From Pan­de­mic to Per­ma­nent Emergency

Lese­zeit53 min


1. Covid-19: Bet­ween Rea­li­ty and Fiction

The Covid-19 pan­de­mic has been pre­sen­ted by govern­ments and media around the world, led by the WHO, as a ter­ri­ble new dise­a­se that could cau­se tens of mil­li­ons of deaths. The dise­a­se is real, as is the virus that cau­ses it. Evi­dence has emer­ged about its ori­gin, which makes its crea­ti­on in U.S.-led labo­ra­to­ries incre­asing­ly likely. In any case, the seve­ri­ty of the dise­a­se has been mas­si­ve­ly exag­ge­ra­ted. Tho­se who con­ti­nue to spread the main­stream nar­ra­ti­ve of the »ter­ri­ble and uncon­troll­able pan­de­mic,« rei­te­ra­ting the offi­ci­al figu­res on deaths and the more or less high letha­li­ty of the dise­a­se as if they were pray­ing the rosa­ry, obvious­ly igno­re the fact that it is now impos­si­ble to deter­mi­ne the objec­ti­ve letha­li­ty of the dise­a­se. This is becau­se it is indi­vi­si­bly lin­ked to the ter­ro­ristic and cri­mi­nal hand­ling of the dise­a­se. The letha­li­ty has been increased – both in terms of the actu­al effects of the dise­a­se and its sci­en­ti­fic-media­tic pre­sen­ta­ti­on – by a series of mea­su­res appli­ed in the same form more or less almost everywhere:

  • Refu­sal of tre­at­ment: Alt­hough thou­sands of phy­si­ci­ans around the world imme­dia­te­ly used effec­ti­ve phar­ma­co­lo­gi­cal agents, health care sys­tems were man­da­ted to tre­at with Tachip­i­ri­na or watchful-wai­ting, resul­ting in thou­sands of pati­ents ending up in the hos­pi­tal. The »tre­at­ment« the­re (also regu­la­ted by pre­scrip­ti­ons) ulti­m­ate­ly accom­pa­nied a lar­ge num­ber of them to their deaths.

  • Desi­gna­ting deaths as cau­sed by Covid in all tho­se who tes­ted posi­ti­ve, with a test that the WHO its­elf descri­bes on its offi­ci­al web­site (to pro­tect its­elf from pos­si­ble cri­mi­nal lia­bi­li­ty) as a tool that does not by its­elf pro­vi­de a diagnosis.

Alar­mism about the dan­ger was fur­ther rein­forced by the crea­ti­on of the new cate­go­ry of »asym­pto­ma­tic sprea­ders«, also defi­ned sole­ly by a posi­ti­ve test. The arti­fi­ci­al­ly infla­ted dise­a­se was coun­te­red with ques­tionable means (to which an incre­asing num­ber of stu­dies attest inef­fec­ti­ve­ness or even dan­ge­rous­ness). For exam­p­le: the segre­ga­ti­on of healt­hy peo­p­le; the stif­ling of eco­no­mic, social, trade uni­on, and poli­ti­cal acti­vi­ty; social distancing: the use of masks (which can­not keep the viru­s­es out); con­stant dis­in­fec­tion with skin-dama­ging agents, etc.

2. Vac­ci­na­ti­ons and Sta­te Therapy

The alle­ged lack of cures has led to the forced use of emer­gen­cy-appro­ved vac­ci­nes. The­se are not true vac­ci­nes that can pre­vent infec­tion, but at best the­ra­peu­tics desi­gned to miti­ga­te the most seve­re effects of the dise­a­se. The WHO and Wes­tern govern­ments have focu­sed their vac­ci­na­ti­on cam­paigns exclu­si­ve­ly on drugs of a new gene­ra­ti­on, based on gene the­ra­pies using mRNA. This means they can indu­ce human cells to pro­du­ce the (toxic) spike pro­te­in, with the goal of gene­ra­ting the neces­sa­ry anti­bo­dies in the orga­nism to fight the virus. Their effec­ti­ve­ness has pro­ven to be extre­me­ly limi­t­ed, if not non-exis­tent. At the same time, the­se vac­ci­nes are capa­ble of indu­cing num­e­rous, often not direct­ly detec­ta­ble, adver­se effects – inclu­ding caus­ing dise­a­ses of vary­ing seve­ri­ty, and even sud­den death. Accor­ding to various stu­dies, they can also cau­se delay­ed reac­tions. Other stu­dies indi­ca­te that the vac­ci­nes can pro­found­ly affect the immu­ne sys­tem, expo­sing peo­p­le to all kinds of viral or bac­te­ri­al infec­tions as well as can­cer, and gene­ral­ly wea­k­e­ning their abili­ty to with­stand all kind of dise­a­ses. The pan­de­mic and its manage­ment have been occa­si­ons to acce­le­ra­te or trig­ger a series of varied pro­ces­ses, the inter­wea­ving of which reve­al inter­con­nec­tions that point to, at the very least, a uni­fied pattern.

Regar­ding health care:

  • First, the health care sys­tems were thrown kno­wing­ly into cha­os through a dyna­mic of »Covi­diza­ti­on« of health­ca­re: indis­cri­mi­na­te admis­si­ons to Covid wards through misu­se of tests, with tho­se admit­ted for other dise­a­ses but posi­ti­ve for covid denied appro­pria­te tre­at­ment for the actu­al cau­se of their hos­pi­ta­liza­ti­on. Addi­tio­nal­ly, health­ca­re sys­tem capa­ci­ties were dra­sti­cal­ly redu­ced in the name of the fight against the virus – to which ever­y­thing else was sub­or­di­na­ted. On the one hand, this resul­ted in a hig­her num­ber of deaths than from Covid its­elf (and pro­ba­b­ly will in the future), but at the same time it for­ci­b­ly accus­to­med mil­li­ons of peo­p­le to a lower level of care than before.

  • The acce­le­ra­ted reduc­tion of health­ca­re through the com­bat of the pan­de­mic is com­pen­sa­ted for through a shift from health care to pre­ven­ti­on via vac­ci­nes: This is inten­ded to beco­me the stan­dard means of com­ba­ting a gro­wing num­ber of dise­a­ses. In addi­ti­on, a new gene­ra­ti­on of drugs is being intro­du­ced. Thus, the­re is a shift from che­mi­cal to bio­tech­no­lo­gi­cal medicines.

  • In the name of sup­po­sedly grea­ter effi­ci­en­cy, tele­me­di­ci­ne has taken a decisi­ve step for­ward. Its goal is to incre­asing­ly trans­fer dia­gno­sis and tre­at­ment to arti­fi­ci­al intel­li­gence (AI). In short: fewer doc­tors who, freed from any phy­si­cal cont­act with pati­ents, com­ple­te­ly igno­re their phy­si­cal-psy­cho­lo­gi­cal-envi­ron­men­tal indi­vi­dua­li­ty and replace it through pro­to­cols. The­se pro­to­cols are ori­en­ted to the dise­a­se and com­ple­te­ly dis­re­gard the con­cre­te pati­ent (he is thus incre­asing­ly redu­ced from orga­nism to mecha­nism). They are also more effi­ci­ent and cost-effec­ti­ve in get­ting the wage-ear­ner back to work quick­ly, while the ruling clas­ses con­ti­nue to have appro­pria­te tre­at­ments accor­ding to their wal­lets. In addi­ti­on to the health sec­tor, the pro­ces­ses initia­ted or acce­le­ra­ted with the manage­ment of the pan­de­mic also affect other sectors.

In the eco­no­mic sphe­re, the fol­lo­wing effects can be observed:

  • A con­cen­tra­ted attack on small capi­tal in all sec­tors (trade, ser­vices, crafts, etc.). Small capi­tal was forced to clo­se during the lock­downs and was sever­ely affec­ted by all the rest­ric­tions that fol­lo­wed: It was affec­ted, for exam­p­le, by the cost of imple­men­ting con­trol sys­tems against con­ta­gi­on and the forced digi­ta­liza­ti­on of many other func­tions. This leads to a net trans­fer of pro­fits to big tech­no-capi­tal and to the clo­sure of many small and medi­um enter­pri­ses, cushio­ned and accom­pa­nied by the sta­te. Big busi­ness would appro­pria­te them direct­ly if they were still pro­fi­ta­ble in the less con­su­me­rist new nor­mal intro­du­ced by the pandemic.

  • A fier­ce and unpre­ce­den­ted attack on all wage labour, which sud­den­ly foun its­elf in the grea­test inse­cu­ri­ty becau­se of the health emer­gen­cy. At the same time, the return to rela­ti­ve sta­bi­li­ty of work and inco­me was pos­si­ble only thanks to the loving care of the sta­te, which was gran­ted in return for the doci­le obser­van­ce of its rules: Clo­sure when orde­red, mas­king, dis­in­fec­tion, can­cel­la­ti­on of all mee­tings (espe­ci­al­ly poli­ti­cal and trade uni­on), vac­ci­na­ti­on, green passport.

  • Expan­si­on of the use of infor­ma­ti­on tech­no­lo­gy in the are­as of work, con­sump­ti­on, edu­ca­ti­on, and social rela­ti­ons. Pro­fits and incre­asing power were thus trans­fer­red to the IT multinationals.

  • Chan­ge of mul­ti­na­tio­nal cor­po­ra­ti­ons (espe­ci­al­ly phar­ma, high tech, inter­net ope­ra­tors, online sales) from public ene­my #1 to public health bene­fac­tors, from public per­cep­ti­on as vam­pi­re mono­po­lies to that of a group posi­tively working for the com­mon good (one of the fun­da­men­tal points of Schwab’s Gre­at Reset and Pope Bergoglio’s inclu­si­ve capitalism …).

On the finan­cial side:

  • Wide­spread increase in public debt to finan­ce reli­ef and inco­me sup­port, with fur­ther trans­fer of real power into the hands of lar­ge public and pri­va­te finan­cial institutions.

3. In the Name of the Alle­ged »Com­mon Good«

Finan­cial capi­tal and the sta­te, who­se cre­di­bi­li­ty had been shaken by the 2008 cri­sis, could res­to­re it by pre­sen­ting them­sel­ves as the savi­ors of the com­mon good in a time of health cri­sis. Sta­tes and cen­tral banks fur­ther fleeced pri­va­te finan­ces, as in 2008, by again pro­vi­ding them with money at zero cost. This time, the bai­lout see­med to be even more unques­tionab­ly in the inte­rest of the com­mon good. For it was nee­ded to miti­ga­te the eco­no­mic con­se­quen­ces of the clo­sures and the gene­ral slow­down in eco­no­mic acti­vi­ty, which were offi­ci­al­ly cau­sed by the pan­de­mic. In rea­li­ty, of cour­se, they were cau­sed by the manage­ment decis­i­ons taken by the WHO, and imple­men­ted by sta­tes (with vary­ing degrees of intensity).

