A few examples of how the monopoly capitalists rob the workers under the cover of the anti-democratic Lockdown policy
By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 11 February 2021, www.thecommunists.net
The RCIT has emphasized from the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in February 2020 that the ruling class is utilizing this pandemic as a cover to wage unprecedented attacks on the workers and the popular masses. We explained that the Lockdown policy and the comprehensive restrictions of civil and democratic rights are not motivated primarily by concern for public health but rather by political and economic interests of the ruling class.
On one hand, they are exploiting the crisis for a colossal expansion of the police and surveillance state – a process which we call a shift from parliamentary democracy to Chauvinist State Bonapartism. On the other hand, the big corporations utilize the crisis for advancing the process of monopolization and for creating gigantic profits.
For these reasons, the RCIT has characterized this comprehensive reactionary offensive – with all the draconic lockdowns, mass curfews, anti-democratic restrictions on meetings and social gatherings, etc. resulting in the isolation and atomization of the people – as the COVID-19 Counterrevolution. We have covered these developments rich in detail in numerous documents which have been published in our journals and website in the past 12 months. 
A few weeks ago, we wrote an article which reported about a new study from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance – a highly “respectable” bourgeois institution with close connections to the UN and imperialist governments. Even such a thoroughly bourgeois institution has been forced to admit that many governments around the world have exploited the COVID-19 crisis for expanding the police and surveillance state, or what Marxists call the chauvinist bonapartist state apparatus. The study concluded that 99 out of 162 countries, or 61% of countries in the world, have utilized the pandemic for attacking democratic rights. 
In the present article we will deal with the massive economic attacks on the working class under the cover of the Lockdown policy resulting in huge profits for the monopoly capitalists. Naturally, we have to limit ourselves to a few examples which however seem to us as highly telling for the profound nature of the economic side of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution.
Homeoffice: A method for increasing unpaid labor time
“Homeoffice” has become one of the most popular catchwords since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. While we do not have global figures, there is no doubt that the share of employees working from home has massively increased in the past 12 months – at least in the imperialist countries. In Germany, before the pandemic 12% of employees worked from home, but during the partial lockdown in April 2020 this proportion rose to 35%. Currently, this share is at about 28% - still more than double as many than 12 months ago. For the USA, there are reports that in late May 2020, 42% of all employees were working from home full time. Here too, the share has decreased since then but, again, is substantially higher than before the crisis. 
According to two new study, this transformation has resulted in a substantial increase of labor time – without any corresponding increase in wages. “Employees who work from home are spending longer at their desks and facing a bigger workload than before the Covid pandemic hit, two sets of research have suggested. The average length of time an employee working from home in the UK, Austria, Canada and the US is logged on at their computer has increased by more than two hours a day since the coronavirus crisis, according to data from the business support company NordVPN Teams. UK workers have increased their working week by almost 25% and, along with employees in the Netherlands, are logging off at 8pm, it said. (…) The surveys also showed home workers taking shorter lunch breaks, working through sickness, and more workers being “always on” as the split between working and leisure time is blurred.” 
One of the two studies covered the development of labor time in Homeoffice in a number of Western imperialist countries (Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.). Of these 10 countries, labor time has gone back to the level before the crisis only in two countries (Belgium and Denmark). In all other countries, it is clearly above the pre-crisis level as a chart published by Bloomberg demonstrates. 
Since such lengthening of the workday without any increase in wages means an increase of the unpaid working hours. To put it in Marxist terms, it means an increase of the rate of surplus value – the ratio between the capitalist’ surplus value and the wages of the workers – through the increase of absolute surplus value (in contrast to the increase of relative surplus value via increasing the labor productivity within the same labor time). Increasing profits in such ways is a long-established method of the capitalist as Marx already pointed out in one of his preliminary studies for Capital. “The absolute surplus labour which is gained from lengthening the working day is of course the basis from which the individual capitalist proceeds.” 
