The Real Virus: Imperialism and Bureaucratic Capitalism

This is an un official translation of the article “IMPERIALISMO Y CAPITALISMO BUROCRÁTICO: EL VERDADERO VIRUS” from the new revolutionary newspaper from Mexico, Periódico Mural.

“If we only mobilize the people to carry on the war and do nothing else, can we succeed in defeating the enemy? Of course not. If we want to win, we must do a great deal more. We must lead the peasants’ struggle for land and distribute the land to them, heighten their labour enthusiasm and increase agricultural production, safeguard the interests of the workers, establish co-operatives, develop trade with outside areas, and solve the problems facing the masses — food, shelter and clothing, fuel, rice, cooking oil and salt, sickness and hygiene, and marriage. In short, all the practical problems in the masses’ everyday life should claim our attention. If we attend to these problems, solve them and satisfy the needs of the masses, we shall really become organizers of the well-being of the masses, and they will truly rally round us and give us their warm support…”

Chairman Mao Tse-tung, BE CONCERNED WITH THE WELL-BEING OF THE MASSES, PAY ATTENTION TO METHODS OF WORK

Imperialism is in the midst of a new general crisis, a crisis of relative capital overproduction that generates new and larger commodity-supply, which lowers international stock markets, which generates devaluation, inflation, and depreciation of energy, etc.

The crises of imperialism, as the highest and last stage of capitalism, are not new; in fact they are inherent to it, they are cyclical, recurring and increasingly destructive. Indeed, in the wake of each new crisis, imperialism destroys the productive forces, sweeping them away, and of course, the first of these productive forces to be destroyed are the masses of people, the industrial armies and their reserves. The mass layoffs, the loss of social security, the loss of housing and basic services, the reduction of wages, the increase in the cost of living, the rise in taxes, and the so-called “economic packages” account for this.

As an example: recently the International Labor Organization (ILO) declared that “the economic and labor crisis caused by the COVID-19 (Sic) pandemic could increase global unemployment by almost 25 million people,” joining the industrial reserve army (unemployed) of 118 million people worldwide according to the figures from this capitalist agency; which suggests that these figures are conservative and do not accurately reflect the magnitude of unemployment at the international level, but they do illustrate the destruction of the aforementioned productive forces.

But let us return to the crises of imperialism. These cannot be solved by their own creators, but rather solely administered, and the way to do it -from the logic of the reactionaries- is through predatory warfare as an institution to divide and redivide the world.

It is well known that the wars of imperialism, as a continuation of its reactionary policy, have been assuming more dynamic and dramatic forms, going from overt international conflagration to covert operations that will inevitably set the stage for armed collision. Trade wars, economic warfare, psychological warfare, biological warfare, asymmetric warfare, low intensity warfare, counterinsurgency warfare, occupation warfare, state terrorism, fascism, etc. they are specific pieces within the general arsenal of the predatory imperialist war.

Today the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the origins of which according to international denunciations could be a military campaign by Yankee imperialism in the midst of a trade war against other powers, reflects the true terrorist nature of imperialism worldwide.

It is not the first time that Yankee imperialism, as the hegemonic superpower, uses bioterrorism or biological weapons to attack, dismantle and subdue its imperialist enemies, either within its borders or in its areas of influence.

It is not a coincidence that the pandemic first attacked China, Russia, Italy, Iran, Syria and other countries that collude with Chinese and Russian imperialism, obviously enemies of Yankee imperialism and NATO.

The virus as an imperialist tool

Of course if SARS CoV2, the disease that causes COVID19, is a weapon of biological warfare, it would be difficult to contain within a defined territory; the same has happened with Anthrax, Ebola, Avian Influenza, H1N1, SARS, etc.

On this basis, we cannot lose sight that each new virus is a tool created and used by imperialists to maintain their world order based on the exploitation of the proletariat’s labor power and oppression of people and entire nations.

The logic of imperialism during its general crises, generates these scenarios perfect for the psychosis of the masses to play in favor of the imperialists’ strategic interests.

Imperialism has managed to survive several of its cyclical crises precisely as a result of violence. At the beginning of the 20th century with the two World Wars that claimed the lives of millions of people around the world; precisely in these and other wars of intervention, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Angola, etc. imperialism has implemented biological warfare with weapons like Mustard Gas, Agent Orange, Anthrax, Lassa, among others.

Economically, war represents great gains for the imperialist powers, both for the militarization of their states and their industrial production, for the expansion and division of new territories that will be their new areas of influence.

In the same way, asymmetric, psychological and biological wars play an important role and help boost their markets. The so-called panic purchases allow stocks to be freed up, prices to rise, monopolies to prevail, speculation on essential items, and previously paralyzed sectors of production and services to reinvigorate.

