Thursday 30 April 2020
May Day 2020 – Covid 19 and a Call for System Change
From the International Communist Party
World capitalism, is only concerned with its own survival, it exploits and abandons the working class to the contagion. Capitalism can and must be overthrown - everywhere.
Capitalism is responsible for the losses caused by this epidemic. In all continents the chaotic cramming of rural people, in search of a wage to live on, in the frightening and insane urban agglomerations of capitalism, and the convulsive migration of people makes any preventive care impossible.
For years, medical science has predicted the worldwide spread of a new virus and its dire effects. However, epidemics can neither be avoided nor contained within present-day society. Capital, always in search of immediate profit, has no interest in predicting and preventing.
It has not set aside adequate stocks of medical devices and has not trained an adequate number of medical personnel. Indeed, it has drastically reduced them everywhere, forcing them into intolerable overwork; it has closed many hospitals and turned others into “companies”. Its imperative is always to save on the maintenance and care of the working class.
The expected contagion has finally arrived, upsetting a humanity completely unprepared to face it and shattering the latest misplaced certainties about capitalism’s ability to protect health and life on the planet.
In the face of the universal scourge, which can only be attacked with a coordinated world-wide plan of science and solidarity, each state does its own thing. Worse, the crisis intensifies the competition between national centers of capital and their hateful and inhuman selfishness. It exacerbates the trade war in the fear that competitors from other countries will take advantage of the situation to deprive them of market share. In this war between national bourgeoisies, workers have nothing to gain and everything to suffer.
Industrialists have postponed the closure of factories to the point where further delay was impossible: from China to Italy and France, to the United Kingdom and to the United States, which has seriously extended the contagion. Even when measures to close commercial and recreational activities were no longer postponed, the managers of the majority of industries found ways to circumvent the rules to continue production, apart from companies where it was convenient to close, finding easy loopholes in the ambiguous rules of governing blocs.
So, they forced workers to go to the factory, even in industries that have nothing to do with the health emergency, such as steel production, and to flock onto public transport, grossly dividing society along class boundaries: proletarians today are no longer even masters of their own lives. As in war, they must sacrifice themselves to the god of bourgeois profit.
While factories are kept open, strikes and worker assemblies are prohibited. The unions, which have sold out to the regime in the name of “national solidarity”, endorse the bourgeois dogma that reducing production “is not an option”. Be content with a little more soap and masks: a few dollars.
And it is true. In order to continue generating and appropriating profits, capitalists must infinitely grow the scale of production. For this reason, each company, without any agreement with the others in the sector, indeed at war with them, pushes the rhythm and scale of work to the maximum, in the vain hope of being able to find a buyer for the crazy growth of goods of all kinds, a deranged and anarchic system.
Capitalism does not produce based on what is needed; it produces based on the expected profit. The majority of goods produced therefore have no social utility and increasingly penalize the workers who manufacture them, the consumers who are driven to use them, and the environment, which is unnecessarily cluttered and intoxicated.
This irreparable and obvious absurdity must necessarily block all the apparatus for the reproduction of capital and commerce with increasing frequency. It is now a single and closely interconnected global machine, a monstrosity in which up to 95% of activity is useless or harmful.
In fact, in the course of the past year, well before the outbreak of the epidemic, the general, historical, centuries-old, inescapable crisis of the capitalist mode of production had arrived punctually and was already affecting all spheres of life and society.
So, it was not the plague that caused the crisis. Sanitary isolation, which is blocking the consumption of all the goods that are not really necessary for life, around the world and simultaneously, amplifies the pre-existing overproduction of goods, and is almost bringing the infernal cycles of capital accumulation to a standstill.
The panic spread among the bourgeoisie, who ran to sell on the stock exchange, while entrepreneurs were horrified at the decline of their profits. Desperate capitalists in all countries appeal to the State for orders, credits and commercial protection, as well as to help them defend against the workers’ struggle.
But states are nothing more than associations between capitalists and, in the end, they only derive sustenance from capitalist production. They are not above the economic laws of capitalism: they can only transfer wealth from one part of the ruling classes to the other. Or anticipate something that must come back sooner or later.
The failure of this political, economic, social system is so evident that even many bourgeois, in the scientific, political and religious fields, are calling for its profound reform: a different relationship with nature, a different way of producing and a different choice of what to produce: “hospitals, not weapons”, they say. All empty talk. As soon as the emergency is over, and maybe even before, everything will go back to business as usual. This system is as absurd as it is incapable of reform.
The ruling classes will not peacefully surrender their power or give up their petty privileges, the immense profits and the repressive paraphernalia of their states. The present upheaval of the rhythms of life must not only teach us the failure of capitalism, but that the working class can do without capitalism, this entire social and economic system. It is the bourgeoisie that needs the working class and not vice versa.
The international anti-worker solidarity of the bosses, who attack workers’ very existence, must be opposed with the international solidarity of the working class fighting for its emancipation and for the salvation of all humanity.
The working class will have to mobilize in all countries to defend itself from the disastrous effects of this crisis, to impose its longstanding demands through struggle:
- wages in full for the unemployed
- generalized reduction of working hours for the same wages
- regularization of the status of immigrant workers
- free health care for all workers
The working class, well organized in its true class unions and well directed by its party, the custodian of its long-established internationalist program, must succeed with its revolution in breaking through the thick shell of prejudices and forces of repression that still imprisons the new, communist society, which will be classless and stateless, and which is ready, robust and complete to free itself and spread to all the countries of the world.