All of this has favor­ed the acce­le­ra­ti­on of a pro­cess of social engi­nee­ring aimed at the com­ple­te sub­ju­ga­ti­on of indi­vi­du­al and coll­ec­ti­ve life to capi­tal and the sta­te, through:

  • The com­pul­si­on to shift social rela­ti­ons from phy­si­cal to vir­tu­al cont­act, which is accom­pa­nied by man­da­to­ry social distancing, lock­down, and the pro­hi­bi­ti­on of eco­no­mic acti­vi­ties. In other words, mea­su­res that were jus­ti­fied by the poli­cy of non-phar­ma­co­lo­gi­cal inter­ven­ti­ons against the spread of the virus. At the same time, the­se mea­su­res were accom­pa­nied by mas­si­ve pro­pa­gan­da about their merits, in an era cha­rac­te­ri­zed by incre­asing pan­de­mics. It fores­ha­dows the imple­men­ta­ti­on of a socie­ty that mini­mi­zes and tight­ly con­trols phy­si­cal gathe­rings and other oppor­tu­ni­ties for direct sociability.

  • The mas­si­ve spread of tools for the digi­tal track­ing of chains of con­ta­gi­on and the dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­on of the vac­ci­na­ted and unvac­ci­na­ted ( e.g. Green Pass) are (almost) uni­ver­sal­ly accept­ed as mea­su­res to pro­tect coll­ec­ti­ve health. In prac­ti­ce, they have pro­ven an effec­ti­ve lever for a pro­cess of expan­ding the con­trol of everyone’s acti­vi­ties. They are inten­ded to moni­tor the mas­ses, which is useful from an eco­no­mic and finan­cial point of view (inclu­ding as a basis for monetary/​financial reform based on a digi­tal cur­ren­cy), and from a poli­ti­cal point of view, becau­se it increa­ses the con­trol­ling power of the sta­te. Moreo­ver, after deca­des in which the state’s image as a non-par­ti­san enti­ty ser­ving all citi­zens was in decli­ne, it has not only re-legi­ti­mi­zed its power over socie­ty. It has also achie­ved, with the con­sent of tho­se who app­re­cia­te its role in saving their bare lives, a con­sidera­ble expan­si­on of that power: all rights (mobi­li­ty, work, social rela­ti­ons, con­sump­ti­on, health care, lei­su­re acti­vi­ties, trade union/​political and cul­tu­ral acti­vi­ties) have been trans­for­med into con­ces­si­ons by the sta­te to tho­se who obey its com­mands. Initi­al­ly for health reasons, but poten­ti­al­ly (with the war, ener­gy cri­sis, cli­ma­te cri­sis, etc.) for any sup­po­sed public good. In the pro­cess, tech­no­lo­gi­cal con­trol mecha­nisms have been intro­du­ced; with the Green Pass as its first step.

  • The sta­te has acqui­red the power to fur­ther mili­ta­ri­ze socie­ty in respon­se to emer­gen­ci­es which it, its­elf, defi­nes. This is true both in the sen­se of a mili­ta­ry ope­ra­ti­on in the inte­ri­or and in that of a trans­for­ma­ti­on of socie­ty into a mili­ta­ri­zed body that obeys the state’s orders wit­hout resistance.

  • In order to pro­tect everyone’s health, the sta­te has gai­ned the power to inva­de everyone’s body and for­ci­b­ly vac­ci­na­te them with phar­ma­co­lo­gi­cal tre­at­ments sel­ec­ted by the state.

  • The imple­men­ta­ti­on of socio-eco­no­mic mea­su­res in the name of an emer­gen­cy. Today it is a health emer­gen­cy, tomor­row a cli­ma­te, ener­gy, or eco­no­mic emer­gen­cy, or per­haps a war. All the needs of the workers, the midd­le class, the craft­smen, the small busi­nesses may be igno­red. The pos­si­bi­li­ty of trade uni­on and poli­ti­cal resis­tance is taken away from them; only the demands of inter­na­tio­nal and natio­nal big busi­ness are to be lis­ten­ed to.

  • Den­un­cia­ti­on and exclu­si­on from work and civil socie­ty of all tho­se who do not obey its orders (i.e., the tre­at­ment of deser­ters in a war).

4. The Roots of this Pha­se of Capi­tal: its Sys­te­mic Crisis

The link bet­ween all the­se pro­ces­ses is the attempt to coun­ter the sys­te­mic cri­sis that capi­tal has been try­ing to drag its­elf out of for deca­des. The cri­sis of 2008 was fought by the cen­tral banks with gigan­tic money issues. Pri­va­te and public finan­ce was thus pro­vi­sio­nal­ly saved. The cri­sis was pre­ven­ted from having its typi­cal con­se­quen­ces (viz. that a decisi­ve part of finan­cial capi­tal, which had beco­me an enti­ty of imme­a­sura­ble size, would fall vic­tim to a gene­ral deva­lua­ti­on and drag the eco­no­my into an uncon­trol­led reces­si­on). This impres­si­ve vir­tu­al cir­cuit­ry has kept the values and returns of finan­cial stocks high. But it fai­led to sol­ve any of the struc­tu­ral pro­blems under­ly­ing the cri­sis. On the con­tra­ry, it has con­tri­bu­ted to its aggrava­ti­on by brin­ging for­ward and magni­fy­ing the exis­ting dif­fi­cul­ties in accu­mu­la­ti­on. Con­sider count­ries such as Ita­ly or Japan (which alre­a­dy recei­ved liqui­di­ty injec­tions in the 1990s), which have not regai­ned their pre-cri­sis pro­duc­tion levels. One of the main cau­ses of the­se dif­fi­cul­ties lies in the fact that the enorm­ous mass of exis­ting capi­tal can­not quench its thirst for pro­fit on the basis of pro­du­cing a suf­fi­ci­ent amount of sur­plus value for its fur­ther explo­ita­ti­on – that is to say, sur­plus value which, under the pre­sent­ly pre­vai­ling social con­di­ti­ons, can ari­se only from the labour time con­tai­ned in the com­mo­di­ties pro­du­ced by the explo­ita­ti­on of wage labour.

The more the alre­a­dy accu­mu­la­ted capi­tal grows (and his­to­ri­cal­ly it can only grow), the more the mass of new sur­plus value, even if it increa­ses in abso­lu­te terms, turns out to be small in pro­por­ti­on to the sys­te­mic need for its uti­liza­ti­on. This is so not least becau­se the need for a con­ti­nuous increase in extor­ti­on col­l­i­des with the his­to­ri­cal limits of the pos­si­bi­li­ty of a fur­ther and con­ti­nuous reduc­tion in the labour time requi­red to repro­du­ce the value of the employ­ed labour force.

The money injec­tions have saved finan­ce capi­tal from a devas­ta­ting cri­sis. But they were not able to increase the amount of soci­al­ly pro­du­ced sur­plus value by an iota.

The decis­i­on to crea­te flows of liqui­di­ty out of not­hing and to prop up cre­dit secu­ri­ties and ban­king insti­tu­ti­ons was not impo­sed on value-pro­du­cing capi­tal by finan­ce capi­tal. This the­sis, which is also wide­spread on the left, does not take into account capitalism’s real deve­lo­p­ment. Finan­ce capi­tal is deep­ly embedded in indus­tri­al capi­tal. It owns or con­trols it through shares and bonds. Most important­ly, it com­ple­te­ly domi­na­tes it, sin­ce the pro­duc­tion and sale of goods today depends to a lar­ge ext­ent on cre­dit. Cre­dit is an inte­gral part of the enti­re finan­cial world, which is incre­asing­ly doped by money printing.

The level of pro­duc­tion and con­sump­ti­on is ulti­m­ate­ly main­tai­ned by this very doping. Indus­tri­al capi­tal thus has a vital inte­rest in the sur­vi­val of the finan­cial cir­cus. By res­cuing finan­ce capi­tal, the money issu­an­ce of the cen­tral banks has saved the who­le of capi­tal from a cri­sis of uncon­troll­able pro­por­ti­ons, regard­less of the fact that litt­le or none of the money prin­ted went direct­ly to indus­tri­al capital.

Money prin­ting tem­po­r­a­ri­ly saved, but did not sol­ve any of the cau­ses of the cri­sis. Right on the eve of Covid’s spread, money prin­ting repro­du­ced the con­di­ti­ons for a new crash when some of the major Wes­tern count­ries had alre­a­dy deve­lo­ped all of the ele­ments of a real recession.

The pan­de­mic thus came at exact­ly the right time: it pre­ven­ted the new emer­ging cri­sis from appearing to be cau­sed again by the finan­cial sec­tor (in 2008, the cri­sis had pro­vo­ked a resur­gence of social and poli­ti­cal con­flicts that con­ver­ged in the West in the rise of neo­po­pu­lism and sov­e­reig­nism). At the same time, it enab­led money crea­ti­on to sup­port the finan­cial sec­tor, attri­bu­ting the need to do so not only to its needs but also to tho­se of the com­mon good in the face of the health crisis.

So, if the pan­de­mic coin­ci­ded with the mani­fes­ta­ti­on of the risk of the vio­lent col­lap­se of finan­cial assets, with con­se­quen­ces for the who­le eco­no­my, and made it pos­si­ble to jus­ti­fy extra­or­di­na­ry mea­su­res to buf­fer its pos­si­ble effects, its manage­ment acce­le­ra­ted pro­ces­ses con­du­ci­ve to a gene­ral res­truc­tu­ring of the eco­no­my and class rela­ti­ons, in each indi­vi­du­al coun­try and on a glo­bal sca­le, which is neces­sa­ry to try to deal with a cri­sis that pres­ents its­elf, more and more, with the cha­rac­te­ristics of a sys­te­mic cri­sis of the social rela­ti­onship of capital.