Speculation is not only conducted in an “official” manner by big companies, but also in the black markets of the big bourgeoisie and the international stock market, which are given leeway. In the former, the strategy consists of exhibiting and “exhausting” supplies (evidently sheltering as much in storage) and then exhibiting again – with its respective increase – and returning to “exhausting”; and so on. In the latter, its strategy consists of exporting, constraining and re-exporting capital, forcing oppressed countries to request compulsory and unpayable loans that indebted entire generations of masses of people before imperialist powers and the Yankee superpower.

In the specific case of the pandemic generated by COVID-19, speculation and piracy by imperialism go hand in hand, as documented with the seizures of essential products such as masks, mouthguards, gloves and other clinical protective equipment, as well as technology such as respirators to attend the health emergency. The United States, France, and Italy, among others, have been denounced internationally for the confiscation and material tax on the export, import, and transit of these supplies whose use value at the moment is very high. The fight for these products in the midst of the collapse of their market is another act reflecting the deepening of the crisis in the face of this health emergency.

The financial determinations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also account for the domino effect that is spreading and will continue to spread with the exacerbation of this general crisis, the drop in oil prices demonstrates another angle of the crisis. A clear example is the contraction of prices by 80.83%, 116%, and up to 306% depending on the type and the exporting country. The fight for the tutelage and subjugation of exporting countries (principally semi-colonies) by imperialism is truly overwhelming. Structurally, imperialism knows that this is not the fault of the coronavirus, yet it creates that phantom in the collective imagination for its own purposes.

Economic, political, and other actions are more about publicity than public health, imperialism and the lackey governments subjected to it, feed the psychosis from the mass media that creates disinformation, mass fear, and atomization of the people’s forces.

The “forced quarantines” (true states of exception) that are being decreed in many countries, not only pursue preventive health purposes and contain the spread of the virus; they also have clear intentions of submission and social control. They are fascistic trials and restrictions to keep the population subdued, demobilized, and frightened with their biological weapon. There is no lack of examples internationally where reactionary governments of colonial, semi-colonial, and imperialist countries justify their repressive actions to “contain the epidemic.” This allows the dismantling of political, labor, and social rights that have been conquered after decades of struggle by the masses of people, threatening the rights of the people.

It is clear that imperialism is afraid of scenarios such as those experienced in Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, and Iraq during the last quarter of 2019 and so far this year. The mass rebellions are just around the corner in the face of the general crisis of imperialism, which results in a redoubling of the crisis of bureaucratic capitalism. The masses have not only stood up in the oppressed countries, but also in the imperialist countries themselves, like France, which has seen great days of proletarian and popular struggle against the regime.

Is it by chance that amid increasing tensions between Yankee imperialism and Chinese imperialism, this new disease has emerged?

Yankee imperialism is handling it very well from the logic of the reactionaries. President Donald Trump has announced the decree of the Defense Production Act, which has its origins in the Korean War in 1950. This Defense Act is actually Martial Law, which allows the militarization of the economy and of industrial production, according to a summary on the website of the Federal Emergency Management Agency that indicates that this Act allows: “expedite and expand the supply of resources from the U.S. industrial base to support military, energy, space, and homeland security programs.” The imperialist government of the United States is well aware of the tools at its disposal; it has already deployed military troops to Western Europe jointly with NATO; a symmetrical deployment that is also carried out on the Caribbean coasts very close to Venezuela after accusing Nicolás Maduro of narcoterrorism (which responds to the interest of military intervention against the nation’s sovereignty).

In other parts of the world, the imperialist powers are beginning to do the same, Russia and China are mobilizing military troops under the pretext of bringing medical aid to the pandemic.

The maneuvers regarding the mobility of troops of the different imperialist powers around the world raise the point that their armies do not carry any “humanitarian aid” in their rifles or their aircraft carriers, but rather the martial training awaiting the order to attack.

This international scenario suits the imperialist powers and the hegemonic Yankee superpower; they all sharpen their claws to go on the reactionary offensive among themselves, at the expense of the peoples and workers of the world.

Mexico and the Coronavirus/COVID-19

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, their website updated daily, until April 22, 2020 had confirmed 2,659,557 positive cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and 185,494 deaths registered.  The US had the largest number of confirmed positive cases with 855,869, and 48,061 reported deaths. In Mexico, there were 10,544 confirmed positive cases and 970 registered deaths; the cases were mostly concentrated in the urbanized regions of the country such as Mexico City, Mexico State, and Baja California among others. Up to April 22, 5,956 patients in Mexico had recovered satisfactorily. This data is supported by statistical methodologies, based on indicators that allow a percentage approximation to the real total of existing cases.

