Black Lives Matter: Friend or Foe?

Image: Teen Vogue

Black Lives Matter: Friend or Foe? 

21-06-2020: Throughout the Western world, riots and protests have taken place over the police murder of George Floyd, an unarmed African American, in Minneapolis, USA. Under normal circumstances, protests against such an act would be understandable, and would be something that working people could throw their weight behind. Yet the context for these actions took place in anything other than normal circumstances, and the political direction of the riots and protests were not progressive. The leadership emanated from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organisation and was backed by liberals and what became the “lockdown left”. BLM may have begun with good intentions some years ago under the Obama administration in the US, but today one word best describes its character: hypocrisy.

Whither the coronavirus?

For three months up until the days after George Floyd was killed, many of the forces behind BLM were united as one behind the very same Western governments they rioted against the next week. BLM and the lockdown left formed a critical part of the imperialist state as it drove the coronavirus plot, a cover for barely restrained attack on working people through lockdowns, “social-distancing” and intense political repression. The farcical claimed rationale of “saving lives” was in fact a deadly fig-leaf for the largest assault on the working class since the Great Depression of the 1930s.[1] For three months straight, BLM and the lockdown left were the most vociferous backers of the police while they were enforcing “coronavirus” lockdowns. They did NOT oppose police violence when it was used to enforce the lockdowns, and did NOT defend African Americans nor Aboriginal Australians against the armed fist of the capitalist state – as they had swallowed the bourgeois Covid-19 narrative whole.

For example, Aboriginal elder Malcolm McKenzie was arrested for protesting against lockdown barricades being installed in his home town of Davenport, South Australia.[2] Aboriginal communities were in many cases subjected to harsher lockdowns than that of non-Aboriginal Australia, with some having to gain police permission to enter or leave quarantined areas. Greens MP Tammy Franks did condemn the arrest of Mr McKenzie but did not oppose the lockdown which caused the problem. Those who later marched under the BLM banner over the situation in Minneapolis were silent. In the Northern Territory (NT), the Australian Army was brought in to enforce pitiless lockdowns in remote Aboriginal communities and towns with a high Aboriginal population such as Tennant Creek and Katherine. Federal Police (!) soon followed the military.[3] For Aboriginal people who have endured the colonisation of the continent, the Stolen Generations (removal of Aboriginal children), and the NT “Intervention” (the deployment of military and police into Aboriginal communities), yet another military and police intrusion revives the all too recent trauma inflicted by the colonial powers. Yet the lockdown left and supporters of BLM remained utterly silent. Black Lives Matter?

Colour revolution

The open dichotomy where BLM strongly backed the armed forces of the capitalist state even while supposedly protesting against it is most evident in the means it chose to employ. In the US, it used wanton violence – riots, looting and even murder. Retired police captain David Dorn was shot dead by looters in St. Louis.[4] Many businesses that were ironically owned by African Americans, as well as Asian Americans and other migrants came close to being totally destroyed.[5] The transparent aim was to get rid of President Donald Trump, by fair means or foul. Either through the ballot box by backing the Democrats in the November Presidential elections, or through chaotic street violence, or a combination of both. In other words, it appears to have been a colour revolution coming home.

The US government has a history of orchestrating colour revolutions in foreign countries, in order to bring down any leader or government which has the temerity to defend itself against Western imperialism. Billionaire financier George Soros, through his Open Society Foundation (OSF) is known to have participated through funding several of these colour revolutions (which are really counter-revolutions) against “communism” in Eastern Europe in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.[6] Unfortunately, Soros’ liberal anti-communism is shared by the lockdown left and many who back BLM, even as they routinely denounce anyone who points out this connection as a “conspiracy theorist”.  The OSF is known for being obscure about where its millions of dollars in “donations” are directed,[7] but given the long list of liberal and civil society causes and organisations within the US that have received OSF funding, it is very likely that BLM has been one of the recipients. Here we refer to BLM the organisation rather than people who are drawn into BLM riots, rallies and protests.

One indicator that the BLM George Floyd riots were led in the direction of a reactionary colour revolution were the mysterious piles of bricks that appeared in half a dozen US cities.[8] The piles of loose masonry were strategically placed along the routes of BLM marches, inviting enraged rioters to conveniently pick them up and use them as projectiles. Whether these were paid for by George Soros or not, whoever supplied them obviously has deep pockets, and did not at all desire a peaceful protest. To our knowledge, the BLM organisation did not denounce the looting and violence that took place during the riots, and it even had the backing of substantial sections of the liberal corporate media.[9] This is another indicator that the riots were in fact not about George Floyd per se, but about President Donald Trump.

In Seattle, the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) was established. Barricading out six city blocks, BLM activists and supporters held off police in a supposedly peaceful occupation of parts of the city centre. President Trump vowed to crush the BLM and Antifa (a loose network of various anti-fascist types) backed autonomous zone, which was rather ironic given US imperialism’s backing for the “autonomous zone” in Northern Syria, using remorseless anti-government and pro-US Kurdish militias as proxies.[10] The existence of CHAZ somewhat resembled the “Occupy” protests of 2011, which took place in the US and a number of countries around the world. The key difference is that the Occupy movement had an overall progressive political message – it wanted an end to the vast gap between the obscenely rich minority of stock market billionaires and the overwhelming majority who exist in semi or actual poverty. Despite the Occupy movement subsiding partially due to a rejection of socialism or even working-class struggle as an alternative, it was at least an attempt to find a path towards social justice. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for CHAZ and BLM.

BLM and identity politics

BLM is the ultimate end of black identity politics, that is, the elevation of a racial indicators over and above other more substantial areas of commonality – such as class. That is one reason why it cannot go any further forward and ends in political activity which is easily co-opted by capitalism itself. This is despite many BLM supporters, especially the lockdown left, viewing themselves as “anti-capitalists” and even “socialists”. There are almost no protests, let alone riots, which can be backed by billionaire corporations, but the BLM George Floyd actions certainly were. The list of capitalist mega-corporations that have donated millions either to BLM directly or related charities in the wake of the riots is long, but instructive. An inexhaustive roll-call includes: Apple, Nike, Sony, Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, EA Games, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Etsy, H & M, Toms Shoes, Everlane, Levis, GAP, McDonalds, Wendys, Coca-Cola, and the United Health Group.[11]

It is not just that these corporations can see dollar signs in opportunistically posing as defenders of the anti-racism cause, though this is apparent. More to the point, the politics of BLM is so narrow and so restricted to one issue that it can garner support from anyone from any social class. In fact, the politics of BLM is so vague and ineffectual that the very billionaires of the ultimate oppressive class that benefit from the system which includes racism against people of colour can claim opposition to this racism. BLM could potentially be a progressive political movement if it linked the racism that exists to the structure of the system that uses it to divide working people. In other words, racism can only really be combatted by uniting black, white, yellow, red and brown people in a working-class struggle against the rule of finance capital. This is of course the very opposite of black identity politics.

The limitations of BLM and its politics are also on display with the one demand it actually did produce – “Defund the Police”. This demand lays bare the politics of BLM and the lockdown left. The police are a component part of the core of the capitalist state, alongside the courts, prisons, armed forces and the public service bureaucracy. While it is undeniable that the police use violence against working people, including people of colour, police cannot be abolished unless and until there is something to replace it. In the struggle to replace capitalism with socialism, workers struggle to erect their own state – which defends the overwhelming majority – in place of the capitalist state, which defends a numerically insignificant but extremely wealthy minority. While there will likely be “police” under a workers state, their class character changes into the opposite of what they are under a capitalist state. Police violence now stems from the class character of an armed force which needs extreme violence to protect the wealth of the few against the crying needs of the overwhelming majority. If there is any police violence under a workers’ state, it will mainly be directed against preventing the possibility of the ultra-rich minority from employing violence in attempts to regain their lost wealth and political power. In general, policing in a workers state will be used to defend the majority – an impossibility under capitalism.

Even though many workers now understand that capitalist state police sometimes commit gross injustices against them, and against minorities of all kinds, they also know that at the present moment police also play a social function that is not taken up by any other force. Despite their many crimes, working people are still compelled to call the police if they feel themselves or their homes are in danger. Until a workers’ movement is powerful enough to set up its own “police”, working people cannot support the abolition of the police as they exist now. The demand to “Defund the Police” is also the height of liberalism, for it implies that the capitalist state can be used to dismantle itself.

BLM and imperialist war    

While issuing calls for a fraudulent scaling-down of the state at home, BLM do not recoil from backing the very same state abroad, even when that state engages in wholesale slaughter of black, brown, Arabic people and millions who are non-white. Here is where BLM and the lockdown left join in an unholy alliance. Imperialist war is the quintessential act of the capitalist state and its need to expand or perish, and it cannot be separated from the daily oppression of workers it carries out at home. Yet with a few exceptions, the lockdown left (formerly the imperial left) and those who form the backbone of BLM have either remained silent, cheered on, or have been the loudest voices advocating the US imperialist wars on Libya and Syria. In 2011, NATO bombed Green Libya to smithereens in support of Al Qaeda and other racist misanthropes, which tragically led to the reappearance of black slavery.[12] NATO’s actions had the full backing of what is now the lockdown left, and there was silence from BLM.

What is more, due to their virulent opposition to the governments of Russia, China and Iran from the right, the lockdown left and many who back BLM in practice aid and assist the very Western governments they otherwise protest against. Joining the imperialist propaganda campaign against Russia, China and Iran materially aids Washington’s preparations for a catastrophic third World War. It is then any wonder that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the “human face” of the notorious CIA, could release a statement of political support for BLM?[13] As Tony Cartalucci writes[14], any genuine opposition to racism against black people would necessarily include strident opposition to actual and threatened imperialist wars waged by Washington, and backed by Canberra.

Shallow opportunism and hypocritical faux opposition to the capitalist state which uses racism to divide working people will not do. What is required is the building of a working-class struggle against the rule of the private banks and the stock market, from day to day policing up to and including the never-ending danger of imperialist war. Key to this perspective is the forging of an integrated multi-ethnic and multi-racial Marxist vanguard party, which can champion genuine anti-racism as one pillar for the overthrow of elite dominion and the establishment of a socialist order.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (17-06-2020)

[2] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-30/aboriginal-elder-arrested-amid-coronavirus-lockdown-frustrations/12203328 (17-06-2020)

[3] https://www.katherinetimes.com.au/story/6708190/first-the-army-now-the-federal-police-called-on-to-aid-nts-coronavirus-shutdown/ (17-06-2020)

[4] https://www.wtvy.com/content/news/March-held-to-honor-Police-Captain-David-Dorn-who-was-killed-by-looters-571040201.html (20-06-2020)

[5] https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/05/29/sahan-immigrant-business-owners-hit-hard-by-vandalism-and-looting-want-justice-for-floyd (20-06-2020)

[6] https://www.attac.hu/2017/06/george-soros-open-society-foundations-and-their-role-in-color-revolutions/ (20-06-2020)

[7] https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/open-society-foundations/ (20-06-2020)

[8] https://twitter.com/mel_faith1/status/1266685722469306369?lang=en (20-06-2020)

[9] https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/06/george-floyd-protests-are-not-chaos-trump-new-york-times/612544/ (20-06-2020)

[10] https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/15/beware-the-hijacking-of-us-protests-into-a-color-revolution/ (20-06-2020)

[11] https://www.cnet.com/how-to/companies-donating-black-lives-matter/ (20-06-2020)

[12] https://fair.org/home/media-nato-regime-change-war-libya-slave-markets/ (21-06-2020)

[13] https://www.ned.org/ned-statement-on-racism-and-democracy/ (21-06-2020)

[14] http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2020/06/to-america-black-lives-only-sometimes.html (21-06-2020)

 

 

End Corona Tyranny!

Police arrest Fanos Panayides, a speaker at the May 10 Melbourne protest against the coronavirus lockdowns. Image from Malay Mail.

End Corona Tyranny!

17-05-2020: Coronavirus tyranny continues to impose its will on workers worldwide. This is despite many now openly questioning the logic and reasoning behind the dumping into unemployment of millions, the draconian lockdowns and absurd “social distancing” rules. Desperately needed protests against lockdowns are still happening in the United States,[1] while the largest demonstrations regularly occur in Germany, attended by thousands in Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart.[2] After months of hesitation, the dire circumstances have eventually led to anti-lockdown protests in Australia.[3] In one of the most gut-wrenching scenes, police in Sydney traumatised a young child by tearing him away from his mother, who was peacefully protesting for basic rights outside the New South Wales parliament.[4] This young child could suffer permanent psychological damage, and the memory of this appalling incident should send a shiver down the spine of anyone who retains a glimmer of humanity.

Dissociative denial

The intense propaganda barrage from Western politicians and its compliant corporate media has arguably reached a stage which leaves many in a dissociative psychological state. Many know and feel instinctively that Covid-19 (renamed from SARS-CoV-2) is not the Black Plague that it is made out to be, and certainly nothing that has the potential to kill millions of innocent people. Yet they are acting as if that is precisely what it is, seemingly just to avoid being ex-communicated from family, friends, workplaces, and society in general. As CJ Hopkins wrote, everyone knew that in 2003 Iraq did not possess “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. There were huge demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq, but after the US invaded, occupied and destroyed the lives of millions, people were seemingly no longer able to point out or argue that what was being done was wrong. The “War on Terror” narrative was in full swing, so everyone had to at least pretend to be against “terrorism”, even though they knew the Iraqis were not terrorists.[5]

Working people are bombarded each day with death figures and are told this is because of the coronavirus. This corporate media spin is a transparent subterfuge. Not a shred of context or a comparison with other causes of death or other explanation is offered. Yet a few keystrokes on a keyboard connected to the internet will reveal a dramatic false alarm. In Australia, approximately 438 people pass away each day from all causes.[6] This means that the 132 days so far this year have resulted in 57 816 deaths. Of these, if the figures can indeed be trusted, only 97 of these are due to Covid-19.[7] That is, 0.17% of the total deaths so far in Australia this year can be attributed to the coronavirus. Obviously, such a miniscule percentage cannot justify a “pandemic”.