That the plans of the most powerful hol­ders of finan­ce capi­tal, mul­ti­na­tio­nals in com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons tech­no­lo­gy and the phar­maceu­ti­cal indus­try, sta­tes, intel­li­gence agen­ci­es, and inter­na­tio­nal insti­tu­ti­ons both public (WHO, IMF, UN, etc.) and pri­va­te (WEF, GAVI, etc.) have been under­way for a long time is not a fan­ciful con­spi­ra­cy theo­ry. On the con­tra­ry, it is sim­ply foo­lish to belie­ve that the offi­ci­al and unof­fi­ci­al insti­tu­ti­ons of capi­tal, and espe­ci­al­ly tho­se that domi­na­te its repro­duc­tion at the glo­bal level, are not employ­ing all means neces­sa­ry to deal with a cri­sis that threa­tens the sys­tem as a who­le. So the­re are plans, some of which are known and some of which, to under­stand them, must be inves­ti­ga­ted bey­ond super­fi­ci­al appearan­ces. And the­re is also the power to put them into action in a more or less coor­di­na­ted or forced way. Having power, howe­ver, does not mean being omni­po­tent. Any plan, howe­ver well thought out and imple­men­ted by the gre­at finan­cial, eco­no­mic, poli­ti­cal and mili­ta­ry powers, must ine­vi­ta­b­ly col­l­i­de with rea­li­ty – with the con­tra­dic­tions of clas­ses, peo­p­les, sta­tes. The­se are capa­ble of con­di­tio­ning it, of aver­ting it and, ulti­m­ate­ly, even of radi­cal­ly defea­ting it.

The Finan­cial and Eco­no­mic Recipes for Success

In the short term, it was neces­sa­ry to avo­id the explo­si­on of a new, uncon­trol­led finan­cial cri­sis. Interlo­cking rest­ric­tions on the pro­duc­tion, cir­cu­la­ti­on and con­sump­ti­on of goods and ser­vices made it pos­si­ble, on the one hand, to con­ti­nue prin­ting money by main­tai­ning finan­cial values (and incre­asing public debt …). On the other hand, they made it pos­si­ble to pre­vent the eco­no­my from over­hea­ting and crea­ting exces­si­ve infla­ti­on. Thus, on the one hand, the mar­ket was floo­ded with money, and on the other hand, an attempt was made to avo­id high infla­ti­on. This could have led to a sharp deva­lua­ti­on of cre­dit, which would have favor­ed deb­tors. This sounds mind­less, but it is not­hing more than one of the many con­tra­dic­tions that capi­tal must try to keep under con­trol: Finan­ce capi­tal slows down the pro­duc­tion pro­cess, which is the only one that pro­vi­des it with real value, in order to save its­elf and the sys­tem as a who­le (at the moment of hig­hest cri­sis risk)!

In pre­pa­ra­ti­on, howe­ver, were other mea­su­res to attempt a long-term solu­ti­on to the cri­sis (whe­ther the­se attempts will then real­ly be suc­cessful is ano­ther mat­ter). In par­ti­cu­lar, the­se include the tran­si­ti­on to an eco­no­mic poli­cy that per­ma­nent­ly pro­tects finan­cial capi­tal from the dan­gers of repea­ted burs­t­ing of finan­cial bubbles and thus also pro­tects all capi­tal from the effects of finan­cial cri­ses. Among other things, this means con­fir­ming and streng­thening the domi­nan­ce of Wes­tern finan­ce capi­tal over all glo­bal pro­duc­tion, trade and finance.

The new gover­nan­ce implies:

  • A con­trol­led deva­lua­ti­on of a part of the finan­cial capi­tal – of cour­se, to the detri­ment of the less powerful count­ries and sta­tes (inclu­ding lar­ge count­ries like Rus­sia and Chi­na) and the small Wes­tern savers.

  • The inflow of fur­ther shares of soci­al­ly pro­du­ced sur­plus value to finan­ce capi­tal. This leads to a fur­ther con­cen­tra­ti­on of big capi­tal at the expen­se of small capi­tal and to fur­ther cen­tra­liza­ti­on. It also leads to increased pres­su­re on pro­duc­tion and con­sump­ti­on, which are used even more for the extor­ti­on and appro­pria­ti­on of sur­plus value (auto­ma­ti­on, Indus­try 4.0, wage defla­ti­on, job inse­cu­ri­ty, shor­tening of the cir­cu­la­ti­on time of goods and capi­tal, diver­si­on of con­sump­ti­on, etc.). Pres­su­re on public spen­ding with a fur­ther reduc­tion in the share of indi­rect wages (health, pen­si­ons, schoo­ling, social bene­fits, etc.) in favor of inte­rest on the public debt; pri­va­tiza­ti­ons to make social tasks, pre­vious­ly pro­vi­ded by the sta­te, pro­fi­ta­ble for capi­tal; and the use of public reve­nues in favor of invest­ments to res­truc­tu­re companies.

  • The intro­duc­tion of mone­ta­ry instru­ments (digi­tal money) to moni­tor and direct the use and cir­cu­la­ti­on of money. This will keep pro­duc­tion, con­sump­ti­on and cre­dit under con­trol and pre­vent their tur­bu­lence from invol­ving finan­cial capi­tal. Ins­tead, this is to ensu­re that finan­cial needs are more appro­pria­te­ly met by the mate­ri­al eco­no­my and to install a mecha­nism of total con­trol over everyone’s acti­vi­ties. This pro­vi­des the power to deci­de what expen­dit­ures are allo­wed for con­sump­ti­on and, abo­ve all, for the con­trol of con­tri­bu­ti­ons to poli­ti­cal, trade uni­on, infor­ma­tio­nal, and cul­tu­ral activities.

  • The digi­ta­li­sa­ti­on of all public and pri­va­te func­tions for the pur­po­se of redu­cing cos­ts, con­cen­t­ra­ting pro­fits and cen­tra­li­zing the rule of finan­ce and tech­no­lo­gy capi­tal. The coll­ec­tion of data on every human acti­vi­ty for the pur­po­se of capil­la­ry sur­veil­lan­ce for the bene­fit of capi­tal. Direc­tion and regu­la­ti­on of pro­duc­tion and con­sump­ti­on, and expan­si­on of the sta­te for social and poli­ti­cal control.

All this leads to an inten­si­fi­ca­ti­on of the pres­su­re on the count­ries of the peri­phery, espe­ci­al­ly on tho­se most depen­dent on big capi­tal. But it also leads to a gene­ral impo­ve­rish­ment of the pro­le­ta­ri­at and the midd­le clas­ses in the West, both tho­se who have small amounts of capi­tal (most­ly on cre­dit) and tho­se who work as white-col­lar or self-employ­ed workers with gene­ral cogni­ti­ve con­tent. The dan­ger of social con­flicts and even revolts even in the heart of impe­ria­lism thus beco­mes more concrete.

5. »Ser­ving the Peo­p­le«: The New Face of the Sta­te to Enforce Social Control

A strong sta­te is nee­ded to pre­vent and sup­press poten­ti­al social con­flicts. Howe­ver, no sta­te can base its strength on a poli­ce and mili­ta­ry appa­ra­tus alo­ne. It must rely on a broad con­sen­sus that legi­ti­mi­zes it inor­der to effec­tively sup­press pro­tests. In recent deca­des, the sta­te (not only in Ita­ly) had lost much of its legi­ti­ma­cy as it incre­asing­ly with­drew from the social sphe­re, sub­mit­ted its­elf more and more to the demands of big busi­ness and pri­va­te enter­pri­se (which was accom­pa­nied by public cor­rup­ti­on), and pre­sen­ted its­elf as the exe­cu­tor of poli­ci­es deci­ded in extra-sta­te sphe­res. The pan­de­mic offe­red the oppor­tu­ni­ty to res­to­re the legi­ti­ma­cy of the sta­te as a ser­vant of the peo­p­le. It laid the ground­work for making the intro­duc­tion of digi­tal con­trol instru­ments and the growth of their per­va­si­ve power appear to be a public good.

The broad imple­men­ta­ti­on of infor­ma­ti­on tech­no­lo­gy offers the pos­si­bi­li­ty to install a con­trol appa­ra­tus which is theo­re­ti­cal­ly capa­ble of pre­ven­ting social con­flicts and pre-emp­tively remo­ving anyo­ne who intends to enter into a con­flict. At this point the needs of capi­tal and the sta­te (which works for capi­tal, but also for its­elf in order to main­tain its appa­ra­tus and power over the socie­ty) coin­ci­de perfectly.

The digi­ta­li­sa­ti­on of indi­vi­du­al and social life is the­r­e­fo­re suitable:

  • To con­tro­ling capi­tal in order to con­trol and direct con­sump­ti­on and life­style habits by try­ing to mini­mi­ze the imba­lan­ces of pro­duc­tion and the mar­ket by sub­jec­ting them to a plan. Such a plan is, of cour­se, not focu­sed on iden­ti­fy­ing and satis­fy­ing real needs, but on pro­fit. Social media, with its meti­cu­lous data coll­ec­tion, has alre­a­dy brought this kind of anti­ci­pa­to­ry con­trol of con­sump­ti­on and life­style habits to a peak, but its com­bi­na­ti­on with the digi­tal con­trol of the sta­te would make it extre­me­ly efficient.

  • To a mone­ta­ry reform that would sub­or­di­na­tes the population’s money move­ments to the direct con­trol of the sta­te in con­cert with cen­tra­li­zed corporations.

  • To estab­li­shing a sta­te con­trol­led social disci­pli­ne appa­ra­tus that would pre­vent and sup­press class conflict.

The pan­de­mic was mana­ged by ter­ro­ri­zing the popu­la­ti­on. The sta­te polished its faded image as the repre­sen­ta­ti­ve of the com­mu­ni­ty, clai­med the task of saving lives, and forced citi­zens to give up all rights in order to save their skins. This went as far as to for­cing them to accept expe­ri­men­tal bio­tech­no­lo­gi­cal pre­pa­ra­ti­ons as a means of sal­va­ti­on, mea­su­res that des­po­ti­cal­ly regu­la­ted the most basic human acti­vi­ties, and a far-rea­ching digi­ta­liza­ti­on of their exis­tence, through the Green Pass.

The Green Pass is based on a Euro­pean plat­form (DGCG, Digi­tal Green Cer­ti­fi­ca­te Gate­way, ope­ra­ted by the EU Com­mis­si­on: this allows the inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty of the natio­nal Digi­tal Green Cer­ti­fi­ca­te-DGC net­works). By down­loa­ding the pass­port, one estab­lishes his digi­tal iden­ti­ty on the plat­form, which still remains rest­ric­ted to health: Vac­ci­na­ti­on, nega­ti­ve test, reco­very from Covid-19. Alre­a­dy this allows the strict con­trol of access to public places (in Ita­ly also to work). Howe­ver, the use can be easi­ly exten­ded to other aspects (and has been deve­lo­ped and laun­ched for this pur­po­se) and the free­dom of access can be exten­ded to any other beha­vi­or or sta­tus. The plat­form, with its block­chain struc­tu­re, is able to coll­ect a poten­ti­al­ly limit­less amount of data and link it to each individual.

