Turkey, weak link in the chain of dependent countries

If we take the 500 most important global companies, we find, for Turkey, on the 420th place the Koç Holding, which brings together 113 companies including credit institutions, an oil refinery, tractor factories, bus bodies, tourist companies, the production of household appliances in particular with Beko, etc. Important though less powerfully, there are also Sabancı Holding (notably with one of the textile leaders Kordsa Teknik Tekstil), OYAK Holding, and three state monopolies: Turkish Airlines, Halkbank and Vakıfbank. In any case, we are very far from an imperialist-type export of capital, in a country where a quarter of women marry before the age of 18. Moreover, for a significant part of their activities, all these main Turkish companies are in close partnership with companies from imperialist countries (Toyota, Citibank, Philip Morris, Carrefour, DuPont, etc.).

Turkey is in fact a very active dependent country. This can be read in the following figures. Its foreign direct investment was $ 27 million in 1991, $ 1 billion in 2005, $ 4.7 billion in 2015. On the surface, it is very impressive. However, in reality, in 2015, this represented only 0.32% of foreign direct investment in the world, against 0.01% in 1991. This remains deeply marginal. Turkey took advantage of the capitalist momentum after 1989, but has not changed its base. Moreover, in 2015, Turkey experienced a penetration of foreign capital of 16.5 billion dollars, much more than its own capitalist interventions outside its territory.

The expansionist aggressiveness of Turkish militarism

However, despite this very clear weakness from an economic point of view, Turkey is particularly aggressive. It is active with Azerbaijan against Armenia, it occupied part of Cyprus in 1974, it makes Iraqi Kurdistan a satellite, it intervenes in Libya, it actively supported the Islamic State in order to take advantage of its military penetration into Syria and it decided, in the name of offshore oil drilling, to assume a frontal position with France and Greece.

A sign of this trend, Turkey produces 70% of its weapons and the goal, by 2023, is to achieve this at 100%. It is difficult to see how this is technologically possible, as evidenced by the purchase from Russia, to the chagrin of US imperialism, of the highly advanced S 400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system.

The question of where such aggression stems from is of great importance. There are really many revolutionary organizations in Turkey since the 1970s and they are frantic on precisely this issue. Some see Turkey expressing an aggressiveness peculiar to capitalism, others see it as the activity of an American satellite, of a neo-colony. Some speak of semi-capitalism, others of capitalism with feudal remnants in the superstructure, or of bureaucratic capitalism.

Turkey’s matrix: the general crisis of capitalism

It is by no means a coincidence that Turkey becomes particularly aggressive in the context of the second general crisis of capitalism. This country was born from the first general crisis of capitalism. It is even a component of it.

Since the founding of the Republic of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal in 1923, this country has experienced countless political, economic, military and ideological upheavals, to the point that in fact it has been in permanent crisis for no less than a century. Half of its existence, at least parts of the territory have been under a state of emergency!

It must be understood that the country was born on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, which generated the expulsion of more than a million Greeks from its territory, to which must be added the Armenian genocide in the background from 1915 to 1923. Turkey succeeded at its foundation in expelling from its territory the foreign armies aiming at a permanent occupation, but came under German control, then under British control, finally under American control. There has been permanent instability, with military coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980. There is also a significant Kurdish national minority, which has been tirelessly suppressed militarily for a century, while the country has also important other minorities, such as Lazs, Circassians, Arabs, Zazas, many Caucasian peoples, etc.

The Turkish regime, crossed by violence

Turkey is thus a country of immense culture, but also of immense complexity. There are a lot of minorities, the country was formed from above; it is at the same time a mixture of peoples and nations and at the same time it forms a real unified block. The central state has been, since its birth, ultra-paranoid. During the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the imperialist countries indeed wanted to carve up the Turkish part of it and sent occupying troops. One part was to come under British rule, another under French rule, Greek and Armenian areas to be established and Istanbul to form a small state.

This nightmare scenario from the Turkish point of view is a key to this ultra-militarist Turkish device, benefiting from a huge popular echo in the name of the “defense” of national interests, but in reality in the service of large landowners allied to a upper bourgeoisie linked to imperialist countries and serving as intermediaries. Within such a framework, the army plays an omnipresent role, and its clandestine interventions – through “disappearances”, murders, counter-guerrillas – have been innumerable.

This makes this country one of the main weak links in the chain of dependent countries. The country was born on the job, in the framework of the first general crisis of capitalism. It has been relatively “frozen” with the clash of the American and Soviet superpowers. But once the general framework has been called into question by the second general crisis of capitalism, it sets off again.

Kemalism

Kemalism is born as a national bourgeois response to the attempt at imperialist partition of the country. This explains its ultra nationalism, its insistence on the absolute primacy of the central state and on the need to modernize the country. The first military successes of Mustafa Kemal and the development of the first general crisis of capitalism resulted in a compromise and Kemalism established a regime with the recognition of the imperialists, in exchange for their significant penetration into the country.

Turkey is then a country as if blocked. The bourgeoisie began its war of independence but sold itself from the start, in alliance with the big landowners in order to establish the new regime. The authentic national bourgeoisie, which arrived too late historically (and partly non-Turkish and notably Armenian), has withdrawn in front of a “turkified” bourgeoisie sold to imperialism.

Throughout the 1920s, Turkey then experienced a terrible trade deficit, while the capital of the imperialist countries appropriated railway companies, mines, industries, businesses, banks. In 1924, Germany already had 2,352 of the 4,086 km of railways; in 1937, 42% of exports and 36.5% of imports were with Germany. Turkey will also indirectly support Nazi Germany, maintaining its massive economic exchanges until the very end of the war.

This was a continuation of ever greater pressure on the masses. Many strikes had been bloodily suppressed by the regime, while in January 1921 the leadership of the Communist Party of Turkey had already been physically liquidated. From 1931 the police had full latitude for arrests; in 1934 the parliament gave Mustafa Kemal the name Ataturk, “the father of the Turks”. In 1936 public holidays and the ban on child labor were abolished, with even a labor law taken over from fascist Italy; in 1931 the press was controlled and in 1939 any organization headed by the state; in 1943 agrarian products were taxed at 12%, hitting hard small peasants, etc.

The change of supervision after 1945

The CHP, the Republican People’s Party, which had been pro-Nazi Germany, lost control after World War II to the DP, the Democratic Party, which was pro-American. Turkey “benefited” from the Marshall Plan and a massive military support, the companies of the capitalist countries invested in Turkey in a deep way, this country switching over to NATO in 1952 and in 1955 in what will be called the CENTO, making this country a pro-imperialist fortress on the borders with the USSR. It was then the army that took control, starting to build a military-industrial complex.

It was thus the army who overthrew the DP government in 1960, which had been unable to stabilize the regime despite its pro-religious and nationalist demagoguery, leading in particular to the Istanbul riot of 1955 against the last Greek community, with numerous deaths and very significant damage to buildings linked to the Greeks (4,348 stores, a thousand houses, 110 hotels, 27 pharmacies, 23 schools, 21 factories, 73 churches, 2 monasteries, a synagogue…). This caused the exodus of more than 100,000 Greeks.

The DP, which became the AP (Justice Party), resumed power a few years later, accompanying the transformation of Turkey into a productive base for the imperialist countries, the trade deficit from 1960 to 1972 being between 113 and 677 million dollars according to the years. Turkey then depended very largely on the United States and West Germany, then on France, Japan, Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium. Soviet social-imperialism was also ever more present, providing between 1966 and 1979 $ 2.7 billion in credit, more than the United States between 1930 and 1974. However, instability continued to the point that the army intervened to intervene again, for a second coup, in 1971.

The 1970s and the systematization of ultra-violence

In 1970, the Turkish regime was in agony. A quarter of the country’s budget went to the military, compared to only 4.7% for agricultural development where 65% of the population lived in 1970, and 3.8% for health. In 1970, more than a third of the inhabitants of the cities lived in shanty towns (the “gecekondus”, a building built overnight); more than half of the population was illiterate. 55% of children die before they turn 18. Emigration became massive to West Germany, but also to Austria, Switzerland.

In this miserable context, marked by revolts whereas imperialism became increasingly oresebtn as the large landowners crushed the peasants, the army then fell into crushing. The 1971 coup set off a sequence that would extend into the late 1990s, with a systematization of ultra-violence. Faced with the uninterrupted crisis, the army took the lead as such and generalized arrests, murders, torture, violent interventions, legal and clandestine, direct or through nationalist mafia networks. These notably acted in a terrible way with their massacre, in December 1978, in the city of Kahramanmaraş, of a thousand left activists, including their families.

May 1, 1977 had already been marked by shootings against the crowd, killing dozens and dozens of people, while 600,000 people demonstrated. The secret services, MIT, were developing strategies directly with US imperialism, to counter the multitude of revolutionary organizations resulting from the first three initiatives of the early 1970s, the THKO, the THKP / C, the TKP / M-TIKKO, who were developing the armed struggle. The clashes spread, with around ten deaths per day, more than 5,000 in total, including more than 2,000 militants of revolutionary organizations.

With the economy on the brink of collapse, the army then took the initiative of carrying out a new coup in December 1980, arresting 650,000 people, placing 1.6 million people on black lists, etc.