Corporate media worldwide blew the coronavirus situation in Italy into something resembling Armageddon. The reality was again more deceptive coverage. It turns out that 99% of Italy’s coronavirus victims had other adverse and underlying health conditions. The average age of Italy’s Covid-19 fatalities (again assuming accurate figures) was 79.5 years. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have had serious co-morbid health conditions.[8] This scenario is replicated worldwide. Unless you are aged in your 70s, 80s or 90s, or you have a significant health condition which debilitates your immune system, Covid-19 is not a dangerous virus. There is a case for attempting to shield the elderly and the immune compromised from exposure to the virus in the first several weeks of its peak – while allowing the rest of the healthy population to continue to circulate. Yet there is no case for the lockdown and isolation of those who are not sick and who do not display any symptoms.

Covid-19 needs to exhaust itself

In fact, the separation and isolation of the otherwise healthy population will do two things which increases the danger. Firstly, it will prevent natural or herd immunity from being reached in ideal timeframe – five to six weeks. The virus will then hang around for longer in the community, endangering, and even contributing to more deaths of, the elderly and the immune compromised. Secondly, preventing the healthy population from being able to contract Covid-19 means that they will not develop the antibodies to fight the virus naturally, and will thus be more vulnerable to the virus as well as other viruses that will inevitably arrive.

This is where the bourgeois ideology of “stop the spread” and “social distancing” is revealed to be the dastardly sting for which it has been deviously designed. There are only two ways to deal with a virus. One is a vaccine, and the other is natural, or herd, immunity. A vaccine for Covid-19 may not be possible, or if it is, it could be two years away. There is also a strong case for not using vaccines at all, given the domination of vaccine production by Big Pharma. Natural or herd immunity, on the other hand, is the way that humanity deals with flu viruses (admittedly Covid-19 is not a flu virus per se) every single year. Some people get a flu shot, but most people deal with it through herd immunity. We know that if you catch the flu, you isolate yourself from others (and especially elderly relatives) for a week or so, until it has passed. This is practiced by everyone without even thinking about it, through collective experience.

Through intense propaganda, people are being conditioned to do anything to help “stop the spread”, that is to attempt to contain it completely. Yet this is the opposite of what will actually “stop the spread”. With a virus, the healthy population (those who are not elderly or have chronic health conditions) needs to contract it and develop the necessary anti-bodies. They then become immune to it, and they can no longer pass it on to anyone else.[9] It seems ironic, but this is what happens every single year, every single flu season. A virus needs to spread first, so that herd immunity can be reached, and then the virus burns itself out and no longer bothers humans. As much as it is the opposite of what the self-serving politicians tell us, if you are generally healthy and aged under 70, being infected with Covid-19 is not only a good thing, it is necessary to protect the immune-compromised, and to strengthen the immune systems of the community in general. It must be remembered that around 80% of those who contract the virus recover (i.e. develop natural immunity) without the need to go to hospital.[10] In other words, in order to reach its own stage of self-exhaustion, the virus must first be allowed to spread amongst those with healthy immune systems. The fact that the politicians have wilfully lied about this process strongly indicates an ulterior motive, and another agenda entirely.

Lockdowns kill

It is self-evident that lockdowns and the deliberate destruction of the economy will kill innocent human beings, in numbers that are difficult to quantify. In the US, one report has already predicted that there will be 75 000 “deaths of despair” related to the government response to Covid-19. Factors contributing to “deaths of despair” include loneliness, months long compulsory isolation and skyrocketing unemployment.[11] The lockdowns, police enforced social distancing, the crashing of the economy – this understandably leads many to excess deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as suicide. A report prepared for the Australian parliament described some of the devastating effects unemployment has, from entrenched poverty in retirement, negative generational effects on whole families, up to and including significantly higher mortality rates.[12] Today’s unemployment is not due a “virus”, but a premeditated shutdown of whole industries by politicians, with no conclusive scientific or medical evidence that such an act will save even one life.

In the United Kingdom (UK), 5% of the working age population have applied for unemployment benefits, while in the US 10% of the entire population have filed for social security.[13] None of this is due to a relatively weak virus – it is due to brutal lockdowns and an economic freeze ordered by their respective governments. Disallowing people to work obviously puts them and their families in a perilous situation, as many will not be able to afford to pay the rent or put food on the table. All this happens while much needed health care is cancelled or postponed, to make way in hospitals for Covid-19 patients who are all but mythical. In the UK, 40% of the beds in the public health system remain empty[14], in what is allegedly a “health crisis”. These beds could be taken up by those who have chronic health conditions, the treatment of which could prolong or save their lives. Needless to say, depriving people of the need to work, the need for human contact, and the need for healthcare is plainly not about “saving lives”. Lockdown mania is the wanton taking of lives, for political ends.

Working class political leadership is critical

Corona tyranny is evidently not about medicine, science, or the protection of anyone. As we have indicated previously, the real agenda is a preparation for fascism and imperialist war. This is why the Union bureaucracy – the spine of imperialism – has been used to politically suppress workers. The ultra-conservative and overpaid Union officials impose the false virus scaremongering on their own members, and the working class as a whole. Of course, they have done so under the facile rhetoric of “staying safe”. Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Michele O’Neil released an eight-point program which is a barely social-democratic wish list, with no intention to organise Union members to achieve it. The real aim of the elite ACTU officials was contained in the comments: “We look forward to working with governments, employers and communities (emphasis added) to develop the programs Australia needs to rebuild and make jobs more secure.”[15]  That is, Union officials (as opposed to rank-and-file members) at all levels will co-operate with the very forces enabling the onerous state repression against workers, under the guise of “rebuilding Australia”. In reality, the Union tops are very well aware that the ruling classes of the Anglo-US Empire are pushing for a catastrophic war against China, Russia, Iran and others, and are stepping up the deceit so that no Union member or worker steps out of line by questioning such insanity. Nor are workers meant to question the effective cancellation of rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly or freedom of association – despite these being crucial even just for the existence of Unions.

What is arguably worse is the fact that many parties of the so-called left have barely quibbled with the treacherous Union officials in the task of spreading obviously fake coronavirus hysteria, while pleading for a shopping list of reformist “demands”. Incredibly, these parties which call themselves socialist line up to oppose workers returning to work, while the conservative Liberal government is urging a restart. They appear to believe the world is an incredibly dangerous place now, while the Liberal government knew all along it was all for show. Toeing the coronavirus line we find: Socialist Alliance[16], Socialist Alternative[17], Solidarity[18], Trotskyist Platform[19], Communist Party of Australia[20], Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)[21], Australian Communist Party[22], and the Socialist Equality Party[23]. All of them, to one degree or another, fan the flames of corona hysteria while making derisory pleas for more funding for healthcare. In practice, all of them have run into the arms of the bourgeois class while acting as their lieutenants enforcing a police state.

Before the working class can take one step forward against the ideological onslaught, it must help organise and lead resistance to the monstrous lockdowns and inane social distancing. The left must combat the epic betrayal of the Union officials and the so-called left parties who currently seem unable to question corporate politicians and its servile media. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association are not abstract rights. Capital has used a fake pandemic to remove these rights and will not return them unless workers take them back using their own power. We seek to fill the vacuum of leadership by taking the first steps towards a Marxist vanguard party. Join us!

WORKERS  LEAGUE
www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article242129761.html (12-05-2020)

[2] https://www.dw.com/en/germany-thousands-of-protesters-slam-isolation-measures/a-53382891 (12-05-2020)

[3] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8299429/Anti-vaxxers-5G-conspiracy-theorists-protest-coronavirus-lockdown-Victoria-Mothers-Day (12-05-2020)

[4] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8303083/Dramatic-moment-mother-protesting-rights-arrested-son-Sydney (12-05-2020)

[5] https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/05/virus-of-mass-destruction/ (12-05-2020)

[6] https://realnewsaustralia.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-that-is-the-question/ (12-05-2020)

[7] https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers (12-05-2020)

[8] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-18/99-of-those-who-died-from-virus-had-other-illness-italy-says (12-05-2020)

[9] https://lovebreedsaccountability.com/2020/05/01/your-mask-is-making-you-meaner-dumber-more-afraid-less-safe/ (12-05-2020)

[10] https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/treat-symptoms-at-home.html (13-05-2020)

[11] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-deaths-suicides-drugs-alcohol-pandemic-75000/ (13-05-2020)

[12] www.aphref.aph.gov.au_house_committee_ewr_owk_report_chapter2.pdf (13-05-2020)

[13] https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/12/opposing-lockdown-is-not-profits-before-people/ (13-05-2020)

[14] https://www.hsj.co.uk/acute-care/nhs-hospitals-have-four-times-more-empty-beds-than-normal/7027392.article (13-05-2020)

[15] https://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/media-releases/2020/australian-unions-call-for-2-million-new-secure-jobs-and-halving-of-job-insecurity-to-rebuild-economy (14-05-2020)

[16] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/workers-must-fight-back-10-demands-make-sure-no-worker-left-behind (14-05-2020)

[17] https://redflag.org.au/node/7179 (14-05-2020)

[18] https://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/may-1-convoy-protest-says-no-to-job-cuts-and-attacks-on-wages/ (14-05-2020)

[19] https://www.trotskyistplatform.com/no-job-cuts-no-unpaid-stand-downs/ (14-05-2020)

[20] https://cpa.org.au/guardian/2020/1914/01-profit.html (14-05-2020)

[21] https://www.cpaml.org/post4.php?id=1589275276&catitem1=People%27s%20Issues&catid1=19 (14-05-2020)

[22] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2020/4/23/covid19-and-the-dark-heart-of-capitalism (14-05-2020)

[23] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/12/viru-m12.html (14-05-2020)

The Left and the Coronavirus

The Conversation

The Left and the Coronavirus

25-04-2020: The Coronavirus circus will go down as arguably the largest ruse ever perpetrated in history. Is Covid-19 highly infectious? Yes. Is Covid-19 highly dangerous? To a very small minority it might be, depending on a whole heap of variables. Does it justify a controlled implosion of the economy, the sacking of millions of workers, the shredding of constitutions, the elimination (perhaps permanent) of elementary democratic rights, house arrest, a police state and the deliberate creation of poverty and despair? Nothing can justify this. Not only is this a case of the “cure” being worse than the disease, but the “cure” – if allowed to continue – may well cause many, many more premature deaths than ANY virus has done since the time of Cro-Magnon man. As more and more evidence questioning the Covid-19 plot emerges, the working class must burn into their memory the extent to which the authorities, and all of their agents, lied and lied and lied.

Vaccine for Covid-19 may be impossible

Palpable evidence contradicting the politicians’ Covid-19 hysteria is now appearing directly in the mainstream corporate media. In a stunning interview with News.com, Immunologist Professor Ian Frazer outlined why it is extremely difficult to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, even though there are currently 100 attempts being made. Prof. Frazer stated that the coronavirus does not kill cells but makes them sick. Exactly how to eliminate a virus which does not itself eliminate other cells is the tricky part. The coronavirus, which is already very ineffective at making people sick, actually becomes less powerful as it moves from host to host.[1] In effect this means the intense propaganda about “stop the spread” is false even on its own terms. The most effective way to kill the virus, it would seem, is to allow it to spread. Prof. Frazer again reiterated what many other dissident doctors, who have been brave enough to tell the truth, have stated previously.  He said for “99 per cent of people who got coronavirus it was a trivial illness, but that was not the case for those in the vulnerable categories”.[2]

Despite this, almost all points of authority in the capitalist West trumpet long and hard about how the coronavirus is a plague of biblical proportions, which, if left unchecked, will decimate the global population. How true is this? Not at all. The Johns Hopkins (private) University is usually cited as an authoritative source on the coronavirus and its effects. Joshua Michael carried out a daily check of the figures of reported infections and death rates during the first four months of this year. Assuming the figures from Johns Hopkins University are all correct, he found that at least 99% of the population of China, Italy, the USA, Spain, Germany, Iran, France, Switzerland, the UK, South Korea, Sweden and Australia remain uninfected. Furthermore, assuming World Factbook’s figure of 152 000 deaths per day is correct, 98.99% of people who died since the beginning of the ‘outbreak’ did not die from Covid-19.[3] This coronavirus “pandemic” has become a re-run of the swine flu “pandemic” of 2009 – a complete fizzer. Of all of the frauds perpetrated against workers in the West, this one takes the cake.

