COVID-19: The Capitalist Anti-Pandemic Policy Kills More People than the Pandemic Itself

A UN report on South Asia demonstrates the devastating consequences of the Lockdown policy

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 3 July 2021,


A recently published report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reveals the devastating consequences of the capitalist Lockdown policy. [1] The reports analysis the effects of the anti-pandemic policy of the governments in South Asia – a region which is home to 1.96 billion people or nearly 25% of the world population.


It is well-known that the draconic mass curfew imposed by the right-wing Modi governments in India had horrendous consequences for the popular masses. People – many of them day laborer – could no longer go to work. Slums were cordoned off and many millions of rural migrants were forces to leave the cities and to walk (as transport was closed) to their native villages. Likewise, the capitalist Lockdown policy resulted in severe disruption of social and health service. Other governments in the region imposed similar measures.


It is hardly surprising that such barbaric anti-people policy resulted in mass impoverishment and a large number of deaths, in particular among newborn and children. The UNICEF study reports: “The observed and estimated disruption in SRMNCH services is expected to have had a substantial impact on maternal and child mortality. The number of deaths among children < 5 years are estimated to increase by a total of 228,641 across the six South Asian countries in 2020 compared to the previous year, with 134,789 of these deaths expected to occur in the neonatal period. The greatest increases are anticipated in India (154,020, 15% increase) and Pakistan (59,251, 14% increase) respectively. The number of stillbirths are also predicted to increase in the region. Across South Asia as a whole, an estimated 89,434 additional stillbirths are anticipated as a result of reduced coverage of essential SRMNCH services. (…). Similarly, the number of maternal deaths is also expected to increase in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic response, compared to those observed in 2019, with the highest number of deaths anticipated in India (7,750, 18% increase) and Pakistan (2,069, 21% increase). Due to the observed and expected reduction in coverage of modern contraceptive methods, more than 3.5 million additional unintended pregnancies are expected in South Asia, with the highest number likely in India (~3 million). The number of unsafe abortions are also expected to increase in the region, by more than 50%. Overall in South Asia, child and maternal mortality is expected to increase by 14% and 16%, respectively.” (p. 20)


These figures are staggering. Nearly a ¼ million infants have died in 2020 in South Asia alone because of the capitalist Lockdown policy which was supposed to save lives! This is all the more remarkable as the number of dead children under 5 years in South Asia is higher than the total number of COVID-19 deaths! South Asia has reported nearly 13 million Covid cases and more than 186,000 deaths so far. [2]


Even the UN – a solid instrument of the imperialist Great Powers which have all promoted the global Lockdown policy – can not escape notifying the utter cynicism of the situation. “According to our estimates, additional ~230,000 child, and ~11,000 maternal deaths will occur in South Asia in 2020 alone, as a result of coverage disruption of essential SRMNCH services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response. This number (> 240,000 maternal and child deaths) is far higher than the COVID-19 deaths observed and expected (< 200,000 by Dec 1, 2020).” (p. 34)


Staggering high global figures


Readers must bear in mind that the UN report only deals with the consequences of the governments’ pandemic policy for children under 5 years! Hence, they do not include the number of additional deaths among elder children and adults. It is therefore evident that the total number of deaths caused by the capitalist Lockdown policy is substantially higher.


Furthermore, if we now take into account that this study has dealt only with South Asia, it is not difficult to recognize that the global consequences of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution have been devastating in terms of excess mortality. While we are not aware of a current study on this issue, there exists a study published by Lancet last year. It attempted to calculate the consequences of the governments COVID-19 policy for child and maternal deaths in 118 low- and middle-income countries. Translated into the language of Marxism, these countries represent more or less the semi-colonies of the South where the vast majority of the world population lives.


