Refuse and Resist Lockdown Terror!

Defiant anti-lockdown “protests” in Melbourne. Image from the Daily Mail

Refuse and Resist Lockdown Terror!

05-09-2020: It needs to be repeated – this was never about a virus.[1] If anyone has lingering doubts as to what the Covid-19 “pandemic” is really about, one need only view the desperate resistance of the brave young men in Melbourne who are risking arrest, prosecution by the state and their potential futures to defy the inhuman lockdowns which have virtually abolished civil rights won over centuries of struggle. In one instance, the group of mainly young men wore Guy Fawkes masks – creatively observing scientifically unjustifiable mandatory facemask orders while protesting against them. In unimaginable scenes, police chased down some of the men, detaining and arresting them – even as they formally abide by the absurd one hour of exercise per day rule, by walking around their neighbourhoods in spaced groups.[2] These heroic young men are going to great risk to provide a lead to the anti-lockdown movement, and helping to liberate society from a totalitarianism that many never expected to see in their lifetimes.

Covid-19 is a class attack

Now that the full horror of the extreme lockdowns in Melbourne is known, there is barely anyone who will raise their head to defend them – even amongst the most craven pro-government lackeys. The liberal left still adheres to the fantasy of a supposed universal danger, yet even they mumble about the heightened danger of lockdown-induced domestic violence and suicides. Sycophantic Union officials fully back the government even as it inflicts pain and suffering on their own members and the working class generally. The abandonment of working people by Union officials and the so-called “left” has resulted in the lead being taken by the young men defying lockdowns in daily walks in Melbourne. This courageous and instinctive resistance to lockdown terror is certainly needed and will play a significant role in future struggles. Yet due to the fact that Covid-19 is being used as a cover for an assault on the working-class[3], what the anti-lockdown movement requires is political leadership.

It can scarcely be denied that lockdown terror is a form of fascism – albeit one that differs in significant ways from 20th century fascism. In the US, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the “New Normal” fascism is politically led by the mainstream capitalist parties and is strongly backed by ostensible “left” parties. It can thus appear that New Normal fascism is an example of the “left” in power. On this (mistaken) basis, some in the anti-lockdown movement view the extreme repression of the lockdowns as a form of “socialism” or “communism” – and even claim that Dictator Dan Andrews, other state Labor premiers, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and even Australian PM Scott Morrison are therefore “socialists” or “communists”. This is a striking misconception, but it is one that is unfortunately fueled by the fact that the nationalist caste leading the People’s Republic of China (PRC) imposed their own lockdowns, and played up to the fake “pandemic” narrative.[4]

“New Normal” is capitalism in decline

New Normal or lockdown fascism is delivered by capitalist imperialism, NOT by any form of socialism or “communism”. Capitalist ruling classes resort to fascism when the existing forms of supposed liberalism become barriers to the amount and extent of repression “needed” to annihilate working-class political opposition to their rule. While millions of workers lose their jobs, or have their wages and conditions frozen under lockdowns, finance capital expands the wealth of the billionaires.[5] Under “normal” conditions, there would be some fightback against millions of job losses, and the immense downward pressure on the price of labour-power, i.e., wages. Hence the lockdowns, mandatory facemask orders, social-distancing and New Normal fascism. Ditto for the concomitant and invasive surveillance of contact tracing, proposed mandatory vaccinations and border shutdowns.

In the same way in which 20th Century fascism could not be effectively combatted without wholesale political opposition to the capitalism from which it spawned, New Normal or lockdown fascism in the 21st Century cannot be seriously countered without working-class political opposition to the declining capitalism of the Anglo/US/EU Empire. Regardless of the current political make-up of the anti-lockdown movement, it represents foremost opposition to the nightmarish future of capitalist rule. Therefore, despite the political or non-political viewpoints of its component parts, the anti-lockdown movement is intrinsically anti-fascist and anti-capitalist. It is a contradiction born of the times, but this remains the case even if some of its leading elements consider themselves to be in a battle against “socialism”.

The anti-lockdown movement is gathering steam internationally, and Australia needs to emulate the hundreds of thousands who have mobilised recently in Germany, the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. It is possible that with an amalgamated movement which is prepared to mobilise again and again, government lockdowns could be rolled back. For this to come to pass, however, all wings of the anti-lockdown movement need to form a united front for common action. Currently the anti-lockdown movement is comprised of several detachments. Without pigeon-holing any individual, there is a moderate wing which favours lobbying parliamentarians, a President Trump supporting wing which includes QAnon followers, a wing concerned about forced vaccinations and the potential effects of 5G telecommunications infrastructure, and a wing rightly concerned about civil liberties and privacy.

Revolutionaries are faced with the dual task of uniting all wings of the anti-lockdown movement, while simultaneously seeking to win the most pro-working class elements over to the side of socialism – despite prevalent suspicion as to its historical and current forms. Marxists must also be alert to the possibility of exploiting the differences amongst the ruling class, with some parts pushing for a one or two year lockdown, and others pushing to re-open the economy. While lockdowns may be partially lifted without systemic change, the “Great Reset” with its attendant political repression will not be defeated without the building of a workers’ party which fights for a workers’ government.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://www.sott.net/article/436327-Everything-You-Think-You-Know-About-Coronavirus (31-08-2020)

[2] https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/three-men-arrested-after-broadmeadows-anti-lockdown-protest-20200830-p55qr0.html (31-08-2020)

[3] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (31-08-2020)

[4] https://redfireonline.com/2020/06/06/covid-19-the-corruption-of-science/ (31-08-2020)

[5] https://www.mintpressnews.com/super-rich-see-wealth-rise-282-billion-three-weeks-coronavirus/267027/ (31-08-2020)

The Labour Lieutenants of Lockdown Terror

Police combine with the Australian Army to enforce “Covid-19” lockdowns. Image from the New York Times

The Labour Lieutenants of Lockdown Terror

25-08-2020: Throughout history, fascism has only been able to come to power in the absence of the firm pro-working class leadership of labour Unions, which is bound up with the question of the state of the organised left parties who claim to stand for socialism. Benito Mussolini and the Italian fascists were able to assume power in 1922 on the back of the inability of the Italian socialist and Communist parties to offer the workers a viable alternative in the aftermath of the First World War. Adolf Hitler and the German Nazis in 1933 were installed in power without even a scuffle in the streets after the by then thoroughly conservative Comintern virtually ordered the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) to do nothing other than run in elections against the fascists. In Spain in the 1930s, the left was unable to form a viable workers’ party which could have led insurgents to form their own state out of the Civil War, which led to the victory of Franco’s fascists who remained in power for decades.

Covid-19 bait and switch

Lockdown fascism in 2020 unfortunately forms no exception to the rule. The given rationale for lockdowns – that they are necessary to “stop the spread” of Covid-19 – is farcically absurd. Ditto for the millions of job cuts for workers, the forcible economic shutdown of businesses and vital parts of the economy, the suspension of parliament, the abolition of elementary civil and democratic rights, and the use of the armed forces to add to an even more draconian police state. To say these measures constitutes a “cure” which is worse than the disease barely begins to describe the crimes committed by the politicians of the West.  Even some United Nations (UN) agencies, who are politically liberal at best, warned that there could be 300 000 people dying per day in the underdeveloped countries due to the Corona shutdown of food production and supply lines.[1] Even if food production and distribution within the advanced countries had not been interrupted, the commercial airline industry has more or less closed down, nobbling the delivery of personnel and food aid.