Lockdowns are self-defeating

It is becoming self-evident, if it wasn’t already,  that the Covid-19 death toll per se is not really a Covid-19 death toll. What the coronavirus does is trigger organ and function failure in those with already existing morbidities. This includes, but is not limited to, advanced age, cancer, heart disease, obesity and so on. Data from New York, the supposed new epicentre of Covid-19, indicates that the mortality rate for those aged over 80 years is 222 times higher than for those under 50 years old.[4] No one is suggesting that there should not be some measures taken to protect, and maybe temporarily isolate, treat and assist the elderly and/or those with serious health conditions from Covid-19. But to lockdown entire societies, subject workers to effective house arrest, send police to raid children’s birthday parties and potentially kick-start the ruin of human civilisation over a relatively weak virus only makes sense once we realise that there is another agenda at play.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), which is constantly accused of high-level corruption, famously estimated the mortality rate of Covid-19 at 3.4%. Every study that has been done since then exposes this figure as pie-in-the-sky. Research from a group of blood donors in Denmark found 22 of the 1487 samples were positive for Covid-19. Extrapolating the estimated 127 000 Danes that have reportedly been infected with the known Covid-19 deaths in Denmark results in a mortality rate of only 0.16%.[5] In the US the MIT Tech Review covered the work of a recent Stanford University study which found that between 50 to 85 times more people are infected with the coronavirus than first thought. This means that the actual mortality rate of Covid-19 is astronomically lower than the WHO’s blustering. It is likely to be under 0.2% – about as “deadly” as the common flu.[6]

Dr John Lee, a recently retired professor of pathology, stated in an interview that the figures for Covid-19 themselves can be very unreliable, especially if they are from different countries and refer to deaths in isolation from other information. He said that as more and more data comes in, it actually strongly indicates that the coronavirus was not anywhere near as dangerous as first imagined. His opinion is that the case fatality rate could end up being as low as 0.1%. What is more, there is no scientific evidence that nation-wide lockdowns are actually doing anything that Western governments claim they are. The data from Sweden and other countries which are not carrying out full-scale lockdowns is roughly the same as those countries that are – such as the UK.[7]

Left parties chime in

The ramping up of racist attacks on Chinese/Asian citizens, the intense political repression, house arrest, the abolition of even a pretence of the right to free speech or freedom of association or freedom of assembly, mass unemployment for workers – all of this is the result of the actions of Western governments using Covid-19 as an excuse for a vicious assault on working people.  This has been inflicted on the masses with blatant fearmongering and junk science. Again, this is not to discount the fact that some rational safety measures MAY be justified. However, one would expect that the first section of society that would stand up and speak out would be the left, you know, those militant revolutionaries who swear adherence to “Marxism”. If you thought this, unfortunately you would be wrong. The majority of Australian left parties have not only NOT defended workers from an indescribable attack on their lives, they have in fact served as ideological gendarmes of the capitalist state. Incredibly, some have even demanded MORE lockdowns and MORE shutdowns than even the corporate elite have managed to inflict so far.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) have been the most enthusiastic about OPPOSING a return to work[8] – something millions of unemployed and employed workers are desperate to do. The SEP, who trumpet their bland internationalism, funnel their resources into an international campaign…. to shutdown all non-essential services.  It’s as if they were employed by Western governments to act as wingmen to agitate for a position more outrageous than their own. The Socialist Alliance eclipses the SEP in the hysteria stakes, demanding a shutdown of schools in addition to non-essential industries, and a “regime” of tracing and quarantine.[9] As usual, it supplies a laundry list of reformist demands, topped by a radical call……for a parliamentary oversight committee![10]

To their credit, Solidarity do highlight the extreme attacks on workers and Unions that have been unleashed, using the coronavirus as a cover. They point out that the Retail Association has called for a 12-month wage freeze on the minimum wage, which is yet another real pay cut. They mention that the Australian Mines and Metals Association has written to the Federal Government demanding a suspension of all awards and enterprise agreements for six months – removing wages and conditions altogether.[11] At the same time, Solidarity in practice accept the premise for all of these attacks – that the world is facing a dire threat in the form of a coronavirus “pandemic”. Talk about fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Socialist Alternative are perceptive enough to sense that the police state measures inflicted on working people are “going a bit far”, to say the least. They write that there is no proof that lockdowns and travel bans stop the spread of viruses and diseases, and that there is huge skepticism within the medical community about authoritarian quarantine measures.[12] While they correctly warn against accepting “inhumane authoritarian controls” as a sole means to deal with a crisis, they also fuel the panic-mongering initiated by the very governments they are criticising. For example, they even claim that 2000 people are dying daily from Covid-19.[13] If this was true, we might actually have a pandemic.

Socialist Action recognise that the vast majority (try something like 99.9999999%) will survive the coronavirus, but also claim that it is a catastrophe “ravaging the planet”. One cannot have it both ways. Like others on the left, they end up wistfully imploring the government and businesses to do a better job than they currently are.[14] The Trotskyist Platform correctly highlight the fact that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has reduced the number of community transmission of Covid-19 to almost zero. Undoubtedly, the PRC’s largely collectively owned and planned economy played a key role in this huge achievement. However, they also propel coronavirus paranoia by declaring the current period to be one of a “public health emergency”,[15] despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary.

The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) play into the contrived “pandemic” by condemning “neoliberalism”.[16] In other words, the CPA uses the opportunity to once again plead for minor reforms to the capitalist system. They appear oblivious that the Anglo/US Empire has used the coronavirus as cover for huge attacks on the working class. They see the “pandemic” as something separate from the government, which dovetails with the government’s ideological drive. That is, blame everything on a “virus”, so that anything will be accepted without question – even a police state.

The Australian Communist Party (ACP), an anti-China split from the CPA, do note that the government is using Covid-19 as a cover for mass surveillance, suspension of basic rights, and even proposing bans on protests and boycotts. However, their anti-socialist red baiting of the PRC is never far from the surface,[17] placing them in the company of the government they condemn. The Communist Party of Australia Marxist-Leninist (CPA-ML), through their ICOR international of “Marxist-Leninist” parties, also demand the shutdown of non-essential industries, combined with wage compensation for those who lose their jobs.[18] Like others on the left, they don’t seem to notice the irony of the demand – we want workers sacked with compensation!

End the insanity

“Staying at home saves lives….social-distancing….flatten the curve” – all of this is crystallised bourgeois propaganda. Yet much of the so-called left have imbibed the corporate media Kool-Aid, and thus play a simple role of finger wagging towards the capitalist robber barons they claim to oppose. “You should have done a better job with the (false) pandemic….you should fund health care….you should have made preparations”: and so on ad nauseam. This base liberalism contains not a skerrick of Marxism, which seeks to organise workers to establish their own state, administered by their own government. One can’t be the first in line to buy the “pandemic” fraud, and then claim to oppose the lockdowns, the police state, the house arrest, the abolition of democratic rights, the millions of job losses, the consequent poverty and more. Nor will you be armed to oppose the fascism or imperialist war that may very well follow in its path. For the “pandemic” is the pretext for all of this and more.

This “left” would have us believe, all of a sudden, that all politicians of Western governments, billionaire employers, the billionaire vaccinator-in-chief Bill Gates, the totally compromised WHO, NATO, the police, the capitalist state itself is – just this once – supremely concerned about the health and welfare of working people who at all other times they repress, hold in contempt, ruin, and drive into homelessness. Is this remotely plausible? To ask the question is to answer it. This “left” has swallowed the Covid-19 deception hook, line and sinker.

In August 1914, Lenin and the Bolsheviks in Russia were stunned to discover that almost every single social-democratic party at that time openly sided with the “Fatherland” instead of the workers, and signed on to the catastrophe of the inter-imperialist World War I. From that moment, on the basis of a final split with social-democrats and implacable opposition to the war, Leninism was born. It proceeded to lead the Russian proletariat in establishing the first workers’ state in history, beginning with the October Revolution in 1917. Today, the ostensible left repeat the crimes of the social democrats in August 1914. Not only do they not question the “pandemic”, they openly and willingly aid and assist “their own” capitalists in the process of installing a police state against workers. They even demand lockdowns spread further or remain in place for longer. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Lenin’s co-leader of the October Revolution, L. Trotsky, once wrote that the essence of Menshevism (the Mensheviks were the mortal “left” opponents of the Bolsheviks) was total submission to the political leadership of the bourgeoisie, combined with open hostility and restraint towards the impulsive revolutionary acts of the working class. For the “Menshevism” of that time, we can today substitute the arrant reformism of the “we are all going to die if we don’t self-isolate” left. One wonders how this “left” would fare today against the the famously acerbic polemics of Lenin and Trotsky towards left pretenders.

What is now required is the organising of defiant demonstrations demanding the lifting of all lockdowns, the abolition of all anti-democratic Covid-19 legislation, the overturning of anti-worker Covid-19 provisions in workplace collective agreements, and the dropping of all charges and waiving of all fines of all those apprehended under draconian social-distancing and stay-at-home orders. There will be a revolt against the lockdowns – they have already started. If the left does not lead them, the right certainly will. To fill the vacuum, there is a dire need for a vanguard party based on genuine Leninism, which can lead the oppressed masses against the Covid-19 swindle and on to the urgent struggle for an internationally planned and collectivised economy – where truth, and not lies, will reign.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/no-vaccine-for-coronavirus-a-possibility/news-story/34e678ae205b50ea983cc64ab2943608 (21-04-2020)

[2] Ibid, 1.

[3] https://www.sott.net/article/432806-Global-Madness-The-Official-Numbers-Prove-COVID-19-is-Benign (21-04-2020)

[4] www.informationclearinghouse.info/55069.htm (21-04-2020)

[5] https://www.rt.com/news/486017-denmark-covid19-mortality-study/ (21-04-2020)

[6] https://www.globalresearch.ca/mit-tech-review-smears-study-proving-covid-19-overhyped/5710088 (21-04-2020)

[7] https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/04/17/theres-no-direct-evidence-that-the-lockdowns-are-working/ (21-04-2020)

[8] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/18/stri-a18.html (22-04-2020)

[9] https://socialist-alliance.org/news/suppressing-spread-covid-19 (22-04-2020)

[10] https://socialist-alliance.org/news/covid-19-action-plan-confront-crisis (22-04-2020)

[11] https://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/coronavirus-all-in-it-together/ (22-04-2020)

[12] https://redflag.org.au/node/7017 (22-04-2020)

[13] https://redflag.org.au/node/7140 (22-04-2020)

[14] https://thesocialist.org.au/capitalisms-covid-19-catastrophe/ (22-04-2020)

[15] https://www.trotskyistplatform.com/socialistic-china-is-overcoming-the-corona-virus-threat/ (22-04-2020)

[16] https://cpa.org.au/guardian/2020/1910/01-neoliberalism.html (22-04-2020)

[17] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2020/4/18/covid19-sledgehammer-attack-on-right-to-organise (22-04-2020)

[18] https://www.cpaml.org/post4.php?id=1585962975&catitem1=International&catid1=21 (22-04-2020)

Covid-19: Savage Assault Under the Guise of “Health”

Covid-19: Savage Assault Under the Guise of “Health”

18-04-2020: Across Australia, the US and Europe, working people are being subjected to the heaviest assault on their working conditions and their standard of living since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The difference is that this time, the assault is being carried out under the false pretext of “healthcare” and “saving lives”. This would be funny if it was not so serious. Some kind of coronavirus exists and is circulating throughout the globe. To some, it could represent some level of danger. Yet this is what occurs every year without fail. There are flu strains and other viruses that come and go every winter. Some of those with advanced age and/or other serious health conditions are very unfortunately tipped over the edge by such things and lose their lives. Yet there is NO imminent threat to the overwhelming majority of people, who otherwise enjoy good health.

Cure is far worse than the disease

There is a crisis, but it is not caused by a coronavirus. It is caused by the ruling elites of the West, who have seized on the opportunity Covid-19 presents, to push down the price of labour power (wages) by imposing extreme ideological and political control. This enables them to carry out a controlled partial implosion of the production for private profit economies, so that the corporate class profits while working people endure psychological terror, grinding poverty and despair. This also allows them to impose a semi-fascist police state, with (so far) little or no opposition. Constitutional, democratic and civil rights are being extinguished without even an attempt to justify such draconian measures. As exiled whistle-blower Edward Snowden warns, the coronavirus will be temporary, but the political loss of rights may well be permanent.[1]

As we reported earlier, the coronavirus may well have been an attempt by Washington to collapse the powerhouse socialist economy of Red China, which backfired spectacularly.[2] The “free enterprise” economies of the West are essentially unable to compete with the gargantuan Chinese economy, whose relentless growth and expansion is underwritten by state owned banks, industry, finance and critical infrastructure. These pillars remain a legacy of the 1949 revolution, which established the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Yet the US also no longer has the level of hegemonic control it once had. Non-socialist but non-imperialist powers such as Russia and Iran cannot be controlled by Washington militarily or economically and are free to choose their own path. Unable to provoke the non-imperialist powers into a global war which may save Western capitalism, the ruling classes of the West have turned against “their own” working class.

Hence the Covid-19 plot – a frame up of epic proportions. Ostensibly due to a mortal threat, we are supposed to step aside and allow Western governments to order the sacking of tens of millions of workers, shutdown substantial portions of the economy, lockdown entirely healthy people under effective house arrest, suspend parliaments and elections, abolish elementary rights and impose a police state with powers of restraint that extend far beyond those that even the most ambitious Nazis of the Third Reich could dream. There is another agenda at play here – but it is not about “health”.

Compare coronavirus to its competitors

How dangerous is SARS-CoV-2 (known as Covid-19) compared to other viruses? To be frank, it’s not even on the same scale. The Ebola virus was first noted in 1976, but there was an outbreak in West Africa in 2014. Some strains of Ebola have a mortality rate of around 50%. That is, the fatality rate of those who contract the virus, is around half. The Sudan strain has a mortality rate of 71% – clearly one of the most deadly viruses on earth.[3] MERS-CoV, or MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), of which there was an outbreak in Saudi Arabia in 2012, has a mortality rate of between 30 and 40%.[4]

Now assess the mortality rate of Covid-19. The World Health Organisation (WHO), which has a string of ongoing corruption allegations standing against it,[5] estimates the mortality rate of Covid-19 at 3.4%. Yet this figure is controversial, and according to some dissident epidemiologists, the actual overall mortality rate of Covid-19 may be as low as 0.95%. Stanford University researcher Dr John Ioannidis says that some aspects of Covid-19 are serious, but the estimates are exaggerated. While around 60 million people on the planet pass away each year from all causes, he is concerned that those with financial or other interests may try to exploit Covid-19, to “take over the entire agenda”, which could put many more lives at risk.[6]

The key to the real Covid-19 mortality rate is age. Dr Ioannidis co-authored a recent academic paper precisely on this topic. The conclusion? “People (less than) 65 years (of age) have very small risks of Covid-19 death even in the hotbeds of the pandemic, and deaths for people (less than) 65 years of age without underlying predisposing conditions are remarkably uncommon. Strategies focusing specifically on protecting high-risk elderly individuals should be considered in managing the pandemic.”[7] In other words, if you are less than 65 years old and are in relatively good health, the risk of perishing is extremely small. If you are more than 65 years old, and/or have other serious health conditions, the risk is such which could justify special measures – such as temporary isolation. But that’s it.

In addition, the vast majority of those who contract Covid-19 make a full recovery. What is more, huge proportions of people who actually are “infected” with Covid-19 experience no symptoms at all.  In China, four-fifths of those who tested positive to Covid-19 experienced no symptoms, i.e., were relatively unaffected by it.[8] Iceland tested 10% of its population for Covid-19 at random, and found that of those who tested positive, 50% of them exhibited no symptoms.[9] That is, they had the virus without even realising it. Generally speaking, Covid-19 can be dangerous to certain demographics, and those with other serious and co-existing health conditions, but generally it is not an earth-shattering health and safety concern to the entire population.

What are the real coronavirus death numbers?