According to the SSA’s Epidemiological Intelligence Service Unit (UEIS), phase 1 of the pandemic focused on importing the virus (that is, when people from other places arrive infected to a place where it did not exist), phase 2 focuses on community spread (that is, when infected people spread the contagion among other healthy people within their community) and phase 3 when the spread occurs in a massive or epidemiological way, spreading to more and more people and regions. At the time of this publication, Mexico had entered the third phase of the epidemic.

In 2009, the H1N1 epidemic experienced by Mexico registered 70,715 positive cases within a short period from March to May, with a ten percent death rate, according to SSA figures. The World Health Organization (WHO) has assured that COVID-19 is 10 times more deadly than H1N1.

The masses of Mexico, like all the peoples of the world, are being bombarded by false, imprecise, and biased information regarding COVID-19. The mass media outlets are tasked with spreading psychosis much faster than the disease actually spreads.

These same outlets do not say anything about the existing cases of leprosy, polio, dengue, zika, chikunguya, parasitosis, cholera, cancer, AIDS, among the host of diseases that plague the most impoverished populations across the nation without a public health system that serves them, neither by the federal government nor by the state governments. In Mexico, there are deaths from curable diseases; that is to say: for ailments that have cures, with vaccines and medications –at least for the privileged classes- but these do not reach the poorest masses who do not receive medical attention.

Mexico still faces other diseases that should no longer even exist. Such is the case of the measles outbreak in Mexico City, where the number of confirmed cases is growing; these are patients who have never had access to preventive vaccines in the very capital of the country.

But let’s look at the INEGI figures regarding the most serious disease that Mexico suffers: poverty, and within it, food scarcity that translates into the most inhumane of miseries.

According to mortality statistics from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, “between 2012 and 2016, 37,827 people died from malnutrition throughout the country, which implies an annual average of 7,565 cases for the period indicated, or 20 cases a day.” It is clear that the economic crisis, which plagues Mexico due to its entire subordination to imperialism, and particularly to Yankee imperialism, tends to make up the official figures; the logic is clear: if poverty in general increases, the food scarcity of the masses certainly does too.

If more than 20 people in Mexico die a day from starvation, is it not an alarming figure?

The Only Cure is Revolution

The general crisis of imperialism and the crisis of bureaucratic capitalism have no solution. They can be mitigated, they can be administered, they can seek their restructuring, but it will always be at the expense of the workers and the masses of people.

Imperialism no longer fits in its own skin, and each new step it takes is dripping with the blood and life of millions of living beings across the planet.

Imperialism is a dying and delusional capitalism, in a total state of putrefaction; it is a zombie that needs to take the lives of the modern slaves to stay on his feet.

Chairman Mao Tse-tung teaches us that, “Imperialism will not last long because it always does evil things. It persists in grooming and supporting reactionaries in all countries who are against the people, it has forcibly seized many colonies and semi-colonies and many military bases, and it threatens the peace with atomic war. Thus, forced by imperialism to do so, more than 90 percent of the people of the world are rising or will rise up in struggle against it. Yet imperialism is still alive, still running amuck in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In the West, imperialism is still oppressing the people at home. This situation must change. It is the task of the people of the whole world to put an end to the aggression and oppression perpetrated by imperialism, and chiefly by U.S. imperialism.”

In Mexico, the bureaucratic and comprador factions of the big bourgeoisie and the large landowners fight to control the old state, they are relieved in the positions of popular election and the administration of public life. Today at the federal level there is a “new government,” but this does not change anything. The politics of the parasitic classes is always the same: submission, dispossession, oppression, exploitation, and repression against the people.

The history of humanity has shown that it is through the revolutions developed by the masses of people that it is possible to finally break with the crises of the old regimes that have kept them subject, exploited, oppressed, and humiliated.

This is the required step that the working class and the masses of Mexico must take to resolve the great problems that afflict them, including the lack of a public health system that guarantees truly universal, public and free healthcare, attending to it from all sides.

In parallel, if our people had decent, well-paid work, if they had decent housing, public services such as water, plumbing, electricity, if they had access to education and health, if they had food to feed their families, then no disease would worry them.

These problems that we suffer, along with many others that keep us subject to the most barbarous oppression and exploitation, have been created by the semi-feudal and semi-colonial conditions to which our country is subordinated, imposing the existence of bureaucratic capitalism, which was born dying and incapable of developing on its own. This society does not respond to the needs of the masses of people, it is apathetic towards the masses and therefore it is already absolutely irrational.