The plat­form is sui­ta­ble for sol­ving the pro­blem that the sta­te alre­a­dy has a lot of infor­ma­ti­on about each citi­zen, but on sepa­ra­te plat­forms. It will allow it to compa­re all the data, link it to the digi­tal iden­ti­ty and store it – poten­ti­al­ly inde­fi­ni­te­ly. In this way, it will be pos­si­ble to link the pass­port to every aspect of human acti­vi­ty and rela­ti­onships. Cur­rent net­works would not be suf­fi­ci­ent for full real-time track­ing at any loca­ti­on. 5G is expec­ted to clo­se the gaps.

The lynch­pin of the instru­ments to achie­ve their three­fold aim is the Digi­tal Iden­ti­ty (DI). This will ent­ail con­s­truc­tion of a port­foi­lio which stores indi­vi­du­al data useful for con­sump­ti­on, for the cir­cu­la­ti­on of money, and for the sta­te to con­trol every sin­gle acti­vi­ty of the individual.

To con­vin­ce citi­zens to adopt a digi­tal iden­ti­ty card, they need to feel its bene­fits. The Green Pass for fight­ing con­ta­gi­on was an extre­me­ly useful tool for get­ting peo­p­le to accept a first step toward Digi­tal Iden­ti­ty. This will con­vin­ce (or force) ever­yo­ne to par­ti­ci­pa­te in the over­all pro­tec­tion of health and thus of themselves.

The aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an manage­ment of the pan­de­mic was a sple­ndid expe­ri­ment in social disci­pli­ne and the mili­ta­riza­ti­on of socie­ty, in a two­fold a dou­ble sen­se: the expan­si­on of the power of the poli­ce and the army, and the trans­for­ma­ti­on of socie­ty its­elf into a mili­ta­ry corps that obeys orders from abo­ve. This mani­fes­ted in all social, trade uni­on, poli­ti­cal, rela­tio­nal, affec­ti­ve and recrea­tio­nal rela­ti­ons, and even in the care of one’s own body, which was also with­drawn from the – alre­a­dy stron­gly qua­li­fied – free deter­mi­na­ti­on of each indi­vi­du­al and han­ded over enti­re­ly to the des­po­tic power of the state.

This expe­ri­ment encoun­te­red strong and unex­pec­ted resis­tance all over the world, which has made its lea­ders aban­don the pur­su­it of some imme­dia­te goals (forced vac­ci­na­ti­on and per­ma­nent lar­ge-sca­le dis­se­mi­na­ti­on of the Green Pass). None­thel­ess, such objec­ti­ves, and the enti­re tech­no­lo­gi­cal and poli­ti­cal frame­work built to achie­ve them, stand rea­dy to be reac­ti­va­ted at the next oppor­tu­ni­ty. Abo­ve all, two powerful dyna­mics have thus deve­lo­ped: One is the sei­zu­re of power by capi­tal, which con­so­li­da­tes and expands its domi­na­ti­on, its sci­ence and tech­no­lo­gy, its phar­ma­co­lo­gy, its rela­tio­nal tech­no­lo­gies, its con­trol and manage­ment of man and natu­re; the other refers to the sei­zu­re of power by the sta­te, which incre­asing­ly frees its­elf from all demo­cra­tic ritu­als and redu­ces its­elf more and more to the essence of a des­po­tic power.

The power of sta­te and capi­tal were streng­the­ned pri­ma­ri­ly not through overt means of coer­ci­on, alt­hough they have resor­ted to this, but through indu­ce­ment, mani­pu­la­ti­on and social engi­nee­ring: as neces­si­ties emana­ting from below, from socie­ty its­elf and from indi­vi­du­als, in order to pre­ser­ve the bare phy­si­cal life of each indi­vi­du­al and of the com­mu­ni­ty. The­se pro­ces­ses came about through the erup­ti­on of an emer­gen­cy situa­ti­on that was per­cei­ved as real by the majo­ri­ty of the popu­la­ti­on: The dan­ger to their own lives appeared real and immi­nent. In order to com­bat the spread of the virus, it see­med neces­sa­ry to have an instru­ment capa­ble of regu­la­ting everyone’s beha­vi­or. The sta­te offe­red its­elf as the only enti­ty capa­ble of doing so. As a result, it was given fur­ther powers to dis­po­se of the beha­vi­or of each indi­vi­du­al and their social relations.

The sta­te of emer­gen­cy as a method of gover­ning, while for­mal­ly main­tai­ning demo­cra­cy, was cer­tain­ly not born in 2020 with Covid. In Ita­ly we have expe­ri­en­ced it sin­ce the lea­den years, in the West gene­ral­ly sin­ce the begin­ning of the war on ter­ror after Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001, and with the manage­ment of the pan­de­mic it has rea­ched an unpre­ce­den­ted peak. The foun­da­ti­on was laid for a struc­tu­ral tota­li­ta­ria­nism of con­trol. By lin­king the cri­sis of capi­tal to the poli­tics of pan­de­mic con­trol, the emer­gen­cy is desti­ned to reap­pear per­ma­nent­ly. Unless we take poli­ti­cal action against it, it will hap­pen again and again.

6. Resis­tances in the World

The manage­ment of the pan­de­mic has met with gre­at resis­tance world­wi­de. Some count­ries have refu­sed to imple­ment WHO recom­men­da­ti­ons, and some (Bela­rus) have even resis­ted IMF black­mail to enforce WHO recom­men­da­ti­ons in return for finan­cial assis­tance. In many count­ries in Afri­ca, Asia, and Latin Ame­ri­ca, as well as in some count­ries in Euro­pe, the recom­men­ded mea­su­res were not imple­men­ted or were imple­men­ted ina­de­qua­te­ly. In some Afri­can count­ries, even the pre­si­dents who refu­sed to imple­ment the recom­men­da­ti­ons mys­te­rious­ly died. Aver­si­on to Wes­tern vac­ci­nes is also widespread.

The WHO has the­r­e­fo­re put for­ward a pro­po­sal for a new pan­de­mic trea­ty. This gives it the power to decla­re pan­de­mics and order mea­su­res that are vir­tual­ly dic­ta­to­ri­al and abo­ve any local legis­la­ti­on, as well as the power to impo­se seve­re sanc­tions on any coun­try that does not com­ply. This amounts to a cen­tra­liza­ti­on of world health power in the hands of tho­se who con­trol WHO, and with it a grea­ter cen­tra­liza­ti­on of poli­ti­cal, eco­no­mic and finan­cial power. The trea­ty is under dis­cus­sion and should be enforceable from 2024. The U.S. pro­po­sed amend­ments to make it enforceable from 2022. Howe­ver, they were forced to with­draw them becau­se 47 Afri­can count­ries cle­ar­ly expres­sed their oppo­si­ti­on. The usu­al poli­cy of thre­ats and black­mail was then initia­ted to bring them into line. Howe­ver, the adop­ti­on of this agree­ment is ine­vi­ta­b­ly lin­ked to the new con­tra­dic­tions that the Ukrai­ne con­flict rai­ses in the geo­po­li­ti­cal and geo-eco­no­mic world order.

Resis­tance to pan­de­mic con­trol and vac­ci­nes has not been due to the eccen­tri­ci­ties of any govern­ment, but has been forced almost ever­y­whe­re by popu­lar reac­tion. Howe­ver, in some cases it had been due to the government’s desi­re to pro­tect its own eco­no­my or its auto­no­my as a sta­te, See the unfort­u­na­te fate of Bra­zil, so over­co­ver­ed in the media; or the deci­dedly bet­ter – and not coin­ci­den­tal­ly unco­ver­ed by the media – affair of Nica­ra­gua, per­haps the only coun­try in the world that has avo­ided any form of lock­down while estab­li­shing a pro­per sys­tem of ear­ly home care, focu­sing main­ly on the admi­nis­tra­ti­on of hydro­xychlo­ro­qui­ne. If the peo­p­les of many Afri­can count­ries reject Wes­tern vac­ci­nes (from which the new social-impe­ria­list vac­ci­ne-pro­vi­der also want to pro­fit), it is becau­se they still vivid­ly remem­ber the phar­ma­co­lo­gi­cal and vac­ci­ne expe­ri­ments car­ri­ed out on their own bodies by Wes­tern bene­fac­tors – often with the aim of limi­ting their abili­ty to procreate

The most important case in every respect is what hap­pen­ed in India. Tens of mil­li­ons of far­mers rejec­ted the cage of pan­de­mic rest­ric­tions and con­tin­ued the pro­test move­ment against Modi’s agra­ri­an reforms (a year and 15 day sie­ge of New Delhi!) until they final­ly forced a rever­sal. They won (at least tem­po­r­a­ri­ly) on their spe­ci­fic ter­rain of strugg­le. They dealt a fatal blow to the poli­ti­cal admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the pan­de­mic and its goals of social disci­pli­ne, which even­tual­ly led the govern­ment to for­go the forced dis­tri­bu­ti­on of vac­ci­nes and aut­ho­ri­ze the wide­spread use of Iver­mec­tin to tre­at Covid. The use of Iver­mec­tin pro­ved to be so effec­ti­ve that the coun­try soon declared its­elf free of the dise­a­se. Howe­ver, this does not chan­ge the fact that the Indi­an govern­ment is ahead of the cur­ve in digi­tiz­ing the cur­ren­cy – with the help of U.S. capi­tal and tech­no­lo­gy. It is intro­du­cing a digi­tal ID to the enti­re popu­la­ti­on, though it is quite ano­ther mat­ter whe­ther the Indi­an govern­ment can real­ly gain mas­si­ve con­trol over a popu­la­ti­on living in a very under­de­ve­lo­ped envi­ron­ment and capa­ble of resis­ting like the peasants.

No less important are the events in Rus­sia, whe­re the popu­la­ti­on has expres­sed its dis­trust of the vac­ci­ne and its dis­li­ke of the Green Pass by sim­ply boy­cot­ting both and not giving pro­mi­nence to the alar­mist mea­su­res on Covid. Simi­lar to reac­tions were to be found in Ser­bia and even in Japan – the only coun­try in the »Wes­tern world« which fore­went com­pul­so­ry vac­ci­na­ti­on against Covid (eit­her public or pri­va­te), that requi­res infor­med con­sent, that points out the high risk of side effects, and that per­mits the wide­spread use of Ivermectin.

What has hap­pen­ed in the Heart of the Empire?