The study was published in summer 2020 and, hence, is largely based on prognoses. The authors elaborate three different scenarios, from a best case to a worst case. They arrive at the following conclusions. “Under our first scenario (…), over 6 months there would be 253 500 additional child deaths and 12 200 additional maternal deaths. Under our third scenario (…), over 6 months there would be 1,157,000 additional child deaths and 56,700 additional maternal deaths. These deaths would represent a 9.8–44·7% increase in under-5 child deaths per month, and an 8·3–38·6% increase in maternal deaths per month, across the 118 countries[3]


As we have seen above, UNICEF calculates that about 228,000 children died in South Asia in 2020. This figure is nearly identical with the number in the best-case scenario of the Lancet study for the whole South! It therefor very likely that the global number of additional child and maternal deaths is close to the worst-case scenario (about 1,2 million)!


We repeat that these figures deal only with the consequences of the capitalist Lockdown policy for children under 5 years and not for the other age groups! Likewise, they only deal with the immediate effects and not the long-term consequences of the bourgeois COVID-19 policy. Needless to say, that the extreme impoverishment, exploding unemployment (114 million people were thrown out of the global labor force in 2020! [4]), the destruction of social and health infrastructure, etc. will reduce the lifespan of many people – in particular for the popular masses in the South but also for the lower strata of the working class in the imperialist heartlands. Add to this the devastating effects for education as a result of the closure of schools.


It is impossible to ignore the cynicism of the imperialist governments and their media. They shed crocodile tears when a pandemic results in the death of people mostly in their 70s, 80s or older living in rich countries. But it hardly makes it into the news when the Lockdown policy, which supposedly shall save lives, kills hundreds of thousands of children who, under other circumstances, could have had a whole life ahead of them! You see, the lives of old white people is much more worth than those of children living in the South!


Understanding the nature of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution


These tragic developments demonstrate, once more, that the official policy of capitalist government which supposedly should help fighting the pandemic, in fact is incapable to combat the pandemic, causes many unnecessary deaths, destroys the future for large sectors of the world population, and attacks democratic rights.


The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and our comrades of Convergencia Socialista (Argentina) have explained since spring 2020 that the ruling classes all over the world exploit the pandemic for their political and economic interests. [5] Their policy of state of emergency, mass curfews, dramatic restrictions of movement and mass vaccination is not driven by any considerations for public health. If that would be the case, governments would have spent billions not for the expansion of the police and surveillance apparatus but rather for the expansion of the public health sectors.


But the ruling class has never cared about the health and well-being of the popular masses. They only care for power and profit. Hence, they have utilized the pandemic all over the world, on one hand, to launch a process of massive expansion of the police and surveillance state – resulting in a shift from parliamentary democracy to Chauvinist State Bonapartism resp. an expansion of authoritarian state regimes. On the other hand, the big corporations have exploited the crisis for creating gigantic profits and advancing the process of monopolization. [6] This is the real essence of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution.


The silly Lockdown Left and the smart Indian peasants


Shamefully, the opportunist left-wing parties deny this elementary truth. In order to ensure themselves a place in the institutions of the capitalist state or in the ranks of the labor bureaucracy (or at least in hope for such), the Lockdown Left supports more or less all pillars of the bonapartist government policy (like lockdowns, banning of mass events under the pretext of “social distancing”, mass vaccination, etc.). [7] In consequence, while Marxists have fought the COVID-19 Counterrevolution from the very beginning, these crawling capitulationists have become its social-bonapartist servants.


In contrast to the Lockdown Left, large sectors of the working class and the popular masses increasingly understand the political and economic interests of the ruling class behind the official pandemic policy. This has been reflected in spontaneous uprisings and mass demonstrations all over the world. [8]


Let us conclude by providing a recent example which demonstrates that the popular masses increasingly understand the nature of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution. As is well know the Indian peasants are waging a massive struggle against the Modi government since more than half a year. [9] In early May, the Modi government started to impose new lockdowns under the pretext of the pandemic. In response, many peasant unions launched mass protests against the lockdown.