Lurid reports of escalating death counts allegedly from Covid-19 saturate the corporate media, with such intense repetition that it can be difficult to stop and think rationally. Thankfully, there are some who do question the “official” figures, which reveal wild distortions at the first sign of investigation. New York city is supposedly the new epicentre for the Coronavirus outbreak, yet authorities there recently dropped a howler. On the 4th of April, it was reported that New York city officials had increased its death toll by 3700 after officials decided to “include people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died from it (!!)”.[10] In practice this means that the number of “Covid-19 deaths” include Covid-19 fatalities – along with many other fatalities!

A Montana based physician recently blew the whistle on the way in which the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the US was exaggerating the Covid-19 death toll by manipulating death certificates. Without performing a detailed autopsy, doctors do not always know the exact cause of death. Yet the CDC, from their own website and as of the 4th of April, confirm that mortality data includes both confirmed and presumptive cases of Covid-19.[11] The assumption of Covid-19 death can be reported to the public as confirmed Covid-19 death. Then the statistical modelling of numbers of cases supposedly building up is done on what are wildly inaccurate figures.

Why does this happen? Senator Scott Jensen from Minnesota, who is also a doctor, reported that that the US Medicare system encourages doctors to overcount Covid-19 cases. What is more, Medicare in the US determines that a Covid-19 admission to a hospital will receive $13 000 in federal funding, whereas a Covid-19 admission which requires a ventilator will receive $39 000.[12] Further, he said he received a seven page document on how to fill out a death certificate with Covid-19 diagnosis, even when there is no lab test confirming the diagnosis.[13]

Many have made the basic point that there is a selection bias in the total number of coronavirus infections, let alone the death numbers. This is because only those who are sick enough to require hospitalisation will go to hospital. The overwhelming majority of those who contract Covid-19 experience no or mild symptoms, and they go on to a full recovery. In fact, the majority of the population will be infected, will survive, and will be unaware that they ever were a carrier of the virus.[14] But by only counting the number of people who are hospitalised with Covid-19, there is a gross overestimation of the percentage of infected people who die from Covid-19.

Here in Australia, the road toll (the number of fatalities on Australian roads from accidents, car crashes etc) over 2019 was 1182.[15] At the time of writing, the number of Covid-19 deaths so far this year in Australia is 63, out of 6447 cases.[16] And this is assuming these figures are accurate and reliable, for argument’s sake (which is extremely doubtful). So at the very most, Covid-19 deaths so far represent 5.3% of last year’s road toll. This is a pandemic? There is something else going on here.

Hospitals overwhelmed?

The corporate media bombards us with images of hospitals being overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. But are they real? The CBS network in the US was forced to admit it used video footage from Italy while claiming to be reporting from New York, i.e., it was fake news.[17] In fact, hospitals in the US, UK, Spain and Italy are typically overrun each year with a regular winter blast of flu victims. In Lombardy in Italy, one of the world hotspots for Covid-19, their Intensive Care Units (ICUs) “…run at 85 to 90% capacity in the winter months”.[18] In Germany, some hospitals are in fact lacking patients[19], and others are applying for short-time work for their staff because they have too few patients.[20] What is occurring is that hospitals are clearing spaces, including in ICU units….for Covid-19 patients who never arrive. We are told that “bodies are piling up”, but then we come across some hospitals using their “flat to the boards” staff…. to film choreographed dance videos![21]  If you think something is fishy about all of this, you are not the only one.

Resist before it is too late

In Germany, citizens of Berlin are publicly challenging the lockdowns, which have not been justified on scientific or medical grounds. Incredibly, lawyer Beate Bahner was committed to a psychiatric ward by force for publicly demonstrating that the lockdowns are blatantly unconstitutional and illegal.[22] Workers need to be clear – the cruel and sadistic lockdowns imposed on innocent men, women and children by Western governments on the fabricated grounds of “public health” are driven by politics, not by science and not by medicine. This is the anti-working class politics of fascism and imperialist war, for which the Covid-19 farce appears to be a dry run. Rank and file Union members know full well that if an employer is allowed to fragrantly break the law, they will keep doing it until they are stopped by collective resistance. In the same way, Covid-19 lockdowns must be openly and publicly defied, following the lead of the brave from Berlin.

The fact that the entire Union bureaucracy and almost the entire purported “left” have not only not questioned the lockdowns, but have actually helped enforce them, and/or, demanded even more extreme lockdowns – speaks volumes to their political bankruptcy. What is urgently required is a Marxist vanguard party, forged out of resistance to contrived Covid-19 terror.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box   66  NUNDAH   QLD   4012

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pcQFTzck_c (16-04-2020)

[2] https://redfireonline.com/2020/03/22/covid-19-natural-pathogen-or-biological-war/ (16-04-2020)

[3] https://www.livescience.com/56598-deadliest-viruses-on-earth.html (16-04-2020)

[4] Ibid, 3.

[5] https://www.globalresearch.ca/politics-corruption-who/5702045 (16-04-2020)

[6] https://www.straight.com/covid-19-pandemic/stanford-university-researcher-john-ioannidis-relies-on-data-to-puncture-some-of-myths-about (16-04-2020)

[7] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.05.20054361v1.full.pdf (16-04-2020)

[8] https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1375 (16-04-2020)

[9] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8210401/Iceland-finds-half-population-asymptomatic-infected-Covid-19.html (16-04-2020)

[10] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/nyregion/new-york-coronavirus-deaths.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&fbclid=IwAR10ck4Te4nFP-x7xDNxXGcS6-l75qUNUGkiMnDQQfGVET1pwzuRRxyclik (17-04-2020)

[11] https://greatgameindia.com/whistleblower-how-cdc-is-manipulating-covid-19-death-toll/ (17-04-2020)

[12] https://subterrnews.blogspot.com/2020/04/doc-hospitals-getting-paid-more-to.html (17-04-2020)

[13] Ibid, 12.

[14] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/we-could-be-vastly-overestimating-the-death-rate-for-covid-19-heres-why/ (17-04-2020)

[15] https://www.motoring.com.au/australian-road-toll-up-in-2019-122316/ (17-04-2020)

 

[16] https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers (17-04-2020)

[17] https://nypost.com/2020/04/01/cbs-admits-to-using-footage-from-italy-in-report-about-nyc/ (17-04-2020)

[18] https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/02/coronavirus-fact-check-1-flu-doesnt-overwhelm-our-hospitals/ (17-04-2020)

[19] https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/trotz-corona-pandemie-warum-kliniken-jetzt-kurzarbeit-anmelden-a-3dc61bc9-fb12-4298-8022-bb4c2be39d7d (17-04-2020)

[20] https://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/Spitaeler-28949526 (17-04-2020)

[21] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQP5wRAJVnI&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR2hMU_RLvlwakbVi8uqLQdZ_Zz0SMp-N1mphP_haPhiL4VZrfR0n8zTlA0&app=desktop (17-04-2020)

[22] https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/coronavirus-lockdown-german-lawyer-detained-opposition?fbclid=IwAR0o7vw-G6vTFGX-W9GXe13IJuc1MozHySy6zUV6Ynwk1NTwlI7_jnS633o (17-04-2020)

No to House Arrest! Resist Martial Law!

Image from Yahoo News Australia

No to House Arrest!  Resist Martial Law!

12-04-2020: Australia, the US and Europe stand on the precipice of “medical” martial law. Fascistic lockdowns which effectively amount to house arrest are in place, enforced by a beefed-up police presence, who are monitoring and controlling workers with measures that in any other circumstance would trigger a township rebellion. Western governments have not only shredded basic rights but have in many cases eliminated elementary human decency. Millions have been thrown onto the unemployment scrapheap, and the economy has been deliberately crashed, pushing people to the brink of despair. All this has been imposed on the basis of government and corporate media hysteria fuelled by a big lie – “we all gone die!”

There is little danger from a virus – the real danger is fascism and imperialist war. Fascism and imperialist war were the only way out for the capitalist economies during the 1930s, but workers cannot allow history to repeat itself today. The Anglo/US Empire has been itching for war against Russia and China for the last ten years. Due to extreme patience and skilled political moves, Russia and China (and Iran and the DPRK) have, so far, prevented Washington from plunging the globe into World War III. Unable to procure the war outcome through relentless provocations, imperialism has turned against “their own” workers. After imposing devastating sanctions on umpteen foreign countries, the Western ruling classes are now effectively applying starvation sanctions at home.

Truth is the first casualty

Working people must resist this genocidal course. As in the 1930s, and even more so today, the first prerequisite to a generalised fightback is a complete break with the current phase of bourgeois ideology. Its fundamental tenet is that millions of people will die from an alleged coronavirus unless “we” lockdown the entire society, throw millions out of work, detain workers under house arrest, and install a police state redolent of Nazi Germany. This bare-faced lie must be rejected before there can be moves made to resist the vulgar display of power. For, if one accepts the spurious claim of a “deadly coronavirus pandemic”, one cannot then go on to oppose the measures which the ruling class maintains are a response to it – job cuts, house arrest, martial law and Orwellian “social-distancing”. The lives of millions are NOT at stake, and half of humanity will NOT perish from a coronavirus (Covid-19) which contains some similarities to a seasonal flu.[1]

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a “pandemic” on March 11, after previously using the term PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern). Yet just as the 2009 “Swine flu” WHO declared pandemic was fake, so too is the coronavirus “pandemic”. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom is the first WHO director who is NOT a medical doctor. He is a doctor of philosophy and was previously an Ethiopian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Health.[2] He is a run-of-the-mill politician, in other words. A fake pandemic declared by a fake doctor! There’s one for the books.

Try as they might, Western governments cannot suppress facts about the coronavirus from emerging – facts which totally contradict their narrative. In Australia, PM Scott Morrison (“Scomo”) has every level of government, all health departments, all major parties, all corporate media, conservative Trade Union leaders (not members), most left parties, the intelligentsia etc – all on his side, fanning the flames of relentless panic-mongering. Yet the numbers and statistics to indicate a supposed mortal danger are just not there. This is not to say that some preventative health measures – arguably for temporarily isolating the most vulnerable – may be justified. However, a mass coronavirus die-off is a fantasy.

Pandemic’s rubbery figures

The world is a large place, inhabited by 7.8 billion people, of whom around 90 000 people pass away each day[3], from all causes. Dr John Lee states that over the first three months of this year, we could expect around 14 million people to pass away. Of that, the world’s 18 944 coronavirus deaths represent only 0.14% of that total.[4]  This mortality rate is lower than other infectious diseases, such as the seasonal flu, that we currently live with. In the United Kingdom (UK), on March 19, Covid-19 was downgraded as a danger, and was no longer considered a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID).[5] Why? Due to a low mortality rate. Ironically, this was four days before the UK entered lockdown. Their lockdown appears to have been implemented for other (suspicious) reasons.

In the US Dr Anthony Fauci is the White House spokesperson on Covid-19. In public press conferences in front of the media, Dr Fauci speaks of a doomsday like coronavirus worst case scenario. Yet this is completely at odds with a report he co-authored on the coronavirus. That report explicitly states that “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”[6] Again the fatality rates of Covid-19 are nowhere near “pandemic” levels. In fact, a seasonal flu much more resembles a “pandemic”. So, while his own academic research (which most people will never see) says one thing, he says the opposite in a White House media scrum. Here we have a concrete example of medicos paid by the state skewing their public message to that of those who fund their careers.

In any other situation, the notion that workers could be confined to their homes and not be allowed to venture out unless for a “good reason”, on pain of arrest and prosecution, would be rejected as unimaginable tyranny. Yet this has been implemented in the US, UK and Australia, alongside “social distancing” measures for which little or no scientific or medical justification has been presented. In fact, there are some indications that social distancing may prolong the existence of the coronavirus, whereas if it was left to run its course, nature would allow humans to develop immunity in a matter of weeks. In a stunning interview, an epidemiologist with 35 years’ experience stated that the coronavirus could be exterminated by lifting the lockdowns, and only taking measures to temporarily isolate very vulnerable sections of society such as those with advanced age. Knutt Wittkowski, previously the long-time head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design at Rockefeller University in New York, also stated that going outdoors is what kills every respiratory disease.[7] “Flattening the Curve”, used nowadays by government and the media to insane groupthink levels, and enforcing social distancing as part of that, can in fact make the disease hang around much longer than it should. Perversely, that seems to be the government’s aim – to keep us in lockdown and apart from each other for between six months to two years.

Social control, not social distancing

The big lie propaganda machine insists that social distancing will “stop the spread”, and that “staying at home saves lives”. How convenient for the authorities that such measures disorient and paralyse the masses, as well as generating spontaneous deference to the government. This is the same Scomo led government which, little more than a couple of months ago, was condemned from all quarters for displaying callous disregard for people and wildlife losing their lives and/or livelihoods in catastrophic global warming fuelled bushfires. Many have switched from believing that the government doesn’t care if we die, to the government is trying to save our lives – overnight. We can’t have it both ways.

A few examples of the absurdities of police enforcement demonstrate that social distancing is about social and political control, rather than about “stopping the spread”. In the US, a paddleboarder was arrested in Malibu for refusing to exit the water. He was paddling alone in the ocean, clearly distancing himself from anyone.[8] In Pennsylvania, a woman was fined for violating stay-at-home orders – when she was actually just driving alone.[9] She had gone for a drive to relieve the boredom of isolation, but had obviously maintained isolation. Closer to home, the Queensland Police Commissioner reaffirmed that over Easter, anyone “blatantly” just going for a drive – which is not “essential travel” – will if found be apprehended and fined.[10] Go for a drive, be punished by the state. There is clearly another agenda here; it cannot be about “health” or “safety”. This is about getting working people accustomed to blind and unthinking submission to authority, even when it is irrational and counterproductive.

Even some who retain some level of backing for certain restrictions have major reservations about the practice of the lockdowns. Professor Peter Collignon, of the Australian National University medical school, is concerned that Australia’s extreme measures against going outside “don’t even make biological sense”. He is another expert who says that people are safer from a virus when they are outside, as opposed to being locked inside.[11] He has called for the implementation of biologically plausible measures which do not cause social, mental or economic harm.[12] A man of science cannot be expected to imagine that the lockdowns are primarily motivated by anti-working class politics, rather than biology. The ruling elite of Australia, the US and Europe have separate aims.