From the 1980s to open expansionist assertion

The army directly managed the country from 1980 to 1983 and the revolutionary organizations were not able to reorganize themselves until 1987, then reaching a high level of combativeness during the 1990s. The revolutionary organizations which then had the most success were the DHKP ​​/ C (Guevarist), the MLKP (Hoxhaist), as well as relatively the TKP (ML) and TKP / ML (both Maoists). They got bogged down, however, while conversely the PKK enjoyed ever greater success among the Kurdish masses, reaching great scale and clearly succeeding in subduing the revolutionary organizations to its own agenda, except for the DHKP / C.

The failure of the revolutionary organizations to turn things around in the 1990s was similar to the success of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was elected mayor of Istanbul in 1994, prime minister from 2003 to 2014, when he became President of the Republic. Its political domination corresponds to quite a change in Turkish reality. Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdoğan advocated a reactivation of the Islamic-Ottoman ideology, and no longer simply a “Turkish” republicanism. He was in tune with an upper bourgeoisie seeking expansion.

The mistake of the revolutionary organizations in Turkey was thus very simple. They all considered Turkey to be fully subjugated to US imperialism through the military. However, the arrival of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to power corresponds to the arrival of a new faction in power. We have proof of this with the trial of hundreds of people at the end of the 2000s, accused of being part of the Ergenekon network made up of soldiers and members of the secret service. This was the beheading of the Kemalist state apparatus. The American response included the attempted coup in 2016 through the Islamic congregation Gülen, which failed.

But the new regime managed to take hold. It goes beyond the Kemalist nationalism born of the first general crisis of capitalism to add to the neo-Ottoman aims and placed it as its main aspect.

The question of the PKK and Rojava

Turkey’s expansionist assertion could not concretely be followed by the Kurds, which explains why the PKK was the only movement able to hold out against the nationalist-Islamic wave, since the revolutionary organizations had made the mistake of believing that there would be a status quo in the following of the United States.

The PKK, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, is historically a very incoherent movement; born on a communist basis, it nonetheless immediately sought military confrontation in the late 1970s with the revolutionary organizations in Turkey, and has often been a follower of the coup against them until today. The PKK does not tolerate competition.

Conversely, it can at times express a real internationalism and a great sympathy for them, by a natural convergence, in particular of its base. Moreover, the PKK expresses a democratic battle of the Kurdish masses and this produces self-denial at times, a democratic struggle of great depth. It is also all the more difficult to apprehend the PKK by the fact that the Kurds are historically divided territorially in several countries (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria).

In any case, in order to subsist politically and especially militarily in the case of the existence of armed branches, all revolutionary organizations in Turkey, with the exception of the DHKP / C, then literally followed the PKK. This is true from June 1998 with the Platform of United Revolutionary Forces (BDGP), bringing together the PKK, TKP (ML), MLKP, TKP / ML, TDP, DHP, TKP-Kıvılcım. And this will take on an even greater scale when in the Syrian civil war, the Kurdish forces establishing an independent zone, Rojava, bringing in Turkey and Rojava the establishment of the United Peoples Revolutionary Movement (HBDH), with the PKK, TKEP / L, TKP / ML, MKP, TIKB, DKP, MLKP, THKP-C / MLSPB, DK.

Is this an adequate choice against expansionist Turkey? In fact, in the background, there is the question of knowing if Turkey really exists and if the revolution is defined in its framework, or if it should disappear in favor of a regional framework of near-eastern dimension. It goes without saying that the PKK is pushing in the latter direction, due to its national agenda being defined over several countries, while conversely there is a reading considering that a national framework is always specific, like for the DHKP / C and TKP / ML (the latter having withdrawn from HBDH precisely on this issue).

Turkey’s pan-Turkish headlong rush

The revolutionary organizations were thus overtaken by this emergence of an openly aggressive Turkey; in their eyes, it was inconceivable. Why did the revolutionary organizations in Turkey make this mistake? In fact, they didn’t see that Turkey was coasting. By 1974, Turkey had already occupied part of Cyprus, affirming its expansionism which then, with the collapse of Soviet social-imperialism, was all the more expressed. There are indeed many peoples in the world who are part of Turkish history, with its language and culture: the Uzbeks, the Uighurs in China, the Azeris, the Kazaks, the Kyrgyz, many peoples of Russia such as the Yakuts or Tatars, Turkmens, etc.

Many of these peoples lived in the USSR, and US imperialism overwhelmingly supported pan-Turkism in order to help destabilize its competitor. Today’s Turkey is in fact, sustaining this approach, which is culturalo-racialist fanaticism, frewheeling. Thus, a significant portion of people of Turkish origin in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Switzerland… refuse any assimilation, defining themselves as “Turks”, only marrying between Turks, etc. Pan-Turkism aims at the union of the Turks and this as far as China and Siberia.

There was space there for the Turkish upper bourgeoisie, with its massive Cold War army, ultra-aggressive on the basis of “modern” Turkey, to rush into an expansionist orientation.

These inordinate ambitions literally carried a new political wave in Turkey, of which

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the direct expression. The Muslim dimension is, however, also extremely important here, as pan-Turkism, already widely present in Kemalism, has merged with the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Qatar and Turkey are the strongholds.

Turkey’s Ottoman headlong flight from and Qatar

There is no (Sunni) Islam without a Caliph and it is the Ottoman Empire which for several centuries has played the role of the Caliphate. Its collapse in 1918 sparked the birth of Islamism as a movement to reconstitute a caliphate. Launched into its expansionist ambitions, Turkey has reactivated the ideology of the Ottoman Empire, proposing itself as “protector” of Islam. This leads it to have a very important influence in Albania and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This neo-Ottoman Islamic line is obviously in conflict with Saudi Arabia’s claims to offer itself as the model and guardian of Mecca. The Saudi “Wahabis” are thus in open conflict with Turkey, which is based on the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stronghold is Qatar. The “Arab Spring”, in which the Qatari channel Al-Jazeerah played a big role, was in fact a series of pro-Muslim brotherhood revolts, notably in Egypt.

Qatar has very little investment in Turkey, but very targeted, supporting it when its debts are too important, making in 2008 the acquisition for more than a billion dollars of the second group of media (led between 2007 and 2013 by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law), buying Turkey’s largest television satellite for $ 1.4 billion, earning 49% in military vehicle production with even a Qatari military representative on the board.

Turkey and the double dynamic of its headlong rush

Turkey is in a double ideological system: on the one hand, as an “extension” of the Ottoman Empire, it claims to be the heart of Islam, which justifies its hegemony; on the other, there is a non-religious racialist discourse. This tinkering is based on expansionist inclinations, but at the same time it can only hold up through expansionist inclinations.

It can be said that, from the start, Turkey has been the weak link in the chain of dependent countries, because it was born in a tinkering resulting from the first general crisis of capitalism, that it maintained itself artificially in the framework of the cold war and that with the second general crisis of capitalism its headlong flight literally turns into a detonator.

The national bourgeoisie which immediately played the role of bureaucratic bourgeoisie at independence, in alliance with the large landowners, took advantage of its importance during the Cold War to establish its bases and prolong its flight forward by means of a neo-Ottoman perspective corresponding to its redoubled aggressiveness while the second general crisis of capitalism asserts itself.

Turkey has thus always been in crisis since 1923 and it tilts, depending on the nature of the general crisis at the world level, in such and such aggressiveness. It is losing itself, as reflected in religious fanaticism and irrationalism.

The turmoil of Turkish history will thus be at the heart of the second general crisis of capitalism. Large-scale upheavals are inevitable. Turkey will experience an intense period of crisis during the 2020s and will be one of the countries at the heart of the revolutionary question at the global level.

Keeping up with the times

The Covid-19 crisis opens a new era, because it carries with it a whole bundle of historical contradictions. Humanity can no longer live as before, it faces a challenge which consists in finding its place in the Biosphere. It can no longer simply continue to carry the capitalist mode of production, which very clearly leads to destruction in all areas. There is the need for a break.

We can imagine that this is not simple. It involves a great determination in the face of capitalist corruption, an ability to look to the future, a sense of involvement to make things turning in the right direction. Without a sufficient ideological level, without an adequate cultural reading, we cannot turn off, carry this rupture, we are caught up by the old era and its values.

With the Covid-19 crisis, a double phenomenon has unfolded. On the one hand, there was an effect of surprise, of fear, of anguish, in the face of an event that seemed incomprehensible given the capitalist claim to propose a stable world. What is unfolding then seems therefore incomprehensible, calamitous, a catastrophe and there is a headlong rush in social-Darwinist reasoning, that the weak must perish.

However, on the other hand, there was and there is a sense of understanding that a whole period has ended. With the confinement, the closing of the borders, the partial shutdown of activities, the cessation of capitalist triumphalism … all of this has dialectical been a breath of fresh air as well. It was finally the proof that capitalism could not perpetuate itself without knowing blockages, that it is not able to swallow up private life and the whole of society, and even the planet, without being stopped by something. Capitalism appears to be outdated.

What arises as an alternative is Socialism or barbarism. Either there is an awareness, a going beyond old values and the affirmation of Communism – whether at the level of society or in relation to nature. Either there is an identitarian, national withdrawal, an escape in the spirit of concurrence, competition, with an acceptance of the disaster and the attempt to take advantage of it to dominate others.

Either popular democracy, with the working masses deciding the orientations of society on a basis of sharing, cooperation, compassion, refusal of hierarchies, unification of social and productive forces, or militarism and the quest for a national savior, leading to fascism and imperialist war.

Either the bourgeoisie is politically put aside, its state dismantled, its state apparatus liquidated, with popular power around the working class, or the upper bourgeoisie takes control of the state and pushes capitalism to participate in the imperialist battle for the redistribution of the world, mobilizing in a nationalist and militarist manner.

