How the ruling classes try to utilize COVID-19 to overcome their crisis
by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 16 March 2020, www.thecommunists.net
An article published by Bloomberg on 15 March quotes the views of James Boughton. Boughton is a well-known economist and historian who has served for decades at the International Monetary Fund, i.e. one of the key institutions of global imperialism. In other words, we have here an intelligent strategist for the monopoly bourgeoisie.
According to Bloomberg, Boughton cites the collapse in South Korea and Indonesia as catalysts for dramatic neoliberal attacks on the rights of the working class and the popular masses. Referring to the COVID-19 crisis, he says: “Only in a crisis are governments able to rally people to accept necessary but painful reforms. Every crisis is also an opportunity.” (1)
These are words which all workers and oppressed should memorize. Since the beginning of February the RCIT has analyzed closely the nature of the COVID-19 crisis in a number of articles and statements. In one of our first statements, we pointed out that the ruling classes are utilizing the global hysteria about COVID-19 for political calculations. We explained that the bourgeoisie pursues several political and economic objectives. One of them, we wrote, is to confuse the popular masses about the real causes of the economic slump which began in the second half of 2019 and to accept attacks on their democratic rights:
“The ruling classes in China as well as in many other countries exploit the hysteria in order to justify the vast expansion of surveillance and control of its population. (…) China’s regime utilizes the hysteria also in order to create a climate of fear so that anxious people put all their hopes in the state forces. (…) The ruling class will exploit the 2019 Corona Virus (and subsequently China) in order to find a culprit for the Great Recession which has recently begun. In fact, while the global measures to supposedly contain the spreading of the virus deepen the slump, the capitalist world economy has entered a recession already in the second half of 2019. The truth is that the reasons for this Great Recession are the same like those for all the others in the past: the frantic drive for profit of the capitalist corporations provokes again and again in economic crashes of the world economy.” (2)
The words of Boughton which we quoted above demonstrate that the smarter strategists of the ruling class are indeed thinking how they can politically exploit the COVID-19 crisis for their goals. They know that only a shock – like the Corona Virus crisis – can create the political conditions to paralyze the working class and oppressed so that they accept monstrous attacks on their social and democratic rights.
The RCIT repeats once more that all revolutionary activists must aid the vanguard to counter the current reactionary offensive of the bourgeoisie which has launched a shock-and-awe attack against the working class and the popular masses. Revolutionaries must explain that the global hysteria about COVID-19 is politically motivated and that only a proper health program, instead of lock-down police state tactics, can help. They must also explain that the workers and popular organizations must not accept the suppression of democratic rights and that they must fight against all attempts of the capitalists to put the burden of the crisis on the their shoulders.
1) Bloomberg: The worldwide coronavirus pandemic will change the way we shop, travel and work for years to come. History shows us how, 15 Mar, 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-13/coronavirus-will-change-how-we-shop-travel-and-work-for-years?srnd=premium-europe,
2) RCIT: 2019 Corona Virus: Oppose the Global Wave of Chauvinist Hysteria! Workers and oppressed: Do not trust the ruling class and its media! 5.2.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/2019-corona-virus-oppose-the-global-wave-of-chauvinist-hysteria/
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We refer readers to our articles and statement on the COVID-19 crisis:
RCIT: 2019 Corona Virus: Oppose the Global Wave of Chauvinist Hysteria! Workers and oppressed: Do not trust the ruling class and its media! 5.2.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/2019-corona-virus-oppose-the-global-wave-of-chauvinist-hysteria/
2019 Corona Virus: No to the Anti-Chinese Chauvinism in South Korea! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communists (RCIT Section in South Korea) and the International Bureau of the RCIT, 6.2.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/2019-corona-virus-no-to-the-anti-chinese-chauvinism-in-south-korea/
Almedina Gunić: No, most likely it is not COVID-19 that is going to kill you. A manageable epidemic became public enemy number one distracting from the real killers, 16 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/no-most-likely-it-is-not-covid-19-that-is-going-to-kill-you/
Almedina Gunić: The chauvinist campaign behind the “Wuhan Coronavirus” hysteria & the revolutionary answer, 2.2.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/wuhan-virus/
Almedina Gunic: 2019-nCoV and the Virus of Chauvinism. A comparison with measles and the reactionary Anti-Vaxx campaigners, 6.2.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/2019-ncov-and-the-virus-of-chauvinism/
Yossi Schwartz: The 2019 Corona Virus and the Decay of Capitalism, February 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-and-decay-of-capitalism/
Michael Pröbsting: 2019 Corona Virus: The Hypocrisy of Anti-Chinese Chauvinism in the West. A few facts about the rate of mortality of the COVID-19 pandemia in comparison with Influenza, 14 February 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/2019-corona-virus-the-hypocrisy-of-anti-chinese-chauvinism-in-the-west/
Michael Pröbsting: No, the Corona Virus is not the Main Cause of the Global Economic Slump! Bourgeois Media Officially Recognize the Beginning of another Great Recession, 3 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/corona-virus-is-not-the-main-cause-of-global-economic-slump/