Mass unemployment and mass poverty
Another method of the capitalists – mainly the owners of the big corporations – for increasing the rate of surplus value has been cuts in wages. According to the ILO, as we reported in another article, most of the global labor force – about 3.5 billion people – suffered dramatic losses in wages in 2020. Already in September last year, the ILO reported in a study that “global loss in labour income during the first three quarters of 2020 amounts to US$3.5 trillion,“ which amounts to “a global decline of 10.7 per cent” (compared with the corresponding period in 2019). We can take it for granted that these losses will be even higher when calculations for the whole year will be published. 
Likewise, unemployment remains historically high with all the devasting consequences for working class families. This is not only true for the popular masses in the semi-colonial countries in the South but even for significant sectors of the working class in the richest of all imperialist powers. Bloomberg reported a few weeks ago that employment for the bottom quartile of US-American earners -- those making less than $27,000 a year -- remains 21% below January 2020 levels.
At the end of 2020, “nearly 30 million adults lived in households where there wasn’t enough to eat, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, up 28% since before the pandemic. In Louisiana, the worst affected state, one out of every five people now faces food scarcity, the survey shows, with the numbers being even more dire among Black Americans.” 
Simultaneously, as we reported in our above-mentioned article, the world’s 500 richest people increased their wealth by $1.8 trillion. In other words, this very small number of capitalist parasites shove money into their pockets which is more than half (!) of the combined losses in income of 3.5 billion workers and poor peasants!
All these developments demonstrate once more that the COVID-19 Counterrevolution represents a gigantic attack on the working class and the popular masses. It is particularly shameful that the official leaderships of nearly all workers and popular organizations and most self-proclaimed “Marxist” groups criminally support the Lockdown policy.  Many of them even call now for a longer and more draconic curfew for the popular masses (see e.g. the notorious bourgeois “ZeroCovid” campaign).  As the RCIT has pointed out repeatedly, authentic Marxists have nothing to do with such a reactionary policy which is vulgar “police state socialism” and social-bonapartist support for the ruling class. 
We say once more that revolutionaries must break with all full, semi- and quarter-supporters of such bourgeois Lockdown “socialism”. These are rotten elements of the old order which will both perish hand in hand. Instead, revolutionaries need to orientate to the emerging mass struggles against the counterrevolutionary attacks of the ruling class. This is the place where one must fight and organize!
 The RCIT has analyzed the COVID-19 counterrevolution extensively since its beginning. Starting from 2 February 2020 we have published nearly 80 pamphlets, essays, articles and statements plus a book which are all compiled at a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-2019-corona-virus/. In particular we refer readers to the RCIT Manifesto: 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/. In addition, we draw attention to our book by Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It. A Marxist analysis and strategy for the revolutionary struggle, RCIT Books, April 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-covid-19-global-counterrevolution/. See also our very first article on this issue by Almedina Gunić: Coronavirus: "I am not a Virus"... but WE will be the Cure! The chauvinist campaign behind the “Wuhan Coronavirus” hysteria and the revolutionary answer, 2 February 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/wuhan-virus/; Michael Pröbsting: The Second Wave of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution. On the ruling class strategy in the current conjuncture, its inner contradictions and the perspectives of the workers and popular resistance, 20 July 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/the-second-wave-of-the-covid-19-counterrevolution/; by the same author: The Police and Surveillance State in the Post-Lockdown Phase. A global review of the ruling class’s plans of expanding the bonapartist state machinery amidst the COVID-19 crisis, 21 May 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/police-and-surveillance-state-in-post-lockdown-phase/; COVID-19: The Great Barrington Declaration is indeed Great! Numerous medical scientists protest against the reactionary lockdown policy, 11 October 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-the-great-barrington-declaration-is-indeed-great/; Michael Pröbsting: COVID-19: The Current and Historical Roots of Bourgeois Lockdown “Socialism”. Police State and Universal Basic Income are key elements of the new version of reformist “War Socialism” of 1914, 19 December 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/covid-19-the-current-and-historical-roots-of-bourgeois-lockdown-socialism/.