Chairman Mao Tse-tung teaches us that we must pay attention to the needs of the people, to the daily problems and the everyday life of the masses. This should provide clarity to understand what the needs of the masses are, what problems they face and how they are affecting their everyday life.

We should principally focus our analysis from the perspective of preserving, strengthening and improving the people’s organization in the question of power, and understand this not from a short-term, particular or subjective angle, but from the general context of the organization and the forces of the masses, of which it is organized and of which it is not; to do otherwise could reflect deviations of sectarianism, distancing oneself from the masses.

In broad sectors of the population, especially among the most impoverished masses, there is still doubt about the existence of this new disease. They do not believe the government of the big bourgeois and large landowners; they correctly cast doubt, however in the conditions of poverty, overcrowding, poor health and exploitation in which they survive, we must go to them with precision. The doubts must be answered clearly and without surprise to the masses of people: Coronavirus/COVID-19 exists, it is a biological weapon, it has direct impacts on health and it seeks to subdue even more the working people even more during and after this crisis.

Knowing this, we are under the obligation to bring the correct ideas of the masses to the masses, to take care of the health, life, and organization of the people. This requires working and developing the mass line to address at least four fundamental problems in the midst of this epidemic.

  1. Combat misinformation, rumors and lies of the mass media outlets, this is a permanent task. To carry this out, we must handle scientific information, relying on health workers and professionals, applying the recommendations based on the interests of the people, and not on imperialism or the old state.
  2. Develop propaganda and cultural campaigns, spreading accurate and confirmed information, calling to maintain discipline, calmness and the internal well being of each community, communal land (ejido), ranchería, neighborhood, popular colony, workplace, etc.
  3. Strengthen ties, identity, life, solidarity, study and community organization, being an example to the masses. We must organize and reorganize their strength, understanding that the health emergency and anti-masses measures of the old state and the various levels of government are not intended to meet the most pressing needs of the masses.
  4. Carry out and maintain community activities such as communal work (tequios) and/or chores, involving all members of the communities, mobilizing the masses to attend to and solve this immediate problem. There are communities that have implemented partial or total restrictions or closures of access to their communities due to the absolute lack of medical services and the fear of the spread. Each community implements mechanisms according to their conditions in order to protect themselves. We must help the masses ease these measures, responsibly taking this task up without affecting the masses, promoting solidarity among the masses and directing all their efforts against the old state.

For these four important tasks, Health and Hygiene Committees in Defense of the People must be organized, which in addition to providing preventive measures, solidarity and popular relief, must also serve to denounce the ineffective public health system. Health workers, interdisciplinary groups of professionals and workers of various trades should be involved in these organizations, as well as any progressive individual who expresses favorable and close feelings towards the masses should also be involved.

From this perspective, the just struggles to defend the rights of the people must continue, although momentarily they assume another dynamic. If in moments of relative peace the economic struggle is used to make it a political struggle, today the struggle in defense of the health, hygiene, and life of the masses must also be assumed politically by them, and this is can only be achieved by taking correct ideas to that arise within it.

The increasing development of the epidemic could be the perfect pretext for bureaucratic capitalism in Mexico to unveil the inter-bourgeois struggle for control of the country, declaring a militarized quarantine like the one in Mexico City with military forces patrolling and the “leave” of 1,400 police officers due to “the risk of contagion.” Let us remember that the preventive reactionary coup is underway and is not only against the “new government,” but principally against the masses. This reactionary plan assumes increasingly new and more vertiginous forms that tend to strengthen the positions of the right and far-right within the factions of the great bourgeoisie. The masses must not allow this!

The streets, communities, neighborhoods, work and study centers are ours; it is our duty to take protect for these and avoid their militarization.

The preventive measures that have emerged from the big bourgeoisie have the logic of atomizing the forces of the people, dividing them, disorganizing them, and increasing exploitation and oppression against them.

Preventive measures arising from the masses have the logic of preserving their forces and ability to fight while remaining organized.

We must remember that the general crisis of imperialism, and the worsening of the crisis of bureaucratic capitalism, allow for new and better conditions for class struggle. This deepening of the crisis is a key factor that always motivates the spontaneous overflow of popular discontent; we must be ready to organize the rage of the masses, placing ourselves at the forefront of the new battles to come, being an example in organizing and fighting against the regime.

Imperialism and bureaucratic capitalism are the real virus that the proletariat and the masses of the world suffer from, and this must be opposed by the revolutionary struggle of the working class in developed countries fighting for the triumph of a Socialist Revolution. The oppressed masses of the world must also fight this virus, promoting national liberation struggles and New Democratic Revolutions, advancing uninterruptedly towards Socialism. In this way, the revolutions of the working class and the oppressed masses are part of the World Proletarian Revolution.