This alternative does not arise formally. It will take time before it arises at all levels of society. On the side of popular democracy, we do not get out of capitalism easily, whether in terms of mentalities or the establishment of new forms of production. There are many obstacles, such as the workers’ aristocracy, a social layer bought by the capitalists, or even the nefarious influences of a petty bourgeoisie seeking to abuse the masses to negotiate with the bourgeoisie.

On the Reaction side, it is difficult to get the country from political liberalism, ideological relativism, generalized individualism… to the same values, but nested in an aggressive “collective” project requiring participation in “the national effort”. Capitalism in its liberal form and capitalism in its fascist form are both the same and not the same; the transition from one to the other is not smooth.

It goes without saying that what is decisive here will be the general crisis of capitalism and more precisely the forms it will take. We can already see that the economic dimension of the crisis is terribly deep, that it surprises by its expression, that it strikes almost by surprise this or that sector. Unemployment, precariousness, brutality in everyday life, anxiety for maintaining its social existence… all of this can be the breeding ground for fascism, while the bourgeoisie necessarily seeks an exit through capitalist rationalization and imperialist war.

Conversely, the prolonged nature of the situation contributes to reflection, to awareness. And we can even see, in a relative way, that people who had turned their backs on the values of the dominant way of life, who did not trust the capitalist pretensions, who sought an alternative way of life … suddenly found themselves having a certain value, instead of appearing as mere freaks as before.

Obviously, it is most often elementary steps, of withdrawal, while it is not only a question of realizing that the pace imposed by capitalism is unbearable. If we stop at that, we do not see that capitalism has had its day and that it is not a question of slowing down history, human activity in general, but quite the contrary of accelerating it. It is not about making a hippie approach triumph in order to “calm”, “frame” or “roll back” capitalism, but rather to have an active humanity, protagonist of new choices, allowing a new development. You have to live up to the times.

Nevertheless, we can thus already read behaviors, attitudes, positions that pass into the universal, the planetary dimension, in opposition to the cynical, individualist, nihilist values of capitalism. The common denominator of all is that it is considered that we “can’t do the same anymore”. The refusal of nuclear power or of hunting, the requirement of a high standard in health, the detestation of waste or religious divisions, the affirmation of the sharing of cultural goods, whether for music , films or images in general… Such phenomena, whether they are aware of it or not, come tendencially into conflict with the 24 hour a day demands of capitalism.

This does not mean that people have grasped the full scale of the disaster, nor that the process is not recuperable in itself with a modernization of capitalism. What there is here is a deep contradiction between, on the one hand the battle for existence, with the need to work in order to have a salary to live, to integrate socially, with also alienation making us appreciate what capitalism offers… and on the other, in a way not necessarily understood, a cultural, material, psychological need to breathe, to temporize, to stop incessantly running by following the desiderata of capitalism, to flourish by doing things differently, in a better way. To what extent this contradiction will be positive, in what form, that is the real basic question.

In any case, it is possible to say that the people who have grasped with satisfaction this break, this moment of pause in the capitalist machinery, represent the point of the emerging consciousness that we must put an end to all this, that we must change everything, that nothing is right anymore. Of course, we are still a long way from coming to the affirmation that we must destroy what destroys us, nevertheless a process has started.

Concretely, we can say that the great capitalist impetus founded on the collapse of Soviet social-imperialism and the integration of social-fascist China into the international division of labor is now over. What shatters is the capitalist consensus that was maintained between 1989 and 2020, based on a relative rise in the standard of living on a global scale, the absence of major wars across the world, technological modernization and better access to health.

This period between 1989 and 2020 was a crossing of the desert from the point of view of the communist strategic proposal, it was extremely difficult for the revolutionary vanguards around the world to experience. The thesis that capitalism goes to war seemed out of date; capitalism was expanding mass consumption and seemed to overturn the claim that exploitation leads to impoverishment. The way of life of the masses was changing, whether with computers, internet, cell phones, the reinforcement of cinema and television in everyday life. A vast petty-bourgeoisie was getting stronger in the imperialist countries, developing cultural activities that seemed fulfilling or at least entertaining.

The ground conquered with so much difficulty in the years 1960-1970, place of the engagements in the years 1980, literally evaporated in 1989. The collapse of Soviet social-imperialism allowed the Western imperialist countries to appropriate new markets, and through the integration of social-fascist China, capitalist production and consumption have been greatly enlarged.

In such a context, the reconstitution of the avant-gardes was a difficult struggle, requiring patience and tenacity. In France, the CPF (MLM) is based on a process born in the 1990s, with the affirmation of Maoism at the very beginning of the 2000s, for a major operation of ideological reconstruction of fundamental principles. In Belgium, a country with a similarly great revolutionary tradition, the process of aggregation of forces assuming the break with capitalism led in 2010 to the formation of the MLM Center.

But it is not just about reclaiming the Communist heritage. It is also about deepening, to be up to the challenges of the time. The animal question, in particular, arises with all its acuteness. In the background there is the contradiction between city and country, with humanity’s place in the biosphere as the backdrop to a battle for the future direction to be taken.

We do not understand people who say they want revolution, but who have no concrete, practical point of view on all the burning issues of our time and whose speech could be in 1980, in 1960, in 1930, or even in 1900. To imagine that one can lead a revolutionary policy while being completely out of date culturally is simply an aberration strictly equivalent to the petty-bourgeois fascinations for anything that appears as a new cultural or social phenomenon.

You have to be anchored in your time, in your society. Revolution is not a cosmopolitan process. What is called people’s war is not a technical concept, but a popular reality, with the people made up of concrete people, existing with their sensibility in a well-defined material reality. It is necessary both to be in phase with the people and to be a vanguard turned towards overtaking reality, there is the productive contradiction defining the communists.

This is all the more true at a time of crisis and when one says crisis it means revolution. What is ending is a time when revolutionaries were marginalized or corrupted by capitalist momentum. It was a time of relative neutralization of antagonisms. We can even say that, since the 1950s, the capitalist countries have experienced such a neutralization, the revolutionary wave being expressed mainly in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The people of the capitalist countries were crushed by capitalism and its values, they were integrated into its process, adopting the way of life that it demanded. We are now at the breaking point.

An authentic life is only possible in the fight for liberation and before that, it is in a socially isolated way that such an approach emerged, whether in the French “leftists” around May 1968, in violent workers’ initiatives. Italians of the 1970s, in the Berlin squats of the 1980s. There was a complete break between avant-gardes prisoners of their alternative style and the broad masses entirely cut off from their approach and even inaccessible by their disdain for what was not the traditional capitalist way of life. The situation changed with the onset of the crisis; the antagonistic stall with the 24 hours a day of capitalism takes on its meaning!

The project of recomposing the proletarian fabric by the democratic movement of the masses violently tearing up capitalist hegemony at all levels can resume its natural course. The need for Communism can be expressed again, sector by sector in the popular masses, posing as a strategic hypothesis addressed as broadly as possible.

This is a process in which we are only at the beginning. But our pride is to have prepared, to be on the front line in this start. And we have confidence in the victory of this process of overcoming the general crisis of capitalism, by the victory of the popular masses country by country in a prolonged process and the establishment, as final achievement, of the world socialist republic.

Marxist Leninist Maoist Center [Belgium]
Communist Party of France (marxist leninist maoist)

Compassion and empathy: living matter at the heart of dialectical materialism

Where does the sensation come from ? Such a question is a typical
error, the produce of the feudal and the bourgeois approaches, which separate the brain and the body.

The feudal conception separates them totally, whereas the bourgeois way links them in a tormented way.

Both consider that the question of the sensation is connected to the body, to the interpretation of the body by the brain. A feeling, a sensation, can not exist in itself; it has an existence only in the case of an interpretation by an individual.

The reason for this anthropocentrism resides in Metaphysics. For the feudal
conception, the mind must leave the body and join the origin of the world, God, which is immaterial.

For the bourgeois conception, we can not explain the origin of the world, so we should restrain us in elaborating theory about the relationships we make with reality.

Life is seen through individuals, through their relationships. There is no world, no nature, only a world, a nature existing insofar we have a relationship to them.

This conception was necessary to the bourgeois to justify the existence of the capitalist, which is an individual acting through his own understanding of its surrounding reality.

Protestantism is here the main ideological construction of this approach.

Nowadays, existentialism and all the post-modernist variants that exist support a terrorist version of this self-centeredness, this vision of the world based merely on the individuals.

Therefore, in the history of science dominated by the bourgeoisie, it was always considered that animals know no pain. They are considered as mere mechanisms, by Descartes and Malebranche notably, without a “conscience”.

Of course, this wrong conception proved more and more wrong, through the affirmation of democratic and socialist thought.

One major historical event here is when, on 10 December 1907, in a turmoil following an dissection of a living brown dog in London, 1,000 medical students marched through central London waving effigies of a brown dog on sticks, justifying and promoting vivisection, attacking for this reason suffragettes and trade unionists fighting against vivisection.

Two conceptions of the world struggled. Nowadays, the sensation of pets are recognized, but they are still mistreated; the sensation of vertebrates is also recognized but they are considered as of minor interest.

Moreover, the sensation of fishes and invertebrates are openly negated, in the name of the nervous system and the brain, in an anthropocentric conception.