This is not to mention the skyrocketing anxiety, depression and resulting suicides related to Covid-19 lockdowns. One study from Sydney University earlier this year estimated that suicides triggered by tyrannical lockdowns in Australia would exceed the number of deaths (allegedly) “from” Covid-19 by a factor of 10.[2] This should not be any wonder, given the indescribable repression the people of Melbourne are currently experiencing under “Stage 4” lockdowns. It can be reasonably argued that the extreme despotism imposed in Melbourne, ludicrously justified as part of a “fight” against a virus, exceeds the conditions experienced by German workers under the Nazis in the 1930s. The government has ordered the shutdown of some industries, throwing hundreds of thousands out of work. There is a curfew from 8pm to 5am every night, people are only allowed to exercise for one hour per day, they cannot travel more than 5 kilometres from their home, and only one person from each household is allowed out to obtain food. Police can enter any home without a warrant or permission, the Australian Army is used to ensure people are “isolating”. Protesting is illegal, weddings and funerals and basically any public gathering is illegal.[3] People who live alone arguably face isolation that amounts to torture, and children and students cannot attend school or University, and are reduced to being transfixed to a computer screen at home.

It is difficult to deny the claim that this mind-bending oppression constitutes a form of fascism. Granted, it differs from the fascism of Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Franco’s Spain – but the essential elements remain. The main difference is that there has been no fascist or ultra-nationalist party which has taken power from the mainstream capitalist parties of Labor and Liberal. Lockdown fascism is imposed through the major parties, and through all the existing institutions of the capitalist state – including the “health” system. Indeed, the “health” moniker is used endlessly as a classic bait and switch. While the enormous power of the corporate media in league with the government points all accusing fingers towards a supposedly deadly virus, the political and economic attack on the working class sails through virtually unimpeded. The job cuts, the unemployment and the resulting downward pressure on wages and working conditions are the key to understanding the real motivation of the “pandemic”. Capitalism in crisis can only turn against the working class in order to save itself, and Covid-19 has given them the excuse to exert unyielding downward pressure on the cost of labour power, i.e., wages workers need to survive.

Lockdown left merges with the state

The ruling class resorts to fascism when the thin façade of liberal democracy is insufficient to deliver the political repression required for the rapid erosion of working-class wages and conditions. Under any other scenario, the sacking of up to a million workers would provoke a fightback from labour Unions and left parties. Yet from the very start of the Corona crisis, not only have the Union officials and the so-called left parties allowed mass sackings and the virtual elimination of almost all bourgeois democratic rights, they have effectively merged with the capitalist state against their own members and workers generally – even as this state descends into its own form of fascism. The scale of this class treachery is difficult to quantify.

What has become the “lockdown left” comprises three parts. The first is the ultra-conservative Union bureaucracy, the second is the liberal intelligentsia (a topic best broached elsewhere), and the third is the nominal left parties which make some claim to be “socialist”. Amongst these, the Union officialdom sets the tone for the other two quisling elements to bring up the rear. Betrayal of Union members by the top echelons of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is apparent from day to day, but becomes particularly acute when working class leadership is desperately required. Not only has the ACTU abandoned Union members from the get-go of Corona, it crossed the Rubicon to join directly with the “captains of industry” over and against the direct interests of working people. On August 3, the ACTU co-signed an open letter with the Business Council of Australia (BCA) imploring the Federal Government to implement a Paid Pandemic Leave Scheme.[4] With cap in hand, the ACTU pleaded for this scheme to be paid for by the Federal and State governments. No wonder the BCA, the largest and most influential employer “Union” in the country, eagerly endorsed this – employers would not pay a cent!!

This open and undisguised collaboration with the capitalist class by the ACTU has two functions. Firstly, it saturates the working class with the arrant and relentless “pandemic” lies used as a cover for the unremitting class war being waged against them. Secondly, it yet again drums in the bourgeois lie that employers and employees are “all in this together”, and that “we” need to band together to “get through this crisis”. It should not need to be explained how this prevents the working class from even defending itself against the rain of blows it suffers under the brand name of Covid-19. It builds on mass disorientation and demoralisation of workers who are desperately seeking the means to fight back.

“Socialist” treason

One can understand workers who have little experience or involvement in active politics trying to find a way to explain the duality of a felt need to assist society with a claimed health issue alongside the urge to defend their class against a political and economic broadside. Yet we can scarcely offer any leniency in exposing those who have political experience, and can ironically quote Marx as if by rote, playing the role of police auxiliaries enforcing the Corona dictates of PM Scott Morrison and the arch reactionary Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. We speak of the nominally “socialist” parties who have not the ghost of an idea that the corporate media and politicians are, surprise surprise, not telling the truth about how society should deal with a supposedly dangerous pathogen.

Socialist Action casually mention that domestic violence against women has increased by 75% “due to Covid-19” – yet they offer not one word of criticism of the lockdowns which are almost entirely responsible.[5] Socialist Alliance offer full-throated backing for lockdowns, but make a side-plea for nice ones, which include community organisations. This is not satire.[6] Socialist Alternative accept the “pandemic” narrative wholesale, and offer only a few grumbles about how “neoliberalism” has undermined funding for health and aged care services.[7] Continuing on the line of militantly demanding reforms, Solidarity take a stand not against scientifically groundless quarantines, but for quarantines to be run by government health workers, employed on secure conditions![8]

The “Stalinist” parties demonstrate a graphic example of just how pro-government “Marxism-Leninism” really is in practice. The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) makes mention of the fines of up to $20 000 for those in Victoria who refuse to “self-isolate” – but do not dare to even raise their hand in opposition.[9] The Australian Communist Party (ACP) does recognise the betrayal of the ACTU in working hand-in-glove with the Australian (Liberal) government on Corona crisis responses. At the same time, it does not realise it is also working with the government by swallowing the “pandemic” narrative.[10] The Communist Party of Australia Marxist-Leninist (CPA-ML) claim that workers have been “hit hard by Covid-19”.[11] It does not register with the CPA-ML that the ruling class is hitting the working class hard while using the excuse of Covid-19. The Communist Workers Party of Australia (CWPA) make no mention of the Corona crisis in the entirety of the first issue of their publication,[12] despite it being released just before the peak of the manic “second wave” lockdowns. The CWPA appear to assume that politics can continue as normal if we all just follow the Prime Minister and the corporate media on the coronavirus. What a sterling example of working-class leadership!

The “Trotskyist” parties, if anything, imbibe more “pandemic” Kool-Aid than others. The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), is known for campaigning hard for even harsher and longer lockdowns than even the conservative governments are prepared to enact.[13] The Australian section of the Spartacist League (SL) has not published anything on the Corona crisis to our knowledge. However, its US section condemns anti-lockdown protests as being full of supporters of President Trump.[14] They do not appear phased that, in practice, this places them politically to the right of Trump supporters – something that can be said for the entire lockdown left. The Trotskyist Platform take the cake as far as true believers of the politicians when it comes to Covid-19. So deeply do they believe the “pandemic” lies, they literally call for invasive mandatory temperature testing for workplaces of more than two people (!?), for nice food for those in lockdown, and for public housing residents to be locked down by health workers rather than cops!![15] The Bolshevik-Leninist project, a new Trotskyist organisation, has shown some promise in their initial forays. Yet they too fall for the litany of lies justifying barbaric and logic-defying lockdowns.[16]

Covid-19 is a class attack

By any measure, the circulation of a pathogen which is almost entirely harmless to all but a very small minority is being used by the ruling-class to launch an unprecedented attack on the working-class from whom it draws its private fortunes.[17] It is a clear class attack, from which workers need to defend themselves, using all means up to and including a generalised uprising. Standing in the way of this dire necessity are the overpaid and ultra-conservative Union officials, who are propped up by what should be a totally discredited “left”. Workers need to burn into their collective memories the fact that, at the first serious test, the Union officials and the lockdown left abandoned them to become the labour lieutenants of big capital. And this is big capital which is resorting to lockdown fascism in a desperate attempt to save the stock markets and the private ownership of the means of production.