False “Overwhelmed hospitals” news

In the US, the LA Times was exposed as distributing transparent fake news when it claimed that its city hospitals were “overwhelmed” with Covid-19 infected patients. When journalist Del Bigtree visited the hospitals himself just to check on this story, he found that the waiting areas and entrances to the hospitals were empty – hardly a soul in sight.[13] Here in Australia, we are not even allowed to check our hospitals here, because we are basically not allowed outside, on pain of prosecution! In addition, there are no media photos or video of hospitals or local GP wards here being flooded with coronavirus patients – no prizes for guessing why.

It needs emphasising over and over again, passing away WITH the coronavirus is not at all the same as passing away FROM the coronavirus. Time and time again, from various countries around the world, there emerge reports which confirm that medical statistics of Covid-19 “deaths” simply record IF the patient had Covid-19 present in their body at the time of their passing.[14] Whether it is the US, Europe or Australia, these skewed stats do not at all indicate to what extent the coronavirus contributed to their deteriorating condition or their eventual death. These skewed stats do not mention what other serious health conditions the patients had. Suffice to say, if there are ANY other serious health conditions, ANY flu strain or virus could be dangerous – but it is hardly the sole cause.

Drop the charges, waive the fines

Others have noted that martial law is not “law” at all. It is the abolition of any pretext of a legal process and is direct rule by the decree of the head of the armed forces. In a sense we have entered into a period of “medical” martial law, and effective house arrest. It is estimated that one million workers have been sacked, and many businesses have simply been forced to cease trading. The mental health of millions is now being threatened, and poverty is rising. Fascism and imperialist war launched by Washington (backed by Canberra) looms large. If this is not fought, the ruling classes will get away with even more than they have planned with the coronavirus diversion.

Tragically, left-wing leadership of the working class is all but absent. What has taken its place is a Union bureaucracy actively aiding the government itself[15], and so-called left parties who also act as government auxiliaries. Whomever falls for the Covid-19 psy-op is of no use to those who labour. What we demand is the dropping of all charges and the waiving of all fines against all those apprehended under the draconian “social-distancing” and “stay-at-home” orders. Out of resistance to the “health” fiasco must be forged a vanguard party of advanced workers, who will lead a struggle for a planned economy based on public ownership of the means of production.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu (10-04-2020)

[2] https://journal-neo.org/2020/04/02/can-we-trust-the-who/ (10-04-2020)

[3] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ (10-04-2020)

[4] https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/The-evidence-on-Covid-19-is-not-as-clear-as-we-think (10-04-2020)

[5] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid (10-04-2020)

[6] https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/04/02/ground-control-planet-lockdown-only-test/ (10-04-2020)

[7] https://www.thecollegefix.com/epidemiologist-coronavirus-could-be-exterminated-if-lockdowns-were-lifted (10-04-2020)

[8] https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/04/03/paddleboarder-arrested-in-malibu-for-refusing-to-exit-water/ (10-04-2020)

[9] https://reason.com/2020/04/07/to-enforce-social-distancing-rules-cops-fined-a-pennsylvania-woman-who-was-driving-alone/ (10-04-2020)

[10] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8190769/Top-cop-says-Australians-shouldnt-driving-amid-coronavirus-lockdown.html (10-04-2020)

[11] https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6707817/expert-pans-panic-decisions-that-dont-make-biological-sense/?fbclid=IwAR0vWHAgHVkTx3w2VKwBshpeX–TlH4L7x1-KdnAg0u4ZHOKrVwoML4hSNE (10-04-2020)

[12] https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/05/we-need-to-live-restricted-lives-for-at-least-six-months-police-enforced-lockdowns-are-unnecessary? (10-04-2020)

[13] https://www.sott.net/article/431750-Empty-Hospitals-Where-Are-All-The-Coronavirus-Patients (11-04-2020)

[14] https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/05/covid19-death-figures-a-substantial-over-estimate/ (11-04-2020)

[15] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOPNv2t0grQ  (11-04-2020)

Lift the Lockdowns! No to a Police State!

Police patrol Coogee Beach in Sydney. Image from Reddit

Lift the Lockdowns! No to a Police State!

04-04-2020 – The rhetoric is health and safety; the reality is potential fascism and war. Under the pretext of “public health”, Australia’s elites are installing measures which – under any other circumstance – would be denounced as those of a totalitarian dictatorship. This is not to say that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) is not, at some level, a health concern. Yet the measures the Western ruling classes are implementing are likely to create health conditions far more dangerous than the virus itself. It appears the Coronavirus is being used as an excuse to exert extreme ideological and political control of working people, in order to wage economic and perhaps military war against those states who have the temerity to say no to imperialism. A police state, or a state of semi-fascism, would for the capitalist class provide the ideal conditions for the launching of a pre-emptive war against those countries they cannot control.

Lockdown the healthy?

Lockdowns and orders to stay at home are in place across Australia and other nations. Sweden, however, has not gone into lockdown mania. Life largely goes on as normal, with only gatherings of more than 500 people prohibited. Neighbouring Norway has a similar amount of cases (around 3000), and entered lockdowns weeks ago, which meant unemployment quadrupled.[1] Absurdly, the Australian government has banned gatherings of more than 2 (!) people, inside or outside. “Stage 3” lockdowns have been in place, with threats of “Stage 4”.[2]  Fines worth thousands of dollars are to be wielded by the police against those found violating the 2 person gathering limit or the “social distancing” measures.[3] Isolation of those infected with Coronavirus is rational advice, but an attempt to stop any form of social interaction amongst the healthy is deeply suspicious.

Some doctors are publicly questioning the lockdowns, which appear to be driven by a combination of government and corporate media fueled hysteria. Swedish doctor Anders Tegnell stated that older people and people with significant health concerns should be isolated, as well as anyone with slight cold symptoms, but that is all.[4] Indian doctor Anurag Agarwal claimed that physical distancing (rather than social distancing) is necessary, but lockdowns have dire effects not just in health terms.[5] It appears no timeframes are being given for the lockdowns, leaving some to wonder whether they will be semi-permanent. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says six months will be needed. The political establishment and their staffers have no need to be concerned about changing their lifestyle very much at all within that time period. Workers and the now estimated 1 million unemployed workers in Australia, on the other hand, will have a much more difficult time dealing with the many restrictions.

The real dangers of the Coronavirus have been seriously exaggerated, as if there was an intention to frighten people. Television pictures from Italy appear to be serious, but what are the facts? A scientific paper published on the 17th of March reported that 87% of deaths in Italy have been patients over 70 years of age – the same as what happens every flu season.[6] The chief of Italy’s Superior Institute of Health reported that the majority of deaths from the Coronavirus have been among the very old – the average age being 80.3 years. The majority of deaths had three or more serious simultaneous health issues. Just two people under 40 perished, both were 39. But one had cancer, and the other had diabetes, obesity and other health problems prior to being infected.[7]

Even in the United States of America, where the Coronavirus appears to have spread significantly, the actual chance of losing your life is very low. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US noted that of those who contract the Coronavirus, the death rate for those over 80 years of age is 10.4%, 5.35% for over 70s, 1.51% for over 60s, and 0.37% in the over 50s. There are lower rates for those younger, dropping to zero for those under 29.[8] Prudent advice would be for those in a vulnerable demographic to exercise more care, and perhaps avoid huge crowds. Usual health measures of eating well and exercising apply as at all times. Yet there is no serious threat to humanity from Covid-19.

Pandemic?

In an interview with Bonnie Faulkner, Professor Michel Chossudovsky relayed the fact that the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC) on January 30, in relation to the Covid-19 events in Wuhan in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). At the time, there were only 150 confirmed cases of Covid-19 outside of China. The world’s population is 7.8 billion, take away China of 1.4 billion, leaves us with 6.4 billion. So only 150 cases out of 6.4 billion was declared a PHEIC[9], and later a “pandemic”. Under any description, 150 out of 6.4 billion cannot be a “pandemic”. There is another agenda at work here, and it reeks of imperial geopolitics.

As we have previously mentioned, there is a distinct possibility that the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan was actually an act of biological war launched by the Pentagon against the PRC.[10] The PRC government has not stated in official terms that it was, but some experts within China urged the US to release the health status of the US military athletes who visited Wuhan in October last year for the World Military Games[11], to help locate the original source. The Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp of Iran publicly stated that the coronavirus may well be a US biological weapon, first aimed at China, then Iran and other states.[12] The Russian government, like the PRC government, has restrained itself from publicly speculating whether Covid-19 was a US based attempt to attack China and/or Russia. Yet some Russian politicians and some Russian media outlets have published articles which claim exactly that.[13] It is speculation, but it is all in one direction.

Union officials, left parties act as arms of the state

Australia’s top Union officials (not members) have openly sided with the government and the state against “their own” workers. Australian Council of Trade Union (ACTU) secretary Sally McManus reportedly has had daily briefings with PM Scott Morrison. Incredibly, at the joint request of Union officials and employers, the Orwellian named Fair Work Commission ruled that worker’s hours can be reduced, and normal time hours be extended, at any time during the alleged Coronavirus crisis. The unaccountable officials of the Australian Services Union agreed with major employers that hours where penalty rates should not apply extend from 6am to 11pm.[14] The officials of the United Workers Union of hospitality staff agreed with large employers that they should be allowed to reduce full-time hours to as little as 22.8 hours per week.[15] No doubt these officials did not even bother to even consult their members about this before openly offering to abolish working conditions won over decades of struggle.

Workers know, from their own experience, that employers will use ANY excuse to reduce wages or abolish conditions. The alleged Coronavirus “pandemic” produces a golden opportunity for large, medium and small business owners to once again push down the price of labour power – workers’ wages. Yet some Australian left parties cripple the ability of workers to resist this drive by agreeing with the capitalist class that there is a “public health emergency”, and even call for more workers to be stood down – albeit with pay.  The danger is that if workers agree with the employers’ (fake) excuse for a stand down, they are scarcely able to bargain about the terms of the stand down.

Some left parties assist the scaremongering. Solidarity does highlight instances of workers and Unions fighting back, while spreading hysteria that “150 000 could die in a worst-case scenario”.[16] Socialist Alternative has correctly called out Union officials for working with the government to reduce workers conditions. Yet they have also organised the “Workers Organising Resistance in the Pandemic” group – which agitates for workplaces to be shut down![17] The Communist Party of Australia explicitly called for a 2 week shutdown,[18] to which the government immediately agreed – and effectively made it six months. The Socialist Alliance calls for an even “wider shutdown than what is being proposed now”, (!) albeit one without the “draconian police measures currently being deployed”.[19] (!!)

Shredding of elementary rights

Yet here is the rub – once you call for intervention of any sort by the capitalist state, workers cannot control how the ruling class will carry out such action. The government is not “ours”, and therefore its state cannot be used in the interests of working people. It is not only fruitless to call on the capitalist state to act on your behalf – to do so vastly strengthens and emboldens it. It has other aims it needs to implement in its interests. In this case the “draconian police measures” are vastly understated. Never in their wildest dreams did the fascists of Nazi Germany have the power to restrict indoor and outdoor gatherings to two people! Yet this is precisely what the Australian government has done today, along with the potential total closure of public beaches, public parks, gyms, pubs, clubs and so on. At a stroke, a police state has been implemented which severely curtails, if not abolishes, freedom of movement. In addition, under the (false) guise of “public health”, almost all political activity has been eliminated – something which could not be achieved without a global war – or a (fake) “pandemic”.

Some can see the immense danger this proposes. It is the descent into a police state which is far more frightening than any virus. Michael Bradley wrote that the situation is such that citizens now have to prove their innocence before they are arrested. He noted that people walking or being stationery now have to give a “reasonable excuse” to police why they are outside.[20] Former British diplomat Craig Murray noted that dictatorship usually begins with emergency measures to combat a threat. Once these measures are in place, a new threat is found to continue the “emergency” measures.[21]  Lawyers advocate Greg Barns correctly noted that laws created in a crisis (e.g. September 11, 2001, the “anti-terror” laws) are very rarely, if ever, lifted or rolled back.[22] Here lies the outcome of calls by some on the left for shutdowns and lockdowns!

There is another agenda being driven here, but it is not “public health”. Russia, China, Iran, the DPRK, Venezuela, Cuba – all took swift measures to contain the virus, which is a health issue to some extent. But, as far as we know, in these states which are relentlessly targeted by imperialism there were no workers thrown out of a job, no overblown hysteria, and no implementation of a police state. Ironically, all of these states are falsely accused by liberals in the West of “authoritarianism”, and even “tyranny”. Now, the boot is well and truly on the other foot, as the governments of Australia, the US and Europe emerge as even more authoritarian and tyrannical than those they accuse. Workers should be aware that the real agenda could be imperialist war launched by the Pentagon against the non-imperialist states, or any ally of China and Russia. Witness the fact that the US government, at the height of the coronavirus hysteria, has acted to tighten the murderous sanctions on Iran, and has indicted Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on baseless and evidence free charges of “narco-terrorism”.[23]

What is required is a united front of action of all those forces opposed to lockdowns which have little or no medical basis, those opposed to the imposition of a police state, and those opposed to needless job cuts and the willful crashing of the economy. This may mean a temporary alliance with non-working class forces, but leftists should not at all discard the Marxist program. On the contrary, the forging of a vanguard party remains more critical than ever, as does the struggle for the socialisation of the major means of production, energy, transport and banking. Then, a truly public health care system can be established, free from all interference from agents of the corporate elite.