Farmers from Punjab on 8 May will stage a protest opposing the statewide lockdown, a congregation of 32 farmer organisations from Punjab, the major organ of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) decided at a meeting held on the Singhu border on Wednesday, 5 May. (…) Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Balbir Singh Rejwal said, “It is the decision of 32 farmer unions of Punjab that on 8 May, a large number of farmers, labourers, shopkeepers will come out on the streets and protest against the lockdown.” The farmers’ leader added that the central government had failed to provide proper healthcare and basic facilities like oxygen, beds, medicines, etc to the citizens, and “while the BJP is claiming that the farmers are spreading the corona, the farmers are taking necessary precautions and vaccinations”. A press note by the SKM stated, “Governments are imposing lockdowns to hide their failures and to take anti-people decisions, which are affecting the lives of farmers, labourers, shopkeepers and common citizens.” [10]


No doubt, if the leftist intellectuals would not be so stupid but as intelligent as the Indian peasants, things would be much better for the so-called “left”!


[1] United Nations Children’s Fund: Direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and response in South Asia, March 2021

[2] BBC: Covid-19 disruptions killed 228,000 children in South Asia, says UN report, 17 March 2021,; see also Keith Johnson: Of Chainsaws and Moralism: What Does the Covid Moment Tell us About the Contemporary Left? 22 May 2021,

[3] Timothy Roberton, Emily D Carter, Victoria B Chou, Angela R Stegmuller, Bianca D Jackson, Yvonne Tam, Talata Sawadogo-Lewis, Neff Walker: Early estimates of the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and child mortality in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study, Lancet Glob Health Vol 8 July 2020; Published Online: May 12, 2020, p. e906,

[4] ILO: World Employment Social Outlook, Trends 2021, Geneva 2021, p. 22

[5] The RCIT has analysed the COVID-19 counterrevolution extensively since its beginning. Starting from 2 February 2020 we have published nearly 90 pamphlets, essays, articles and statements plus a book which are all compiled at a special sub-page on our website: 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, 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, 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,; 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,; 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,; COVID-19: The Great Barrington Declaration is indeed Great! Numerous medical scientists protest against the reactionary lockdown policy, 11 October 2020,; 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,

[6] See on this e.g. 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,; by the same author: COVID-19: “A Market of up to 23 Billion US-Dollar”. The big corporations in the pharmaceutical industry expect gigantic profits by the vaccine business, 12 February 2021,; see also by the same author: 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,; COVID-19: An Opportunity Too Good to Be Missed by the Lords of Wealth and Money (Part 2). A few examples of how the monopoly capitalists rob the workers under the cover of the anti-democratic Lockdown policy, 11 February 2021,

[7] 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,; Social-Bonapartism in Argentina. The Partido Obrero (Tendencia) of Jorge Altamira supports the State of Emergency, 29 April 2020,; When Ultra-Leftism marries Social-Bonapartism and Gives Birth to “Post-Marxist” Obscurantism. A reply to the CWG/ILTT, 5 May 2020,; 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,; 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,; 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,; 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,

[8] The RCIT has dealt on numerous occasions with the global class struggle in the past two years and the consequences of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution. Here is our latest article on this which includes also references to other works. Michael Pröbsting: Interesting Assessments of the Global Class Struggle by a Bourgeois Think Tank. A commentary on the findings of the latest issue of the “Global Peace Index” by the “Institute for Economics & Peace”, 21 June 2021,

[9] See on this e.g. RCIT: India: Victory to the “Dilli Chalo” Uprising! Poor peasants are waging the largest struggle in modern history against the reactionary BJP government 22.12.2020,

[10] ‘Govt Failed’: Punjab Farmers to Oppose COVID Lockdown on 8 May, The Quint, 05 May 2021,


[코로나19] 역병 자체보다 자본주의 방역 정책이 더 많이 사람을 죽이고 있다

유엔의 남아시아 보고서: 록다운 정책이 가져온 파괴적인 결과를 보여주다


미하엘 프뢰브스팅, 혁명적 공산주의인터내셔널 동맹 (RCIT) 국제서기, 2021 7 3,

KOR trans of The Capitalist Anti-Pandemi
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유엔아동기금(UNICEF) 최근 발표한 보고서는 자본주의 록다운 정책의 파괴적인 결과를 보여주고 있다.[1] 보고서는 세계 인구의 25% 19 6천만 명이 거주하는 지역인 남아시아 정부들의 방역 정책의 효과를 분석했다.