Despite the appearance of lockdown terror being begrudgingly accepted by working people, this is in fact an illusion. This appearance would melt into the air if it were not for the epic betrayal of workers by Union officials and their lockdown left sidekicks. The bourgeoisie takes a huge gamble with the maintenance of its own rule when it turns to fascism. The imposition of lockdown fascism demonstrates the political and ideological exhaustion of capitalist “democracy”, and the urgency of its replacement with the foundations of socialist rule, where working people democratically control the levers of state power. Key to this task is the total rejection of the lockdown “left” and the forging of a workers’ party based on genuine Leninism. For workers and the oppressed, Corona tyranny is not a reason to despair, but is instead a clarion call to rise up and create a planned and collectivised economy where the wealth of society becomes the wealth of all.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://unglobalcompact.org/take-action/20th-anniversary-campaign/covid-related%20hunger-could-kill-more-people-than-the-virus (22-08-2020)

[2] https://www.rt.com/news/488070-australia-us-coronavirus-suicide-spike/ (22-08-2020)

[3] https://kyil-extra.com/melbourne-police-state/ (22-08-2020)

[4] https://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/media-releases/2020/actu-bca-joint-letter-pandemic-leave (23-08-2020)

[5] https://thesocialist.org.au/women-and-covid-19-inequalities-worsen/ (23-08-2020)

[6] https://socialist-alliance.org/news/humanitarian-response-covid19-restrictions (23-08-2020)

[7] https://redflag.org.au/node/7303 (23-08-2020)

[8] https://www.solidarity.net.au/highlights/andrews-failures-produced-melbourne-outbreak-not-slips-up-on-distancing/ (23-08-2020)

[9] https://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2020/1927/05-victoria.html (23-08-2020)

[10] https://www.auscp.org.au/militant-monthly/2020/6/25/covid-and-the-new-accord (23-08-2020)

[11] http://www.cpaml.org/post4.php?id=1595806055&catitem1=Class%20Struggle%20and%20Socialism,%20Community%20and%20Environment&catid1=13 (23-08-2020)

[12] http://communistworkerspartyofaustralia.org.au/resources/The%20Agitator%20issue%20number%201.pdf (23-08-2020)

[13] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/08/15/covi-a15.html (24-08-2020)

[14] https://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1174/covid.html (24-08-2020)

[15] https://www.trotskyistplatform.com/covid-19-is-causing-far-more-suffering-in-australia-than-it-should/ (24-08-2020)

[16] http://bolshevik-leninist.org/coronavirus-pandemic-exposes-the-naked-horror-of-capitalism/ (24-08-2020)

[17] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (24-08-2020)

 

The Covid-19 Siege of Melbourne

Police “guard” public housing towers in Melbourne. Image from http://www.sbs.com.au

The Covid-19 Siege of Melbourne

12-07-2020: Melbourne is currently enduring a medieval siege by the state, with a return to “stage 3” lockdowns for the whole city, and “hard” lockdowns for nine public housing towers, including Flemington and North Melbourne. No notice was given[1], and police were deployed to prevent residents leaving for any reason. Police effectively barricaded people inside their own units and were often deployed to each floor of the towers. The flimsy rationale for such action was an alleged increase in coronavirus “cases”, supposedly found amongst some residents after “testing positive” for Covid-19. This, along with the entire Covid-19 narrative, is little more than a torrent of lies. Even the moderate Australian Greens, who nonetheless back nonsensical lockdowns, wrote a letter to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews complaining that there was no notice given to the public housing residents, who were locked in their homes without any information as to how they would secure essential provisions such as food and medicine.[2] The full force of the state has been levied against some of the most socially disadvantaged in the community, who have been made scapegoats in a vicious political game.

Public housing residents aware they are an easy target

Covid-19 is a false pretext for the largest assault on the conditions of the working class since the 1930s.[3] The removal of basic civil and democratic rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, not to speak of freedom of movement, is selectively applied so as to intimidate working people, not their “masters”. For example, billionaire Seven West owner Kerry Stokes was granted an exemption for hotel quarantine on his return to Western Australia, in his private jet, after holidaying on the ski slopes of Aspen, Colorado.[4] Meanwhile, participants of a birthday party in Melbourne were raided by police after being tipped off by paramedics ordering Kentucky Fried Chicken themselves in the early hours. The ambulance officers overheard others ordering 20 meals and reported it, so police then traced motor vehicle licence plates to locate an address. They stormed the residence and issued 16 people with $1652.00 fines, totaling around $26 000.[5] This mind-boggling repression for entirely innocent recreational activity is an indication of the scale and gravity of Covid-19 political repression.

The public housing residents of Melbourne subjected to the brutal siege are more than aware of why they were chosen as guinea-pigs. Such a siege could not have been carried out against wealthy residents of well-heeled suburbs such as Toorak or Malvern. Only public housing residents – some of the most marginalised in society – could be given four sausage rolls over 48 hours for food without provoking a mass outcry. The public housing residents resisted in whichever way they could, with some posting placards at their windows reading..”Treat Us As Humans!…not as caged animals… end this lockdown!….Effective immediately..”.[6]  Public housing residents of African origin in Melbourne, especially some in Flemington, had previously been harassed by police over alleged gang violence.

Denial of science

Even a fleeting glance at alternative media will reveal the grand deception which is taking place under the rubric of Covid-19. A still more brief sojourn investigating the science of viruses exposes the sheer criminality of Western politicians, which have unfortunately been mimicked by the politicians governing many independent countries who remain in the cross hairs of imperialism. The corporate media has given up trying to scare people with death counts, as the real numbers of deaths solely attributed to Covid-19 is numerically insignificant. Assuming the federal governments figures are correct, even they admit only 107 deaths currently attributed to Covid-19.[7]  107 is virtually nothing compared to the overall mortality rate, even on a daily basis. Due to Australia’s population, one person passes away every 3 minutes and 15 seconds from all causes.[8] Put another way, around 450 people in Australia pass away every single day. If there have been 107 TOTAL deaths from Covid-19 over a seven-month period, this represents 0.1% of the approximately 94 500 deaths that have occurred this year. No matter which way the numbers are counted, Covid-19 “deaths” are infinitesimal.

This is why the corporate media has switched to flashing numbers of “cases” of Covid-19, figuring that these numbers will be higher, and this will be able to be more easily spun into a web of fear. Yet again,  here there are only more brazen lies spewing forth from politicians and bought out health officials. They are deeming anyone who “tests positive” to Covid-19 as a “case”. For one thing, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique which is being used to detect Covid-19 was never meant to be used as a means of diagnosing illness. It was invented as a laboratory technique to help identify viral strains. Its inventor, the Nobel Prize winning Kary Mullis, passed away last year.[9] If he was with us today, he would be horrified at the PCR technique being used as a test for anything. As someone who did not withhold his opinions for fear of offending “official” science or society, Kary Mullis would today be screaming about the misuse of the PCR technique if he had lived until 2020. The PCR technique may be able to detect the presence of some indicator of the Covid-19 viral strain, but it cannot indicate whether someone will develop the disease that could potentially be associated with the virus.

In fact, medicos have to use the Reverse Transcription PCR technique (RT-PCR), because Covid-19 is only present in RNA, not DNA. Even if it does detect Covid-19 in someone’s RNA, it cannot identify the viral load, or how much of the virus is present. Huge amounts of the virus are required for anyone to develop any discernable symptoms, let alone begin to feel ill. Then there is the question of asymptomatic carriers, which even the totally compromised World Health Organisation (WHO) admits, can only spread the virus “very rarely”.[10] In reality, those who have no symptoms are not contagious.