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com
PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://news.yahoo.com/swedens-resistance-lockdown-raises-questions-155335578.html (01-04-2020)

[2] https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/coronavirus-australia-what-would-stage-four-lockdown-mean/news-story/eeb4e4b4a6c77ba8475aba9c5448e561 (01-04-2020)

[3] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-31/how-australian-states-are-enforcing-coronavirus-measures/12106774 (01-04-2020)

[4] https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/28/10-more-experts-criticising-the-coronavirus-panic/

[5] https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/now-is-not-the-time-for-lockdown-says-doctor-as-india-fights-coronavirus-outbreak/story-G71Cdbo3YJR9dGsikh8nfO.html (01-04-2020)

[6] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763401?guestAccessKey=72f61225-c3fd-4fb1-81fd-09b6a1666aaa&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=031720 (01-04-2020)

[7] https://www.sott.net/article/431559-First-Do-No-Harm-If-Primary-Healthcare-Remains-Shut-Down-Toll-on-Elderly-Will-be-Worse-Than-COVID-19 (01-04-2020)

[8] https://journal-neo.org/2020/03/27/covid-19-hysteria-vs-your-actual-very-low-chance-of-dying/ (01-04-2020)

[9] https://www.globalresearch.ca/covid-19-coronavirus-crisis/5706741 (02-04-2020)

[10] https://redfireonline.com/2020/03/22/covid-19-natural-pathogen-or-biological-war/ (02-04-2020)

[11] https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1183658.shtml (02-04-2020)

[12] https://tass.com/world/1127137 (02-04-2020)

[13] https://zvezdaweekly.ru/news/t/20201291341-AfM0x.html (02-04-2020)

[14] https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/award-flexibility-during-coronavirus/clerks-award-flexibility-during-coronavirus (04-04-2020)

[15] https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/award-flexibility-during-coronavirus/hospitality-award-flexibility-during-coronavirus (04-04-2020)

[16] https://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/editorial-morrisons-failure-to-stop-the-virus-the-result-of-a-sick-system/ (04-04-2020)

[17] https://www.facebook.com/WorkersOrganisingResistance/ (04-04-2020)

[18] https://www.cpa.org.au/resources/party-statements/index.html (04-04-2020)

[19] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/covid-19-mass-testing-shut-downs-and-guaranteed-incomes-all (04-04-2020)

[20] https://www.crikey.com.au/2020/04/01/new-world-citizens-rights-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR2QIMcLE9Fmh7Oi80h9Qn9LWYc3aNXOkNM7c5l0SbC781Ze9EMhK85V_B (04-04-2020)

[21] https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/04/how-it-starts/?fbclid=IwAR3SbN9XZU9hUTG2gXYgaSuyO9X86MUMjtwJrMvxYUsTAHMPSxNPIE7z9CY (04-04-2020)

[22] https://www.smh.com.au/national/laws-created-in-a-crisis-are-very-rarely-rolled-back-20200331-p54foj.html?fbclid=IwAR2G0CszxjScB8q5BXfpyR25pqtuWgWeqSplwosmf7JduNoQ1uWBKtPcc0k (04-04-2020)

[23] https://www.newsweek.com/us-iran-sanctions-venezuela-president-indicted-coronavirus-1494522 (04-04-2020)

Invasion Day 2020: For Joint Struggle Against 250 Years of Oppression

Invasion Day 2020: For Joint Struggle Against 250 Years of Oppression

26-01-2020: 2020 marks 250 years since the first landing of the British Empire’s emissary, Captain Cook, on to the Australian mainland in 1770. In 1788, the colonial power landed and set about establishing penal colonies by force of arms against the Aboriginal (First Nations) people, who predated them by some 60 000 years. The founding of Australia was thus an invasion and a war of dispossession against the continent’s original inhabitants. The genocide of Australia’s traditional custodians was vast in scope and led to their elimination in Tasmania.[1]

Today, Australian federal and state governments continue a war against First Nations people in a thousand different ways, even at the same time as offering token recognition, such as flying the Aboriginal flag on some official buildings. Yet the chronic disadvantage suffered by First Nations people in education, housing, employment, health care and average life spans cannot be hidden. Indigenous incarceration rates are a crime in themselves. Despite making up only 3% of Australia’s population, First Nations people make up 28% of the nation’s prison population.[2] The winning of elementary justice for First Nations people remains an urgent task.

“Abolish Australia Day” or “Change the Date” ?

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of indigenous and non-indigenous people have rallied on January 26 to mark Invasion Day rather than Australia Day. There had been increasing sentiment, even amongst elite levels of society, that January 26 is not at all an appropriate day to use for a national day – given that it is part of a day of mourning for First Nations people. Progress towards this was made, when radio station Triple J made the decision to move its “Hottest 100” countdown away from January 26 in 2017.[3] Huge parts of Invasion Day rallies at that time held banners and yelled chants demanding “Change the Date”. Momentum was building, and many held hopes that Australia’s national day would be moved to a more inclusive date.

Despite this, some Indigenous political groups abruptly changed course to replace the “Change the Date” demand with the “Abolish Australia Day” demand. Prominent militant groups such as the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) were behind this. While WAR and other staunch indigenous political groups play a tremendous organisational role in facilitating Invasion Day rallies and associated events, we stand by our claim that the replacement of “Change the Date” with “Abolish Australia Day” was a tactical error which has set back the struggle for indigenous rights. “Abolish Australia Day” may indeed sound more militant, but it has the effect of turning away potentially thousands of non-indigenous people who would otherwise willingly march with First Nations people under the demand “Change the Date”. In fact, this year, there is next to no discussion or debate taking place on whether January 26 is appropriate or not. A significant opportunity has been lost.

It is true that even if the “Change the Date” demand had have been won through mass pressure, it would not end the oppression of Aboriginal people – for this is bound up with the capitalist profit system and the state which protects it. However, the struggle for indigenous rights could then continue from a higher base. If indigenous people and non-indigenous people could band together to win a political victory, why couldn’t further victories be won? In general, non-indigenous people do not have a material interest in backing the “Abolish Australia Day” demand. Many polls taken several years ago revealed that most Australians do not particularly mind which day marks Australia’s national day – as long as there is one. The nihilist “Abolish Australia Day” demand – while perhaps enunciating justifiable rage – grates against many who support indigenous rights and is thus counter-productive.

For joint struggle

The natural allies of indigenous people struggling for justice are the advanced sections of the working class. This is because the oppression of both the indigenous people and the working class (with much crossover) originates from the same source. Australian capitalism (with its international connections) keeps both the working class and indigenous people in a state of severe subjection. It is of course recognised that the oppression dealt out to indigenous people is much harsher and far-reaching than that experienced by the non-indigenous working class. The non-indigenous working class are oppressed as workers. Aboriginal people, in addition, experience oppression for being Aboriginal. Nevertheless, Aboriginal people cannot win their liberation without allying themselves closely with the most left-wing elements of the working class. Conversely, a non-indigenous working class which did not champion the cause of indigenous liberation could not lay claim to political leadership.

Just as the most advanced workers need to be won to the perspective of Marxism, the most advanced and left-wing indigenous fighters need to be won to the struggle for socialism. This is a difficult task, yet there is no other way. And neither can these tasks be separate, nor be won on different time scales. It must be carried out simultaneously in a single struggle. Concretely, this means the forging of a multi-racial Leninist vanguard party which champions Aboriginal liberation as a component part of winning working-class rule.

As vital as the struggle for Aboriginal liberation is, it cannot be won on its own, or disconnected from all other crises facing the Australian and international working class. There is a very real struggle for climate justice right now, as well as important efforts to prevent the US Empire from waging a catastrophic nuclear war across the Middle East, ultimately aimed at Russia and China. Skyrocketing unemployment, poverty and homelessness are but more symptoms of this same malaise. Indigenous and non-indigenous workers alike have a material interest in establishing a workers’ government, where collective ownership and democratic planning will replace the crumbling edifice of capital.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012
[1] https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/australia/the-last-indigenous-tasmanian.aspx (23-01-2020)

[2] https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/law/aboriginal-prison-rates (23-01-2020)

[3] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-06/triple-j-hottest-100-to-day-after-australia-day/10591168 (23-01-2020)

Wamena: Papuan Militia Terrorise Civilians

Part of the inferno set ablaze by separatist Papuan militia in Wamena. Image from wwwtribunnews.com

Wamena: Papuan Militia Terrorise Civilians

05-10-2019: Parts of West Papua are again in flames, after armed Papuan separatist militia launched an attack on the town of Wamena in the Papuan province of Indonesia. The death toll stands at 30, with 22 of the victims being Indonesian transmigrants, according to Indonesian national police Chief Tito Karnavian.[1] The armed Papuan militia set fire to numerous government and private buildings, leading to some Indonesians being burnt alive after becoming trapped.[2] These deadly attacks by armed Papuan separatists mark a serious turn to anti-Indonesian pogroms which cannot be justified, regardless of history. It reveals the “independence” movement, at the very least, as being politically compromised. Leftists in Australia and internationally need to carefully investigate the situation, rather than being swept into a trance by the slogan of “Free West Papua”.

Liberation movement?


Throughout history there have been many liberation movements which have fought for a just cause of emancipation from colonialism and imperialism. Over time, left parties and movements have thrown political support behind them, and have thereby stood on the side of elementary justice. The West Papuan case, however, is qualitatively different – in a negative way. A liberation movement forfeits the name if it is involved in ethnic violence, or in murderous acts against civilians or migrants. Unfortunately, armed Papuan separatists have done this repeatedly, and the attacks on Wamena in the last week of September were particularly vicious. By September 27, 1500 Indonesian residents had gathered at Wamena airport in a bid to leave. Local Air Force official Arief Sudjatmiko stated that 2500 people had registered to get aboard flights.[3] They were not fleeing the Indonesian military or security forces. They were fleeing for their lives from Papuan separatists, who were clearly targeting Indonesian transmigrant workers, such as motorbike taxi drivers, shop workers and restaurant waiters.[4] It should go without saying that socialists of any persuasion cannot endorse the wholesale slaughter of workers of any nationality – even if systematic discrimination against one group of workers is proven.

Yet even this does not appear to be the case in West Papua. While it is the case that the Indonesian transmigrants dominate the local economy in the Papuan provinces, there are policies in place to promote Papuans within the civil service.[5] There is a disparity between the coastal cities of West Papua, where transmigrants predominate in economic and commercial activity, and the relatively underdeveloped Papuan central highlands. The lack of development is not entirely the fault of the Indonesian government, but nonetheless the Indonesian government is attempting to spur development in Papua through infrastructure building, such as roads and electricity coverage. There is even an awareness that infrastructure building on its own will not solve all problems. Hence, in 2019, the Indonesian government increased spending on education by 13% across the country, including Papua.[6]  There may well be ways in which the Indonesian government is not administering the Papuan provinces using entirely just methods. For example, there are plans to have the roads built in Papua operate as toll roads.[7] A campaign to remove tolls from the roads would seem necessary. However, as in Australia, such a campaign would have to involve the working class of all nationalities, for lower living costs. It would not usually be a campaign against the road infrastructure itself – but particularly in Papua, where there are relatively few roads.

Not all Papuans are anti-migrant

There is evidence that the anti-migrant dimension of the West Papuan independence movement is not universal. For example, there appears to be peaceful co-habitation amongst indigenous Papuans and Indonesian transmigrants in certain areas. In Wamena during the separatist attacks, some indigenous Papuans helped to shield Indonesian transmigrants from the assaults. They even worked together to guard shops and buildings from the armed separatists – protecting their lives by doing so.[8] There were statements saying that the residents did not know where the armed independence marauders came from – perhaps the highlands. Wamena is the largest town in the central highlands, so it becomes the first target. Some Papuan independence militia claim that they have no issue with transmigrant workers, only those who act as informers for the government and security forces.[9]  In Wamena and elsewhere, however, this is not the case.  What cannot be denied is that the West Papuan independence movement has always had an anti-migrant basis. Romantically minded leftists in the West, who clamour to support West Papuan independence, are either not aware, or wilfully ignore, this base prejudice.

Moreover, it is the “exiled” West Papuans who are the most strident in prosecuting what is often a misleading campaign for separate independence. In the case of the Wamena attacks, Indonesian authorities, not without cause, have accused de-facto independence leader Benny Wenda and his international network of orchestrating the violence in order to make headlines days before the United Nations (UN) general assembly sits in New York.[10] Mr Wenda is no stranger to stoking deadly riots, as he is himself a fugitive for doing just that in Abepura in 2002. Benny Wenda incited a crowd of 50 to attack some shops, which resulted in two people dead.[11] While detained facing trial, he escaped from Indonesia and fled to the United Kingdom (UK). From Oxford in London, the fugitive Mr Wenda convenes a disingenuous campaign for West Papuan independence, particularly appealing to the forces of imperialism against Indonesia. To say the least, a movement which regularly incites violence against those of another ethnicity, often resulting in the slaughter of innocents, is not one to be endorsed.

Fake videos, real lies

When violent riots by Papuan separatists break out, the Indonesian government sometimes responds by “throttling” or blocking the internet. While this raises a hue and cry by unenlightened West Papuan independence supporters internationally, this action has a rational basis. Often the violent riots are begun by the spreading of fake videos online, making false claims about mistreatment from Indonesian authorities. In the case of Wamena recently, the bloodthirsty riots were set off by rumours circulated that a high school teacher had used a racist remark against students. Papua police Chief Rudolf Alberth Rodja, however, stressed that the police had investigated the alleged school and teacher, and confirmed that this incident was fabricated, and was a blatant untruth. He said that it is believed that this was hoax information deliberately distributed in order to fuel riots.[12] As Papuan separatists have a history of telling lies in order to whip up support, it is not unreasonable to accept the police account here.

For example, the Papuan separatists told the mother of all lies in December 2018, when they made the preposterous claim that the Indonesian military had used white phosphorus munitions against them in the Nduga region after a flag raising ceremony. They had the active support of corporate journalists who had made the same unsubstantiated claims against the Syrian government during the US led war for regime change.[13] That is, Papuan independence advocates willingly worked with the corporate media which repeatedly referred to ISIS and Al Qaeda as “rebels” and “revolutionaries” in Syria, in order to use the same lies against the Indonesian government. These spurious claims were soon debunked as utterly fallacious, given that the Indonesian military had never stationed artillery in West Papua, let alone million dollar jet fighters. And the only helicopters the Indonesian military has there are transport choppers, unequipped with any offensive weapons, which would be needed to fire ANY ordinance.[14]

West Papuan separatists and their entourage need to spread whoppers because the politics of their independence movement falters at the first question. Prime among the distributors of falsifications is “human rights” lawyer Veronica Koman. Despite being herself of Chinese-Indonesian ancestry, Koman is inherently anti-China and pro-imperialist. On October 1, she posted on her Twitter account a claim of solidarity with the violent Blackshirt rioters in Hong Kong, who in turn claimed solidarity with Uyghurs.[15] The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are currently targeted by the CIA for destabilisation, and, they hope, regime change. Their aim is to counter the rising socialism of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) by any means – including funding those engaging in armed violence, and up to life-threatening extreme jihadism. But Koman’s anti-socialist fealty to the Pentagon is not the reason she is wanted.

