Introduction

 

 

 

We are living in an extraordinary historic moment. What is happening in these days and weeks is a combination of four interrelated developments.

 

1) The Third Depression, i.e. a devastating economic slump of the capitalist world economy which is certainly no less dramatic than the crisis which started in 1929;

 

2) A wave of anti-democratic attacks of a scale which has not been seen in the imperialist countries since 1945 and which triggers a global turn towards Chauvinist State Bonapartism and the creation of a monstrous Leviathan-like state machinery;

 

3) COVID-19, a pandemic which endangers many lives and which is exploited by the ruling classes in order to spread fear, to deflect attention from the capitalist causes of the economic crisis and to justify the turn towards chauvinist state bonapartism;

 

4) Similar to the situation in 1914 after the beginning of World War I we can observe a gigantic wave of opportunist capitulation by large sectors of the reformist workers movement and the so-called left as they fully support or at least do not denounce the global lockdown and the suppression of democratic rights which the ruling classes are imposing in the name of combat against the pandemic.

 

The global counter-revolutionary offensive under the cover of COVID-19 is not only a historical watershed but also a complex and peculiar phenomenon. Hence it raises a number of questions both for the Marxist analysis as well as for the revolutionary strategy and tactic. The present book shall help revolutionary militants to better understand this issue and to find a correct orientation for the struggles in the coming period. This book is based on past documents of the RCIT which we have published since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis – most importantly our Manifesto “COVID-19: A Cover for a Major Global Counterrevolutionary Offensive”. (See also the Appendix) [1] Hence, we will not repeat all our positions and arguments at this place but rather elaborate a number of issues in more detail.

 

We have to make an important qualification. This book is written under extraordinary circumstances as it appears in the midst of a historic crisis. More precisely, it has been written in the early stages of this crisis. Hence, we are talking about a process which is still in a state of flux. The author of these lines strongly recognized this when the editing process of the book revealed that the data on the economic slump were already outdated only a few days after writing the draft!

 

It would be certainly easier if this document would be written not now but in a few months time when the picture is clearer. However, that would be an academic approach, unworthy of Marxists. The task of revolutionaries is not to observe and comment from outside but to intervene in the class struggle, to provide the vanguard with an analysis and an orientation for the tasks of the day. Hence, revolutionaries can not wait until everything is over. Our dictum is the famous formula which Marx stated in his 11th Thesis on Feuerbach: Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.[2]

 

Lenin as well as Trotsky liked to quote Napoleon who said On s’engage et puis ... on voit.” (“First engage in a serious battle and then see what happens.”) Our task – and the task of all revolutionaries – in this extraordinary historic situation is to grasp as soon as possible and as good as possible the nature of the current events and to elaborate a strategy and tactic for the battles ahead. Marxists must draw a line now, must begin the struggle against the global counter-revolutionary offensive now and not wait until everything is clear … because when everything is clearly evident, it could mean that the reactionary developments have successfully established a new and disadvantageous relation of forces. Our task is to intervene in his process and to influence it is much as possible in the interest of the international working class and the oppressed.

 

For these reasons, this book is not an academic exercise but an attempt to grasp a crucial and ongoing assault of the ruling class and to elaborate a strategy for the resistance. Hence, it is also a contribution to the debate about the current upheaval in the world situation which has begun among socialists and activists in the international liberation movement of the workers and oppressed. It shall help to clarify the political basis for close collaboration of revolutionaries all over the world. This is all the more urgent because if liberation fighters do not succeed in uniting on a clear programmatic basis in order to advance the construction of a World Party of Socialists Revolution, the capitalist counter-revolution could result in a barbaric destruction of humanity and its living conditions.

 

12 April 2020

 

 

 



[1] COVID-19: A Cover for a Major Global Counterrevolutionary Offensive. We are at a turning point in the world situation as the ruling classes provoke a war-like atmosphere in order to legitimize the build-up of chauvinist state-bonapartist regimes, 21 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-a-cover-for-a-major-global-counterrevolutionary-offensive/. We also refer to our Open Letter: Act Now because History is Happening Now! A call to all revolutionary organizations and activists to join forces against the global counter-revolutionary offensive under the cover of COVID-19, 26 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/open-letter-act-now-because-history-is-happening-now/. All documents which the RCIT has published on the COVID-19 crisis are collected at a special sub-page in our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-2019-corona-virus/.

[2] Karl Marx: Theses on Feuerbach (1845), in: MECW Vol. 5, p. 5 (Emphasis in the original), https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/theses/theses.htm