COVID and the Lockdown Left: Calling for a “Strong State”


European governments impose Lockdown and compulsory vaccination – the ex-revolutionary L5I calls for even more!


By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 9 December 2021,




It is a key characteristic of the COVID Counterrevolution period that it has exposed the fundamental bourgeois character of most “left-wing” organizations. As soon as capitalist governments around the world implemented the policy of Lockdowns in spring 2020 – in the name of “health” and “solidarity” – most of these supposedly progressive parties jumped the wagon. With only few exceptions, the “left” has been advocating a policy which is characterized by a permanent state of emergency, locking people up at home, restricting or even forbidding larger assemblies, comprehensive control of health status for all workers (the so-called “Green Pass”), closing the borders, discrimination of unvaccinated people and compulsory vaccination for the whole population.


In some countries, where they are part of the capitalist government coalition (e.g. in South Africa, Spain, Italy), they implement the policy of COVID Counterrevolution themselves. [1] In other countries, they put forward this or that criticism about the pandemic policy of bourgeois governments. They call for masks for all and free, for sending vaccination to the countries of the South, may be even for the nationalization of the pharma corporations, etc..


However, they do not dispute the political and ideological pillars of the COVID Counterrevolution: that this is supposedly the worst pandemic since a long time, the necessity of mass curfews against the population, of suppressing assemblies of people (be it for cultural, social, or political purposes) under the pretext of “social distancing”, the policy of mass vaccination of those vaccines advocated by Big Pharma, etc.


These “left-wing” forces either ignore or accept as a “lesser evil” that, by its very nature, this policy goes hand in hand with a vast expansion of the police and surveillance state as well as a huge increase of the monopolies’ profits.


In short, the so-called “left” fully supports the principles of a policy which Marxists call chauvinist state bonapartism: the expansion of the repressive state apparatus and the increasingly totalitarian control – digitally and physically – of the population. This is why the RCIT calls such forces as Lockdown Left which advocates the policy of social-bonapartism – “socialism” in words, bonapartism in deeds. [2]




More Lockdown and compulsory vaccination




The ex-revolutionary L5I is a particularly sad example of such the degeneration of the “left”. They have been among the first supporters of the notorious ZeroCOVID campaign – an alliance of some liberal figures, Stalinists, social democrats and centrists which calls for a total Lockdown for a longer period (except the “essential” sectors of the economy) and refers to China and Australia as models. [3]


In a recently published article of its German section, the L5I repeats such a call for an “immediate, comprehensive and solidary Lockdown. It is necessary to suspend not only leisure and culture but also all socially not necessary productions and activities for several weeks.[4]


But this is not enough for these social-bonapartists. “Marxists must advocate a comprehensive compulsory vaccination for all including those at an as low as possible age. There exist positive studies for children starting at 6 years.


Basically, this is a more extreme version of the ruling class in Europe. The conservative-led government in Austria was the first which announced a compulsory vaccination for the whole population as well as the exclusion of unvaccinated people from public life with massive penalties for them. Other countries followed soon, including the new German government. Furthermore, various European governments (e.g. Austria, Netherlands, Slovakia) did impose Lockdowns recently – albeit not as radical as the L5I would like. [5]




China as a model




As mentioned above, the L5I is a strong advocate of the ZeroCOVID campaign. However, it seems that this group takes the Stalinist-capitalist regime in Beijing as a model not only in respect to the Lockdown policy but also in respect to its approach on vaccination. [6] The Chinese regime did already succeed in making 1.1 billion adults vaccinated. Now it has set the target to inoculate 160 million of its youngest citizens between the ages of 3 and 11 by the end of the year. Half of them did already receive the first of two shots.


The New York Times reports: “The campaign faces significant obstacles, including parental reluctance in a country with a checkered history of safety on children’s vaccines. The government insists that child inoculations are voluntary, but parents have described coming under pressure to get their children vaccinated. (…) In the eastern city of Hangzhou, in the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and in Beijing, kindergartens have sent out notices in private chat groups with parents suggesting that vaccination is required, according to interviews and messages reviewed by The New York Times. The parents are often asked to answer publicly whether their children have received a shot. If the parents decline, they are asked to submit in writing the reason for not getting their child vaccinated.[7]


The L5I policy of long and total Lockdowns as well as compulsory vaccination for whole population (adults as well as children) requires a strong bonapartist state apparatus which is determined to violate the most fundamental rights of people. Despite a massive campaign of fear and intimidation, large sectors of the workers and popular masses refuse to support this policy as numerous mass protests have shown. [8] In such a situation, the capitalist governments turn more and more to authoritarian methods to impose a policy which is not driven by concern for public health but by political and economic interests – expanding the power of the state apparatus and increasing the profits of the monopolies.


