On the measures taken by the bourgeoisie regarding the coronavirus epidemic
To the proletarians, to our readers, to our comrades
(«Proletarian»; Nr. 16; Spring-Summer 2020)
Faced with the epidemic of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in many countries the bourgeoisie has taken a series of unprecedented exceptionally restrictive measures.
The bourgeoisie depends on a mode of production whose aim is the valorization of capital by savagely exploiting the physical, nervous and social energies of the proletariat and the weakest strata of the population of all countries; it is therefore congenitally incapable to structure the society so that the health of humanity in its economic and social life; could be preserved: it is unable to rationalize the capitalist economy in order to harmonize it with the needs of human social life and with the natural environment, which leads to increasingly devastating crises. Therefore it cannot cope with natural events – earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, epidemics, climate change, etc.– with methods and means able of effectively reducing their negative effects.
Science and scientific discoveries played a major role in the development of the productive forces in the revolutionary era when the bourgeoisie, with the fundamental contribution of the proletarians and the poor peasants, violently destroyed the old feudal forms of production, property and social management; but they were inexorably bent to the interests of capitalist profit and the defense of property and production relations guaranteeing the domination of capital and therefore of the bourgeoisie.
The congenital greed of the latter, as the owner of the means of production and capital, leads her to save on everything that can hinder the accumulation of wealth as quickly as possible and in the greatest quantities; this is why it considers as an obstacle the measures of safety at work and of social prevention. The capitalists generate much more profit from disasters than from their prevention: it is an unwritten law but systematically applied, as shown by wars and all so-called “natural” disasters. Capitalism build to destroy, and destroys to rebuild in an infernal spiral engendered by this mode of production. The race for capitalist profit everywhere come before any social interest which would slow down it! A race that will only end with the destruction of bourgeois political power, the elimination of the capitalist mode of production and its replacement by the communist mode of production with no money, no capital, no goods, no market, no class divisions.
The bourgeoisie puts scientific discoveries, technical innovations and knowledge, at the service of humanity only if it benefits either financially or in terms of economic and political domination. And including in this case, the same economic causes which push to develop techniques of production and to deepen the knowledge of the vital processes of nature, of which man is an integral part, causes which can be summed up in the capitalist competition, push the capitalists to curb, even to bury, all branches of research which cannot guarantee profits in the shortest possible time. The only prevention to which the bourgeois class devotes its forces, is for its own existence, the defense of the capitalist economic system, with all its laws, its contradictions, its limits, and its political and military forms of the State
The coronavirus pandemic is used by the ruling class to apply – in a period of particular economic difficulty for many world powers – a directly anti-proletarian policy.
The fear of the bourgeoisie is the economic recession, the stock market crisis – situations which prevent industrial, commercial and financial capital from generating sufficient profits. The economic crisis provokes a social crisis; a large part of the population suffers from its negative effects and they react in a thousand ways, most often irrational and uncontrolled. The only class that could reason rationally, act in an organized way and with specific objectives, is the proletarian class, if it is guided by its class party. The bourgeoisie is really afraid of this: the historical experience of the 19th and 20th centuries has taught it that its deadly enemy is the organized proletariat, truly aware of its class interests – and not the competing bourgeoisies of other countries, or the foreign bourgeoisies with which it is at war.
It is to prevent any attempt of the proletariat to resume its class struggle, to regain confidence in its own forces and in its own class interests, that the bourgeoisie adopts these measures of “social prevention”. The measures taken first in China and then in Italy against the spread of the epidemic, go exactly in the direction of blocking any possible reaction movement of the proletariat.
In China, once the existence of the new coronavirus was declared, the government decided to shut down the whole city of Wuhan, then the whole province of Hubei of which it is the capital, then other cities and regions where infectious outbreaks had occurred. These shutdowns forced all residents to stay cloistered at home, being able to go out only in the event of extreme medical or food necessity.
The same thing happened in Italy: in a very short time, we went from the confinement of a few localities, to that of the whole region of Lombardy, then of 13 other provinces of Veneto to Emilia-Romagna, until finally decreeing the whole country “Red Zone”. The increasingly drastic measures taken by the government day after day, summed up by the official slogan “I stay at home” (as if it was a “choice” of the inhabitants), indeed impose a round-the-clock curfew on the 60 million Italians.