Yet even if it was, natural or herd immunity remains the best way to deal with a virus. A virus must be allowed to spread amongst those with healthy immune systems (those aged under 65, and without underlying health conditions) in order to reach the herd immunity threshold (HIT). The HIT is the point at which a virus exhausts itself because it can no longer find enough carriers who have not already developed natural immunity. And we now know that the HIT for Covid-19 is as low as between 10-20%, NOT 70% as originally thought.[11]  It is most likely that Covid-19 had time to circulate, and therefore reach the quite low HIT, BEFORE the end of March, which was when the absurd lockdown and illogical social-distancing measures started to be enforced. The isolation measures therefore did not contain the virus, as this was scarcely the intention. They did, however, destroy the economies of many countries and many lives through unemployment, poverty, loneliness, depression, untreated illness, anxiety, famine and so on.[12]

Class position of lockdowns

It is not that the lockdown left (self-proclaimed “socialists”), following the lead of the overpaid Union officialdom, are scientifically illiterate per se – though they currently demonstrate this in spades. The lockdown left have strongly advocated for lockdowns – and by extension, for a police state, for the elimination of civil and democratic rights for working people, for the abolition of freedom of movement, i.e., for capitalism and imperialism – due to the fact that the question of the lockdowns most immediately defines one’s class position. That is to say, those who oppose the lockdowns stand with the working and oppressed masses, while those who defend the lockdowns stand with big capital. This remains the case irrespective of the claimed or self-identifying political viewpoints of those on either side of the lockdown barricades.

It is a huge error to assume that the left-wing position on the contrived coronavirus hysteria is the advocacy and policing of lockdowns and social distancing. This is only the position of the lockdown “left”, who occupy a universe light years away from even a basic defence of working class interests, let alone socialism.[13] No party can claim even the smallest grain of loyalty to “Marxism” while simultaneously assisting the entire apparatus of the capitalist state in its drive to enforce severe political repression against workers. To take the bourgeoisie at its word with claims that lockdowns and social distancing are “public health measures” is but a tragicomical farce. The fact that the lockdown left deeply believe the Covid-19 lies of the uber elite is proof positive that they act as the activist wing of social-democracy, i.e., the “liberal” wing of the ruling class.

Due to the fact that capitalism has long ceased to be in a period of expansion – this period arguably ended around 1975 – social-democratic liberalism is no longer progressive in any political sense. The 1970s was probably the last era that Marxists and liberals could potentially work together as allies against political conservatives. In that time, it was arguably even possible for socialists to work within the Labor Party. Obviously, those times are long gone, but the lockdown left has hung on to formulas which were possibly applicable four decades ago. This is one reason why they have steadily moved to the right over the last 20 years. What used to be social democracy is now indistinguishable from the conservatives they formerly opposed. The lockdown left is still tied to this right-wing social democracy, despite claiming in words to stand for some type of “socialism”. This has caused much political disorientation amongst workers and has even caused many workers to reject this false leftism and move towards the political right.

What this has also led to is the fact that working-class opposition to the Covid-19 assault has been expressed through some who are unfairly labelled as “conspiracy theorists” and even those associated with the nationalist right. Yet it is entirely inappropriate to label opponents of lockdowns as “right-wing anti-science nutters” – as the liberal lockdown left is wont to do. As we have indicated, it is in fact the lockdown left who deny the basic science of viruses. While there are those amongst the anti-lockdown movement who research so-called conspiracy theories, and those who have quite principled grounds for opposition to forced vaccinations and the lack of safety precautions for the expansion of the 5G telecommunications network, these views are not universal. Rather, the overwhelming majority of the anti-lockdown movement are composed of those who are rightly concerned about the increasing political power of the state over individuals, and the concomitant removal of civil and democratic rights which were formerly taken for granted.

Build the anti-lockdown movement

It is evident that the forces of what has historically been regarded as the “left” are now mere appendages of the state, and are therefore entrenched in the capitalist right, regardless of their proclamations. The treacherous Union bureaucracy enforced the specious Covid-19 narrative on their members and workers generally, fully aware that it was part of a preparation for imperialist war against China, Russia, Iran and any real or imagined enemy of Anglo/US imperialism. They were slavishly tailed by the lockdown left, i.e., putative “left” parties, who plumbed new depths of class treason by parroting the Prime Minister, every state Premier and the corporate media as they imposed pitiless lockdowns against workers. Patently, these turncoats must be unmasked before the masses.

The horror of re-imposed lockdowns in Melbourne may be extended to other states, new facemask rules introduced, semi-permanent social-distancing and contract tracing, and much more, unless and until there are sustained protests and/or a popular uprising against Corona tyranny. The ruling class will not cede political authority gained through deception unless it is torn from them through struggle. Working people must resist the “new normal”, and forge bonds which break through the traditional labels of “left” and “right”. All those who oppose lockdowns must be united into a powerful movement.

At the same time, the tasks for socialists in such a movement are two-fold. Tactically, there is a need to work alongside those who oppose lockdowns even if they also hold views usually seen as antithetical to Marxism, e.g., anti-China, “pro-life”, a denial of climate collapse, or endorsement of US President Donald Trump. Strategically, there is a vital need to find the ways and means to convince opponents of lockdowns that there will be no escape from Corona tyranny, and whatever they are preparing us for, until the working class is mobilised to overthrow the rule of finance capital and replace it with a socialist order. As difficult as this task is, the forging of a vanguard party based on genuine Leninism will lower the political barriers and could unleash the power the millions strong proletariat.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2020/jul/melbourne-tower-lockdowns (11-07-2020)

[2] https://www.corowafreepress.com.au/national/2020/07/10/1441159/demand-for-melbourne-tower-lockdown-probe (11-07-2020)

[3] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (11-07-2020)

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/23/kerry-stokes-near-aspen-colorado-quarantine-exemption-private-jet-perth (11-07-2020)

[5] https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/illegal-house-party-unravelled-by-observant-paramedics-on-a-kfc-run-c-1158022 (11-07-2020)

6 https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/07/09/public-housing-coronavirus-test/?fbclid=IwAR1TVQNT7bZGS-TIdrwBcFNc3FWM-8OEVKx4pc5d3xlTzQRFno7aFbokqyw (11-07-2020)

[7] https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers (11-07-2020)

[8]https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/1647509ef7e25faaca2568a900154b63?OpenDocument (11-07-2020)

[9] https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/kary-mullis–inventor-of-the-pcr-technique–dies-66256 (11-07-2020)

[10] https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/who-official-clarifies-misleading-position-on-asym (11-07-2020)

[11] https://off-guardian.org/2020/07/07/second-wave-not-even-close/ (11-07-2020)

[12] https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-test-set-another-brick-in-the-covid-19-disinformation-game-plan/5717040 (11-07-2020)

[13] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/25/the-left-and-the-coronavirus/ (12-07-2020)

 

Defend Civil Rights! Open the State Borders!

Instances of police patrolling beaches is just one of the indicators of the virtual elimination of elementary rights. Image from http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz

Defend Civil Rights!  Open the State Borders!

30-05-2020: The Corona crisis is not caused by a virus. The deliberate destruction of the economy, the lockdown of healthy people inside their homes, the sacking of millions of workers, the decimation of small and medium sized businesses, the months long delay in vital medical treatment deemed “elective”, the abolition of basic civil and democratic rights – all of this and more was inflicted by politicians. In reality, behind them stands big capital, which stands to make a killing from the swallowing up of small and medium sized capital, enlarging what is already an effective monopoly. Whether they be Labor or Liberal, state Premiers or the Prime Minister, Australian politicians chose to inflict mass human suffering on innocent people. They must be stopped and stopped now.

Lockdowns have not saved a single life

There is not a shred of evidence which can confirm the brutal and inhumane lockdowns, absurd and logic defying “social-distancing” rules, and the sacking of around a million workers has saved even one human life. In fact, it stands to reason that the lockdowns and economic shutdowns themselves are taking lives.[1] Many of those who have lost their jobs are now in dire straits, despite Federal government emergency assistance. If workers are not allowed to work, understandably they cannot earn money to pay the rent, or even feed their families. Condescendingly, whole sections of the workforce have been labelled “non-essential”, and presumably therefore, expendable. This is a malicious lie – every worker is a vital part of the economy who contributes to the production and re-production of social life. Without workers going to work each day, capitalism collapses.