On the contrary, dialectical materialism connects living matter to sensation.
In Materialism and Empirio-criticism, Lenin deals with this question among others, and remembers us this important question :

“There still remains to be investigated and reinvestigated how matter, apparently entirely devoid of sensation, is related to matter which, though composed of the same atoms (or electrons), is yet endowed with a well-defined faculty of sensation.

Materialism clearly formulates the as yet unsolved problem and thereby
stimulates the attempt to solve it, to undertake further experimental investigation.”

Lenin says also that we have certainly to go in the direction of considering that, in the foundation of the structure of matter, we can surmise the existence of a faculty akin to sensation, like Denis Diderot did it.

And indeed, compassion and empathy are a proof of it. What is the dialectical materialist conception of reflect? That thebrain reflects reality; what we think is an echo.

But, if René Descartes and Emmanuel Kant are right, if each individual is like surrounded by a Chinese wall, how is it possible to feel what somebody else feels? How are compassion and empathy possible ?

This is only possible because living matter knows sensations; sensations are linked to the principle of echo, of movement of matter.

That is why a revolution can occur: the masses have synthesized, at different levels, the same vision of the world, corresponding to reality.

Revolution occurs at the general level, compassion and empathy at the individual levels, but their foundation is the fact that matter and sensation can not be separated.

Living matter is therefore at the heart of dialectical materialism, as it is a developed form of matter, a direction which corresponds to the auto-movement of matter itself to more complexity.

This is the reason why we have to recognize, cherish and defend the dignity of reality of nature, of the animals, of each living being, which correspond to the auto-development of matter, and participate in the global system of life on our planet as a Biosphere.

Dialectical Materialism and the Universe

The universe consists of the infinite and eternal process of the reflection of matter by the matter and for the matter.

Matter is indeed sensitive and knows in itself an impression shaping it to different degrees.

This difference in the marking of the reflection has as its source in the fact that the universe is in motion and that it is through it that the reflections and impressions are carried.

This movement and the many aspects of reality make that reflections and
impressions know different rhythms, different magnitudes.

We can say that the universe is the reflection of itself in an uninterrupted
process of transformations.

Its nature is the equivalent of an infinite ocean where everything is reflected in an uninterrupted movement of waves at all levels, at all scales.

This process of reflections and impressions within a moving universe, with all its different aspects of matter, is thus characterized by unequal development.

The inequality of the markings of the reflection, of the impression, causes
situations of imbalances.

There is movement because unequal development, and uneven development because movement.

The main aspect depends on the stage of the process.

On the one hand, the impression of reflection in matter results in making it
more complex on the internal plane.

On the other hand, the uneven nature of this impression provokes breaks. The break is precisely what characterizes a process leading to a transformation as a qualitative leap.

There is concretely neither cause nor consequence, but only an internal transformation resulting in a greater complexity of matter, an enlargement of its impressions, an increase in the power of its reflections, one or more moments of rupture, a qualitative leap.

It is this movement of internal transformation reflected from matter in matter which itself inscribes impressions and produces changes. And what takes place internally is the contradiction brought to its conclusion.

The law of contradiction, with two poles opposed in a relative manner or not, expressing uninterrupted antagonistic relations, belongs to the general and universal movement of matter.

There is neither beginning nor end, because no process is isolated.

The reflection and the impression are generalized and uninterrupted; every phenomenon is related, in different ways and to different degrees, to all the other phenomena.

In the universe, everything is constantly transformed, with transformations whose reflection causes impressions, which themselves produce reflections, which provoke impressions, and this to infinity.

There is consequently neither cause nor consequence.

The process of transformation is dialectical, it unites the particular and the
universal, the relative and the absolute, all being bound together and at the same time unbound in an infinite and eternal process.

Any transformation is added to other transformations and is reflected in them, producing interaction, liaison, mediation.

Nothing is so isolated and independent.

Everything is mutually connected and interdependent, constantly transformed and transforming, by the reflection, by the impression.

Absolutely everything is reflection and reflection of reflection, and this to infinity.

Matter is inexhaustible and ever more complex, ever richer.

No turning back is possible, never, because the movement produces a series
of qualitative leaps that has resulted in a more developed form, more intertwined with the rest of the material.

What is called time is the description of transformation and what is called space is the description of matter, because the universe is only matter, always richer, ever more complex, ever more intertwined to an infinity of aspects of itself.

Any process obeys this mirror system. The most developed phenomena of nature and life correspond to major qualitative leaps in the complexification of matter on a large scale.

The two poles of electricity, molecular asymmetry in the domain of life in relation to the domain of non-living matter, action and reaction in mechanics, mirror neurons in brains, union and dissociation of atoms in chemistry, childhood and parenthood, the masculine and feminine, the class struggle in the modes of production… are examples of complex expression of the movement of matter and of a very high degree of
interplay with itself.

This process has no beginning or ending.

There is no starting point to the universe, nor any point of arrival.

There is no “God”, no Big Bang, no source, no beginning.

There is only a ever deeper movement of reflections and impressions, in a spiral movement, proceeding by jumps, characterized by unequal development at all levels, affirming the dynamic nature of the internal relations taking a contradictory dimension until the break.

In fact, not only are the developments unequal between them, but each development is itself unequal in itself, because of the different density of
impressions.

The law of contradiction applies to the expression of the contradiction itself.
Nothing is therefore indivisible, nor eternal. One becomes two and that forever and everywhere.

As it is formulated in the article “The universe is the unity of the finite and the infinite”, published in the Journal of the Dialectic of Nature in People’s China in the first half of the 1970s:

“The end of all concrete things, the sun, the Earth and humanity is not the end of the universe.

The end of the Earth will bring a new and more sophisticated cosmic body.

At that time, people will hold meetings and celebrate the victory of the dialectic and welcome the birth of new planets.

The end of humanity will also result in new species that will inherit all our achievements. In this sense… the death of the old is the condition of the birth of the new.”

Dialectical Materialism and Communism

Communism is the product of the movement of the synthesis of matter through leaps, that is to say that matter ceases to use itself in a partially
unproductive way to find a way to form an active whole.

By partially unproductive, we must understand that matter can only use
matter to develop itself, which implies that one aspect develops at the expense of another, within the framework of an uneven development.

The imbalance caused is resolved by a dialectical leap.

Mao Zedong tells us here that:

“Imbalance is a general and objective law. The cycle, which is endless, goes from imbalance to equilibrium and, again, from this one to the other.

Each cycle, however, corresponds to a higher level of development. The
imbalance is absolute, while the balance is temporary and relative.
The rupture of the balance is a leap forward.”

The capitalist mode of production thus permits the development of the productive forces, but this at the expense of the proletarians; socialism is the negation of it and the communism which prolongs it is then humanity
applying the principle of each according to his means, to each according to his needs.

There is however no negation of negation and socialism organized by humanity does not mean that it is alone to march to communism.

In reality, for dialectical materialism, the whole universe goes to Communism. Dialectically, this means that the entire universe has also gone to communism.

Matter is eternal and infinite; it is inexhaustible.

Consequently, it has already undergone a dialectical evolution, by means of transformations, since this is its very nature. It therefore implies that it has already known and that in every great step, every leap forward, it knows
a communist leap.

This communism consists in the universalization of the means of production of a material form, its synthetic combination. Any rise in the complexity of matter on a certain level corresponds to a communist assertion.

Mountains, galaxies, plants and animals are examples of synthetic leaps corresponding to a communist stage. We have an affirmation of a complex and organized system, a pooling of multiple contradictory aspects of the matter.

These complex systems themselves have a past made up of steps that established the elements that were going to synthesize.

The separate elements combine; they form a harmonious whole and at the same time obey an internal contradiction involving them in a development.

This development is itself uneven and this explains the different galaxies, the different mountains, the different plants, the different animals. The systematization of the production of a complex system is itself uneven.

These are not nature tests or nature errors; it is a reality of any development to be unequal.

Any process takes advantage of a process which has by definition been
unequal in itself to produce a more complex form, through an equally
unequal development.

This past is infinite, as much as the future. The process is endless, its
aspects infinite.

Matter, based on the inequalities of development of its different aspects, knows an infinite development by the affirmation of contradictions leading to a communist leap, producing new forms which themselves bring more
complexity in the general development.

Any jump does not correspond to a communist stage.

But each leap contains, in germ, the tendency to the leap forward towards
the communist nature of the system.

The communist stage is distinguished from the others by a unification where the contradiction ceases to be antagonistic between different aspects to allow a harmonious development – which corresponds to the development of new contradictions, which are different from the previous ones, which have shifted.

This displacement is done by placing the new form in new relationships with the rest of the material.

Each mountain, each galaxy … is the fruit of an internal contradiction, and its realization as a complex form produces a new contradiction with other aspects of matter, for example the galaxy with another galaxy, the
mountain with a river, etc.

The initial internal contradiction, allowing the advent of a new one, of a more complex form, then moves towards the dialectical relationship between the new thing and another thing, forming a new internal contradiction.

The article “The Universe is the unity of the finite and the infinite”, published in the Journal of the dialectic of Nature at the time of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, presents the new relationship which established itself as follows:

“The end of all concrete things, the sun, the Earth and humanity is not the end of the Universe. The end of the Earth will bring a new and more sophisticated cosmic body.

At that time, people will hold meetings and celebrate the victory of the dialectic and welcome the birth of new planets.

