The slaughter of the migrants drowned in the Mediterranean continues!
Another terrible demonstration that bourgeois governments, whether democratic or authoritarian, can never address the causes of these tragedies. It is capitalism that we must drown!
(«Proletarian»; Nr. 12; Autumn - Winter 2015)
Wars between states, conflicts between militias, armed repression, misery and destruction: some countries of Africa, the Near and Middle East are rapidly disintegrating, causing the desperate flight of millions of human beings in search of any land, any country to escape this hell on earth and to try to survive. Desperate masses trek through mountains and deserts, whence they fall into the hands of unscrupulous traffickers ready to defraud them or to launch them onto the seas in overcrowded hulks. The testimonies of the survivors of these journeys abound in stories of people suffocated in the hold, pregnant women thrown into the sea, protesters beaten or killed, ships adrift with their cargo of people, most of whom are not even able to swim.
Thus, Sunday, April 9 a boat which had embarked from the Egyptian coast and containing more than 1,000 migrants sank off Libya: 28 passengers were rescued and 24 bodies were found; as to the 950 others they disappeared without a trace! A merchant ship had approached the boat to come to its aid, when migrants are said to have moved en masse to one side, causing it to capsize; in addition to those on the deck the ship consisted of two more covered decks where passengers crammed by traffickers were locked on to keep them from going up on deck: in a moment’s time the boat turned into a giant coffin!
These deaths are part of a long series of thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean, transformed into a gigantic cemetery. The first mass sinking of migrants was on Christmas eve of 1996 when a boat carrying Indians, Pakistanis and Sinhalese sank in the Strait of Sicily: the death toll was estimated at 283; in 2011 between 500 and 700 Tunisians were killed according to «unofficial» estimates, but the true figure is possibly many more; on October 3, 2013 a shipwreck off Lampedusa island caused 368 deaths, etc. The UN states that more than 3,000 migrants died in the Mediterranean last year and more than 1,500 since the beginning of this year!
But the media acknowledge that these figures describe only a part of the reality, because many similar tragedies remain undiscovered: many boats embarking from Egypt, Libya or Tunisia have never arrived anywhere, sinking without leaving any trace, although the navies of any of the Mediterranean countries, thanks to modern technology, could have discovered them in time.
Faced with these «sea tragedies», the governments of the rich European countries, starting with Italy, beat their breasts, casting forth cries to heaven against the «cynicism», the «indifference», the «speculation» the «human trafficking», the «slavery of the XXIth century»; they urge each other to do something, to act, «including by armed force» to prevent the trafficking in human flesh! They invoke the European institutions, the UN, the Security Council, as if these institutions were anything but the emanations of bourgeois governments, as if the representatives of these governments are not sitting in office to defend this or that particular interest.
And the interests to which the most powerful countries in the world can come to an agreement, but only temporarily, are certainly not those of the millions of arms and mouths reduced to hunger and despair; rather they are the interests of business, of the exploitation of natural resources through the exploitation of human labor power; and for these interests, insofar as the crisis of the capitalist mode of production has wiped out «economic prosperity», there is no war which cannot be unleashed, no abuse that cannot be committed, no repression and violence that cannot be justified, no tragedies that cannot occur. Under these conditions even the «slavery of the XXIth century» can be useful to the economic powers which have subjected entire populations, to the extent that such tragedies are kept within limits tolerable to the so-called «international community». But if those limits are exceeded and if these tragedies begin to inconvenience the leaders of «democratic» Europe, then they start screaming that «Europe cannot close its eyes» to an «invasion» of refugees and «illegal immigrants»! Due to its geographical position Italy (and especially Lampedusa and Sicily) is the country where those lucky enough to survive the journey think of landing, hoping to start a less miserable life, but the «reception» in the identification and expulsion centers is more like entering a concentration camp.
Today, faced with the latest massacre, the Italian Government unveiled its strategy: to conduct an international police operation to control the beaches and the ports of Libya. Since the collapse of the Libyan government after the death of Gaddafi, the permanent conflict between militias linked to the government of Tobruk and those linked to the Tripoli government, and the rise of the «Islamic State» (ISIS), the Italian authorities, increasingly more disturbed by a flood of desperate migrants masses, figured it was best to stop them before they embarked, going to war in Libya on the «smugglers and human traffickers». This «solution», the one that has always been advocated by the right: stop the migrants on the southern coast of the Mediterranean, that is to say, the North African coast, by a stringent police control, was considered by the various center-right and center-left governments; it is now judged to be urgent. Under the pretext of «terrorism» (like previously vis-à-vis Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi and now the Islamist Caliphate), the Italian Government, with its European accomplices, is preparing for a military intervention.
Such is the bourgeois response to these tragedies: a police operation, camouflaged as humanitarian action under the flag of the UN and its High Commissioner for Refugees, as in Lebanon in 2006, mobilizing the army, navy and the air force!
The bourgeois European capitalists have no other answer to give; after being responsible for the fall of colossal masses of humanity into misery and despair, after ransacking the seas, the land and the subsoil, having lined up tribes and peoples against each other, having fanned religious conflicts (between Sunnis and Shiites, between Muslims and Christians), having destroyed countries and left their former colonies in underdevelopment and situations of ruin leading to the reign of armed gangs and traffickers of all kinds, having made life impossible for entire populations, the European bourgeois who have terrorized the world with their capital, their trade wars and armed conflicts, now pretend to be moved by the latest disaster; and they were not ashamed to cry out, «Enough! No more tragedies «.... until the next!
These deaths indeed will not be the last. All the international police operations will not eliminate the pressure of unbearable economic conditions for millions of human beings; this pressure has not disappeared after the «Arab spring» and the «fall of the dictators» in Tunisia and Egypt, after the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war in Libya; it has continued in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Yemen. Capitalism not only produces development; alongside this it accumulates the contradictions and the economic and social tensions that inevitably erupt into general crises. The means that the capitalist ruling classes have at their disposal to deal with and overcome them can only prepare increasingly serious crises, until the most powerful bourgeoisies adopt the «solution» they adopted in 1914 and in 1939: generalized war, world war.
It is in this perspective that one must see these tragedies, where thousands of migrants drown in the Mediterranean. Against the present and future of slavery, misery and death, there is no bourgeois solution, there is no prayer able to stop the endless list of tragedies. The heart of the problem is the capitalist mode of production, the society based on private property and private appropriation of the products of human labor, society divided into classes, in a word, bourgeois society!
It is only by a struggle against misery, against oppression and exploitation, a struggle that does not confine itself to the existing social framework nor in respecting the political and social rules proclaimed by the bourgeois ruling classes to ensure the continuity of their power; a struggle that is based on the antagonism between the class of wage workers, representing the vast majority of human beings, and the landlord class and the capitalists, i.e. the class of the bourgeoisie; it is only through a struggle not oriented towards reforms, changes in government and political personnel, but towards the great goal of revolutionizing society from top to bottom, therefore the class struggle to the end, until the conquest of political power by the proletariat, the overthrow of the bourgeois dictatorship and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat; it is only by the revolutionary struggle forecast by Marxism in the mid-nineteenth century, when capitalism launched out to conquer the world, that can be found the definitive solution to all the fundamental causes of the exploitation of man by man, misery, oppression and wars.
It is with this perspective that the revolutionary communists struggle, organizing themselves into the class party which tomorrow which will have the task of directing the class struggle in all countries towards revolution, the proletarian dictatorship and the advent of a classless society without class antagonisms, without oppression: the communist society.
April 22, 2015
International Communist Party