The elite politicians who are ordering fascistic lockdowns are on a power trip, and are seemingly deriving perverse pleasure from seeing just how far they can go. Queensland Labor Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk has taken the cake, vowing to keep the state borders closed until September. In a classic case of passing the buck, Palaszczuk claims that this is not her decision, but is based on the best health advice!![2]  Is that the health advice from arch-bureaucrat “Chief Medical Officer” Jeanette Young, who admitted in an interview that the closing of Queensland schools was not done for any scientific reason, but to “send a message”[3] about how supposedly serious Covid-19 was? These overpaid politicians and health bureaucrats – as opposed to genuine healthcare workers – have bullet-proof job security, and very comfortable retirements laid out for them, regardless of how many men, women and children are thrown into poverty and despair by their actions.

What is more, the closing of the state borders is an open and blatant violation of the Australian Constitution. Section 92 of the Constitution states that “intercourse among the states…shall be absolutely free”.[4] While well paid lawyers and academics claim that there are exceptions that can be made to the strict wording of the constitution for things like the protection of public health, it would stretch extreme limits of credibility to claim that closing state borders does this. For one thing, restricting the circulation of people prevents natural or herd immunity from being reached while it is in place – which reduces the health of everyone, rather than protecting it. For hundreds of thousands of years, natural or herd immunity is the way that humanity have dealt with viruses that are potentially harmful. There is no vaccine for Covid-19, it may be impossible to manufacture, and there is no guarantee that it would be effective anyway. More than this, many workers depend for their livelihood on businesses that need the flow of traffic across state borders. Border shutdowns endanger the physical health of people and imperils them economically.

Basic Civil Rights have been removed

Using the threadbare justification of the presence of one new coronavirus (in a family of 39!), which is allegedly the new Black Plague, elementary human, civil and political rights have been extinguished – without remorse. Although some lockdown measures are beginning to be lifted slowly, Orwellian social-distancing rules are still being enforced by police state measures. Social-distancing weakens immune systems for one thing and is only serving the other agenda behind the pre-manufactured Covid-19 crisis. This agenda is extreme ideological and political control, as well as the near total suppression of political activity of working people. In our view, this sets the stage for the possible launching of imperialist war by the Anglo/EURO/US Empire against Russia, China, Iran and others. A socially distanced, isolated, and house arrested population can scarcely oppose “their own” government waging what could be a civilisation ending conflagration.

Workers in the West assumed that they had achieved the basic rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. Centuries of preceding political struggle had in fact only achieved implied rights. Even in the USA, where there was at one time a revolutionary struggle which produced a Bill of Rights, working people are discovering that state and federal governments are openly violating the black and white terms of the Bill of Rights. In the same way, the Australian state governments defile the very Constitution they claim to uphold. The forcible Covid-19 attack on working people has once and forever demonstrated that freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association can be abolished any time that big capital senses it has little political opposition.

The prime culprit for the appalling political situation of virtually no left-wing opposition to the government rests with the mind-bogglingly conservative Union officialdom (as opposed to rank and file Union members), which has backed the government to the hilt in its Coronavirus hysteria. Trailing on their coattails have been all manner of “left” organisations, from self-described socialists to anarchists to liberals. This “left” is of course nothing of the sort. What is required is a united front of all forces across society demanding the ending of the lockdowns, the re-opening of the state borders, and the restoration of all civil and political rights. Out of this movement must emerge a Marxist vanguard party, which can help lead the charge for the removal of tyranny via a general uprising.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

http://www.redfireonline.com

E:  workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH   QLD   4012

[1] https://www.globalresearch.ca/corona-tyranny-death-famine/5711942 (23-05-2020)

[2] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-18/coronavirus-queensland-borders-closed-to-september-palaszczuk/2 (23-05-2020)

[3] https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/jeannette-young-who-is-the-woman-leading-queensland-s-fight-against-covid-19-20200406-p54hmd.html (23-05-2020)

[4] http://www.cefa.org.au/ccf/can-australian-states-lock-out-residents-other-states (23-05-2020)

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)

No Virus Recession!

Queues form outside Centrelink Offices in the wake of overnight job losses. Image from abc.net.au

No Virus Recession!

 

26-03-2020 – Amidst the Coronavirus crisis, the civil and democratic rights of working people are fast becoming collateral damage. Australia’s Prime Minister yesterday announced the closure of pubs, clubs, gymnasiums, indoor sporting venues, cinemas and places of worship, and warned that these closures could be in place for six months.[1]  PM Scott Morrison feigned to apologise for the workers who would lose their jobs as a consequence. A recession, or more to the point, a worsening of an already dire economic malaise, is inevitable. Public gatherings of 500 or more, and indoor gatherings of 100 or more have already been banned. Incredibly, the PM put the blame for this situation on “young people” supposedly not abiding by the rules.

Tens of thousands of workers have been thrown out of employment overnight. The Virgin Australia airline stood down 8000 of its staff,[2] following QANTAS which stood down 20 000.[3] It is estimated that one million workers have lost their jobs following the closure of “non-essential” services. Queues have formed automatically at Centrelink, overwhelming their capacity to respond – but this is after years of funding and staffing cuts. Centrelink advised workers not to attempt to visit a Centrelink office, but to go to the MyGov website and lodge an “intent to claim” form online.[4] All this did was to cause the MyGov website to crash – twice.[5]

Corporate media and government fuel hysteria

It is vital that working people resist this enforced recession. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) effectively and swiftly dealt with the Coronavirus outbreak, and as far as we know, no workers were thrown out of work. This included temporary shutdowns of workplaces and temporary directions to stay at home. While the PRC and the SRV are weighed down by bureaucratic political leaderships which do not consistently defend workers’ interests, the contrast between the socialist response and the capitalist response to coronavirus could not be more stark. However deformed socialism may be in the PRC and the SRV, there was co-operation with the government measures there, because workers knew that it was unlikely that they would be the targets, and that they would not be asked to pay the costs. In capitalist Australia, on the other hand, many workers have already lost what is most vital to them – an income to keep food on the table. More than this, fear and uncertainty of the future grips workers in the West, engendering despair.

What is more, this has been done on the basis of wild distortions of scientific facts and realities. Coronavirus hysteria is pounding people non-stop, inducing fear. Yet, the government, the corporate media, bought and paid for medicos, employers, big business and obsequious Union officials are all vastly exaggerating the danger of the coronavirus. They have abominable political reasons for doing so. There is evidence that this may well have been an act of biological war by the Pentagon against China and Iran, and also Italy. The latter may well have been punished for being the first G7 (Group of seven most industrialised countries) to sign on to China’s gargantuan trade and infrastructure development project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or “New Silk Road”).[6] It may well have backfired spectacularly on Washington, given that the virus appears to be rapidly spreading throughout the USA. Nonetheless, the ruling classes of the capitalist West from Australia to Europe to the US have seized on the opportunity the coronavirus presents to them. Their economy has been staggering along for ten years or so, but now there is a chance to throw millions of workers onto the scrapheap, and thereby push down the price of labour-power, or wages, even further than legal minimums. Moreover, it provides the opportunity to launch catastrophic war against China or whoever – with a crippled and disoriented working-class unwilling or unable to take political action against “their own” imperialism.

Lockdowns may worsen health conditions

Of concern is the fact that it is likely that lockdowns and closures of workplaces and places of recreation and needed social gatherings will lead to more unnecessary fatalities, not less. Not to speak of the mental health problems created by mass unemployment, the severe curtailing of social interaction for almost all purposes exacerbates the extent of the symptoms those with accompanying health conditions suffer. One medical specialist who, to his credit, is not bowing down to his government, has inferred that the social lockdowns are “collective suicide” that will shorten the lives of millions.[7] The cancellations of elective surgery, which has already occurred in Australia, by itself will mean prolonged suffering for those waiting – and even premature death.

The fact is that the numbers of cases of a virus are nowhere near “pandemic” levels. In addition, the vast majority of those infected with coronavirus will suffer mild symptoms and recover after a period of about two weeks. While reasonable and rational precautionary measures to counter this virus are justified, a full-scale economic recession and all of its life-extinguishing consequences needs to be avoided at all costs. What has to be recognised is that all points of authority within capitalist society are universally on board with the elite’s recession and war planning – for they will not suffer from it. Working people must grapple with the fact that fascism is a distinct possibility.

