourgeoisie and its State are permanently at war against us, against humanity, against the proletariat in struggle. We have known for too long, as we have directly and historically suffered from it in our flesh, that capitalism was built on piles of corpses and that there is no reason for it to stop doing so. Since capitalism has emerged globally as the dominant social relation, as a synthesis and dialectical overcoming of all previous social relations, it has done nothing but affirm and underpin its domination through war. This is all the more true in times of major crisis, which is only a moment of the permanent crisis of the capitalist mode of production, of its multiple internal and mortal contradictions, the most important of which is obviously the existence of the proletariat as an exploited and therefore revolutionary class, not to mention the tendency of its rate of profit to fall, which pushes capitalism to increasingly squeeze the exploited class, and to wage war on it.
And in this sense, we could easily paraphrase the military strategist Clausewitz for whom “war is a mere continuation of politics by other means” by asserting in our turn that the “war against the virus” is, for the capitalist class and its State, the continuation of the permanent war waged against us, against the future gravedigger of Capital.
Of course, the hundreds of thousands of officially recorded deaths attributed to Covid-19 (not to mention those who could very well be so as a result of the measures of repression and isolation that have been imposed) don’t represent enough surplus labor force to be eliminated; it is not with this “small” bloodletting that capitalism will find the way back to profits that it believes to be unlimited. No, what capitalism still needs (and more than ever before) is a real shock, a “cleansing” the likes of which humanity has never experienced in its history. This is more than a necessity so increasingly superheated are the contradictions of this deadly social relation, which are threatening to blow up the boiler of profits and therefore of our exploitation if pressure is not released very quickly. What capitalism needs is a massacre, a rapid and effective destruction of a large number of productive forces: both dead labor (machines) and living labor (proletarians).
Basically, if we are called and mobilized on the front line of the future military war which, like all wars, will be a war against our class, therefore a class war, it is up to the proletariat to no longer allow itself to become docilely recruited as cannon fodder after having been, just as submissively, factory fodder, or simply labor fodder… and democracy fodder!
In any case, beyond the health, medical, economic and social causes of the pandemic (and therefore its origin), what this “health crisis” has revealed or confirmed to the world is the totally anxiety-producing world that capitalism is throwing us into, which can only live and develop by producing anxiety (here in the face of the illness), fear and terror, and this has always been the case. Just look at these last 75 years (i.e. the time of three generations who know each other and live side by side, and share memories, thoughts and criticisms) to find traces of the permanence of this anxiety-producing environment: after the massacres of the two world wars (which in fact constituted only one war cycle interrupted momentarily by revolutionary eruptions), we were promised peace and happiness, after the “valleys of tears” it would finally be the time of the “valleys of honey”, of course at the cost of the exhausting work of reconstruction. Then came the bipolarization of the world, the “Cold War” and the threat of using atomic weapons for four decades (“nuclear fire”), “the West” was under the threat of “the Reds” while in the East the “fascist plot” against the “socialist homeland” was denounced. Once the mythical era of the postwar boom was dismantled, whose material existence has been overblown by ideology and propaganda, “the crisis” became the permanent leitmotif of speeches, along with pollution, diseases (AIDS, mad cow disease, cancers, etc.) and now “the apocalypse” of global warming, destruction of the planet, rising sea levels as a result of melting glaciers, disappearance of thousands of living species, the whole thing “at the speed of a galloping horse”…
Who wouldn’t react to all this joyfulness by popping antipsychotic drugs, committing suicide or being slaughtered in one or another capitalist war!? Capitalism oozes death and destruction and terror…
Now, other questions also continue to haunt us about this “war against the virus”, questions to which we are far from having all the answers. For example, we can’t help but show our contempt about the soothing narrative of the ruling class, which is bewildering us with the “unquestionable” reality of the pandemic, whereas we all know very well that the state of health emergency is a more refined form of the “classic” security emergency: any resistance is assimilated to an attack on the lives of others, of the most vulnerable, on the survival of the “community”, as a selfish refusal to “show solidarity”. On the other hand, the various governments at least initially tended to underestimate the events as to do otherwise would have pushed them to stop the normality of the system, this normality which is expressed through this sordid reality that some “yellow vests” in France have denounced with the triad “Work, Consume and Shut your Mouth!”
Some people claim (in so doing, whether they like it or not, they are the useful idiots most required by capitalism) that the State has been forced by the development and the severity of the pandemic to impose the lock-down and thus to shut down entire sectors of economy in order to “save human lives”, in accordance with the “social contract” and “its mission” which consists of “protecting” its citizens… First of all, let us recall that initially, the various governments imposed on capitalists that teleworking should be the rule in the sectors of activity (tertiary service, services…) where it was possible. Whereas almost all the industrial sectors deemed to be “non-essential” continued to run “at full capacity” (“business as usual”!!!), a large minority of struggling proletarians who did not want to risk being contaminated at work held a large number of wildcat strikes, mainly in the USA and Italy but also all over the world. Secondly, and more fundamentally, capitalists never gave a damn about human life, especially if it is abundant, redundant and in surplus (according to their criteria). The whole history of humanity is proof of this tragedy.