The end of humanity will also signify that species will inherit all of our achievements. In this sense… the death of the old is the condition for the birth of the new. “

Communism therefore generalizes on ever more complex levels, because matter transforms itself and its interaction at a complex level deepens, becomes systematized. In this sense, there is no negation of negation, no end of history, nor indeed beginning. There is communism for communism, matter for matter.

The universe is an infinite system where complexity develops in leaps and
bounds. The Japanese physicist Shoichi Sakata, in Theoretical Physics and
Dialectics of Nature,
in June 1947, defines his conception of the Universe
as an onion, greeted by Mao Zedong:

“Current science has found that in nature there exist qualitatively different “levels”-the form of motion — , for example, a series of the levels such as elementary particles — nuclei — atoms — molecules — masses — heavenly bodies — nebulae.

These levels form various nodal points which restrict the various qualitative modes of existence of matter in general. And thus they are not merely related in a straightforward manner as described above.

The “levels” are also connected in a direction such as molecules — colloids — cells — organs — individuals — societies. Even in the same masses, there exist “levels” of states corresponding to solids-liquids-gases.

Metaphorically speaking, these circumstances may he described as having a sort of multi-dimensional structure of the fish net type, or it may be better to say that they have the onion-like structure of successive phases.

These levels are by no means mutually isolated and independent, but they are mutually connected, dependent and constantly “transformed” into each other. For example, an atom is constructed from elementary particles and a molecule is constructed from atoms, and conversely the decompositions of a molecule into atoms, an atom into elementary particles can be made.

These kinds of transformations occur constantly, with the creation of new quality and the destruction of others in ceaseless changes.”

The universe is an infinite ocean of contradictions raising matter to a more complex level, bringing richer contradictions, allowing an ever richer combination of matter, more sensitive, more complex, and this in all
directions.

It’s the meaning of communism.

The MLPD, state monopoly capitalism and the question of imperialist war

The MLPD, Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany, is the only Marxist-Leninist structure to have maintained itself since the 1960s and 1970s in West Germany. It was one of the main initiators of the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR), regrouping since 2010 some fifty structures claiming to be Marxist-Leninist and, most of the time, in one way or another, uphelding Mao Zedong.

The line of the MLPD and of the ICOR is classically neo-revisionist: revisionism is denounced, but in reality it is revisionism itself which is assumed. We can see this very simply with the thesis of “state monopoly capitalism”. This thesis is revisionist. State monopoly capitalism would be a new stage of imperialism.

The state would have acquired a great level of independence from the classes, it would be “rational” and by relying on it, capitalism would reach an “organized” stage. The state, through the socialization of losses, would prevent monopoly capitalism from sinking.

Developed by Eugen Varga, this thesis was strictly rejected in the immediate post-war period in the USSR, as part of a great ideological battle. Then, Nikita Khrushchev made it an official device of the revisionist ideology. And, unfortunately, most Marxist-Leninist organizations defining themselves as anti-revisionists in Western Europe have maintained this thesis of “state monopoly capitalism”.

This is the case with the MLPD.

The MLPD does not say that the state is neutral and that it could be wrested from monopoly capital. This distinguishes it from those practicing open revisionism. However, it maintains the thesis of “state monopoly capitalism” theorized by Eugen Varga as a new stage of imperialism. Willi Dickhut, the main theorist of the MLPD since its founding in 1982 and until his death in 1992, fully assumed it in 1973 and this position is documented
by the MLPD itself in 2019.

The MLPD says exactly the same thing as Eugen Varga and this thesis was strictly rejected by the USSR at the time of Stalin, in a vast controversy. Here is how the MLPD presents it:

“In connection with the Second World War, there was a qualitative leap: in all imperialist countries the transition from monopoly capitalist imperialism to monopoly state imperialism has matured.”

This thesis is totally revisionist, historically indefensible from the communist point of view, since it was proposed by Eugen Varga, denounced by Stalin’s USSR, assumed by revisionism in the USSR and systematized in all revisionist parties in the world. The idea of a “qualitative leap” in the history of imperialism was rejected by Stalin. There has never been any talk of a new stage of imperialism.
The consequences must be understood.

Indeed, Eugen Varga’s thesis of “state monopoly capitalism” implies that the state systematically comes to the rescue of monopolies, being even only an appendage to them. The activity is therefore the same as that of the Western European revisionists of the 1960s: the regime should be “unmasked”.

The MLPD says in 2017:

“Bourgeois democracy masks that we live in Germany in a state monopoly capitalism, a dictatorship of monopolies.”

And since we are already living in a dictatorship of monopolies according to the MLPD, then the communist analysis of fascism disappears. There can no longer be any attempt by the monopolies to take control of the state by means of fascism, since the monopolies already have the power. The monopolies therefore wrest the necessary profit thanks to the “organizing” State making society pay. No more need for fascism, no more need for
imperialist war.

The thesis defended by Stalin in 1952 on the inevitability of wars for capitalism, specifically targeting Eugen Varga, is rejected.

Instead, we have the 1920s socialist thesis of so-called organized capitalism.
The MLPD fully accepts this conception and, to satisfy its formulation, has put in place several concepts: the “surmonopoly”, the “sole domination of international financial capital”, the formation of new imperialist countries, the “proletarian way of thinking”.

The MLPD says:

“The international financial capital alone dominant is a small disappearing layer of the bourgeoisie, which is formed by groupings of the international surmonopolies with different national-state bases and links.”

By “surmonopolies”, the MLPD means the 500 most powerful companies in the world. They would form an “international financial capitalism” dominating capitalism on a world scale and supported by states subject to them. Not only non-monopoly capital, but even monopoly capitalist is subject to these “surmonopolies”. And these surmonopolies have not
only merged their own organs with those of the state apparatus, they have pushed for the dismantling of the states themselves.

This is the thesis of organized capitalism theorized by social democracy in the 1920s, with ultra-imperialism forming alongside the possibility of world socialism, and modernized in the 1940s with the thesis of “State monopoly capitalism”.

To unmask this organized capitalism, it would be necessary, according to the MLPD, to have a “proletarian way of thinking”, which would make it possible to discover the real situation. But, quite logically, the only possible revolution is against these “surmonopolies” and we then arrive at the Trotskyist thesis of the unitary world revolution. The program of the MLPD is explicit:

“Under the conditions of internationalized production, the socialist revolution will take an international character. The international collaboration of the imperialists in the organization of the counter-revolution and the interaction with the international class struggle make that today it is practically impossible that an isolated revolutionary process in a country can be carried out victoriously (…).

In this world revolutionary process, there will be in indissoluble interaction mass strikes, mass demonstrations, anti-imperialist, democratic and revolutionary struggles and uprisings.

This is why the proletarian strategy and tactics in each country must essentially be understood and carried out as preparation for the international socialist revolution.”

This is Trotskyism.

And then remains a fundamental problem to explain for the MLPD: why is there still a very clear tendency to war which emerges?

An explanation was to be found. The MLPD then says the following thing: yes, war is inevitable in capitalism, because the states compete for their interests. This is not Lenin’s teaching at all.

Leninism explains that imperialism is the superstructure of national capitalism. The imperialist war is therefore carried by capitalism itself, because once developed, the monopoly fraction prevails.

It was therefore necessary for the MLPD to break this definition and broaden the concept of an imperialist country. Stefan Engel, leader of the MLPD, publicly expressed this “broader” concept in 2011.

Would be henceforth imperialist countries Saudi Arabia, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, India, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Argentina, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iran. Added to this must be China and Russia, as well as Israel, which the MLPD already considered as imperialist.

We immediately see the paradox, since the MLPD itself explains that these 14 countries bring together 3.7 billion people, more than half of the world’s
population. If we therefore add the population of the remaining imperialist countries (United States, Western European countries, Japan), then not living in an imperialist country would only affect 35% of the world population!

Here is completely reversed the principle of uneven development and the parasitic nature of imperialism. Besides that, the MLPD does not recognize the concept of a semi-feudal semi-colonial country, speaking of “neo-colonialism”. The MLPD needs all this fiction to pretend that it has not left communist teachings. The MLPD thus denounces the war, saying that it is the result of competition between imperialists.

What the MLPD does not directly confess, however, is that according to this conception, this competition takes place in what is called the “world imperialist system”. For the MLPD, this is a kind of by-product of the world domination of the “surmonopolies”.

It is therefore the fruit of state militarism in search of territories to be controlled – we come back here to Rosa Luxembourg’s erroneous thesis that an imperialist war is based only on the principle of conquering territories to widen the accumulation of capital.

For the MLPD, there is a global, unified imperialism, and within it competition between states. This is why countries without industrial production apart from oil and gas, such as Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, can be defined as “imperialist”. As they take a part of
the global “piece of the cake”, they compete with others.

All this has nothing to do with the teachings of communism and the just understanding of the uneven development of semi-feudal semi-colonial countries, recognizing that there are indeed differences between Gabon and South Korea, Chile and India. Nevertheless, a semifeudal semi-colonial country can only be transformed into expansionism and not into
imperialism, because it is itself linked to one or more imperialist countries.

Iran practices expansionism, as does Israel, but neither the one nor the other is an imperialism. This responds to the specific needs of bureaucratic capitalism in crisis, which needs to get out of it by war. But their semi-feudal and semi-colonial dimension is obvious.

The weight of religions in institutions alone shows the undemocratic dimension present, the maintenance of backward social structures, incompatible with liberated capitalism and going as far as imperialism. There is indeed a tendency towards war, but it is not imperialism in substance or else one distorts the notion of imperialism by reducing it to a bourgeois definition of “geopolitics”.