Reac­tions to pan­de­mic manage­ment, vac­ci­nes and the Green Pass also occur­red in tho­se Wes­tern count­ries which were par­ti­cu­lar­ly obe­dient in imple­men­ting the mea­su­res pro­mo­ted by the WHO. The­re small busi­nesses mobi­li­zed most against rest­ric­tions and lock­downs as they were har­med par­ti­cu­lar­ly sever­ely. Their pro­tests, howe­ver, were ever­y­whe­re immo­bi­li­zed by the pro­vi­si­on of govern­ment reli­ef. With the advent of vac­ci­nes, various immu­niza­ti­on requi­re­ments, and the Green Pass, pro­tests resu­med in all Wes­tern count­ries. The social com­po­si­ti­on of the pro­tes­ters varied wide­ly, but wage ear­ners pre­do­mi­na­ted, inclu­ding many workers.

On the poli­ti­cal level, the left of every kind (govern­ment, oppo­si­ti­on, alter­na­ti­ve or revo­lu­tio­na­ry) actively (and most­ly uncon­scious­ly) oppo­sed the pro­tests. The­re were a few excep­ti­ons, though main­ly in the form of indi­vi­du­al acti­vists (of which Assem­blea Mili­tan­te in Ita­ly repres­ents an attempt at coor­di­na­ti­on). The fascist right has tried to influence the pro­tests, but despi­te con­spi­cuous (indi­rect and some­ti­mes direct) sup­port from govern­ments and the media, it has fai­led com­ple­te­ly. For the majo­ri­ty, the domi­nant poli­ti­cal ori­en­ta­ti­on of the mobi­liza­ti­ons has cen­te­red on reclai­ming soverign­ty, par­ti­cu­lar­ly vis-a-vis the incre­asing apprpria­ti­on of bodi­ly sove­reig­n­ty (both health and dis­po­si­tio­nal) by the sta­te, Big Phar­ma, Big Tech, but also more broad­ly against incre­asing eco­no­mic­al, fina­ni­cal, and poli­ti­cal domi­na­ti­on by big finan­ce capi­tal and its offi­cal and unof­fi­cal institutions.

The sca­le and con­ti­nui­ty of the resis­tance move­ments varied from coun­try to coun­try, but ever­y­whe­re they had gre­at signi­fi­can­ce and impact, despi­te sta­te repres­si­on, ridi­cu­le in the media, and insults (and some­ti­mes phy­si­cal attacks) by self-per­cei­ved oppon­ents of the capi­ta­list sys­tem. In no coun­try (apart from the French West Indies, whe­re com­pul­so­ry vac­ci­na­ti­on of health workers was lifted after a major popu­lar upri­sing) has this move­ment achie­ved unequi­vo­cal suc­cess. Howe­ver, in some count­ries (Spain, the UK) it has cer­tain­ly hel­ped govern­ments back from com­pul­so­ry vac­ci­na­ti­on and the Green Pass. In Ger­ma­ny, too, it has cer­tain­ly hel­ped pre­vent par­lia­men­ta­ry decis­i­ons in favor of com­pul­so­ry vac­ci­na­ti­on. Abo­ve all, it has repre­sen­ted the thorn in the fle­sh of govern­ment poli­cy and has ope­ned up a resis­tance move­ment that has deve­lo­ped becau­se of gro­wing dis­trust of vac­ci­nes, incre­asing awa­re­ness of advan­cing sta­te aut­ho­ri­ta­ria­nism, and the imple­me­men­ta­ti­on of tota­li­ta­ri­an con­trol. Last but not least, it could find new nou­rish­ment in the pos­si­ble emer­gence of resis­tance move­ments against eco­no­mic and social poli­ci­es that are deve­lo­ping on the wave of an inci­pi­ent reces­si­on and as a result of the war against Russia.

In Ita­ly, too, resis­tance on the streets, as well as less expli­cit but gro­wing mass resis­tance due to doubts about the effi­ca­cy of vac­ci­nes (inclu­ding the incre­asing­ly obvious risk of side effects), and wea­ri­ne­ss with the over arbi­tra­ry health mea­su­res, have led the Melo­ni govern­ment to can­cel some mea­su­res on the basis that they are no lon­ger jus­ti­fied. Howe­ver, the­se would cer­tain­ly be revi­si­ted if situa­tions aro­se that requi­red it. In any case, the cur­rent govern­ment is deter­mi­ned to imple­ment the who­le frame­work of digi­ta­liza­ti­on and rela­ted con­trol and disci­pli­ne desi­gned with the PNRR (Natio­nal Reco­very and Resi­li­ence Plan) despi­te the fact that it is rejec­ted by part of the elec­to­ra­te (espe­ci­al­ly on the points that sub­ject small capi­tal to big capi­tal). Their intent is clear from the hiring of Cin­g­o­la­ni as an advi­sor to the new govern­ment, who was the minis­ter in char­ge of the »eco­lo­gi­cal turn« under Draghi. So, the cur­rent govern­ment stands in per­fect con­ti­nui­ty to Draghi, both in the war against Rus­sia (and Chi­na) and in the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of all the instru­ments to pre­vent illi­cit mee­tings, in order to sup­press any resump­ti­on of class con­flict from the outset.

7. From the Covid Emer­gen­cy to the War Emergency

To the pan­de­mic emer­gen­cy – which has never real­ly been aban­do­ned and which can be reac­ti­va­ted at any time with Covid or ano­ther virus declared as a new epi­de­mic – has been added the war emer­gen­cy, trig­ge­red by the Rus­si­an inter­ven­ti­on in Ukrai­ne. Mean­while, the ener­gy emer­gen­cy (also bla­med on Rus­sia, but in rea­li­ty cau­sed by Wes­tern sanc­tions) is deve­lo­ping and the cli­ma­te emer­gen­cy is gro­wing: a packa­ge of emer­gen­ci­es that alter­na­te and over­lap with no solu­ti­on. This con­ti­nui­ty is as useful as ever to advan­ce the plans for finan­cial, eco­no­mic, social, and poli­ti­cal res­truc­tu­ring and to try to get out of the sys­te­mic cri­sis of capi­tal. From this point of view, the aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an manage­ment of the pan­de­mic was both a sple­ndid expe­ri­ment in social disci­pli­ne and an oppor­tu­ni­ty to launch appro­pria­te instru­ments to face the war that the West is decla­ring incre­asing­ly clear against Rus­sia and Chi­na, with the neces­sa­ry disci­pli­ne and social cohesion.

Howe­ver, the war­ti­me emer­gen­cy has not yet taken hold with the same inten­si­ty as the pan­de­mic. This also com­pli­ca­tes the accep­tance of the ener­gy cri­sis as a cri­sis cau­sed by Rus­sia. It also opens up con­tra­dic­tions in the cli­ma­te cri­sis – like retur­ning to coal to avo­id buy­ing gas from Russia!

The Rus­si­an inter­ven­ti­on in Ukrai­ne actual­ly threa­tens to set of a series of con­tra­dic­tions at the glo­bal level. It was trig­ge­red by a long series of pro­vo­ca­ti­ons against Rus­sia: NATO’s creep towards Russia’s bor­ders, the 2014 coup d’é­tat in Kiev, non-com­pli­ance with the Minsk agree­ments for the Don­bass (main­ly by Ger­ma­ny and France), the con­stant bom­bard­ment of the popu­la­ti­on of the sepa­ra­tist repu­blics, the pre­pa­ra­ti­on for their inva­si­on, the thre­ats against Cri­mea (start­ing with the dis­avo­wal of the refe­ren­dum in which the popu­la­ti­on voted en mas­se to join the Rus­si­an Fede­ra­ti­on – despi­te the many hyp­no­ti­zed by media pro­pa­gan­da, the­re was no uni­la­te­ral annexa­ti­on desi­red by the Tsar in 2014), the dis­re­gard of Russia’s demands for com­pli­ance with inter­na­tio­nal trea­ties on mutu­al secu­ri­ty (trea­ties chal­len­ging NATO’s mili­ta­riza­ti­on of Ukrai­ne), and Zelensky’s announce­ment of Ukraine’s nuclear wea­pons pro­jects. Rus­sia was forced to inter­ve­ne mili­ta­ri­ly to pro­tect the popu­la­ti­on in the Don­bass and Cri­mea and to eli­mi­na­te mili­ta­ry thre­ats on its bor­der with Ukraine.

Mili­ta­ri­ly, the situa­ti­on shifted in Russia’s favor from ear­ly on. Rus­sia is in the pro­cess of slow­ly but sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly libe­ra­ting tho­se Ukrai­ni­an regi­ons of the pre­sence of the Ukrai­ni­an sta­te and its Nazi machi­na­ti­ons, which are inha­bi­ted by Rus­si­ans and had spo­ken out against the post-Mai­dan regime and its pre­sent Rus­so­pho­bic policies.

The West has unleas­hed against Rus­sia a cam­paign of open racism (against which the­re has been no reac­tion from the many Wes­tern anti-racists…), an ava­lan­che of sanc­tions, and a mas­si­ve arming of Ukrai­ne – which has been pushed to fight Rus­sia, down to the last Ukrai­ni­an. The stra­te­gic goal is to plun­ge Rus­sia into eco­no­mic mise­ry, inter­na­tio­nal iso­la­ti­on, an inter­nal social cri­sis with a cor­re­spon­ding regime chan­ge, and the begin­ning of a pro­cess of frag­men­ta­ti­on that would sweep it away as a unita­ry sta­te (maps of des­truc­ti­ve Wes­tern desi­res are cir­cu­la­ting, and an ecto­plasm like Wałę­sa has declared that the solu­ti­on is to redu­ce Rus­sia to a coun­try with no more than 50 mil­li­on inha­bi­tants, com­pared to the cur­rent 146!).

On the other hand, Rus­sia has so far resis­ted the sanc­tions, and its eco­no­my has withs­tood the trade bans with the West. Not only the Rub­le has not been crus­hed, it has actual­ly risen. This has been pos­si­ble in part becau­se the Rus­si­an dome­stic con­sen­sus on the ine­vi­ta­bi­li­ty of the mili­ta­ry respon­se in Ukrai­ne has been very solid, but most important­ly becau­se a situa­ti­on com­ple­te­ly unfo­re­seen by the Wes­tern govern­ments has occur­red: a lar­ge part, if not the who­le, of the non-Wes­tern world has refu­sed to com­ply with the sanc­tions against Rus­sia, attri­bu­ting to the Wes­tern sanc­tions the rising pri­ces of ener­gy resour­ces, the food mar­ket, and agri­cul­tu­ral fer­ti­li­zers. The impact of Wes­tern sanc­tions is very seve­re for the­se count­ries and could lead to serious social con­flicts within them. Their govern­ments have the­r­e­fo­re built up pres­su­re on the West that threa­tens the Wes­tern stra­tegy against Russia.