Veronica Koman has been charged with serious crimes by Indonesian police. She refused three times to be questioned, who then charged her with violating the Electronic Information and Transactions Law and the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Law.[16] Racial and ethnic harmony is crucially important in a large multi-ethnic country such as Indonesia. However, Koman had repeatedly been stoking ethnic conflict by posting false information which aided violent riots in Surabaya. Instead of defending herself on charges of provoking deadly unrest and fuelling ethnic conflict, Koman fled to Australia. Understandably, the Indonesian government issued an Interpol red notice for her arrest,[17] but whether this will be enacted by the Australian government remains to be seen. Since fleeing as a fugitive to Australia, she has since appeared on ABC and SBS with favourable coverage, but without mentioning the criminal charges laid against her.  Unfortunately, a lack of basic honesty is de rigueur for pro-US “human rights” advocates.

Left parties blind on West Papua

Some Australian left parties blindly raise both hands when it comes to a request for volunteers for West Papuan independence. They barely lose a step before blundering into yet another international issue without checking its bona fides. Never one to miss a chance to embellish the Australian government, the Socialist Alliance chimes in with a demand that the federal government grant Veronica Koman protection and not hand her over to the Indonesian government. At the least, they display First World disrespect for the legal system of a Third World neighbour. They then pose the rhetorical comparison of West Papua to the case of East Timor.[18] If someone hasn’t told them, comparisons between East Timor – which after a long struggle won independence from Indonesia – and West Papua, are like chalk and cheese. Likewise, Socialist Alternative echoes the East Timor comparison, and swears to uphold all South Pacific struggles for  “self-determination”.[19] The Communist Party of Australia[20] and the Communist Party of Australia Marxist-Leninist[21] both reflexively hail the cross-class “people” of West Papua.

These left parties have forgotten their “Marxism”. Even if it was the case that Papuan militia did not slaughter innocent civilians, did not foster and foment ethnic violence against Indonesians, and did not spread lies and falsifications – Marxists would not automatically endorse self-determination or independence. While Marxists stand against national oppression, advocating the exercise of self-determination is dependent on a number of factors. The most important of these is whether or not it advances the struggle for socialism in that country, in the region, and internationally. Even accounting for the fact that, due to historical factors, the working class of Indonesia is more developed than that of West Papua, there is ample space for working class Papuan and Indonesian collaboration in struggles against capitalism in the region. For example, that which is facilitated by the common language of Bahasa Indonesian.

In stark contrast to liberal and petty-bourgeois nationalists, Marxists do not engage in the shadow boxing of a “good” versus a “bad” nation. What is required are methods of political struggle which advance the class consciousness of workers of all nations. “Self-determination” and/or “independence” may or may not play a role in this process. Either way, efforts to forge Marxist vanguard parties across the entirety of the Asia-Pacific remains essential.

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6402252/migrants-caught-up-in-papua-violence/?cs=7579 (03-10-2019)

[2] https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/protesters-burn-buildings-in-indonesias-papua-province (03-10-2019)

[3] https://www.nst.com.my/world/2019/09/525226/thousands-scramble-flee-unrest-indonesias-papua (03-10-2019)

[4] Ibid, 1.

[5] https://www.theislanderonline.com.au/story/6402252/migrants-caught-up-in-papua-violence/?cs=11679 (03-10-2019)

[6] https://papuawest.com/2018/12/12/government-to-shift-focus-from-infrastructure-to-education-in-papua/ (03-10-2019)

[7] https://news.mongabay.com/2017/10/indonesias-big-development-push-in-papua-qa-with-program-overseer-judith-j-dipodiputro/ (03-10-2019)

[8] https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/30/good-neighbors-papuans-help-non-natives-flee-violence-in-wamena.html (03-10-2019)

[9] http://lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/violence-papua-could-get-worse (03-10-2019)

[10] https://www.muswellbrookchronicle.com.au/story/6402252/migrants-caught-up-in-papua-violence/?cs=7281 (03-10-2019)

[11] https://redfireonline.com/2019/04/27/west-papua-independence-movement-spreads-more-false-claims/ (03-10-2019)

[12] https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/protests-sparked-by-hoax-racism-claims-kill-injure-dozens-20190924-p52uez.html (03-10-2019)

[13] https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2018/12/22/exclusive-chemical-weapons-dropped-papua/15453972007326 (03-10-2019)

[14] https://infowestpapua.com/2018/12/26/phosphorous-bomb-propaganda-in-west-papua-a-seriously-fake-yet-silly-issue-administered-by-australian-media/ (03-10-2019)

[15] https://twitter.com/veronicakoman (03-10-2019)

[16] https://jakartaglobe.id/context/police-issue-red-notice-to-interpol-to-track-and-capture-veronica-koman/ (03-10-2019)

[17] https://en.tempo.co/read/1250173/veronica-koman-fugitive-police-issue-red-notice-for-interpol (04-10-2019)

[18] https://socialist-alliance.org/news/west-papua-australias-new-timor-leste (04-10-2019)

[19] https://redflag.org.au/node/6895 (04-10-2019)

[20] https://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2019/1888/11-west-papua.html (04-10-2019)

[21] https://www.cpaml.org/posting1.php?id=967 (04-10-2019)

US vs China: Workers Must Defend Their Side

US vs China: Workers Must Defend Their Side

26-09-2019 – Anti-China hysteria has been set at fever pitch. The attempt to besmirch Liberal Party Member of Parliament Gladys Liu as an agent of the Communist Party of China (CPC) eventually ran out of steam, as the case collapsed for lack of evidence. Gladys Liu’s conservative and pro-capitalist politics can be confirmed not the least by the fact that she has backed the anti-communist Hong Kong riots publicly, saying she admired the “passion and commitment”[1] of the largely US and UK government funded separatists.[2]  Regardless of Ms Liu’s past membership of groups associated with the Chinese government, she also admitted organising an overtly homophobic and transphobic WeChat social media campaign against equal marriage rights for same sex couples, and the “Safe Schools” program during the 2016 election campaign.[3] Yet Ms Liu’s ultra-conservatism, and membership of the Liberal Party, was not enough to shield her from a New Cold War witch-hunt.

Day after day, workers in Australia are beset by a corporate media (especially the government owned ABC) slur against virtually anything to do with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Lurid tales of the PRC allegedly repressing ethnic minorities, overtly monitoring their people with social credit systems and facial recognition cameras and supposed debt-trap lending to Pacific nations, are retailed ad nauseum. All of these stories distort the truth beyond recognition, yet they still appear. Capitalist states must have an adversary, or create one, lest its own workers turn their justifiable grievances against their own rulers. This becomes even more urgent when capitalism enters economic crisis, and even more urgent again when a large country in its region is literally running laps around it.

Socialism in the PRC, capitalism in Australia

China’s rise as an economic power is noted by all classes, but it is causing serious concern for Australia’s ruling elite. They, like their patrons in the USA, are well aware that they must “do something” before being overtaken by the PRC economically, politically, financially and diplomatically. Australia’s capitalist economy is now stumbling along, effectively in recession. Many of the key economic indicators for Australia are at their worst point ever, and Australia is plummeting down the rankings of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) countries. Australia now ranks 18th (out of 36, 36 being the lowest) for total numbers of unemployed, 21st in youth unemployment, 18th in economic growth, 20th in terms of lack of wage growth, 19th in terms of gross national savings, and 28th in terms of unequal wealth distribution (the Gini coefficient).[4] In short, Australia is following the USA, Europe and Japan in a long recession, which shows no sign of ending, and is plainly getting worse.

Compare this bleak outlook to the situation of the PRC. In 2018, despite economic growth “slowing” to its lowest point in 28 years, it still had a growth rate of 6.6% – compared to Australia’s average 1.5%, which is now 1.4%. The PRC’s economic output for last year was 1.4 trillion, which surpassed the total output of Australia for 2017, at 1.32 trillion.[5] Yet it is not just sheer economic data which is damning for the capitalist West. In January this year, the PRC became the first country in history to carry out a soft landing on the dark side of the moon,[6] demonstrating its scientific and technological advances. This is also reflected in the top 500 world supercomputer ratings. PRC based companies in 2019 claimed 219 of the fastest and most powerful supercomputers, compared to the USA’s 119.[7] In terms of high speed rail, the PRC has built and installed more than 25 000 kilometres of dedicated lines since 2008, which represents more than the total operating in the rest of the world.[8] Australia, on the other hand, has no high speed rail, and is unlikely to obtain any in the foreseeable future.

More figures demonstrating the contrast would be easy to find. It should be clear though, that in economic terms the PRC is moving forward, and Australia is moving backwards. This is because socialism in the PRC is the dominant mode of production, whereas in Australia we are stuck with capitalism – for now. The PRC has never had a recession, because the strategic means of production are all state owned or majority state owned, and the government runs five year economic plans. The PRC’s state ownership of the banks is a key factor in fireproofing their economy from the shocks of the recessions of the capitalist world. Economically, the PRC runs a socialist system – despite the inroads of free enterprise allowed by the CPC. There is much to criticise politically from a working class point of view – but mainly in terms of the lack of decision making power. Despite political limitations, the state and the economy of the PRC is still delivering gains for its workers, 70 years after its socialist revolution.

Neutrality?

One might assume that in an atmosphere of New Cold War red-baiting raised to unprecedented levels, a priority for Australian left parties would be to defend the PRC against what is essentially war propaganda from the liberal intelligentsia right up to the highest political offices of Canberra and Washington. Unfortunately, what prevails amongst most of them has recently been a rash of attempted neutrality, or a position of “we are against both sides”.  Yet even accounting for some justifiable left criticisms of the PRC and the CPC, the US vs China is a very real case of capitalism versus socialism. In this battle, working people internationally have a vital stake in the defence of socialism (even in the distorted form of the PRC) against capitalism (largely represented by Anglo-US imperialism). The shortcomings of socialism in the PRC (lack of workers’ decision making power, disallowance of non-CPC yet pro-socialist organisations) can only be addressed while defending the PRC against internal and external overthrow. Paraphrasing Leon Trotsky, those who will not defend past gains will not be able to win new ones. Therefore, workers defence of the PRC is bound up with any further advances for world socialism.

Alas, some Australian left parties not only refuse to defend the PRC, but in practice join with imperialist propaganda against China, albeit with “left” overtones. The newly formed Australian Communist Party (ACP), in a review of the Netflix documentary American Factory, goes overboard with denunciations of alleged “Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics”[9]. The China based Fuyao Glass took over a defunct General Motors plant in Ohio, and began employing American workers. This in itself is indicative of the state of US capitalism versus the prosperity of the Chinese economy. The ACP review goes on to denounce the practices of Fuyao management, who allegedly attempt to prevent workers in America from forming a Union, and mistreat them by threatening them with the sack if they do. The American workers struggle to understand why the Chinese workers generally accept what management expects of them, even if they receive poor treatment.

The ACP infer that the actions of one Chinese owned company operating in the United States is symptomatic of what occurs in the PRC, and that it is as bad, or worse, than what occurs in the US. The nature of work in the PRC compared to the US is a huge discussion – but the ACP dismiss this as their superficial analysis of the PRC is that it is “capitalist”, where most industry is allegedly privately owned. This is a long way from reality. Suffice to say that Unions in a workers state which is attempting to build socialism play a very different role to Unions in a capitalist state which is a mainstay of world imperialism. The role of Unions in a workers’ state is not that of total opposition to their own government or to their own building of socialism. It is to protect workers interests while also assisting and defending the basis of their independence from world imperialism – the socialist state. Unions in a capitalist state, on the other hand, need to oppose both their own government and “their own” capitalist state – which is the basis of their oppression. This is anathema to the ACP, however, who overlook the vast differences between the PRC and the US, and dismiss both as “capitalist”.

In real world politics, it is impossible to be “neutral” or to imagine that one is against both the US and China. As long as imperialism exists, taking a position of “neither the US nor China” means in practice siding with imperialism, despite intentions. The US Empire can skilfully use “defence of workers’ rights” to aid their political, economic and military campaign against Red China. This fools some workers in the capitalist West, and even some self-described “Communist” parties. The ACP is the first cab of the rank on this score. One does not have to look very far to discover that, in fact, American Factory was produced by none other than the former President and First Lady of the United States, the Obamas!![10] The recent former Commander in Chief of the US Empire did not just endorse American Factory, but helped to produce it. By your friends ye shall know thee, as the saying goes. The ACP finds itself in very unsavoury company indeed.

China as “imperialist” ?

A graphic demonstration of how it is impossible to remain neutral in a Cold War is proffered by Socialist Alternative (SAlt). In an editorial of Red Flag, they declare that the new Cold War is being fought by “two reactionary imperialist states” where there is “no good side” ![11] The falsity of this position is immediately brought into stark relief, as in the same editorial, they grandstand about “standing with Hong Kong and the Uyghurs”.[12]  It should hardly need explaining that right now, Hong Kong and Xinjiang are the key crystallisations of counter-revolutionary CIA backed intrigue against Red China. Imperialist backed rioters in Hong Kong have wreaked havoc for the last three months, terrorising bystanders going about their daily lives, who might disagree with them.[13]  The far Western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XAUR) has also been targeted by the Pentagon, over transparently false claims that the PRC government is preventing Uyghur Muslims from practicing their religion. The outrageous claim that the PRC is detaining one million Uyghurs in detention camps has been exposed as a furphy.[14]

The irony is strong. SAlt claim to oppose both US (real imperialism) and Chinese “imperialism”, but in practice go on to openly and loudly assist key US imperialist political assaults on the PRC. SAlt’s forerunners in the International Socialist Organisation proclaimed “neither Washington nor Moscow” in the 1980s when the Soviet Union was still in place. In practice, this position always meant support for Washington against Moscow, by way of reserving the strongest opposition to “totalitarian” socialism through covert endorsement of “democratic” imperialism. In the same way, today’s effective slogan of “neither Washington nor Beijing” means in practice political support for Washington against Beijing. In reality, this means siding with capitalism against socialism – clearly the wrong position for workers.