인도의 우익 모디 정부에 의해 시행된 계엄령 대량 통행금지가 인민대중에게 끔찍한 결과를 초래했다는 사실은 알려져 있다. 대부분이 일용직 노동자인 사람들이 이동금지로 인해 이상 일하러 없었다. 슬럼가는 출입을 통제하는 경찰 저지선이 쳐진 봉쇄되었고, 농촌 출신 이주자 수백만 명이 강제로 도시를 떠나 그들의 고향 마을까지 (교통수단이 폐쇄돼서) 걸어서 가야 했다. 자본주의 록다운 정책은 사회·보건 서비스 시스템도 심각하게 마비시키는 결과를 초래했다. 남아시아 지역의 다른 정부들도 비슷한 조치들을 실시했다.


같은 야만적인 반민중 정책이 결국 대량빈곤과 높은 사망률 특히 신생아와 아동들 사이에서 가져온 것은 그리 놀라운 일이 아니다. 유니세프 연구는 다음과 같이 보고한다.


"현재 관측, 추정되고 있는 국가 사회·보건 서비스의 마비 상태는 산모와 아동 사망률에 상당한 영향을 미쳤을 것으로 예상된다. 5 미만 아동 사망 수는 남아시아 6개국에서 2020년에 전년 대비 228641 증가한 것으로 추산되며, 134789명은 신생아기에 사망한 것으로 예상된다. 최대의 증가폭은 인도 (154,020 , 15% 증가) 파키스탄 (59,251 , 14% 증가)에서 예상된다. 사산아 수도 지역에서 증가한 것으로 예상된다. 남아시아 전체에서, 필수 사회·보건 서비스의 적용 범위가 축소된 결과로 인해 89,434명의 사산이 추가로 발생한 것으로 예상된다. 마찬가지로, 산모 사망 수도 2019년에 관측된 것과 비교하여 2020년에 증가한 것으로 예상되며, 가장 높은 사망자 수는 인도 (7,750, 18% 증가) 파키스탄 (2,069, 21% 증가)에서 예상된다. 현재 관측, 예상되고 있는 현대 피임법 적용범위 축소로 인해 350 이상의 의도치 않은 추가 임신이 남아시아에서 예상되며, 인도에서 가장 많은 ( 300) 나올 가능성이 높다. 안전하지 않은 낙태 건수도 지역에서 50% 이상 증가할 것으로 예상된다. 전반적으로 남아시아에서 아동 사망률과 산모 사망률은 각각 14%, 16% 증가할 것으로 예상된다." (20)


충격적인 수치들이다. 생명을 구한다는 자본주의 록다운 정책으로 인해 2020 남아시아에서만 거의 25 명의 유아가 죽었다! 이것이 더더욱 놀라운 것은, 남아시아의 5 미만 아동 사망자 수가 전체 코로나19 사망자 수보다 많기 때문이다! 남아시아는 지금까지 1,300 명의 코로나 확진자와 186천여 명의 사망자를 보고한 상황이다.[2]


글로벌 록다운 정책을 실시하고 고무 조장해 제국주의 강대국들의 확고한 도구인 유엔조차도 상황의 참혹함을 알리는 것에서 달아날 수가 없었다. "우리의 추산에 따르면, 2020년에만 남아시아에서 코로나19 팬데믹 대응으로 인해 필수 사회·보건 서비스가 마비됨에 따라 23 명의 아동과 11,000명의 산모가 추가로 사망한 것으로 예상된다. 숫자 (24 이상의 산모 아동 사망) 현재 관측, 예상되는 코로나19 사망자 (2020 12 1일까지 20 )보다 훨씬 높은 숫자다."(34)




믿기 힘든 높은 수치


독자들은 유엔 보고서가 5 미만 아동들에 대한 정부 팬데믹 정책의 결과만을 다루고 있다는 것을 유념해야 한다! 따라서 여기에는 추가로 5 이상 아동들 성인 사망자 수는 포함되지 않는다. 그러므로 자본주의 록다운 정책으로 인한 사망자 수는 상당 부분 높다는 것은 명백하다.


