Capitalism has an overwhelming responsibility in the disaster provoked by the earthquake in Haiti!
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 6; October 2010)
Haiti, where the overwhelming majority of people ( 95% black) experience heart-rending misery, is a country that is in the hands of a few wealthy capitalists who, with the support of imperialism, strangle the population and subject workers to bestial exploitation since the country is an exporter of sugar, coffee, bananas and mangoes. Unemployment is endemic, the average income per capita is only 1,300 dollars (twenty times less than for European countries) and life expectancy is just over 50 years ...
Haiti, where a few large bourgeois families have always been dominant, gouging huge profits extorted from the millions of proletarians and disinherited, has in recent decades suffered a savage deforestation to make way for plantations and residential construction, dramatically worsening the damage caused by tropical rains.
Haiti has in fact always been prone to hurricanes as to earthquakes.
But just as nothing has ever been done to prevent the consequences of hurricanes, nothing has ever been done to prevent the consequences of earthquakes!
It took the January 12 earthquake; measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale and thirty aftershocks with magnitude from 4 to 6; for the world to discover the terrible conditions of misery and poverty of the population. The capital, Port-au Prince, which includes more than two and a half million inhabitants, mostly living in slums around the residential center of the big bourgeoisie was destroyed; not only have the poor neighborhoods been devastated, but the Governmental palace, hospitals, parliament, and tourist hotels, seemingly solid buildings have collapsed and even the residences of the Haitian bourgeoisie did not meet earthquake standards: speculation respects no one!
The UN which has undertaken the task of administering the country since the forced departure of the former president, has detailed plans, prepared at great expense, on seismic risk in the country, the most serious being specifically related to the anarchic urbanization of the capital. But the capitalist world represented by the UN, has never found it necessary to take preventive actions against the devastating hurricanes that regularly hit the country or against earthquake risks. Capitalism has no other interests than the accumulation of profits, and for the defense of the bourgeois who rule over Haiti who are the real perpetrators of past massacres and the massacre today.
The extent of destruction in Port-au-Prince and other major cities has revealed not only the importance of real estate speculation but also the lack of infrastructure to help people with water, medicines, food, machinery to clear the ruins. Residents are forced to try to save buried people with their bare hands, often to see them die of their wounds from lack of first aid. Major international media speak of 50 000 dead, others claim a figure of 100 000 or 500 000 people: the exact figure will never be known.
What about the great vaunted modern technology, the gigantic means of intervention that are used in wars? Faced with a disaster like that of Haiti, they are useless: they are very effective for wars, not for life! When it comes to saving lives, capitalist society is not only incapable of preventing the causes of death and destruction, but remains paralyzed and powerless to act when a disaster occurs! This happens every time, not only in Port-au-Prince in ultra-impoverished Haiti, but also in New Orleans in ultra-rich America ...
And when the population surviving the tragedy, searching desperately for food and water trek a few miles towards the Dominican Republic, what do they encounter? Home, Solidarity, shelter? No way! The entire border is barred by the Dominican Army which drives them back! And when hungry survivors seize food found in ruined stores, they are treated as bands of looters!
Despite all the beautiful humanitarian rhetoric spouted around the world, including by the Pope, the defence of social order and private property is the primary concern of the bourgeois...
Haiti occupies the westernmost part of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, where Christopher Columbus first set foot in December 1492. It is from this date that European colonization and the martyrdom of the native populations begins. After the virtual liquidation of the original inhabitants, Spanish and French colonialists, for their own benefit, imported millions of Negro slaves to do forced labor unto the death.
But Haiti also has a glorious history of revolt against slavery and, in 1802, its inhabitants founded the first republic in Latin America. However the fate of its population has hardly changed since the black slavery of previous centuries, has been succeeded by capitalist and imperialist slavery. In Haiti capitalism has brought progress and well-being to only a small minority of bourgeois vampires.
The forced proletarianization of the Haitian population is historically positive, because it is only the struggle of these proletarians, in union with their class brothers and sisters in other countries, which tomorrow will ring out the hour of revenge. Today the prospects for class struggle, proletarian organization, and the Communist revolution may seem buried forever because of the exemple of fake communist countries.
But bourgeois propaganda can never prevent outbreaks of rebellion caused by capitalism itself. And these revolts can only resolve themselves into the class struggle waged by the proletariat in order to survive and aiming to overthrow the bourgeois domination over the masses of the population of all countries. Then the defeat inflicted by the former Haitian slaves to Napoleon’s armies in 1804, will pale before the defeat that the armed proletariat guided by the Communist Party will inflict World armies of the imperialist powers.
Illusory dream? But the independence of Haiti, very shortly after the independence of the United States, also appeared to be a fantastic illusion!
What reveals the extent of this new tragedy that the bourgeois tries to disguise as a «natural disaster»?
This tragedy demonstrates that if capitalism was able to dominate a small part of nature with its technique and its «scientific» discoveries, it still functions exclusively for profit, that is to say in opposition not only to a true scientific understanding of natural forces, but also in opposition to the vital needs of mankind. This knowledge should lead in the first and primarily instance to prevention, but each of these so-called «natural» disasters is proof that capitalism is not interested in prevention because the profits it earns from catastrophes and disasters of all kinds are much higher than those derived from productive and commercial activity in normal times, capitalism is the very economy which lives on misery!
The servitude imposed by the capitalist system on the vast majority of the world’s population is actually harsher than the slavery of ancient Roman society. The obligation to comply with the law of value, exchange, profit, on pain of starvation and risking ones life in accident or war, is systematically presented as a «free choice» as a free personal activity in a world of equality and brotherhood. But in reality the proletarians are the modern slaves - treated with an even greater brutality if they have black skin!
To reject hypocritical solidarity campaigns organized by the same powers which are killing, bombing, starving and polluting the world, is the minimum for any proletarian. But this can not suffice, because real solidarity requires a rupture with class collaboration of which the capitalists are the only beneficiaries.
The class struggle will begin with the social breakdown between proletariat and bourgeoisie, primarily in the rich industrialized countries, while other earthquakes will shake capitalism’s society: the social earthquake will put the proletarian revolutionary struggle on the order of the day in every country on earth to inter a system that produces only misery, hunger and death!
January 16, 2010