NATO, in turn, has unleas­hed a pat­tern of con­ti­nuous attacks against Rus­sia to inten­si­fy the con­fron­ta­ti­on, sen­ding ever more offen­si­ve wea­pons, and taking over direct war­fa­re, even with its own trai­ners on the ground. It is tur­ning Ukrai­ni­ans into can­non fod­der and initia­ting ope­ra­ti­ons that the bour­geois right would undoub­ted­ly call ter­ro­ristic (Dugi­na, Nord Stream, Kerch Bridge). At the same time, the pres­su­re and black­mail against count­ries that reject this stra­tegy are beco­ming more and more vio­lent, up to the attempts at a color revo­lu­ti­on in Iran. NATO real­ly envi­si­ons only one solu­ti­on: Russia’s defeat, i.e., its com­ple­te sub­ju­ga­ti­on and/​or its dis­ap­pearance as a unita­ry sta­te. Even a pos­si­ble cea­se-fire or peace agree­ment would only be step­ping stones for them to wage per­ma­nent war against Russia.

From the Urals to the Silk Road

Rus­sia took the unex­pec­ted as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to pre­sent its­elf as the lea­der of a reas­sess­ment of the world‘s poli­ti­cal, finan­cial and eco­no­mic order. It cal­led on the BRICS, Iran, Vene­zue­la and all count­ries suf­fe­ring from the finan­cial and mone­ta­ry domi­na­ti­on of the West through the dol­lar to begin a pro­cess of de-dol­la­riza­ti­on of their trade. They should even prepa­re the con­s­truc­tion of an inter­na­tio­nal cur­ren­cy based on real assets and not on insub­stan­ti­al money pro­du­ced by clicks of cen­tral and pri­va­te banks. This Rus­si­an pro­po­sal is intert­wi­ned with the Chi­ne­se pro­po­sal for the com­mer­cial, indus­tri­al and infra­struc­tu­ral deve­lo­p­ment of tho­se count­ries that have so far been sub­jec­ted to Wes­tern finan­cial robbery.

It is not the place here to ana­ly­ze in detail the natu­re of this poli­cy, its fea­si­bi­li­ty, and its inter­con­nec­tion with the sys­te­mic cri­sis of world capi­tal. What is cer­tain, howe­ver, is that it will lead to a fur­ther acce­le­ra­ti­on of the dyna­mics that can trig­ger a world con­flict, a total war invol­ving the who­le world.

Equal­ly cer­tain is that it will and is impac­ting the eco­no­mic, poli­ti­cal, and finan­cial res­truc­tu­ring plans imple­men­ted sin­ce the pandemic.

First of all, the attempt to sei­ze power with Covid and sub­se­quent pan­de­mics – by a health regime cen­tra­li­zed in the WHO, sup­port­ed by and intert­wi­ned with finan­cial and eco­no­mic power, in order to con­trol, deter­mi­ne, and direct the eco­no­mic, trade, and social poli­ci­es of any coun­try – has alre­a­dy been sever­ely ques­tio­ned during the pan­de­mic and vac­ci­na­ti­on cam­paigns, and is fur­ther chal­len­ged by the poten­ti­al­ly emer­ging rift bet­ween the world blocs.

Ongo­ing Rus­si­an reve­la­ti­ons about U.S./Western bio labs in Ukrai­ne, inclu­ding claims that they have also been working on a series of bat viru­s­es simi­lar to Sars-Cov2, making it incre­asing­ly plau­si­ble that it is a man-made virus. It is unli­kely that this will not have con­se­quen­ces for this and sub­se­quent pan­de­mics. Of cour­se, this infor­ma­ti­on will only make a dif­fe­rence to tho­se who recei­ve it – i.e., not in the West. The lat­ter has ban­ned Rus­si­an »dis­in­for­ma­ti­on« and declared all news from it to be ene­my pro­pa­gan­da – even if it is sup­port­ed by evi­dence, like that which he Rus­si­ans sub­mit­ted to the UN about the Ukrai­ni­an bio labs, which the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil did not even want to examine …

The attempt to impo­se on the enti­re world the wide­spread use of vac­ci­nes to com­bat pan­de­mics and an incre­asing num­ber of other dise­a­ses has also come under scru­ti­ny. So to has the attempt to mono­po­li­ze the mar­ket with drugs pro­du­ced in the West and, again from here, to pro­mo­te the mass dis­tri­bu­ti­on of new bio­tech­no­lo­gi­cal drugs, also most­ly from Wes­tern production.

Even the attempt to pro­mo­te the digi­ta­li­sa­ti­on of everyone’s per­so­nal data (start­ing with health records) around the world to encou­ra­ge the adop­ti­on of uni­fied and cen­tra­li­zed tele­me­di­ci­ne has encoun­te­red dif­fi­cul­ties during the spread of the Covid pan­de­mic. With new rifts emer­ging, the­re is not­hing to sug­gest that things will get bet­ter for other pan­de­mics or diseases.

The sanc­tions against Rus­sia, the escala­ting con­flict with Chi­na, the rising pri­ces for ener­gy and other raw mate­ri­als, the rapidly rising pri­ces for essen­ti­al goods, etc., pose a gre­at dan­ger of a long and deep eco­no­mic reces­si­on. Finan­ce capi­tal will try to save its­elf. Not least by con­trol­ling mone­ta­ry levera­ge through cen­tral banks and try­ing to pass on the ine­vi­ta­ble deva­lua­ti­on to its wea­k­er parts. In the pro­cess, even grea­ter deva­lua­ti­on is shifted to the pro­duc­ti­ve eco­no­my, espe­ci­al­ly to labour and wage ear­ners. This opens the pos­si­bi­li­ty (not the cer­tain­ty) of a sub­se­quent restart of a new cycle of accu­mu­la­ti­on. In the mean­ti­me, howe­ver, the dan­ger of the out­break of social con­flict beco­mes very acu­te, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in the non-Wes­tern count­ries depen­dent on the sale of com­mo­di­ties and sub­ject to the vas­sa­la­ge of inter­na­tio­nal debt. But social con­flicts of high inten­si­ty may also ari­se in the small handful of Wes­tern count­ries that domi­na­te the world mar­ket finan­ci­al­ly, poli­ti­cal­ly, and mili­ta­ri­ly, and in their satel­li­te count­ries, espe­ci­al­ly the EU.

Old and New Raids

The war against Rus­sia also tears the veil of the sec­re­cy of the domi­na­ti­on of Wes­tern capi­tal over the rest of the world: cheap ener­gy resour­ces. News cir­cu­la­ted in the main­stream media that Ger­ma­ny had recei­ved Rus­si­an gas at a 70 per­cent dis­count, and more than one per­son denoun­ced this as the real reason for Ger­man supre­ma­cy in pro­duc­tion and tech­no­lo­gy. This is cer­tain­ly true, but it has also been true for the enti­re West sin­ce the dawn of capi­ta­lism. At first it was coal, which was cheap for Bri­tish indus­try becau­se it had been dis­co­ver­ed near­by in lar­ge quan­ti­ties. Then, when the grea­ter effi­ci­en­cy of oil was dis­co­ver­ed, the West took full con­trol of its pri­ce. It did not hesi­ta­te to des­troy any pro­du­cing coun­try that tried to use the pro­ceeds to deve­lop its own indus­try and take con­trol of its mine­ral resour­ces and their sel­ling pri­ce: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, but the list of more or less cruel Wes­tern inter­ven­ti­ons to main­tain con­trol over the pri­ce of fos­sil ener­gy resour­ces and other raw mate­ri­als would be endless.

If Rus­sia were defea­ted, a new man­na of cheap ener­gy could boost Wes­tern pro­fits, which cer­tain­ly can­not be boos­ted by rene­wa­bles. A Rus­si­an vic­to­ry could set a dyna­mic in moti­on that would make it impos­si­ble for the West to pro­cu­re ener­gy at pri­ces that would keep its pro­fit rates high. The cost of ener­gy resour­ces not only dra­ma­ti­cal­ly reve­als the incon­sis­ten­cy of the enti­re paper eco­no­my and puts the mate­ri­al eco­no­my back at the cen­ter of capi­tal repro­duc­tion, but also crea­tes intrac­ta­ble pro­blems for digi­ta­li­sa­ti­on and con­trol pro­grams, all of which rely on very ener­gy-inten­si­ve machinery.

More and more Gene­ral Reasons for War and inter­nal Batt­le Lines

The attempt by major Wes­tern finan­ce capi­tal to con­tain the effects of the gene­ral cri­sis of capi­tal and to turn its con­se­quen­ces to its own favor is beco­ming incre­asing­ly pro­ble­ma­tic. Even the attempt to avo­id an uncon­trol­led decli­ne of the finan­cial and eco­no­mic cri­sis may be of no suc­cess. In the non-Wes­tern world, it faces gro­wing obs­ta­cles that ulti­m­ate­ly acce­le­ra­te the risk of a glo­bal out­break of war. The West its­elf is working hard with pro­vo­ca­ti­ons at all levels (Ukrai­ne, Tai­wan, Serbia/​Kosovo, Nagor­no-Kara­bakh, Lebanon/​Israel, Libya, Iran, etc.). Howe­ver, the­se dif­fi­cul­ties do not mean that the pro­gram­ma­tic plans for social, eco­no­mic and poli­ti­cal res­truc­tu­ring must be aban­do­ned. On the con­tra­ry, they make them even more neces­sa­ry and urgent. If it is not pos­si­ble to sub­ju­ga­te the world to the new bur­ning demands of Wes­tern big capi­tal, and as war of enorm­ous pro­por­ti­ons beco­mes incre­asing­ly ine­vi­ta­ble, this makes it more and more urgent, on the one hand, to try to make Wes­tern eco­no­mies more pro­duc­ti­ve in terms of pro­fit, and, on the other hand, to achie­ve social and poli­ti­cal cohe­si­on at home in order to pro­tect ones­elf from class con­flicts. Thus, inter­na­tio­nal turm­oil could be met with homo­ge­neous (i.e., enforced) socie­ties suf­fi­ci­ent­ly con­di­tio­ned to with­stand con­flicts of all kinds, espe­ci­al­ly wars.