This is why, beyond a few rhetorical remarks, the MLPD does not make imperialist war one of its favorite themes. The imperialist wars is for it only a secondary aspect, specific to the internal competition of states for in a “world imperialist system”. This is an entirely revisionist analysis.

Dialectical materialism and the non-linear character of movement

Movement has by definition a non-linear nature. If this were not the case, it would necessarily tend inversely to linearity and therefore to the abolition of movement as such. As movement does not imply the abolition of movement as a universal principle specific to matter, but the abolition of the matter which carries movement, that is to say its transformation since its abolition is impossible.

There is always movement, because there is always matter. But so that the movement does not stop, without which there would be no more matter expressing it, it must be the matter itself which stops, and as it cannot stop, it is transformed. Matter carries movement, is abolished by movement, is constituted by movement.

But nothing can constitute matter. Therefore is matter movement and movement matter.

What is at stake here is the question of quality. A line, even an ascending one, does not evolve, it carries a uniform direction. And who says uniform direction says absence of rupture. Even a movement uniformly experiencing breaks would, by definition, have no breaks due to its continuous dimension. It can therefore not exist.

Therefore, the break is not sufficient in itself to go beyond the principle of a linear movement.

If we take a uniform line, we have no breaks.

If you accept the breaking principle and integrate it into the movement, then you have a leap, but only in terms of form. This jump only adjusts the direction, corrects it, it is a qualitative correction of the quantitative. The break applies to development, to its expression – but it is not development itself.

A break, a qualitative leap, is not enough to formulate quality.

A qualitative leap knows quality, it is not quality. A jump is not quality in itself.

__ ∕

Concretely, we can see in the development of the phenomena that there is advance, retreat, revolution, restoration, counter-restoration. The final transition to a higher stage is never unilateral. It is never linear.

It is never linear either with a single “jump”, since there are backslides, a push forward, a counter-push, etc.

So there is not simply a “break” in the course of development. There is not a trend, then suddenly a qualitative acceleration breaking with this trend while continuing it. This can only be a summary description, losing the substance of quality.

What is at stake here is the contradiction between the new and the old. If we stop at it, we have the principle of rupture, in a way however formal.

This contradiction in fact also implies the contradiction of the phenomenon with itself. There is no abstract struggle between the new and the old, only a concrete struggle.

This contradiction in fact also implies the contradiction of the phenomenon with itself. There is no abstract struggle between the new and the old, only a concrete struggle.

The development being internal, the crisis does not occur from the outside, bringing about a transformation, but inside and it is carried by the inside itself; in fact it is the interior itself.

Any development of a phenomenon is a crisis carried by an internal tear. It is not the “form” of the phenomenon that is affected by the crisis, but the contradictory substance of the phenomenon that carries it.

There is therefore no linear movement, because the movement itself undergoes a change in nature by the change in the substance of what carries it.

The changing movement is the changing matter, the changing matter is the changing movement. Movement is transformation of matter and transformation of matter is transformation of movement.

Thus, there is a contradiction between the change in the nature of the movement and the change in the substance that carries it. The old wears the old movement, the new the new movement. But the old and the new are one and the same phenomenon, thus carrying so contradictory both the old and the new movements.

There are thus:

– contradiction within the phenomenon (or more adequately contradiction of the phenomenon), producing the movement;

– contradiction within the phenomenon, between the old and the new;

– contradiction between the new movement and the old, within the phenomenon;

– contradiction between the old movement and the new, within the phenomenon;

– contradiction between the movement and the phenomenon.

There is no negation of negation, because each stage constitutes a qualitatively new terrain. There is no linear movement, nothing is linear, everything comes under the non-linear character – including the non-linear character.

This is because the contradiction is always concrete – there is no movement in itself – it is the dignity of the real that prevails.

Dialectical Materialism and viruses

Viruses, the most common organisms on Earth, can only be understood in their relationship to living things; they are in fact not able to carry out metabolic processes, because they do not have any of the physiological mechanisms necessary for the implementation of these processes. They cannot reproduce or feed on their own.

A virus simply consists of a protein capsule protecting a DNA or RNA. It can only reproduce by means of a host, from which it diverts part of the operation for its own benefit. In doing so, it can also cause its own genetic code to intrude into that of its host.

Viruses, by their massive spread on the planet, are a key in biochemical exchanges; at least 8% of homo sapiens DNA is viral from its origin. The placenta owes its function to viral DNA.

This fact alone completely ruins bourgeois conceptions of heredity as “fixed”, frozen, separated from reality, etc.

Viruses form, concretely, a pivot in the more complex development of matter.

This material always comes from the universal unity of the processes as well as from the qualitative character of the movement, while being carried out in a particular way and through quantity.

It must be understood that there is nothing existing in a separated way and that nothing is regressing in its development. What is called “disease” is therefore improperly defined, because the negative effects are completely secondary to the main aspect of the general process of complexification of matter which involves dialectical relationship.

Only a small minority of viruses are thus pathogenic to humans, even though they form a material aspect of the utmost importance. It is an expression of uneven development.

The types of viral populations in the ocean are at least 200,000 and it is predicted that they would be a billion. In the ocean, the number of viruses per milliliter of water is estimated to be between 10 exponent 6 and 10 exponent 8 (between one and one hundred million).

These viruses play an essential role in the ocean in their relationship to bacteria and living things; their role is still unknown, but it appears that they regulate the bacterial population, that of micro-algae and even living beings.

In other words, the decomposition resulting from the activity of viruses has a biogeochemical activity, playing on food in the oceans, the equilibria of the beings therein, neutralizing the development of bacteria, having an essential function in the presence of CO2 on Earth through activity in the carbon cycle (by capturing carbon to transform it as sediment in the seabed).

Many chemical elements are still involved here in the activity of viruses in the ocean (phosphorus, sulfur …) and research is new, dating from the very end of the 20th century and the very beginning of the 21st century.

It wasn’t until the 1930s that we were able to see viruses, using electron microscopes; it was not until the beginning of the 21st century that viruses, like the bacteria, appeared as an essential scientific field.

If this statement is true on the level of practical studies, dialectical materialism had already noted the nature of viruses in the early 1950s, within the framework of the socialist USSR led by Stalin, and had asked the question of their role in biogeochemical processes.

In a summary on dialectical materialism of 1953, Peter Belov, in his article On the primacy of matter and the secondary character of consciousness, says that:

“The data of advanced modern science as to the essence and origin of life can be briefly summarized as follows.

Living is not something random on earth. The totality of all living things on earth – the biosphere – is a natural product of the geochemical development of the planet’s surface.

The biosphere continues to play an essential and extremely important role in all the other geochemical processes of the earth’s crust, determining the nature of the rock formation, the formation of the soil, the composition of the atmosphere and in general the distribution of the chemical elements in the upper layers of the earth’s crust, hydrosphere, atmosphere.

“Living organisms, from a geochemical point of view, are not an accidental fact in the chemical mechanism of the earth’s crust; they constitute its most essential and inseparable part. They are inextricably linked to the inert matter of the earth’s crust, minerals and rocks … The great biologists have long been aware of the inextricable link that connects the body to its surrounding nature.” (V.I. Vernadsky, Essays on geochemistry, State Publishing House, 1927)

Living things are made up of the same chemical elements that make up the rest, the mineral part of nature.

The composition of a living body includes almost all of the chemical elements (including radioactive) in the periodic table, some largely, some in smaller proportions. But whatever the quantitative proportion of certain chemical elements in the composition of the protoplasm (their presence in organisms is only detected by spectral analysis), they however also play an important role in the life of the protein, their absence leads to death of the body.

Modern advanced natural sciences (astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology) have fully exposed the idealist theories of “eternity of life”, “panspermia”, etc. Life on earth is of terrestrial origin, the result of an extremely long natural synthesis of increasingly complex organic substances (…). The Living is inseparable from the conditions of its existence and can only be conceived as a product of the development of these conditions themselves.”

The question that inevitably arises here is that of placing the virus: is it an organism falling under living matter or is it inert matter?

Virologist Konstantin Sukhov rightly noted in 1950 in the journal Questions of philosophy that:

“The self-reproduction of viral particles marks their capacity to assimilate and is a quality that fundamentally distinguishes them from bodies of inanimate nature.

At the same time, due to the simplicity of their organization, viruses retain a number of properties which make them extremely close to molecular substances.

This includes their ability to crystallize and their chemical reactivity.

At this stage of the development of living matter, life turns out to be reversible, it can completely stop and resume depending on environmental conditions.”

This point of view is essential, because it poses the viruses “in the middle” of inert matter and living matter.

There are two opposing points of view here, indeed, in the socialist USSR at the time of Stalin, implying themselves a whole conception which, if it is wrong, shakes up the scientific perspective itself.

If we say that viruses come from inert matter or living matter, there is indeed a compulsory validation from a parallel point of view.

The question arises in the following way: either it is said that viruses are not alive, but by-products of life, that they are basic living forms but having degenerated and having lost everything except their DNA. This places them in a subordinate role, consequent to the development of living matter and bringing them back to inert matter.

Or, on the contrary, it is said that viruses are part of the process of life itself, that they are there from the start in this process.

The Soviet biochemist Alexandre Oparin (1894-1980) considered for example that this second conception was wrong, because it would bring to consider that viruses would be a “brick” of life, which would lead to a metaphysical conception of a “creator” at the origin of such a brick.

