Statement of the Workers League
05-10-2020: As we approach the end of 2020, brutal and inhuman lockdowns slowly begin to be lifted in Australia and in the US and parts of Europe. In Melbourne the curfew is lifted, but there are still fines of $5000 for exercising basic political rights, and a litany of logic defying rules and restrictions. The UK government is threatening another lockdown, almost as punishment for people not taking the first lockdown seriously. In Spain, some citizens resist police enforcement of facemasks with their bare hands, as they attempt to pinpoint why the government insists on locking them indoors. In short, even if some lockdown measures are being relaxed by increments, the accompanying political repression of working people remains. It is possible that elementary civil and democratic rights may never return.
Government rationales for lockdowns remain paper thin, with barely a shred of scientific or medical justification. Some kind of a partially new virus has circulated the globe – which may well have been manufactured in a laboratory – but its effects are scarcely more dangerous than a regular flu. “Covid-19” has been used as a fig leaf for the most severe and concentrated attack on the working class in history. Almost all of the fear pandemic is fraudulent and is being utilised for the imposition of a totalitarianism never previously conceived. Lockdowns, curfews, house arrest, repeated hand-washing, forced facemasks, tracking and tracing, social-distancing, bans on social contact, singing and dancing (!) – all expose themselves as either harmful or useless in response to basic questions. Pushing a few buttons on a computer connected to the internet will reveal mountains of information – if it has not yet been censored by Big Tech – that flatly contradict the politicians’ Corona deception. Their fear propaganda, like almost all politician fare, is little more than a tissue of lies.
The real intent of the fear pandemic is seen in the sacking of millions of workers worldwide, and the forcible shutdown of the economy. The goal is the driving down of the cost of labour power – workers’ wages – for those who have escaped with their jobs intact. The retrenchment, furlough or stand-down of millions of workers places immediate and unrelenting downward pressure on wages and conditions on workplaces still operating. Capitalism has reached an impasse, and it can only survive now by assaulting the very labour (the brains and backs of working people) which keeps it afloat. To stave off a defensive struggle by workers to save their livelihoods, political repression which beggars belief is enacted. The effective abolition of free speech, the right of assembly and freedom of movement is just part of the abuse of state power many workers believed was a thing of the past.
Western imperialism, over the last ten years, has often come close to launching World War III. The US Empire has destroyed Libya, attempted to overthrow Syria, and funded and organised frequent and ongoing regime change efforts against China (Hong Kong, Xinjiang), Russia (NATO wargames on their doorstep), Ukraine, Iran, Venezuela, the DPRK, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Belarus – to name a few. Thankfully, most of these covert/overt wars have been effectively blocked by the skillful use of diplomacy and occasional military power wielded by Russia, China and other non-imperialist allies. Furious, the Anglo/US/EU Empire responds with a war against “their own”.
Hope lies in resistance
Both military war and the Covid war stem from the same source – the blind alley in which the profit system finds itself. Both are aimed at working people – domestically and internationally. Yet workers need not despair, as there are grounds for optimism. Every crisis leads to an opportunity. The fear pandemic is proof positive that capitalism has no answers to the multiple crises it creates and has no leadership even to offer the billionaire-owned capital in whose interest it acts. It has no way out of its political and economic dilemma – apart from resorting to lockdown fascism and imperialist war.
However, the “nuclear option” of fascism and war is the refuge of last resort for the ruling classes of the Anglo/US/EU Empire. International capital takes a huge gamble by rolling the dice with fascism domestically, and provocations for war internationally make it a double or nothing bet. The last time the stock exchange and the banks threw their weight behind fascism was in the 1930s. The result was not a stabilisation of political conditions for the expansion of capitalism, but brittle states which hurtled themselves towards war. Despite the aims of the West, the result of World War II was in fact the vast expansion of a heavily distorted form of socialism – due largely to the heroic defeat of Nazism by the Soviet Union, despite staggering losses. Notwithstanding the reality that political rights for workers were largely blocked, capitalism was nonetheless overthrown in Eastern Europe, and this provided some impetus for repeat doses in parts of Asia and Cuba. This paradoxical result demonstrates that the imperialist ruling classes do not control history, despite their apparent power.
In fact, working people through collective struggle can grasp control of their own destiny. This is due to the fact that the entire position of the working class drives it towards socialism despite the current form of politics that predominates at any one time. The anti-lockdown movement obviously does not have an explicit left-wing agenda – and yet it finds itself at the vanguard of an insurgency against corporate rule which must be waged on pain of extinction. If workers do not succeed in rolling back and defeating Corona tyranny, society could be thrown back to conditions akin to medieval times.
All those who oppose lockdowns, mandatory facemasks, mandatory vaccines, tracking and tracing, house arrest, border shutdowns and the elimination of basic civil and democratic rights must be united into a movement which, by its very existence, offers resistance to lockdown fascism. Alternatives to capitalism can then be thrashed out amongst its participants. The domination of life by privately owned mega-corporations and a state which defends them against the overwhelming majority of working people produces multiple crises, of which a fear pandemic is just the latest. Revolutionary socialists should thus raise demands which can serve as a much-needed counter to capital’s dual offensive of mass unemployment and political repression at home and imperialist war abroad. We stand for:
- A six-hour day
- Public ownership of the banks, infrastructure, big industry.
- A workers’ government
PO Box 66 NUNDAH QLD 4012