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Flint (Michigan, USA)
The real poison is Capitalism.
The remedy, its Destruction.
FLINT, Michigan - the Birthplace of General Motors- has been poisoned.
The 125,000 inhabitants of the city of Flint have been afflicted by a health disaster of major proportions - the poisoning of the water supply.
In this proletarian city, predominantly Black and heavily battered by decades of 40 percent unemployment, thousands of proletarians have been poisoned from lead in the contaminated water for nearly 2 years.
Many residents have been reporting symptoms of vomiting, rashes or abnormal hair loss. 87 cases of Legionnaires Disease - ten fatal - were reported. Over 15% of children have high levels of lead in their blood. The consequences of this catastrophe - and all the reports aren't in yet - are numerous and irreversible: severely delayed brain growth and development, lowered intelligence, Attention Deficit Disorder, headaches and stomach complaints, kidney deficiencies, constipation, muscular weakness, toxic effects on the reproductive system, elevated blood pressure ...
The cause of this mass poisoning ? Al Qaeda ? ISIS ?
No ! Simply put, the barbaric reign of Capital in the world's leading power!
All these proletarians are victims of the burning desire of the city to lower the costs of its water supply. To accomplish this, municipal authorities stopped buying water from the city of Detroit opting instead to pump water directly from the local river.
Residents were rapidly alarmed by the altered color and taste of the water coming out of their taps. General Motors (GM) quickly stopped using this water for its local plant since it caused severe corrosion to auto parts. In addition, the river water has attacked municipal pipelines leaching lead into the "potable" water system.
The bourgeois big shots who run the city had a simple solution: boil the water before drinking! They had less consideration for the proletariat that built this city and all its cars, than GM has for its auto parts.
After three years of official denials, local and national authorities have acknowledged that this water was dangerous to people's health. President Obama proffered a puny grant of five million dollars, that's less than the cost of providing bottled water to the beleaguered population for twenty days.
Not only were the proletarians of Flint poisoned but they must now trek every day to obtain the bottled water provided by the State or the Red Cross (for the lucky ones) or expend a big chunk of their meager incomes to buy it retail.
The real culprit in this case, the veritable evil genius which enslaved, body and soul, those who chose to spew out contaminated water, ready to pollute, poison, even slaughter - in the name of a satisfactory rate of profit... It's Capitalism.
This mode of production which poses increasingly alarming dangers to the human species, had already been identified by Karl Marx:
"Aprčs moi le déluge! [After me, the flood] is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society. To the out-cry as to the physical and mental degradation, the premature death, the torture of over-work, it answers: Ought these to trouble us since they increase our profits? But looking at things as a whole, all this does not, indeed, depend on the good or ill will of the individual capitalist. Free competition brings out the inherent laws of capitalist production, in the shape of external coercive laws having power over every individual capitalist". (1)
It is as absurd and ultimately criminal to put forward the demand for a clean and non-environmentally detrimental capitalism, as it is to plead for a capitalism without exploitation, without poverty, without oppression, without wars ... As long as capitalism exists it will exploit and oppress people, it will devastate nature, and it will degrade the health and well-being of humanity.
For this crime as well as for those qualified as “natural disasters”, capitalism is guilty.
It is capitalism that we must not only condemn but that we must combat without hesitation. The crying need for its destruction arises with ever greater urgency. It is this mode of production that must finally be overthrown. And in order to destroy it, the proletariat must break its chains of solidarity with capital and all of its institutions, and return to the path of the class struggle.
What is true in the struggle on the economic terrain is also true in the fight against pollution. This is integral to the communist cause for the emancipation of mankind. Revolutionaries will have to intervene on this terrain to make the mobilization against the effects of pollution grow to the level of a struggle against its real causes which lie within capitalism itself.
International Communist Party
March, 14th 2016
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