Oparin was head on against Vernadsky here. Oparin reasoned in terms of “primordial soup” where living matter is inert matter experiencing a leap, while conversely Vernadsky considered that the universe had always known an opposition between living matter and inert.

However, Vernadsky had still not resolved the question of viruses in 1938; he then formulated the problem as follows in Inert matter, living bodies and biosphere:

“We have never observed a spontaneous generation of a living organism from inert bodies: the principle of F. Redi (all life comes from life) is never violated.

The concept of inert (dead) and living natural bodies as distinct natural objects is an ancient concept, taught over the millennia – a concept of common sense. It cannot be doubted and is clearly intelligible to all.

After centuries of scientific work, there have been very few doubtful cases where one wonders whether a specific natural body should be considered as a living or inert body, or whether a given natural phenomenon is a manifestation of living or non-living processes.

The issue of viruses is one of those rare cases, and it is probably the most profound illustration of this.”

Here is the problem. Oparin is right to say that there cannot be an absolute border between living matter and inert matter: this would be an absolutist idealism. However, it follows from his reasoning that viruses would be a regression, but a regressive process is not possible, since it is opposed to the principle of the dialectical movement.

Vernadsky is thus right to see in viruses a theoretical problem, but he sees himself blocked by his positioning opposing unilaterally inert matter and living matter.

In fact, the answer is in the question and Mao Zedong’s teachings on dialectical materialism, his insights into movement and its nature, make it clear.

There are two aspects, which has been well seen. First, it is clear that living matter requires an internal process and that viruses do not have it.

Friedrich Engels tells us about living matter, in the Anti-Dühring, in 1878, that:

Life is the mode of existence of albuminous bodies, and this mode of existence essentially consists in the constant self-renewal of the chemical constituents of these bodies.

The term albuminous body is used here in the sense in which it is employed in modern chemistry, which includes under this name all bodies constituted similarly to ordinary white of egg, otherwise also known as protein substances (…).

Wherever we find life we find it associated with an albuminous body, and wherever we find an albuminous body not in process of dissolution, there also without exception we find phenomena of life.”

There are no vital phenomena relating to viruses. So it seems that viruses do not come from life, from living matter.

However, at the same time, viruses have DNA or RNA, which inert matter does not have. Viruses are capable of having a direct relationship with living matter, while inert matter has an indirect relationship.

This is where the key lies. Vernadsky is wrong to oppose living matter to inert matter, but Oparin is wrong to assimilate them by saying that one comes from the other. Indeed, by doing so, he himself opposes one to the other and returns to Vernadsky’s unilateral idealism.

The latter is moreover more materialist despite his idealism, because he recognizes the dignity of the real: in opposing in the past living matter to inert matter, he is wrong, but in opposing them today he is right because it allows us to understand their combination, their dialectical relationship in a whole which is the Biosphere.

By opposing one to the other, Oparin is materialist because he says that matter comes from matter, but he loses the dialectic because he separates living matter and inert manner unilaterally and therefore misses the leap made by matter.

His point of view is thus regressive compared to that of Vernadsky, because it breaks the unity of matter and arrives at an abstract schematism where inert matter would have remained after all “behind”.

Viruses are, in such a framework, the proof of the leap in matter and at the heart of the contradiction that this leap implies.

Viruses are not either inert matter or living matter, they represent the expression of uneven development in the leap of matter bringing about the existence of living matter.

Viruses are the nexus of the inert and the living, of the spread of the complexification of life (by the transmission of DNA) and of death (by diseases and bacteriophage activities, massive in the ocean).

Viruses are fixed, they do not change in size, and yet they can transform, recombine. They have genetic material but cannot reproduce on their own.

They have a form depending of mineralogy but are turned towards the living.

Viruses are the nexus of the relationship between life and death, and as such a key to understanding the development of living matter as we know it.

The “primordial soup” of which Oparin speaks cannot exist in the past only, such a reading is anti-dialectic.

In reality, there is no negation of the negation, a break rejecting the legacy of the past, and the soup still exists, having experienced qualitative leaps. Viruses are at the heart of the contradiction of this soup where living matter and “inert” matter both attract and repel each other, as opposites.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a product of the capitalist mode of production

The emergence of a particular strain of coronavirus, never identified in humans, is no coincidence. It is a product – entirely new, a qualitative leap from the virus – of the collision between cities and countryside caused by the capitalist mode of production (CMP).

These cities and countryside are, moreover, themselves largely shaped by the CMP, which is true of the way of life of humanity in general. And all of this is happening on a planetary scale.

We should not therefore think that the health crisis comes from outside of humanity, from outside the CMP, on the contrary. It was born from within the CMP and from the world it formed in its image.

A world which is by no means finished, firm, stable, permanent … and which is collapsing under the blows of what is new, exponential, in rupture.

Capitalism is a mode of production now planetary

Capitalism is not only an economy, i.e. a particular distribution of property and a particular distribution of wealth. It is, more concretely, the way in which humanity socially finds the material means to exist and to develop.

It is a mode of production.

And having reached an immense development of the productive forces at the beginning of the 21st century, and being by nature universal, the CMP subjugates all planetary activities. Its consequences concern all aspects of life on Earth, all the time.

It was this historic situation that brought about the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus and gave it a global dimension.

It is this same historical situation that has brought global warming and the same goes for deforestation, the massive annihilation of wild animals, the massive use of animals in industry, the uncontrolled development of areas constantly expanding urban areas, etc.

The concrete origin of coronavirus disease 2019

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a direct result of the development of the CMP in China, a monopolist and bureaucratic development, with metropolises established in a short time and engulfing everything around them.

The city of Wuhan, where the virus originated, illustrates this. It had just under 1.5 million inhabitants in 1953, 2.2 million in the early 1970s. Then the restoration of capitalism in China brought about a complete change, transforming it into the megalopolis of central China.

The agglomeration had more than 4 million inhabitants in 1982, more than 8 million in 2000, practically 11 million in 2015. Wuhan integrates eight cities of significant importance in this agglomeration (Huangshi, Erzhou, Huanggang, Xiaogan, Xianning, Xiantao, Tianmen, Qianjiang).

This former French Factory is now even the Chinese model for urban development and is undergoing a massive operation to build road infrastructure (one metro line per year, 400 km high-speed commuter train, etc.).

This urban dimension is, however, only one aspect of the question. A third of the population still lives in the countryside, in an agglomeration where we find Carrefour, Auchan, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc.

Here we have an intermingling of cities, countryside, within the framework of an unbridled capitalist expansion.

The origin of the virus in the strict sense, it’s thus the massive urbanization of the area of Wuhan, with a use, for food, of animals both wild and from breeding, in a kind of general confusion where we no longer know what is cities, what is countryside.

This was the terrain, unnatural, favorable to the mutation of the virus, which passed from one species to another, then finally to the human species.

It is not an encounter with a disease not discovered so far – it is the confrontation of humanity with a disease resulting from a mutation, caused by the action of humanity itself.

The metropolis as the basis of the CMP

There is a Franco-Chinese “sustainable city” of 39 km² in Wuhan, a project set up during the presidency of François Hollande. 2018 was even “the Franco-Chinese year of the environment” and going to China on this occasion, Emmanuel Macron said the following:

“Urbanization is already a challenge for China and will be even more so tomorrow. France wishes to strengthen its partnerships in this area by developing the integrated offer that we have built for the sustainable city.”

This shows the convergence, on a world scale, of all the capitalist forces towards the strengthening of the metropolis. Today, the majority of humanity indeed lives in cities.

We should however more being talking of urban areas, as since the passage of the bourgeoisie in the reaction following its victory over feudalism, it is no longer able to create cities in the historical sense of the term, hence the great cultural interest for real cities in the strict sense (Paris, London, New York, Venice, Bruges, Amsterdam, Prague…), themselves also deeply disfigured by the CMP.

The metropolis with innumerable ramifications, despotic in its anonymity and entirely denatured, becomes the norm. It is the form most suited to the satisfaction of capitalist production and consumption, to the 24 hours a day of capitalism.

For our country, France, we can say that its symbol is the roundabout that dots the roads. We are there in the dynamics of the just-in-time, zero stock massively involving industrial zones in the countryside, in order to have an accelerated circulation and a better rotation of capital.

This leads to the destruction of nature and to the moral, cultural and psychological crushing of the workers. Karl Marx rightly speaks of :

“an accumulation of misery a necessary condition, corresponding to the accumulation of wealth. Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, the torment of labour, slavery, ignorance, brutalisation and moral degradation at the opposite pole, i.e. on the side of the class that produces its own product as capital.”

The historical city, that of the bourgeoisie, involved culture, exchanges, meetings. This is incompatible with the CMP, which is tyrannical and requires everything to be an ever deeper, broader, more perfected, faster trading relationship.

The modern city is now a place to live in isolation, seeking to make the most of its accommodation, if possible by buying a home. Everything is far, farther and farther away, whether it’s leisure, the possibilities of playing sports, shopping, people you can meet.

Everything is subject to a commercial relationship, everything must go through the CMP.

The limited nature of CMP in the face of coronavirus disease 2019

The CMP has only one logic: its own development. It does not proceed by choice, but by necessity, since its very existence depends on an uninterrupted and enlarged development of capital. Its only horizon is himself.

The CMP is the first to “regret” the 2019 coronavirus disease crisis (COVID-19), but at the same time if the same thing had to be done again, it would do it again. The CMP does not allow itself any retreat, any background analysis; it lives in the immediacy of its self-realization. It has no regard for itelf, being a system which is its own end in itself.

