15-07-2021: One and a half years after “two weeks to flatten the curve”, the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) is enduring one of the harshest lockdowns ever imposed. The draconian dictates of Covid rules enforced by police are a laundry list of inconceivable demands which defy elementary tenets of logic. In the Greater Sydney area, residents can only leave home if they have a “reasonable excuse”. Facemasks are mandatory more or less everywhere except inside your own home. The rules even state that facemasks must be worn in the stairwells and corridors of an apartment block. Church services are banned and can only be live streamed online. At these online services two people are permitted to sing or chant – provided they are 3 metres apart! Weddings are essentially banned, and people cannot enter Greater Sydney and other regions of NSW to attend them. Pubs, clubs, restaurants, hair salons, cinemas, music halls and much more are all closed down by government order. With some exceptions, culture, religion, sport and most avenues of public interaction have ceased – with no given date as to when these restrictions will be lifted.
Pandemic of lies
The only pandemic which exists is a pandemic of lies. The current lockdowns in NSW are said to be in response to the death of one (!) 90 year old woman who allegedly died in the Liverpool Hospital days after “testing positive” to Covid-19 via contact with a family member.(!) Working people have little time to verify what they are bombarded with by the corporate media and captive politicians. Corporate backed politicians are professional liars, and they are more than adept at spinning lie after lie to “explain” more lockdowns, more facemask mandates, more vaccine hysteria, and on and on. Their system produced a television advertisement featuring a woman gasping for breath in a hospital bed, with messages urging “Stay at home. Get tested. Book your vaccination”. Some have immediately labelled the advertisement “next level gaslighting”. Mountains of irrational fear is the only ideological weapon in the arsenal of a system whose credibility has long expired.
If the SARS-CoV-2 virus exists at all (which is doubtful), it is likely to be just one of the coronaviruses which cause common colds and influenza each winter. This is one reason why the anti-microbials Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine are effective treatments, as are doses of Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Sunshine can provide the latter, and along with fresh air and exercise, a protective barrier against “Covid-19” – which is essentially a renamed flu. Yet fresh air and exercise is precisely what people in NSW are being denied under lockdowns, along with the immense psychological damage of aggravated anxiety and depression. Going into lockdown is not like going to jail – because even then each inmate knows exactly when they will be released. Unscrupulous politicians fanning corona doublespeak, on the other hand, do not announce permanent lockdowns. They only say “it depends on case numbers”, or even threaten to extend lockdowns if people do not follow the rules!
Covid repression is the crisis of liberal democracy as the principal form of bourgeois rule. In the same vein, lockdowns are the clearest example of capitalism reducing itself to a grotesque absurdity, and a historical anachronism. Private production for private profit based on the exploitation of social labour was, at one time in the distant past, a historical advance on the rule of feudal monarchs. The material economic conditions for the supersession of capitalism and its replacement with socialism were present at the time of World War I. The 20th century could have been the final nail in capitalism’s coffin, but for various reasons, the working class in the West was unable to cohere the requisite political leadership which could shatter the chains of wage slavery through workers’ revolution.
Hence, the longer the life of capitalism is extended, the more inevitable the appearance of fascism becomes. Liberal democracy – which always was only bourgeois democracy, (democracy for the rich, the wealthiest millionaires and billionaires) contains far too many civil and democratic rights for a ruling class which is locked in a life and death struggle for its own survival. Finance capital therefore simply dispenses with the usual formalities of parliamentary rule and reverts to rule by unrestrained violence or the threat of violence, in this case – lockdown fascism. Fascism is the last political resort for capital but faced with its own demise it will not hesitate with its deployment. Lockdown fascism, combined with the attendant Covid narrative, is the current phase of capitalist imperialism. Even if lockdowns are on again, off again, Covid nonsense (facemasks, vaccines, tracking and tracing, restrictions, rules etc.) can be extended permanently. Unless overthrown by an uprising, the unbearable and intolerable Covid repression will remain, and there will be no “back to normal”.
Despite this, there is no reason to despair. Vast swathes of the masses are sick and tired of lockdowns, and/or loathe and despise them. If this overwhelming sentiment is harnessed by an organised and determined political leadership, the lockdowns could be tossed into the trash can of history. An anti-lockdown movement has arisen and has mobilised millions of people around the world repeatedly – from Australia to the USA to Europe and beyond. As important as the successes of this movement are, they are partially based on the demands for freedom, peace and liberty. While this is entirely understandable, these abstract concepts mean different things to different classes. Small and medium sized business certainly has been crushed by the lockdowns, but it is the working class which has suffered the worst with millions of job losses – meaning a loss of livelihood. While the petty-bourgeoisie certainly demands an end to lockdowns and Covid repression, by virtue of their class position they cannot demand an end to capitalism and its demonic offspring – lockdown fascism.
While the urgent political task for workers is the building of the anti-lockdown movement, movements in themselves are limited in what they can achieve. To achieve mighty tasks such as the overturn of capital and the forging of a workers’ republic, the working class must have a party of its own. Due to the abject apostasy and perfidy of the Union officials and the lockdown “left”, there is a vacant political gulf which must be filled by a Marxist vanguard party. Such a party can help lead the struggle to abolish lockdown tyranny as the first vital step towards the triumph of a socialist order.