더욱이 연구가 남아시아만을 다룬다는 것을 고려한다면, 세계적으로 코로나19 반혁명으로 인한 결과가 초과사망률 면에서 파괴적이었다는 것을 인식하기란 어렵지 않다. 우리는 문제에 대한 최근의 연구에 대해서는 알지 못하지만, 작년에 의학 전문지 <란셋> 발표한 연구보고가 존재한다. <란셋> 보고는 118 중하위 소득국의 아동 산모 사망에 정부 코로나19 정책이 미친 결과를 계산해 보았다. 맑스주의 언어로 번역하면 중하위 소득국은 세계 인구의 다수가 살고 있는 남반구 반식민지 세계를 말한다.


연구보고는 2020 여름에 발표된 것으로, 따라서 주로 예측 치에 기초하고 있다. 저자들은 최선의 경우에서 최악의 경우까지 가지 시나리오를 상정한다. 저자들은 다음과 같은 결론에 도달한다. "우리의 번째 시나리오에서는... 6개월 동안 253500명의 아동 사망자와 12200명의 산모 사망자가 추가로 발생한다. 번째 시나리오에 따르면, 6개월 동안 1157,000명의 추가 아동 사망자와 56700명의 추가 산모 사망자가 발생한다. 이러한 사망자 수는 118개국에서 5 미만 아동 사망의 9.844·7% 증가, 산모 사망의 8·338·6% 증가를 보여주는 것이다."[3]


우리가 위에서 봤듯이, 유니세프는 2020년에 남아시아에서 228 명의 아동이 죽은 걸로 계산한다. 수치는 남반구 전체를 대상으로 <란셋> 연구의 최선 시나리오 숫자와 거의 일치한다! 따라서 세계적으로 아동 산모 추가 사망 수는 최악 시나리오 ( 120 ) 근접할 가능성이 매우 높다!


우리는 수치들이 다른 연령대가 아닌 5 미만 아동에 대한 자본주의 록다운 정책의 결과만을 다루고 있다는 것을 재차 강조한다. 수치들은 부르주아 코로나19 정책의 장기적인 결과가 아니라 즉각적인 영향만을 다루고 있다. 말할 필요도 없이, 극도의 빈곤, 폭발적 실업 (2020년에 114백만 명이 세계 노동인력에서 퇴출됐다![4]), 사회·보건 인프라의 파괴 등은 많은 사람들의 수명을 줄일 것이다. 특히 남반구 인민대중이 그러할 것이고, 제국주의 중심부 노동자계급의 하층도 그러할 것이다. 여기에 수업 중단과 학교 폐쇄가 교육에 또한 파괴적인 결과를 가져왔다.


제국주의 정부들과 그들 언론의 위선과 냉소주의를 무시하기란 불가능하다. 그들은 팬데믹이 부유한 나라에 사는 주로 7,80 이상의 사람들이 사망하는 결과를 가져올 때는 눈물을 흘렸다. (물론 그것도 악어의 눈물이지만). 그러나 생명을 구한다는 록다운 정책이 수십만 명의 아이들을 아마도 다른 조건에서라면 자기 수명을 있었을 아이들을 죽일 때는 아무 뉴스거리가 되지 않는다. 아시겠지만, 백인 노인의 목숨은 남반구에 사는 아동의 목숨보다 훨씬 소중하죠!




코로나19 반혁명의 본질


다시금 비극적인 사태는, 팬데믹과 싸우는 것을 소위 돕는다고 하는 자본주의 정부의 공식 정책이 실제로는 팬데믹을 퇴치할 효력이 없는데다 오히려 많은 불필요한 죽음을 초래하고 세계 인구의 상당 부분의 미래를 파괴하며 민주적 권리를 공격한다는 것을 보여준다.


2020 이래로 혁명적 공산주의인터내셔널 동맹 (RCIT) 세계 지배계급들이 그들의 정치·경제적 이익을 위해 팬데믹을 이용한다고 설명해왔다.[5] 저들의 국가비상사태 선포, 대량 통행금지, 급격한 이동 제한, 대량 백신 접종은 어떤 공공보건 고려 동기에서 실시한 것이 아니다. 그랬다면 수조 원을 경찰·감시 기구의 확충이 아니라 공공보건 부문의 확충을 위해 썼을