Workers must not despair, and must not fear, however. Throughout history, fascism has only triumphed in the absence of determined working class opposition, i.e. without a strong and organised left-wing. It is critical that a Marxist vanguard party is formed, now more than ever. Such a party can form out of mobilisations behind demands that can address parts of this crisis, and others besides. For a start, we urge workers to fight for:
1.  A six hour day!

2. Public ownership of energy, infrastructure, banks!

3. A Workers’ Government!

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

http://www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] http://www.mygc.com.au/australia-shut-down-pm-orders-pubs-restaurants-churches-gyms-to-close/ (23-03-2020)

[2] https://www.hepburnadvocate.com.au/story/6695892/virgin-australia-stands-down-8000-staff/ (25-03-2020)

[3] https://www.hcamag.com/au/specialisation/employee-engagement/qantas-stands-down-two-thirds-of-staff/217358 (25-03-2020)

[4] https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6144476072001 (25-03-2020)

[5] https://www.themercury.com.au/news/coronavirus/anxious-tasmanians-continue-to-line-up-at-centrelink-as-mygov-website-crashes-again/news-story/d2a20f022f52cae32052bceaf7962f8c (25-03-2020)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2020/03/22/covid-19-natural-pathogen-or-biological-war/ (25-03-2020)

[7] https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:nhbO6vLdYsgJ:https://www.anti-empire.com/fantastic-video-interview-german-infectologist-govt-lockdowns-are-collective-suicide-will-shorten-the-lives-of-millions/%20&cd=1&hl=pt-BR&ct=clnk&gl=br&fbclid=IwAR0cr0zTLxTKRUNvDqPQoCmCcU2qSFkyyof971KVX0CLPiY0j6BiSzmeOGw (25-03-2020)

 

 

Covid-19: Natural Pathogen, or Biological War?

Covid-19: Natural Pathogen, or Biological War?

22-03-2020 – As the Covid-19 (Corona Virus) crisis spreads further throughout the globe, the spectre of an unprecedented economic depression looms large. As with the Great Depression in the 1930s, the private-profit based economies at that time did not have a hope of a release from its grip. It was “resolved” the only way it could have been – through a World War. This outcome suspends itself over the planet now. Even without the Corona Virus outbreak, the capitalist economies of the United States (US), Europe, Japan and Australia had effectively limped along since the Great Recession of 2008. These desperately waning economic conditions drove the imperialist axis to wage regime change wars or attempted coups against Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or “North Korea”), Iran, Bolivia and Honduras, at the least. These hostile acts were pre-cursors to the real targets of Washington and their acolytes – the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  Workers should be aware that the US Empire’s dangerous hostility to Russia and China will not abate regardless of how the Corona Virus crisis plays out.

Where did Covid-19 come from?

The US Empire (backed by Paris, Berlin, London, Canberra) is desperate to slow or stop the indomitable economic rise of Red China, and the political and diplomatic power that flows therefrom. Washington knows that US corporations – during a virtual recession in the West – cannot compete against the giant socialist state backed industries within the PRC. It also knows that a military attempt at regime change in the PRC is impossible, given the size of China population wise, and the PRC’s possession of advanced nuclear weapons. Thus, the priority flows to political attempts to undermine the authority of the government, along with attempts to break away some of its component parts, such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet. Given the fact that these efforts had so far largely failed – even if they had fooled many liberals in the West – it is not unreasonable to suggest that Washington is trying something different with the Corona Virus, regardless of the eminently misanthropic consequences.

Despite attempts to paint Covid-19 as a “Chinese” virus, there is some evidence to suggest that it did not originate in the PRC at all. A report in the English language Global Times newspaper in China, first broke the story that a study by ChinaXiv, an open repository for Chinese scientific researchers, had indicated that the Huanan Seafood market in Wuhan was NOT the original source of the novel coronavirus. The study indicates that “patient zero” introduced the virus to the market last November, with the crowded market then providing grounds for its relatively rapid spread to others.[1]  A report on a Japanese TV station also made the claim that Covid-19 may have originated in the US. Apparently some 14 000 fatalities due to influenza over the previous period may have been due to Covid-19. Moreover, the Military World Games were held in Wuhan last October, with one social media user speculating that the virus had been brought with the US delegates.[2] Various theories are floating around the internet, mainly over whether the release of the virus was accidental or deliberate.

No less than Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian posted open questions on social media to the US government about the known extent of Corona Virus. He posted a video of Robert Redfield, a director of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, admitting that some Americans who had died from influenza later tested positive to the Corona Virus. “When did patient zero begin in US?  How many people are infected? …. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!”[3] While the exact origin of the Corona Virus may not be able to be known, developments such as these raise pertinent questions. In the spirit of never believing anything until it is officially denied, US Secretary of State and arch war hawk Mike Pompeo swiftly shot back accusing Zhao Lijian, and China generally, of spreading “outlandish rumours”. A US state department official even stated that the spreading of “conspiracy theories” is dangerous.[4]

It takes some chutzpah for the US to accuse China of spreading “conspiracy theories” at the very same time as US government officials and corporate media fling baseless and evidence free claims of 1 million Uyghurs being detained in the Xinjiang province. And for all the whining from the West about “authoritarianism” in the PRC, the fact is that the Chinese government’s measures to contain and control the Corona Virus have been unmatched by any Western counterpart. China’s efforts to build a 1000 bed hospital from scratch in under two weeks[5] is by now well known. Western economies running on a for-profit basis with governments enthralled by private corporations would not even be able to contemplate, let alone attempt, such a feat. For all the misunderstanding about the PRC economy, the fact is that it does not operate primarily on the basis of production for profit, and the major and strategic means of production are state owned – a legacy of the victory of the 1949 socialist revolution.

Act of biological war?

Despite the distorted leadership of the PRC by the essentially nationalist Communist Party of China (CPC), the simple existence of the Chinese workers’ state and its still rising economic power spell the end of US primacy of the globe – something the US ruling class cannot afford to allow. They are prepared to use any measure to prevent other countries looking to China for economic and even political leadership. While it would be difficult to determine scientifically, it is feasible to suggest that the intention was to bring down the powerhouse Chinese economy, in order to give the ailing US economy some respite.  If so, this appears to have backfired, with the New York Mayor recently declaring that city to be the new epicenter of the Corona Virus.[6]  Yet the question must be posed as to why China, Iran and Italy, out of the 196 countries in the world, have been hardest hit. It has been mooted that Italy was the first G7 country to sign on to Red China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or “New Silk Road), while Iran has been attempting to bypass the crippling US sanctions on its economy by importing from China while selling China its oil.[7] As the Chinarising website reports, at one point Iran had 10 000 cases of Corona Virus, while the countries between Iran and China had virtually nil. Also, India, with a similar population to China, but with hundreds of millions more people living in dire poverty and in many cases with poor sanitation, has been left almost unscathed.[8]

The US ruling class is known for its use of biological war against its declared enemies. During the Vietnam War, the US dumped Agent Orange by the gigalitre on an innocent people resisting the imperialist behemoth. Socialist Cuba has also been targeted. What is more, the Russian government had recently warned the world of its grave concerns that the US was developing biological weapons. In November last year, the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, sounded the alarm that the Pentagon had established some 200 biological laboratories which study infectious diseases and can be used to manufacture biological weapons. Many of these labs had been set up in the countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.[9]

What acts of imperialist subterfuge can be determined is the fact that the US has increased already crippling sanctions against Iran, at the peak of the Corona Virus outbreak.[10] This at a time when the Russian and Chinese governments, amongst many others around the world, had been issuing pleas for the US to lift its sanctions on Iran, to assist global efforts against the Corona Virus.[11] Google, ever reliable as an arm of US foreign policy, chimed in by removing Iran’s Corona Virus app from the Google Play Store.[12] The app was released by the Iranian government to help detect patients. This makes a mockery of US government claims that it would offer Iran assistance for the outbreak.

