People locked up. Hospitals and intensive care units that cannot cope. Nursing homes converted into morgues. Breweries and aircraft factories open. New construction sites empty. Gardeners in the parks and public transport full of workers. The military patrol whilst police arrest, fine and raid the immigrants gathered in squares.
We are witnessing the acceleration of an historical era. The coronavirus hasn’t invented anything. It’s a pandemic caused by the logic of capital and in turn is speeding up the systematic crisis of capitalism. It seems important to us to weigh up the catastrophe that we are currently living.
That which concerns every government is not the people but the health of its national economy. That’s why, from the beginning, they trivialised the virus saying that by April it will have been forgotten by the whole world, insisting on the continuation of normal life. That of production and commercial activity; that of work and consumption; that of public demonstrations or sporting events. Everything is fine in the kingdom of trade, Ada Colau told us whilst insisting on celebrating the Mobile World Congress.
Governments only take measures when things get out of hand, from Pedro Sánchez to Conte, Xi Jinping to Boris Johnson, and not forgetting Donald Trump. That which concerns them is neither peoples’ health nor the concern that the expansion of the virus will effect production or commercial activity. What worries them is that which may sweep away their world, the world of capital, and its immediate collapse by the death of millions of people. That’s why the Spanish government will not stop certain sectors of production until 6,000 official deaths are registered (El País, never suspicious of anticapitalism, already acknowledges the real death count to be significantly higher) and, of course, one will have to give back to businesses everything, down to our last drop of blood.
Whoever may govern, governs the same, with the same concerns and aims: defence of the national economy, the presence of police and military on the streets in order to prevent predictable social revolts, collective dismissals, credit to the companies and other measures in which all the political factions agree. The state of alarm prevails. Mobile phones are tracked to control our movements Police on the streets give out more than 180,000 fines and there have been almost 1,600 arrests in the Spanish state. All of this under the democratic government of PSOE and Podemos and not the supposed fascists of Vox. There is nothing inherently bad within capitalism: capitalism is that which is inherently bad. Every political party is nothing but an agent of the capitalist disaster. There is no better or worse for those that vote.
It’s important to understand these lessons with regards to the future. Not only for the human catastrophe that we are experiencing – much deadlier in Nou Barris than in Sarria, in Vallecas than in La Moraleja – but for that which is coming. We are not all in the same boat. They praise the medical community whilst treating them like cannon fodder, being infected without means of protection. They save the national economy and the functioning of companies at the cost of a huge debt to the Spanish state. A debt that, in the coming months, will be accompanied by a brutal fall in the GDP and will have to be payed in the form of tax hikes, interests on personal debts, massive cuts in salaries and dismissals. The immediate future is one of exacerbation of the capitalist crisis, of the acceleration of a catastrophe that will come in the form of huge rebellions and revolts like those in 2019. Rebellions like those that are sensed in the workers that refuse to continue their production of death in the factories of Italy, Spain, Brazil and North America.
We are living in historical times, and in historical times it is important to make historical decisions. The future is already written and it will be one of the struggle for life or death, class conflict and combat between humanity and capital.
We will prepare ourselves with clarity and determination.
29th March 2020
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