 See Michael Pröbsting: COVID-19: An Opportunity Too Good to Be Missed by the Lords of Wealth and Money (Part 1). An “official” confirmation of the Marxist analysis that the ruling class utilizes the pandemic for expanding the bonapartist state, 18 January 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-an-opportunity-to-good-to-be-missed-by-the-lords-of-wealth-and-money-part-1/
 Hilary Osborne: Home workers putting in more hours since Covid, research shows, 4 February 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/04/home-workers-putting-in-more-hours-since-covid-research
 Lucy Meakin: Remote Working’s Longer Hours Are New Normal for Many, Bloomberg, 2. February 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-02/remote-working-s-longer-hours-are-new-normal-for-many-chart
 Karl Marx: Economic Manuscript of 1861-1863, in: MECW Vol. 34, p. 63
 See Michael Pröbsting: COVID-19: That Was A Damn Good Year … for the Billionaires in West and East who massively gained from the anti-democratic Lockdown policy, 5 January 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-that-was-a-damn-good-year-for-the-billionaires-in-west-and-east/
 Davide Scigliuzzo: The Rich Are Minting Money in the Pandemic Like Never Before, Bloomberg, 17. January 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-17/the-rich-are-minting-money-in-the-pandemic-like-never-before?srnd=premium-europe
 For our critique of the Lockdown Left see e.g. chapter V of our above-mentioned book by Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It; see also by the same author the last chapters in the above mentioned essay: The Second Wave of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution; COVID-19 and the Lockdown Left: The Example of PODEMOS and Stalinism in Spain, 24 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-lockdown-left-podemos-and-stalinism-in-spain/; Social-Bonapartism in Argentina. The Partido Obrero (Tendencia) of Jorge Altamira supports the State of Emergency, 29 April 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/latin-america/social-bonapartism-in-argentina/; When Ultra-Leftism marries Social-Bonapartism and Gives Birth to “Post-Marxist” Obscurantism. A reply to the CWG/ILTT, 5 May 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-when-ultra-leftism-marries-social-bonapartism/; Brazil: Social-Bonapartism of the Lockdown Left in Practice. How the leaderships of the trade unions, PT, PCdoB, the pseudo-Trotskyist PSTU and PSOL sabotage the struggle against the Bolsonaro government, 10 June 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/latin-america/brazil-social-bonapartism-of-the-lockdown-left-in-practice/; Lockdown Left says: “Cops Need to Enforce Laws”. The ex-revolutionary L5I as another example for shameful social-bonapartism in the era of the COVID-19 counterrevolution, 24 July 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/lockdown-left-l5i-says-cops-need-to-enforce-laws/; COVID-19: Zero Socialism in the “ZeroCOVID“ campaign. Following the model of China and Australia, some British Stalinists and “Trotskyists” call for a “total and indefinite lockdown”, 22 December 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-zero-socialism-in-the-zerocovid-campaign/; COVID-19: The Current and Historical Roots of Bourgeois Lockdown “Socialism”. Police State and Universal Basic Income are key elements of the new version of reformist “War Socialism” of 1914, 19 December 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/covid-19-the-current-and-historical-roots-of-bourgeois-lockdown-socialism/
 See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: COVID-19: Zero Socialism in the “ZeroCOVID“ campaign. Following the model of China and Australia, some British Stalinists and “Trotskyists” call for a “total and indefinite lockdown”, 22 December 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-zero-socialism-in-the-zerocovid-campaign/
 See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: COVID-19: The Current and Historical Roots of Bourgeois Lockdown “Socialism”. Police State and Universal Basic Income are key elements of the new version of reformist “War Socialism” of 1914, 19 December 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/covid-19-the-current-and-historical-roots-of-bourgeois-lockdown-socialism/