Not to be outdone, the Socialist Alliance (SAll) also chime in with the China bashing, under the guise of “a plague on both your houses”. Echoing SAlt, SAll write that “In the conflict between the US and China, we should not support either side.”[15] But this is immediately exposed as false, as SAll shout to the heavens about the need to support “democracy” (!) in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang. These three regions are targeted for destabilisation, chaos and – the US state department hopes – the spreading of anti-government action throughout China, leading to regime change. The more the PRC necessarily builds up its military defences – vital for defence against an external imperialist assault – the more the US state department depends on the funding of internal pro-capitalist (“democracy”) dissidents within China. The capitalism allowed in Hong Kong has meant a substantial section of right-wing youth are able to be recruited as counter-revolutionary rioters. The separatists still remain wholly in the minority, however.

The imperial left are wrong – workers have a vital stake in the conflict between the real imperialism of the US and the rising socialism of the PRC. Regardless of justifiable left-wing criticism of the CPC, workers internationally must act to defend the PRC workers’ state, whether deformed or not. This means calling for unconditional military defence of the PRC against internal and external political, diplomatic, economic and military moves against Beijing. It is vital that socialism be defended and extended from the workers’ states to the centres of Western imperialism – the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH QLD 4012

[1] https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/gladys-liu-paranoia-and-the-chinese-communist-party-20190912-p52qhz (22-09-2019)

[2] https://www.workers.org/2019/08/16/whats-behind-hong-kong-protests/ (22-09-2019)

[3] https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/completely-abhorrent-julia-banks-slams-former-liberal-colleague-liu-20190416-p51ek1.html (22-09-2019)

[4] https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/australias-economy-has-deteriorated-under-the-coalition,12644 (22-09-2019)

[5] https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/2188404/china-says-last-years-gdp-growth-was-worth-more-australias (22-09-2019)

[6] https://www.space.com/42883-china-first-landing-moon-far-side.html (22-09-2019)

[7] https://venturebeat.com/2019/06/17/top500-china-has-219-of-the-worlds-fastest-supercomputers/ (22-09-2019)

[8] https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2019/07/08/chinas-experience-with-high-speed-rail-offers-lessons-for-other-countries (22-09-2019)

[9] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2019/9/17/capitalism-with-chinese-characteristics-key-lessons-from-american-factory?fbclid=IwAR2XbjHqDMiALF2v_A9n4b5MoMmApdvoYdrCTE4jWzo-1spu025rvXXOYps (25-09-2019)

[10] https://qz.com/quartzy/1700915/american-factory-makes-barack-and-michelle-obama-2020-oscar-contenders/ (25-09-2019)

[11] https://redflag.org.au/node/6876 (25-09-2019)

[12] Ibid, 11.

[13] http://socioecohistory.x10host.com/2019/09/08/hk-protesters-rioters-besiege-innocent-bystander-on-street-beat-him-and-smash-his-car/ (25-09-2019)

[14] https://thegrayzone.com/2018/08/23/un-did-not-report-china-internment-camps-uighur-muslims/ (25-09-2019)

[15] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/china-scare-campaign-ignores-greater-threat (26-09-2019)

Federal Elections 2019: No Options for Working People

Ballot Boxes of the type used in Australian Federal Elections. Despite the appearance of “one person one vote” there can be no “democracy” across antagonistic classes. Image from http://www.riteon.org.au

Federal Elections 2019: No Options for Working People  –  For a Workers’ Government!

04-05-2019 – The Australian Federal Elections will take place on May 18. As was the case for previous elections, the cast of candidates are largely uninspiring from a working class point of view. In fact, of all the parties and candidates running, no one is taking a consistent and across-the-board position of defending the interests of working people, domestically and internationally. This goes for the mainstream parliamentary parties as much as for self-described left parties. It is another indicator that the system of private production and private profit, and its attendant political process, is a dead end for the working people of Australia and the region.

The fraud of “Change the Rules”

For two years, the conservative officials heading up the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) have pushed the “Change the Rules” mantra. From the off, this has always been code for “vote Labor”. Yet the very industrial relations laws that the “Change the Rules” campaign ostensibly seeks to change were largely installed by the Labor Party when they last sat on the government benches in Canberra. The Orwellian named “Fair Work Australia” was implemented by the Labor Party, which was essentially “Work Choices Lite”.[1] That is, the Labor Party has hardly bothered to “Change the Rules” from the first days of the John Howard Liberal Party government. They have no intention of doing so if elected this time. Vague promises from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) that they will restore penalty rates are a classical hot air election promise. It is put forward in order to entice workers to vote Labor, but once in government, they will give any old excuse as to why they are unable to carry it out.[2]

The ACTU are now, after 25 years of forcing Enterprise Bargaining on workers, saying that Enterprise Bargaining is not working, and we need to move back to industry wide agreements. Industry wide agreements would be an advance for workers, but the ACTU and their top officials were responsible for Enterprise Bargaining in the first place. The class-collaborationist Union officials also make a show about opposing the widespread casualisation of the workforce – when in practice the ALP as much as the Liberal Party has put this in place. The ALP has no real intention of changing any rules relating to the use of casual and temporary staff for private and public sector workplaces.

Conservative and nationalist Union officials are pushing “Change the Rules”, which, in the direct lead up to the election, has morphed into “Change the Government to Change the Rules”.[3] It’s a replay of the “Your Rights At Work –Worth Fighting For” campaign of 2006, which in the lead up to the Federal Election of 2007 became “Your Rights at Work – Worth Voting For”.[4] That is, vote for the Labor Party, put them in government, and they will change the rules for you. Little could be more false. The Labor Party is the alternate party of Australian capitalism, and the ALP is keenly aware of the difficulties of capital obtaining an adequate rate of return on profitable investment. This is why in all fundamentals the Labor Party is a struck match away from the Liberal Party (Liberal National Party in Queensland). Yet workers are being inveigled, despite the similarity, to just vote ALP and hope for the best. This is a deliberate deception.

Ruling class limits participation

Workers need to be aware that these elections are run for and by the Australian ruling class. As such, they are not “ours”, as much as the government is not filled with “our politicians”. Every attempt is made to prevent participation in the elections by pro-working class and/or small parties and independents. A new law was passed in March which doubled the deposit fee to $2000 just to run in the Lower House.[5]  The incumbent major parties obtain massive public funding for their campaigns, on top of six and seven figure donations from big business. These “donations” to the Liberal and Labor parties run into the millions of dollars, and some come from the largest corporations in the country. The officials of some Unions also divert Union member’s money into donations for the ALP.[6] Money politics may not be on the scale of what happens in the United States of America, but something very similar is happening here. Billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer’s right-wing populist United Australia Party has spent $50 million on electoral advertising.[7] The parliamentary set up is set against working people – but this is its purpose.

It is not only the financial cost which benefits the two major capitalist parties. The very electoral process is designed to do this also. The size of the electorates often number up to 100 000 people. A meeting of this number of people is not possible, and thus cannot convene to keep their elected member accountable. Certainly a whole state – who Senators are elected to “represent” – cannot meet to discuss how their Senators have been performing. Moreover, there is no right to recall a politician once they have been elected. This, on top of the astronomical salaries paid to politicians, and permanent over-the-top superannuation payments once they leave parliament, ensures loyalty to the profit system. It is not so much a system of salaries as a form of “official” corruption.

The right to elect means little without the right to recall – which is why the ruling class does not allow it. The preferential voting system also benefits the major parties. It ensures that preferences which inevitably flow to the major parties inflate its overall count. To cast a valid vote, and to run in the elections, individuals and parties must allocate preferences – which means in practice your votes flow to the major parties which represent big capital against those who labour for a living. Dirty horse-trading occurs between the various political parties for each other’s preferences, and there are even some who charge “consultancy fees” to organise preferences to help minor parties get elected,[8] i.e., who profit from backdoor preference deals. Even if this did not occur, the main effect of the preference system is to advantage the twin parties (arguably one party) which administer the rule of the stock market.

“Official” politics is repellent

There are approximately 60 registered political parties in Australia, both inside and outside the state and federal parliaments.[9] Along with a number of independents, these parties will attempt to attract the votes of the Australian electorate. Marxists, however, recognise the working class as the only class in today’s society which has a material interest in raising the living standards of all on the basis of equality. This is due to the fact that the working class has no material interest in the system of private production for private profit. On the contrary, its interests are bound up with the social ownership and social use through labour, of the means of production – the land, banks, factories, mines and so on. Humanity steps forwards, or falls back, according to the living and working conditions of this class. Yet not one of the parties or independents running in the Australian Federal Election takes elementary and consistent positions, domestically and internationally, which defend the interests of working people.

The major parties – Labor and Liberal, are unquestionably parties of capital. Progressive minded people may suspect that the Australian Greens are not overtly pro-capitalist, but this view is mistaken. The Greens’ focus on parliament prevents them from offering a systemic alternative. Billionaire Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party uses populist rhetoric, such as raising the old age pension by $150 a week, but Mr Palmer also refuses to pay workers he sacked from his nickel refinery in Townsville their entitlements – despite swimming in cash. Katters Australian Party was forced to sack the racist Fraser Anning, who went on to form his own even more racist Conservative National Party. Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party correctly criticises the racism of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, but allies with them on “law and order”.

The bickering and fighting of the parliamentary parties and MPs are understandably a huge turn off for many working people and the downtrodden. They see it as irrelevant to their life outcomes – and to a large extent they are correct. For this is the field of bourgeois politics, i.e. the system which is set up to deceive working people into believing that they live in a (liberal) democracy, which is supposedly a huge achievement for humankind. In reality, the politicians and parliament are a stage on which the corporate magnates dangle willing marionettes. The real decisions about investment, what will be produced and how, are made in corporate boardrooms by CEOs and other managers on obscene salaries. The government’s “public service” is linked to private industry by a thousand threads.

Left parties inconsistent

Self-described left parties running in the Federal Election also do not live up to a basic standard which working people deserve. The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), which publishes the World Socialist Web Site, does highlight some urgent issues which need addressing, such as increasing poverty and unemployment. Yet the SEP are known as strike-breakers for their total opposition to Trade Unions. While it is true that the Unions are almost universally led by conservative pro-capitalist officials, Union members are nothing like that. Unions themselves need to be defended by all workers regardless of the sell-out officials. But the SEP dismiss Unions in toto, which places them on the side of the employers. In a like manner, the SEP dismiss workers’ states (e.g. China, Vietnam, the DPRK) in toto, which places them on the side of the US state department. This is despite the SEP holding nominal positions against the imperialist wars on Libya and Syria.

The Socialist Alliance and the Victorian Socialists are also running candidates, with the Socialist Alliance teaming up with the Socialist Alternative and a number of supporters. Domestically, the Socialist Alliance and the Victorian Socialists put forward positions which align with working class interests – such as the call for more public housing, better public transport, a rise in welfare payments, and the blocking of the environmental catastrophe of the Adani mega coal mine in Central Queensland. However, it is relatively easy to put forward left-wing positions on home soil. The test for the left comes as soon as the international sphere is broached.

Unfortunately, the Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Alternative (the mainstay of the Victorian Socialists) broke irrevocably with working class internationalism by being the loudest advocates of the US led imperialist wars on Libya and Syria. For close to ten years, both of these “left” parties openly called for regime change in Libya and Syria – which was precisely the aim of the US state department, aided by London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Canberra. Thankfully they were defeated in Syria by a combination of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Russian armed forces – with lesser backing from China. These “state department socialists” were only continuing in Syria their hostility to the anti-imperialist and non-imperialist bloc – Russia, China, Iran, the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and so on. More recently, these “left” parties have again demonstrated their fealty to the Pentagon by cheering on US backed regime change efforts in Sudan and Algeria. Needless to say, if a left party calls for free healthcare at home, but shills for imperialist war abroad, their left credentials are null and void.

In Queensland, some critical support could be offered to independent Senate candidate Wayne Wharton, a long-time militant Aboriginal activist. He is advocating a treaty with the Indigenous people, but also supportable positions on Aged Care, the Murray-Darling water crisis, and a livable income for welfare recipients. However the preferential voting system militates against backing progressive independents. This election, Senate voters have to number at least 6 parties above the line, and at least 12 parties below the line. This is a means of forcing preferences (or votes) towards the major parties. In the lower house, preferences are compulsory, meaning that some votes will necessarily flow towards right-wing and fascistic small parties. On principle, no votes or preferences should flow to anti-working class parties. A political break with all of them is a dire necessity.

There are a plethora of drastic political problems which urgently need addressing. Some of these include: unemployment, poverty, unaffordable housing, unaffordable education, failing public transport, and the imminent threat of catastrophic climate change. All parties should be loudly calling for the release of Julian Assange, a whistle-blowing journalist. The increasing surveillance of spy agencies online and elsewhere is a symptom of a system aware that its people are looking for urgent change. Then there is the growing threat of nuclear war against China and Russia, led by Washington but backed by Canberra. Yet none of these issues can be addressed through the “election” process carried out by the corporate elite. This is why the Workers League is calling on workers to fulfill their legal obligation on election day, but to cast a blank ballot in protest against the system which upholds their oppression. What is urgently needed is a workers’ party which fights for a workers’ government. Join us!

WORKERS  LEAGUE
www.redfireonline.com
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

[1] http://directaction.org.au/issue13/fair_work_australia_is_work_choices_lite (04-05-2019)

[2] https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/bill-shorten-s-penalty-rates-pledge-under-threat-20190417-p51exr.html (04-05-2019)

[3] https://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/media-releases/2019/change-the-government-change-the-rules-nationwide-protests (04-05-2019)

[4] https://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/speeches-and-opinion/greg-combet-your-rights-at-work-worth-voting-for (04-05-2019)

[5] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-09/zali-steggall-helen-haines-independents-australian-politics/10786984 (04-05-2019)

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/ng-interactive/2019/feb/01/political-donations-2017-18-search-all-the-declarations-by-australian-parties (04-05-2019)

[7] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/clive-palmer-says-he-s-spent-50-million-on-election-ads (04-05-2019)

[8] https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/hire-me-and-get-into-parliament-the-preference-whisperer-s-message-20181214-p50mdh.html (05-05-2019)

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Australia (05-05-2019)