Gatherings, public demonstrations and, of course, strikes, in short, the free movement of people, are prohibited; only the police and military are allowed to travel and they verify that nobody evade these measures. Only food stores, pharmacies, gas stations, newsagents and, of course, hospitals, are open.
As a matter of fact, under the pretext of the epidemic, the bourgeoisie is putting in place a system of social control as a general test of what it deems necessary when the social situation is much more critical, when the nascent economic crisis plunges the masses into disastrous living conditions and prompt them to react against everything that represents the existing economic and political power.
The bourgeois sing always the same song: in front of a danger that can strike everyone, let us unite, we must all do our part, no more divisions between rich and poor, no more oppositions between social classes, because union is the only way to be victorious
The call to “sacred union” made by the ruling class during the first and second world wars, comes back whenever the bourgeois power runs a risk, of defeat in a war or of credibility and confidence in perilous situations, as in the case of “terrorism” or an epidemic. And for this social control, the bourgeoisie can count on the tireless efforts of the opportunist and collaborationist parties and unions, which once again demonstrate that they are at the service of the capitalists and their state to impose bourgeois interests against the proletariat and his class interests.
The prevention implemented by the bourgeoisie has the essential aim of defending its power, its domination, its privileges. On the one hand, the bourgeoisie has demonstrated its inability to prevent epidemics and prevent them from spreading rapidly throughout the world, hiding for reasons of purely economic interest -–as has been irrefutably demonstrated the gravity of the illness when it appeared; on the other hand, it reveals that it has a very different objective from that hypocritically proclaimed of “defense of public health”: the defense of the capitalist economy, at a time when the economic crisis has already knocked at he doors of China, Italy, Germany and therefore of all of Europe. The militarization of society goes in this direction and Italy, in this case, will serve as a model for the other “democratic” countries.
But there was a violent reaction to the measures taken by the government: that of the prison population.
In no less than 29 penal institutions, detainees rebelled against the sine die suspension of visits from their relatives, not to mention that no preventive measure, even the most basic, was planned for them. They broke the bars, they went up on the roofs, they set the bedding on fire, they attacked the infirmaries; in short, they expressed the anger accumulated over time against the unbearable conditions in which they are forced to live, showing the hypocrisy of prison policy not only as a place of punishment for the crimes committed, but as a place where detainees are “educated” to return to civil society at the end of their sentence.
The overcrowded prisons, with their terrible detention conditions, in which hygiene and the treatment of illnesses are hypothetical, are the mirror of bourgeois society. The bourgeois want to “educate” the free proletarians as are the prisoners – who are also mostly proletarians.
The proletariat must understand that the bourgeoisie and its political and union valets take every opportunity to submit it to the interests of the ruling class, to make them forget that, while being the class exploited par excellence, it nevertheless constitutes a social and historical force capable of liberation of the bourgeois influence which leads it towards an ever greater enslavement to the bourgeois state, towards the use of its energies, its capacities, its generosity, its intelligence, for the defense of capitalism and the various social forms put implemented each time by the ruling class. The proletariat can only free itself from this enslavement by breaking radically with the collaboration of the classes, by fighting on all fronts its enemy, the bourgeois class.
The closing of the borders between the nations is the further demonstration that the bourgeoisies of all countries reason in the same way: they think above all of defending their economies, their business, accusing the other countries of being carriers of diseases, treating them as “aggressors” against whom one must defend oneself as in wartime: the aggressor is always the other, But viruses know no borders ... and it will be the same tomorrow when the virus of revolutionary class struggle crosses the sacred borders of all bourgeois nations.
The drastic measures taken by governments are also an obstacle to our activity as an international party, both for the distribution of our press and for travel and meetings.
We won’t give up, we will continue our political work by any means we can use, and in this case the internet is definitely useful to us. We know that tomorrow the threats against the class activity of the proletariat will undoubtedly be very serious and that the difficulties will increase, as will also be the case for our party activity.
But it would not be a revolutionary activity if it was facilitated by the bourgeoisie.
International Communist Party