Social and political control

That the Corona Virus is a pathogen which needs to be combatted is not in doubt. What is suspicious is the way in which it is being used to implement mass social and political control, which could be an attempt by the imperialist West to practice a test run of submission to authority for their ultimate goal – catastrophic war against Russia and China. The banning of mass gatherings, enforceable by the police, could easily become permanent measures if not resisted by workers. In Queensland, the police are now monitoring venues with indoor events that may exceed 100 people. Fines of up to $50 000 or 12 months in jail could be applied in different Australian states.[13] If society is at a stage where public meetings can be shut-down by the armed forces of the state – we must question what the difference is with fascism. The corporate media is now so practiced at deceiving masses of people with propaganda, it can induce almost whole populations to dance to its tune.

The corporate media acts as an arm of the governments that protect their profits. In “normal” times, many workers suspect and/or understand this. Yet this time, the capitalist class seems to be willing to trigger an economic recession by throwing millions of workers out of employment. It’s as if they were just itching for the chance to sack workers. QANTAS has stood down 20 000 of its workers, and even claimed that the viability of the airline could be at stake. While there has been a murmur of dissent from the Transport Workers Union officials, saying that this amounts to workers bailing out the airline,[14]  there were no moves to organise resistance to this move at airports or at other workplaces.

The top Union officials, remunerated to the tune of six-figure salaries at the expense of Union members, are once again playing their role as political police of rank and file workers. In Queensland, the Queensland Council of Union executive wasted no time in cancelling Labour Day marches planned for 2020.[15] On the unconvincing grounds of protecting “public safety”, the ultra-conservative QCU executive was only too happy to present itself as one with the government of the elites. No other provisions for even consulting workers, or organising smaller meetings where workers could discuss or plan a response, was provided. The only action component proposed was that workers sign a petition [!!] for leave for casual workers!  The virtual absence of democratic rights for workers within the Unions, enforced by careerist officials, results in such tragicomic outcomes.

Well-heeled Union officials, the corporate media, venture capitalists, and even left groups who usually parade their “socialist” convictions, are now lining up as one. Whether they call on the government to “take the crisis seriously” or encourage people to visit government approved websites, they are all in lockstep with what appears to be a preparation for World War III. The numbers are simply not there for a “pandemic”. The production for profit economy was already effectively in recession, and large and small employers were just itching for an excuse to cut their costs by laying off workers without resistance. What better opportunity than a supposed health crisis? Those with serious capital will not lose out by mass retrenchments of workers – in fact they could well make big money out of it.

Mass retrenchment of workers will cause immense hardship and suffering for the majority of workers who only earn enough to pay the bills, and many not even that. The goal of the rulers appears to have been to once again enforce submission to authority without question. US imperialism (backed by Canberra) was seriously defeated in their war of regime change against Syria. Standing in the way of the US juggernaut was Russia, and to a lesser extent, China. Unable to accept defeat, it is not unlikely to assume that Washington is turning to any method whatever – even the fueling of biological war – in a vain attempt to reassert its fast slipping global hegemony. While workers should participate in reasonable health precautions, docile submission to attacks on jobs and living standards should be resisted. Imperialist war provocations should be rejected, and preparations made for an internationally planned and collectively owned economy. A workers’ party which leads the masses against the never-ending crisis of the profit system remains the most urgent necessity.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO Box 66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1180429.shtml (18-03-2020)

[2] http://en.people.cn/n3/2020/0223/c90000-9661026.html (18-03-2020)

[3] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/coronavirus-chinese-official-suggests-u-s-army-blame-outbreak-n1157826 (18-03-2020)

[4] https://thehill.com/policy/international/487853-pompeo-warns-china-against-spreading-outlandish-rumors-about-coronavirus (18-03-2020)

[5] https://www.france24.com/en/20200204-china-opens-virus-hospital-built-from-scratch-in-under-two-weeks (21-03-2020)

[6] https://abcnews.go.com/Health/coronavirus-live-updates-china-exonerates-whistleblower-doctor-warned/story?id=69702910 (21-03-2020)

[7] https://www.globalresearch.ca/more-than-just-virus/5706476 (21-03-2020)

[8] https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2020/03/16/kim-iverson-reports-the-same-geopolitical-observations-about-biowarfare-your-passport-has-a-lot-to-do-with-your-exposure-to-covid-19-the-ramifications-for-you-and-your-loved-ones-is-explained-china/ (21-03-2020)

[9] https://journal-neo.org/2020/02/20/us-wages-biological-war-against-china/(21-03-2020)

[10] https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/03/18/621105/US-fresh-sanctions-Iran-coronavirus-outbreak?fbclid=IwAR2F_ICOKi9ojx4QLMU3p-MMWFMdRznJp2FCKAvuEe6xcqTa0jkW7rjDrJg (21-03-2020)

[11] https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/coronavirus-china-and-russia-call-us-lift-iran-sanctions?fbclid=IwAR2sE4qPdLeLb1uwjR3fvrvy-pKaM1MWckggdpNKpMScJF8cTxUvY959kPU (21-03-2020)

[12] https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/03/11/620625/Google-Iran-coronavirus-US-sanctions-Trump-medicine?fbclid=IwAR01LkXDjKo4Rxv4yAg3tzgpNF41IwYMkUOJqot4sfg0pR5kaRFRiZ31RF8 (21-03-2020)

[13] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-21/coronavirus-self-isolation-whos-making-sure-you-stay-indoors/12078074?fbclid=IwAR1T6YXt1AFDkk9bhpVHVYzelVrNOKKrgkScng6SRqbeWjbntHoFAbOW5To (22-03-2020)

[14] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-19/qantas-to-stand-down-two-thirds-of-employees-due-to-coronavirus/12069876?fbclid=IwAR17XkUVtnqbRoLeUlpQoUpIr2y9SecSoaS76J4zkoKO8T7PumEC_LhTh0Y (22-03-2020)

[15] https://www.queenslandunions.org/workers-put-community-health-and-safety-first-in-cancelling-labour-day-events/ (22-03-2020)

Rise Against the Climate Collapse!

The Adelaide Hills bushfire from afar. Image from abc.net.au

Rise Against the Climate Collapse!

20-12-2019 – The climate collapse is no longer only the content of Hollywood disaster films, but is a lived reality. Australia, the driest continent on earth, is burning alive, and Sydney is being blanketed in smoke and ash which is hazardous to human health. Last Monday, the Climate and Health Alliance released a statement declaring the smoke haze covering Sydney to be a public health emergency.[1] The statement urges New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison to show leadership and implement measures to alleviate the climate and health crisis. The Liberal Party of Berejiklian and Morrison is stacked with climate deniers, but in reality, ALL government parties and politicians have failed to act on the urgent necessity of climate collapse over a period of some 40 years. Labor and the Greens call for climate action in words but they are bound to the same parliaments as the Liberals and Nationals at whom they wave cardboard swords. And these parliaments are but appendages of the rule of the privatised banks and finance capital, set against working people and those without property.

One part of a system in crisis

Ecological breakdown is now so severe that it is a clear and present danger to the survival of humanity. The sheer volume of carbon emissions also threatens to cause catastrophic malfunction of the basic ecosystems needed to sustain most animal and plant life. As serious as it is, workers need to be aware that the collapse of a habitable environment is but one symptom of the crisis of capitalism, which is linked to other major crises. It is linked to the lowest real wages in history, to the rampant wage theft of countless workers. It is linked to the attempt to illegally collect large but completely false “robodebts” from welfare recipients. It is linked to mass unemployment, unaffordable housing and thus relentless increases in the number of homeless people. It is linked to never-ending attempts by all governments to restrain what remains of workers’ Unions. It is linked to the shredding of basic democratic rights and civil liberties. It is linked to the repeated imperialist wars and attempts at regime change against any country deemed too independent from Washington. It is linked to the insane provocations by Washington, Canberra and London against Russia and China, which if triggered could mean an unavoidable World War III.