8. Brea­king out of the Total Domi­na­ti­on of Capi­tal over Human Life

Pan­de­mic, vac­ci­na­ti­on, sta­te of emer­gen­cy, aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an social disci­pli­ning, the exten­si­on of all encom­pas­sing con­trol, the com­ple­te sub­ju­ga­ti­on of indi­vi­du­al and coll­ec­ti­ve life to the over­whel­ming demands of capi­tal and the sta­te – even to sup­port them in their wars, whe­ther vica­rious­ly or direct­ly – can the­r­e­fo­re only be defea­ted by a move­ment of resis­tance and oppo­si­ti­on that ari­ses within the West. A resis­tance move­ment that mana­ges to wea­ve its­elf bey­ond Wes­tern bor­ders, crea­ting bonds of soli­da­ri­ty and brot­her­hood of strugg­le whe­re capi­tal and the sta­tes want to crea­te oppo­si­ti­on (i.e. »colour revo­lu­ti­ons«) and confrontation.

At this level, unfort­u­na­te­ly, the con­di­ti­on of the domi­na­ted clas­ses and espe­ci­al­ly of the pro­le­ta­ri­at, in its incre­asing­ly diver­se forms of explo­ita­ti­on, does not give much hope for an upri­sing in the imme­dia­te future. Having got rid of its class orga­niza­ti­on (uni­on, poli­ti­cal, pro­gram­ma­tic, ideo­lo­gi­cal), with which it defen­ded its con­di­ti­ons and even achie­ved a series of impro­ve­ments for its­elf, as as social and poli­ti­cal chan­ges in favor of all exploi­ted clas­ses in the deca­des from the 1960s to the 1980s, the pro­le­ta­ri­at has allo­wed its­elf to be incre­asing sub­jec­ted to the needs of capi­tal. It has accept­ed that its life and work are depen­dent on the per­for­mance of exter­nal enti­ties, be it the per­for­mance of the indi­vi­du­al enter­pri­se, the eco­no­my in gene­ral, or the finan­cial con­di­ti­ons of the state.

During the pan­de­mic, the sta­te of sub­ju­ga­ti­on of the pro­le­ta­ri­at was demons­tra­ted in all its dra­ma­tic dimen­si­ons: the gre­at mass accept­ed that its life was redu­ced to mere work and vital con­sump­ti­on, renoun­cing wit­hout reproach or doubt every other aspect of life. To obtain the exis­ten­ti­al mini­mum, work and wages, it accept­ed all con­di­ti­ons, even the obvious­ly absurd and arbi­tra­ry ones. When social acti­vi­ties were par­ti­al­ly allo­wed again, the pro­le­ta­ri­at accept­ed sub­jec­tion to the arbi­trar­i­ne­ss of the sta­te and com­pa­nies up to the area of work. For immu­ni­ty, they were injec­ted with vac­ci­nes that imme­dia­te­ly pro­ved inef­fec­ti­ve; they accept­ed the Green Pass. This, howe­ver, was no pro­of that one was not con­ta­gious, but was and is a pure con­trol instru­ment! Accep­ting it expres­ses only the desi­re to adapt in order to keep jobs, wages, and a mini­mal social life – all gran­ted by the sta­te and on its terms. Even when hundreds of thou­sands of their class brot­hers refu­sed to sub­mit to the sting and the Green Pass, they tur­ned away and pre­ten­ded not to see how their class brot­hers were vic­tims of sus­pen­si­ons, dis­mis­sals and all kinds of ostracism.

It should be remem­be­red, howe­ver, that this atti­tu­de of the pro­le­ta­ri­at was com­mon to all social stra­ta and on the who­le no worse – on the con­tra­ry! – than that of the popu­la­ti­on employ­ed in other sectors.

Of cour­se we have repea­ted­ly heard of signs of human and poli­ti­cal soli­da­ri­ty and even strugg­le in the fac­to­ries, the logi­stics cen­ters and the ports – from workers lea­ving the can­teen in soli­da­ri­ty with their col­le­agues wit­hout a health pass, to iso­la­ted strikes and mobi­liza­ti­ons. None­thel­ess, the most appal­ling examp­les of loyal­ty to the emer­gen­cy regime were also wit­nessed, with the sys­te­ma­tic pur­su­it of »no vax« and »no green pass« in white-col­lar occu­pa­ti­ons, espe­ci­al­ly schools (the locus of social disci­pli­ning par excel­lence, whe­re much of the tea­ching staff tends to adopt disci­pli­ning as a moral mis­si­on); not to men­ti­on the shop­kee­pers, restau­ra­teurs, and hote­liers who – except for a proud, rebel­lious mino­ri­ty – were wil­ling to do any­thing just to be allo­wed to reopen. A sepea­ra­te and exten­ded trea­tement of hos­pi­tals and nur­sing homes in gene­ral, whe­re the health issue had been impo­sed in a dra­co­ni­an and divi­si­ve way, is nec­ce­sa­ry. All the­se are none­thel­ess signs that, on clo­ser exami­na­ti­on, say a lot about the alle­ged pet­ty-bour­geois cha­rac­ter of the pro­tests and about the ext­ent to which the emer­gen­cy made inroads espe­ci­al­ly among­st white-col­lar workers.

For its part, the pro­le­ta­ri­at has done not­hing more than main­tain its deca­des-long, pas­si­ve accep­tance of the dic­ta­tes of capi­tal. As a who­le, howe­ver, and in its dai­ly beha­vi­or, it has shown its­elf to be much more imper­vious than the other sub­al­tern clas­ses to all the dehu­ma­niza­ti­on jus­ti­fied by the sta­te of excep­ti­on. See, for exam­p­le, the very casu­al and any­thing but strict prac­ti­ce of wea­ring masks in working-class cir­cles – which, for tho­se who do hard labour, con­sti­tu­te a harass­ment bor­de­ring on tor­tu­re, as well as ano­ther pre­text for punish­ment in the hands of the bosses …

Much worse, in con­trast to the atti­tu­de of the pro­le­ta­ri­at as a who­le, were the self-anno­in­ted avant-gar­de – tho­se who, in order to hang on the skirt of the pro­le­ta­ri­at, did ever­y­thing to rein­force its sub­ju­ga­ti­on to the sta­te and capi­tal. They made them­sel­ves pro­pa­gan­dists of the seve­ri­ty of the pan­de­mic, of the mira­cles of vac­ci­nes and the bene­fits of sci­ence, and resis­ted any cri­ti­cism, howe­ver poli­te, of the Green Pass (albeit accom­pa­nied by bom­ba­s­tic rou­ti­ne words). Ins­tead, they vol­un­tee­red ins­tead as vac­ci­ne sales­men among the pro­le­ta­ri­at as well as for the peo­p­les of the Third World. Con­ver­se­ly, the few class-based trade uni­on orga­niza­ti­ons (or their indi­vi­du­al local chap­ters) that have cho­sen to inter­ve­ne in a tru­ly cri­ti­cal way – espe­ci­al­ly in the final months of the strugg­le against the Green Pass – have often ral­lied lar­ge num­bers of working-class mem­bers behind them. This pro­ves that the pro­le­ta­ri­at is ulti­m­ate­ly bet­ter than many of tho­se who cla­im to orga­ni­ze and repre­sent it.

Nevert­hel­ess, the proletariat’s sub­ju­ga­ti­on remains, and this is also the ful­crum upon which Wes­tern capi­tal picks up in order to draw the pro­le­ta­ri­at into its own war­li­ke adven­tures by pre­sen­ting Rus­si­an and Chi­ne­se resis­tance to the Wes­tern-cen­tric order as an attempt to res­ha­pe the world order – with devas­ta­ting effects on the proletarian’s con­di­ti­on as well.

The pan­de­mic attack also had this important func­tion: to accus­tom the popu­la­ti­on – and thus also the pro­le­ta­ri­at – to a veri­ta­ble gym­nastics of obe­dience to all sorts of impo­si­ti­ons and harass­ment. The war, its eco­no­my, and the sacri­fices it ent­ail­ed could not have been bet­ter pre­pared for.

The Need to cross the Ford of Capi­ta­list Domination

The new twists and turns of the cri­sis herald new seve­re and in many ways unpre­ce­den­ted attacks on the living con­di­ti­ons of the pro­le­ta­ri­at, on the midd­le clas­ses and on the peo­p­les of the oppres­sed count­ries. For the Wes­tern pro­le­ta­ri­at, the moment may be approa­ching when it must once again mobi­li­ze for strugg­le and orga­ni­zing; for this it is neces­sa­ry to deve­lop its own class auto­no­my in the field of demands, pro­gram­ma­tics, poli­tics, and orga­niza­ti­on. The gene­ral con­di­ti­ons of the class strugg­le in the wake of the sys­te­mic cri­sis of capi­tal, could also force the pro­le­ta­ri­at to go bey­ond the refor­mist hori­zon and to enter into a strugg­le against the tota­li­ty of the capi­tal rela­ti­on. Against the aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the pan­de­mic, an inter­na­tio­nal move­ment deve­lo­ped in which signi­fi­cant mino­ri­ties of the pro­le­ta­ri­an class also par­ti­ci­pa­ted. Most pro­le­ta­ri­ans par­ti­ci­pa­ted as indi­vi­du­als and did not per­cei­ve them­sel­ves as a class; their par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on was none­thel­ess signi­fi­cant in two ways:

First, the pro­le­ta­ri­ans invol­ved did this out of a need to resist the attacks of the sta­te, the mul­ti­na­tio­nal cor­po­ra­ti­ons, and the supra­na­tio­nal finan­cial and poli­ti­cal powers, based on their con­di­ti­on as human beings – on their bodies and their social lives. In this way, they also resis­ted the fur­ther ens­lavement to which labour is sub­jec­ted: to work today, one must not only be value-pro­du­cing, disci­pli­ned, and able to deal with con­flict. One must also »deser­ve« work by sub­jec­ting ones­elf to all mecha­nisms of health and con­trol – indi­vi­du­al, rela­tio­nal, uni­on, and poli­ti­cal. Thus, a sec­tion, howe­ver small, has expe­ri­en­ced first-hand that the rela­ti­onship with capi­tal is not sim­ply a neces­si­ty in exch­an­ge for sur­vi­val, whe­re one might even have a mini­mum of bar­gai­ning levera­ge to impro­ve wages and working con­di­ti­ons a bit. Rather, they see that this rela­ti­onship is incre­asing­ly per­va­si­ve and oppres­si­ve. Capi­tal is no lon­ger con­tent to demand total domi­na­ti­on of human labour power, but demands total domi­na­ti­on of the enti­re life of the worker and of the living huma­ni­ty as a who­le. To free ones­elf from the social rela­ti­ons of capi­tal the­r­e­fo­re beco­mes not only a socio-eco­no­mic neces­si­ty, but a neces­si­ty to defend human life itself.