And finally, the so-called “shutting down the economy” as our exploiters did – although initially exacerbating the systemic problem in the immediate accumulation of profits – does not nevertheless constitute an inescapable and antagonistic obstacle to the affirmation of the global and historical needs of social peace and valorization of capitalism. The “crisis of Covid-19” is not the crisis of capitalism as such, which long predates it; the Covid-19 only exacerbated it and revealed the scale of the flaws in this totally inhuman system. In times of crisis, capitalists have no alternative but to “downsize”, to lay off, to close down unprofitable companies, to destroy… in order to start a new cycle of valorization. The lower the economy can fall, the higher it can rise and fill the pockets of the capitalists with new juicy profits.
Finally, we would like to address one final point, that of “conspiracy theories” which can be declined in at least two versions: on the one hand, those who claim that everything is being hidden from us, that there are many more deaths than we are told, that the virus is spreading in even more insidious ways than what is admitted… At the other end of the spectrum of “conspiracy theories” are those who claim that the whole Covid-19 story is a “big lie”, the pandemic does not exist and it is not the virus that kills but capitalism, which turns out to be a tautology that pushed to the absurd would make it possible to affirm that proletarians are not massacred during wars but by capitalism “in general”!
Fundamentally, capitalists do not lie to us, on the contrary they tell the truth, their class truth, because truth is not neutral in itself. There are two classes, two languages, and two truths, theirs against ours… But for some people, all this would be nothing more than a plot hatched by the capitalists to “organize a genocide against humanity”…
Why Capital would need so strongly a “fake” virus, why would it need to artificially create a “fake” pandemic in order to prepare war and “genocide” against humanity whereas simply a real and genuine virus would be much more efficient for all those purposes. War is the best way to kill massively surplus of proletarians but with new progress and technics like chemical war, bacteriologic war, phosphor bombing, etc. ad nauseam, the efficiency of the capacity of destruction by Capital is much more exponential…
We would like to debunk once and for if possible all these conspiracy theories, which are in the end only a new and more spectacular version of the everlasting police vision of history about an omnipotent and omniscient State, which also sees in the ranks of the most fighting proletarians nothing else than “provocateurs” who objectively serve the interests of Capital, whereas they are precisely those who rise up and go to barricades (although we know that the latter, although necessary, are not enough to overturn history). What we want to denounce here is the social function of conspiracy and its alter ego anti-conspiracy: both are the two jaws of the bourgeois trap that aims to make us leave our class terrain in favor of this police vision of history. Some want to explain everything by conspiracy and machinations of the ruling class; others refuse to consider that conspiracies can exist! It should also be noted in passing that the State has an unfortunate tendency to use the label “conspiracy” as an ideological weapon to control the narrative and discredit any social criticism of its dictatorship…
So, what about the capitalists who are “plotting against us”, for example via their top secret Bilderberg Club!? The World State of capitalists (which has nothing to do with the common “world government” that the followers of “conspiracy theories” put forward) is organizing, planning, coordinating and centralizing always more effectively all the counterinsurgency measures necessary to maintain their social order. And if It takes place away from the limelight, with some discretion, and even in structures other than the Bilderberg Club or the Club of Rome: it is “the normal order of things”, it is the vanguard of the exploiting class that defends its order. The problem with “conspiracy theories” is that they work like an old broken clock: it still gives the exact time, but only twice a day!
And against this, against this normal order of things, the revolutionary proletariat, the communist minorities (whether in the past they were called “socialists” or “anarchists” or whatever), in other words humanity has always sought to conspire against its masters, to organize conspiracies (hello Babeuf and Buonarroti), secret societies (hello Blanqui, Bakunin, Marx), to set up plots to support insurrectional processes, in short, to work and act as a party. “Conspiring is breathing together” (Radio Alice, Bologna, Italy 1977), and that is what organized minorities have been trying to do in Lebanon or in Belarus or even in the United States for the past few weeks (in the den of the clay-footed colossus that constitutes “the first power in the world”) in the wake of the waves of struggles that have affected almost every continent in recent months… More than ever before, in these times of rising struggles and resurgence of proletarian initiative in the permanent class war, we claim the necessity to organize the struggle, to develop it, outside and against the legality of the exploiters, and therefore to plot and conspire to achieve the work of destruction of capitalism, its State and thus its democracy!!!
Communists do not deny the existence of the disease, they do not claim that the pandemic is a lie but on the contrary communists fight the State and its medicine as class enemies. And since capitalism is the fundamental cause of diseases, we ought to use the disease as a weapon and to turn it against the capitalist society…
“Live Free or Die!”