There are alternatives to this nightmare scenario, provided the working class is able to produce leadership which corresponds to their interests. The greatest illusion is that a cross-class climate movement, a movement of “everyone” is the way forward. Such movements of “everyone all together” is precisely what has led to the current political impasse. The “climate strikes” of recent times have mobilised millions of people, but they have only passed on plaintive pleas to the very self-serving politicians who have a material interest in sitting on their hands. After 40 years of inaction, after 40 years of dire warnings from the world’s climate scientists, it is clear that these politicians will not act. The bushfires razing Australia currently, and the stark indifference from state and federal politicians is the clearest indicator that the unaccountable elite are no longer fit to rule. PM Morrison is currently holidaying in Hawaii ! This is why it is fruitless for working people to demand these governments act. They are not “ours”, but are paid functionaries of a class alien to the basic interests of workers. Placing demands on these government hacks recognises their “authority” and, in turn, demoralises and disempowers workers, leading to more confusion and despair.

Working class political leadership is crucial

Instead of pleas for the government of the corporate class to provide free face masks to ward off bushfire smoke, what is urgently required is a political leadership which can inspire and arouse working people to take matters into their own hands. A cross-class climate movement which mobilises hundreds of thousands, but then waits powerlessly for corporate politicians to come to their aid does little but assist hand-wringing about how bad things are. The fact is that the world’s capitalist ruling classes, in Australia as elsewhere, would prefer to see the world burn one thousand times over rather than lose a fraction of their wealth and power. They may have their own children, but their material interest of preserving their capital over-rides even family ties.

While political activity which urges action on climate makes a contribution, a climate movement which attempts to be agnostic on the question of capitalism vs socialism will remain trapped in contradiction. The socialist overturn of private ownership of the means of production is no automatic guarantee that the planet will be able to save humanity from extinction, but without it there is little chance. It is impossible for class society to only “take action” on climate change, and leave all other forms of exploitation untouched. A climate movement which confines itself within the parameters of a for-profit economy will not be able to get past first base.

An urgent transition to zero-carbon energy sources, using all available methods to draw carbon out of the atmosphere, to the reversing of soil degradation, to the cleaning out of the seas of plastic and other pollution – none of this can be begun while private capital retains its ownership rights. Paraphrasing Karl Marx, “despotic” inroads into the rights of corporate property are the first step towards not only a society fit for working people, but also to a safe climate. The forging of a Leninist vanguard party to lead this struggle is not only an overarching goal, but a critical and immediate task.

To begin, we urge agitation around the following demands:

                      1. A SIX HOUR DAY

  1. PUBLIC OWNERSHIP OF THE BANKS, TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  2. A WORKERS’ GOVERNMENT

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/no-safe-level-pollution-labelled-a-public-health-emergency-20191215-p53k5d.html (16-12-2019)

 

For Public Ownership of All Aged Care Facilities!

For Public Ownership of All Aged Care Facilities!

04-11-2019 – Another year, another damning report into the critical failings of Australia’s Aged Care system. An interim report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has again found that the Aged Care system displayed shocking levels of treatment of elderly residents, including excessive use of chemical restraints.[1]  The aged people of a supposedly advanced industrialised country, after a lifetime of contribution to the community through work and other areas, are being treated with cruel inhumanity. A related problem is that young people with a disability are being funnelled into Aged Care homes, because there are no other facilities available for them. An estimated 3500 people with a disability under the age of 60 live in aged care nursing homes, which are not suited to their needs.[2]

Profit system failure

It is no mystery why the appalling treatment of aged care residents has gone on for years. It has effectively been privatised, and is now run by big business for private profit. In these circumstances, the physical and mental health of Aged Care residents is at the bottom of the list of priorities, if at all. At the top of their list is the extraction of cash, usually from Aged Care residents who are pensioners, and their families who are mostly working class people with little accumulated wealth. For over a decade, doctors and nurses have warned the federal government about the critical level of understaffing in nursing homes across the country, but have been met with no response. The New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association released a statement stressing the fact that Aged Care needs to be affordable and accessible, and provided by professional and accredited staff who are remunerated accordingly.[3] Instead, what transpires are Aged Care centres that are chronically understaffed, with a shortage of qualified nurses, which leads to long waiting lists, unmet expectations and unnecessary pain and suffering.

Two years ago, for profit “health care provider” Bupa actually issued a directive to their staff to conserve continence pads in their Aged Care facilities because they were allegedly running “over budget”.[4] Unless the pads were 75% wet, Bupa staff were told not to change them. Cost cutting on essential items includes food for the residents. In recent times, the amount many Aged Care homes had been spending on food for residents had dropped to $6 per day. Some who raised the alarm over this critical underfunding commented that both prisoners and guinea pigs receive more fresh food than those in Aged Care.[5] The lack of fresh food in at least adequate proportions, apart from the base inhumanity of private profit margins, leads in turn to more health problems for residents in terms of wounds, falls, and hospital readmissions. To say this is a false economy is a vast understatement.

Public health care a basic need

As with other multiple crises affecting society, the plummeting standards of Aged Care in Australia mirror the declining state of the capitalist economy. Since 2008, the “global” financial crisis hit the West hard, and it has barely recovered. The previous sectors of the economy where capital had been making what they consider an adequate rate of return – manufacturing, industry, agriculture – have long since ceased to do so. In turn, the capitalist class demanded that the public relinquish parts of the public economy which had previously been denied them – such as Aged Care. Capital moved into Aged Care not to take care of the elderly people in their final years, but to make a quick buck. Providing the smallest amount of “care” while extracting the most amount of money, for them, is “good business”.  For working people who have worked their whole lives, raised children, built communities – this is insanity. For this issue, as for many others, working people and private capital have utterly irreconcilable interests.

At the very least, all aged care should be taken back into public ownership, and treated as part of a public health care system. For profit “providers” should be expelled from the Aged Care system without compensation. Qualified and specialist nurses, doctors and Aged Care workers should be employed until there are adequate ratios of residents to care workers and medical staff. This campaign should be led by the Unions, who should both organise and mobilise the overworked and underpaid staff currently employed. There would be more than enough public sympathy for such a militant campaign, given the horror stories that have emerged from numerous enquiries.

Standing in the way of this much needed effort are the conservative and self-serving Union officials, who have either restricted themselves to silence, or the occasional press release. Unfortunately under capitalism the labour bureaucracy has a material interest in maintaining the status quo – even an unbearable one. The top officials live the life of riley off the funds provided by Union members and their numerous connections to regional and national Union bodies, the Australian Labor Party, and state and federal parliaments. It is the parents and grandparents of current Union members and unorganised workers who languish in below standard for-profit nursing homes, not those of well-off officials.

Careerist Union officials must be positioned by workers into taking a stand for basic justice for the elderly. Even just to win decent Aged Care, let alone other public services, the working class will have to jettison the current Union misleaders, and replace them with those committed to a class struggle against the capitalist system. This is bound up with efforts to forge a Marxist vanguard party, which could provide the desperately needed leadership workers are crying out for. Such a party would stop at nothing to build a socialist world, where the health and well-being of working people would come before all else.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66    NUNDAH   QLD  4012

[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-31/aged-care-royal-commission-report-finds-unsafe-industry/11658328 (03-11-2019)

[2] https://synapse.org.au/information-services/young-people-in-nursing-homes.aspx (03-11-2019)

[3] https://www.nswnma.asn.au/chronic-understaffing-in-aged-care-is-causing-enormous-pain-and-suffering-for-residents-and-families/ (03-11-2019)

[4] https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/cost-cutting-and-understaffing-of-aged-care-homes-leads-to-rationing-and-neglect-20171010-gyxn7b.html (03-11-2019)

[5] https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/my-guinea-pigs-eat-better-ama (03-11-2019)