The fact that this pro­blem has emer­ged does not mean that the solu­ti­on is within reach. Tho­se who have beco­me awa­re becau­se of the pan­de­mic poli­cy, or becau­se of the incre­asing­ly exhaus­ting and poor­ly paid work, are most­ly in search of per­so­nal solu­ti­ons for grea­ter free­dom and/​or more satis­fy­ing employ­ment – a path full of illu­si­ons, sin­ce both capi­tal and the sta­te are able to occu­py every free labour niche with their power of explo­ita­ti­on and domi­na­ti­on. The search for per­so­nal solu­ti­ons is, ofcour­se, com­pel­ling when the­re are no visi­ble forces on the ground that can fight for true and total free­dom from capi­tal. Such forces, howe­ver, could mul­ti­ply: as a result of the ine­vi­ta­ble increase of the struc­tu­ral sur­plus popu­la­ti­on, of the use­l­ess peo­p­le who must be kept under strict con­trol (and who­se demi­se must be acce­le­ra­ted…), and of the social exclu­si­on of tens of mil­li­ons of wage-ear­ners who are no lon­ger able to achie­ve through their own work even the mini­mum neces­sa­ry for survival.

Second­ly, in some decisi­ve moments of mobi­liza­ti­on, typi­cal pro­le­ta­ri­an methods of strugg­le have appeared: Strikes and blo­cka­des of pro­duc­ti­ve and other eco­no­mic acti­vi­ties. This was gree­ted with enthu­si­asm by the enti­re move­ment, which saw both the useful­ness and effec­ti­ve­ness of the­se forms of strugg­le and the pos­si­ble emer­gence of a class force that could give them the con­ti­nui­ty and deter­mi­na­ti­on neces­sa­ry for a real vic­to­ry in a con­cre­te strugg­le. The con­s­truc­tion workers of Mel­bourne, the dock­wor­kers of Tri­es­te, and the Cana­di­an tru­ckers were the high points of this deve­lo­p­ment. None of them, howe­ver, suc­cee­ded in giving the mobi­liza­ti­on the prod it nee­ded to make it more incisi­ve and successful.

It is point­less to place the bla­me on this or that lea­der. The fact is that the­se pro­le­ta­ri­an groups found them­sel­ves iso­la­ted within their own class. The lat­ter, in its over­whel­ming majo­ri­ty, adapt­ed to all impo­si­ti­ons in order to save its own skin. Even if it was only an epi­so­de (the Cana­di­an one was, after all, a rather long and par­ti­ci­pa­to­ry epi­so­de …), the role of the­se small pro­le­ta­ri­an groups was enorm­ously important. Becau­se they took up the strugg­le not only for them­sel­ves, for their own class or sec­to­ral goals, but for the libe­ra­ti­on of all peo­p­le from sta­te rest­ric­tions and obli­ga­ti­ons. This is a very small but pro­mi­sing epi­so­de of a pro­le­ta­ri­at that defends its­elf as human beings, and not just as a pro­le­ta­ri­at – and that the­r­e­fo­re, in defen­ding its­elf, takes on the defen­se of all living huma­ni­ty. In this respect, too, the pro­gres­si­on of the sys­te­mic cri­sis and the attempts to resol­ve it will undoub­ted­ly mul­ti­ply the con­di­ti­ons that will make simi­lar neces­si­ties reap­pear. The con­di­ti­ons that make it pos­si­ble – though ofcour­se not cer­tain – will multiply.

Eight months after the offi­ci­al start of the Ukrai­ne war, the anti-Rus­si­an war disci­pli­ne has not yet rea­ched the same level of accep­tance as the pan­de­mic one. Inde­ed, mass resis­tance to the initi­al con­se­quen­ces of the war has alre­a­dy deve­lo­ped in some count­ries. In Bri­tain, a move­ment of strikes and demons­tra­ti­ons has emer­ged against high elec­tri­ci­ty bills and the cost of living in gene­ral. From what has beco­me known so far, howe­ver, it has avo­ided also spea­king out against the government’s war poli­cy, which is the cau­se of rising ener­gy cos­ts and the thre­at of eco­no­mic reces­si­on with resul­ting unem­ploy­ment, wage defla­ti­on, and wage cuts. The mobi­liza­ti­on is none­thel­ess, impli­cit­ly, a rejec­tion of the sacri­fices made to sup­port the war effort against Rus­sia. As long as it remains impli­cit, howe­ver, the move­ment will ine­vi­ta­b­ly sup­port, pas­si­ve­ly or actively, solu­ti­ons of rear­ma­ment against Rus­sia in exch­an­ge for imme­dia­te socioe­co­no­mic reli­ef. Prime Minis­ter Lisa Truss alre­a­dy tried this with her plan to fund lar­ge-sca­le aid to con­tain rising ener­gy costs.

In France, refi­nery workers mobi­li­zed stron­gly to sup­port demands for wage increa­ses, though they also jus­ti­fied them by citing the high pro­fits of oil com­pa­nies due to the cri­sis in the mar­ket for petro­le­um pro­ducts cau­sed by the war sanc­tions. A demand dan­ge­rous­ly clo­se to par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in war pro­fits, i.e., par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in one’s government’s war on the con­di­ti­on that one can share in the pro­fits. Nevert­hel­ess, the­re have been signs of the move­ment expan­ding to include other groups of wage ear­ners who­se com­pa­nies are not curr­ent­ly bene­fiting from rising pro­fits. The uni­ons and the left imme­dia­te­ly rus­hed to ste­ri­li­ze the­se signs: To banish the dan­ger of it beco­ming a move­ment expli­cit­ly oppo­sed to the government’s war poli­ci­es – with Mélen­chon lea­ding the cam­paign against Rus­si­an aggression.

A dif­fe­rent dyna­mic has deve­lo­ped so far in Ger­ma­ny, the Czech Repu­blic, and Aus­tria. Here, too, the­re have been mobi­liza­ti­ons against the high cost of living and the effects of the inci­pi­ent reces­si­on. The mas­ses on the street here are expli­cit­ly deman­ded the lif­ting of anti-Rus­si­an sanc­tions and, in Ger­ma­ny, also the resump­ti­on of gas sup­pli­es through Nord Stream (which someone sabo­ta­ged as a pre­cau­ti­on to pre­vent the Ger­man govern­ment from being forced to break the Wes­tern Front under the pres­su­re of a gro­wing move­ment). The­re was strong pres­su­re on the streets of the­se count­ries to distance them­sel­ves from the war­mon­ge­ring poli­ci­es of their govern­ments. The­re is a rejec­tion of the poli­cy of con­fron­ta­ti­on with Rus­sia and the Rus­si­ans at any cost, and ins­tead a demand to work with Rus­sia. The most diver­se impul­ses are con­den­sed in this move­ment (tra­di­tio­nal paci­fism, which knows that peace comes about through com­pro­mi­se and not through the defeat of the Rus­si­an aggres­sor; sov­e­reig­nism, which oppo­ses a glo­ba­lism that wants to con­quer, uni­fy and shape peo­p­les accor­ding to its goals; fear of the incre­asing­ly tan­gi­ble thre­at of a world Arma­ged­don). Here, not least, a ten­den­cy can deve­lop to coun­ter the incre­asing war dyna­mic with a call for coope­ra­ti­on bet­ween peo­p­les. Thus the pro­blem, vital for all man­kind today, ari­ses of the basis on which such coope­ra­ti­on can emer­ge: In a world based on exch­an­ge domi­na­ted by capi­ta­list value, with the ine­vi­ta­ble con­se­quence of fier­ce com­pe­ti­ti­on, oppres­si­on of clas­ses and peo­p­les, and wars, or in a world that rejects the domi­na­ti­on of value and its mone­ta­ry means of expression.

We have no futu­ristic cer­tain­ties to sell. In the mean­ti­me, though, it is enough for us to take note of what is hap­pe­ning – even on the pro­le­ta­ri­an side – at the begin­ning of an epoch that forces capi­tal to con­cen­tra­te all its might to pro­tect its­elf from an insol­va­ble cri­sis, and to face it. To face it, the­re is an extre­me need to com­ple­te­ly sub­ju­ga­te the lives of the exploi­ted clas­ses, to sub­ject them to a new and per­va­si­ve tota­li­ta­ria­nism, to make them com­pa­ti­ble with the attempt to revi­ve accu­mu­la­ti­on, to sup­press any pos­si­bi­li­ty of resis­tance and revolt. The­re is now, no lon­ger, any pos­si­bi­li­ty to take gene­ral mea­su­res of refor­mist com­pro­mi­se, limi­t­ed at most to cer­tain sec­tors which, for cer­tain reasons or at cer­tain moments, may be of par­ti­cu­lar importance for the main­ten­an­ce of the sys­tem or for the tran­sac­tion of busi­ness – nor to disci­pli­ne their own inter­nal front as a sin­gle com­pact army against exter­nal enemies.

Howe­ver, we are cer­tain that it makes sen­se to con­ti­nue working on buil­ding and expan­ding coor­di­na­ti­on bet­ween all anti-capi­ta­list acti­vists who are awa­re of the attack that capi­tal and the sta­te have laun­ched with the aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an manage­ment of the pan­de­mic. In this way, a con­tri­bu­ti­on mark­ed by a coher­ent and com­pre­hen­si­ve anti-capi­ta­lism will be made to all the mobi­liza­ti­ons, which can deve­lop against the resump­ti­on of the vac­ci­na­ti­on cam­paigns, against the expan­si­on of the digi­tal con­trol appa­ra­tus, against the attack on rela­tio­nal, trade uni­on and poli­ti­cal free­doms. In this way, all the anti-capi­ta­list acti­vists in the world can be united against the war, and all the­se aspects can be lin­ked to the pos­si­ble emer­gence of a social and class con­flict, both on a purely eco­no­mic ter­rain and on an eco­no­mic-poli­ti­cal ter­rain, cau­sed by the new turns of the eco­no­mic cri­sis, by the mea­su­res taken in its cour­se, and in the deve­lo­p­ment of the per­ma­nent war economy.

Assem­blea Mili­tan­te, Novem­ber, 2022


The ori­gi­nal Ita­li­en ver­si­on can be found on Sinis­train­re­te, a Ger­man tranlsa­ti­on here in Mag­Ma

Image: Assem­blea Mili­tan­te in an anti-lock­down mani­fes­ta­ti­on in Ita­ly, date unknown

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