Objectively, the calls of the L5I for more Lockdown and compulsory vaccination are nothing but support for the most violent forms of the COVID Counterrevolution. This shameful policy puts this organization on the other side of the barricade.


The L5I should be a warning example: those who do not decisively break with all forms of social-bonapartism will end up as “left-wing” hardcore advocates of the COVID Counterrevolution!


[1] The RCIT has analyzed the COVID-19 counterrevolution extensively since its beginning. Starting from 2 February 2020 we have published about 100 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 two RCIT Manifestos: 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,; “Green Pass” & Compulsory Vaccinations: A New Stage in the COVID Counterrevolution. Down with the chauvinist-bonapartist police & surveillance state – defend democratic rights! No to health policy in the service of the capitalist monopolies – expand the public health sector under workers and popular control! 29 July 2021,; 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, Chapter V, 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, Almedina Gunić and Michael Pröbsting: On Some Ideological Features of the COVID Counterrevolution. Comments on an interesting interview with a German liberal historian, 14 November 2021,; See also a number of Spanish-language articles of our Argentinean comrades: Juan Giglio: La izquierda de la "Big Pharma", dejó de defender las libertades, 1.10.2021,; Juan Giglio: ¿Por qué la izquierda no cuestiona las políticas de la OMS? 8.9.2021,

[2] We refer readers to the above-mentioned at a special sub-page on our website, where one can find links to many critical articles on the Lockdown Left.

[3] For our critique of the ZeroCOVID campaign see 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,; “ZeroCOVID” Left Calls for the Authoritarian State – A Practical Example. A revealing article shows that the Lockdown Left calls for the expansion of the police and surveillance state, 8 April 2021,

[4] GAM: Corona und die mörderische Politik des Kapitals, 7. Dezember 2021,

[5] See on this e.g. the statements of our Austrian section: Austria: Lockdown and Compulsory Vaccinations are the Road to Police State & Apartheid. Fight back against those horrible attacks on bodily autonomy! No to the COVID Counterrevolution! 19.11.2021,; Nieder mit dem Lockdown für Ungeimpfte! Nein zu einem weiteren Schritt in Richtung Polizeistaat und Apartheid! 18 November 2021,

[6] The RCIT has published numerous documents about capitalism in China and its transformation into a Great Power. See on this e.g. the above-mentioned book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry; see also by the same author an essay published in the second edition of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (edited by Immanuel Ness and Zak Cope), Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020,; China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power (2012), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4,; How is it possible that some Marxists still Doubt that China has Become Capitalist? (A Critique of the PTS/FT), An analysis of the capitalist character of China’s State-Owned Enterprises and its political consequences, 18 September 2020,; Unable to See the Wood for the Trees (PTS/FT and China). Eclectic empiricism and the failure of the PTS/FT to recognize the imperialist character of China, 13 August 2020, See many more RCIT documents at a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website:

[7] Alexandra Stevenson and Cao Li: In Its War on Covid-19, China Calls on ‘Little Inoculated Warriors’, New York Times, 6 December, 2021,

[8] See on this e.g. Almedina Gunić: Vienna: Gigantic Mass Mobilization against Compulsory COVID-Vaccinations and Lockdowns, Huge Mass Protests took the Streets while the Left stayed at Home, 22 November 2021,; RCIT: General Strike in Italy on 11 October: An Important Step Forward! Militant unions of the workers vanguard initiate successful mass protests, 12 October 2021,; Italy: Dockers Prepare for Strike against the Green Pass! Solidarity with this important struggle against the COVID Counterrevolution! 13 October 2021,; Michael Pröbsting: Martinique & Guadeloupe: A First Victory against the COVID Counterrevolution! Popular uprisings forces the French government to delay the implementation of compulsory vaccination and to offer talks about autonomy, 28 November 2021,; by the same author: Martinique & Guadeloupe: General Strike and Popular Uprising against the COVID Counterrevolution! This is the road which the mass protests in Europe should take! 26 November 2021,