We can clearly see its limited character throughout the health crisis due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is new in its scale, and above all which is shocking because of its qualitative dimension. Researchers are overwhelmed, because the natural relationships between living things are upset and this causes health crises expressing a qualitative leap that exceeds them.

There has already been the emergence of the SARS-CoV virus through the masked palm civet and MERS-CoV through the dromedary. These jumps between species of virus, which are not found in a natural situation, become recurrent due to the situation imposed by the CMP.

For this reason, everyone has heard of HIV, Ebola, avian flu, swine flu. The so-called Spanish flu, which killed between 20 and 100 million people in 1918, is also of this type; cominh from an animal farm in the United States, it reflects the beginning of the generalization of the distorted relationship to life.

The CMP produces, by its action (and its inaction), destructive phenomena, born from the contradiction between it and life on Earth.

None of this, however, can be grasped by the CMP, which only identifies reality by means of statistics, “big data”, quantitative data evaluation. The principle of qualitative development is foreign to the CMP.

Capitalism being not simply an “economy”, but an unilateral mode of production, it responds to its own logic of accumulation and nothing else. It can only notice things, passively, remaining himself.

The CMP thus has an interest in having what it sees as potential natural resources, and therefore in preserving them – but on the other hand, it is obliged to integrate them, to quickly valorize them, to meet the needs of capital-based production and consumption.

The CMP also has every interest in ensuring that global warming does not cause massive unrest. However, at the same time, the CMP has its own priorities and considers that its own development takes precedence over any other consideration.

This is the reason why supporters of the CMP can indifferently say either that global warming does not count, or that capitalism must develop new markets to adapt. These are two pieces of the same coin consisting of the narrow character of the CMP.

The CMP collides with reality

The CMP has upset the whole natural relationship between life and its surroundings. Human labor had already caused upheavals, from agriculture and animal husbandry. With the development of the productive forces, however, the planet has changed entirely with the CMP.

Life concerned by the CMP was initially restricted, since there were only a handful of capitalist countries originally, along with the Netherlands and England, with underdeveloped productive forces.

Then followed a whole series of countries, like Belgium, France, Germany … and mainly the United States, with a material accumulation starting to be significant, while colonization upset the primitive economies all over the world.

There are economies which are not yet perfectly capitalist in the strict sense, but the CMP has fundamentally modified them in order to subordinate them. The situations of modern feudalism that exist in most countries of the world themselves fall within the framework of the CMP.

It is this modern feudalism that achieves deforestation in the Amazon, the massive use of fossil fuels in the Middle East, the cocoa monoculture in West Africa, that of palm oil in Indonesia and Malaysia, etc.

The human way of life within the CMP has not changed qualitatively over the decades. It is quantitatively that it has deepened and generalized.

And the quantitative is transformed, at a moment, into qualitative.

The 2019 coronavirus disease crisis (COVID-19) reflects that the CMP is starting to reach its limit: it is starting to undermine the whole reality, at all levels. It is no longer a realizing force, but a force of destabilization, of disturbances, of destruction.

The CMP is reaching its limit

The more the CMP develops itself, the more it confronts its limit, its inability to bring about the enlarged reproduction of life without entering into an antagonistic contradiction with life itself.

As long as capital is in the hands of particular people, it will irrationally seek its enlarged reproduction and produce a forced systematization of the valuation of capital – that is to say, the use of what exists, as much as possible, to bring about capitalist production, capitalist consumption.

The destruction of all that is natural is inevitable for a mode of production whose function is the dispersed, disorderly, systematic accumulation and by ever more powerful cycles, by an ever more unified and violent capital.

The 2019 coronavirus disease crisis (COVID-19) shows that the transformation of reality by the CMP has reached a global dimension and that the threshold of rupture has been reached.

There were already many telltale signs. The CMP seeks to force the course of things, to ensure that everything fits perfectly into it, even if it means being violently distorted, crushed, reshaped.

The CMP already literally dynamites the natural functioning of things. It distorts everything that exists to insert it into the capitalist market. This is true for animals used in industry, which are genetically modified for food and the pet industry.

This is true for vegetation and wild life in general, whose richness, multiplicity, abundance… are considered hostile by the CMP, because they are carriers of quality, irreducible to a simple quantitative reading.

This is true for the human way of life; there is just the need to think of the consumption of meat, the massive use of sugar and stimulating products (caffeine, theine), the generalization of processed products, the proliferation of specific markets (halal, kosher, gluten-free, meat-like products, etc.).

And even if working conditions have improved, they involve a far greater human tension, as well as a profound deformation of the personality. Night work alone has expanded considerably, affecting more than 15% of workers in France, with dire consequences for health.

The CMP concretely tries to modify its own material base, in order to avoid reaching its own historical limit, and by doing so it reaches it.

Because the CMP thus comes into contradiction with its own material base to force its own development – reality becomes antagonistic to the CMP.

World health crisis and communist affirmation

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global crisis that does not come from outside of the CMP, but from it, and at the same time it expresses itself in it. Capitalist accumulation takes place in a concrete way and it is this process of accumulation which itself brings the crisis, produces the crisis, is the crisis itself.

The CMP sees reality here lurching under its feet. It is forced to back off.

And the CMP backing off is humanity backing off – placing itself at the heart of historical contradiction, as source and resolution.

It is indeed humanity that carries the CMP. What the CMP is going through, humanity is going through, just like what humanity is going through, the CMP is going through.

Humanity, prisoner of the CMP, of its mechanisms, of the ideology which ensues from it, is confronted with a brutal awareness: reality rebels against it.

The onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a crisis shaking the very foundations of human participation in the activities of the CMP.

Humanity, which is a part from nature, is forced to drop out of the CMP which becomes an obstacle to life itself.

It’s the end of a whole movement. Humanity has come out of nature to assert itself as a species, but it must return to it by bringing the achievements of its own journey. This corresponds to the principle of uneven development.

What is called History is human history in its separate course from the Biosphere, that is, from all of life on Earth as a unified system.

The end of History, the passage to Communism, is his return to the History of the Biosphere, bringing to it what was acquired during its uneven development.

Communist transformation affects the human being at its very bottom. It brings it back to nature, as a complex social being.

It is both a tearing, but also a reintegration into the general process of the Biosphere.

Communist objectives

Produced by the CMP, the health crisis will have repercussions in it, causing disorganization, slowdowns, inevitable bankruptcies. This reveals all this fragility of the CMP construction, which comes to its term.

The CMP will obviously desperately seek to get out of there, at the expense of the masses, who will be further exploited and alienated. It will also mean stepping up the march to war for the distribution of the world, with at its heart the confrontation between the hegemonic American imperialist superpower and China wishing to divide the world in its favor.

However, this will not be enough, the limit being reached, the tilting threshold being reached.

What matters substantially is that the limit of the CMP is capital itself, always more incapable of valuing itself in reality, all the more if it rebels openly.

The CMP finds itself in the impossible situation to perpetually seek to circumvent the downward trend of the rate of profit. It tries to escape an overproduction of goods by the lack of continuity in the consumption cycle, to avoid the overproduction of capital, in the absence of field to develop itself.

The health crisis precipitates it all the more in the failure of its self-enlargement.

The CMP is effectively disappearing in front of the historic qualitative leap: the transition to world unification of humanity under the aegis of the working class, the adoption of the communist position in relation to nature.

It clearly follows from this revolutionary reading of the 2019 coronavirus disease crisis (COVID-19) that the following tasks are on the agenda, falling under the general communist program for our entire era:

1. Replacement of state apparatus by the democratic power of the people;

2. Dismantling of metropolises;

3. Cessation as far as possible of any destructive relationship with life on Earth;

4. Socialization without compensation of all monopolies;

5. Establishment of a world socialist republic;

6. Conquest of space in order to spread there life, from the Biosphere.

We are entering the decisive era, that of the second wave of the world revolution. We will be on the front line to make our country the example to follow to meet the challenges of our time!

This task is inevitable historically, the communist victory is assured by definition.

Long live Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong!

Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!

People’s War for Communism!

Communist Party of France (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)

March 2020

Ajith’s bourgeois thesis on the social and natural reality of Covid-19

Since some years, Ajith is put forward as an intellectual by the Indian Maoists and the Maoist Communist Party of Italy. It is therefore very interesting to see what he has to say about the Covid-19 crisis, as its postmodern conception of the world can only appear in a more frankly manner. What we can see in its article Covid-19, its social roots are as important as the virus itself is indeed the expression of the negation of Dialectical Materialism.

Ajith doesn’t understand nothing about the principle of mode of production. So, he criticizes Capitalism under only one aspect, the one of health. Understanding that it’s not enough to appear as a Communist, he then salutes the article COVID-19 and Circuits of Capital published by Monthly Review.

This review is edited by a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and was co-founded b Paul M. Sweezy by Paul M. Sweezy, a professor of economics at Harvard acquiring a certain fame for Monopoly Capital (1966) written with Paul A. Baran. We are in the intellectual bourgeois environement of the universities.

Ajith belongs exactly to this approach and this is why he hails the article of Monthly review, which would “ scientifically” analyze the imperialist relations giving birth to the Corona pandemic. Ajith shows that he’s a total failure.

The article of Monthly review is typically petty bourgeois. We would need rules and regulations in the world, good rules and regulations, which capitalism is not able to obey. Ajith agrees. Both Monthly Review and Ajith are, because of this approach, unable to understand both the mutation of the virus and the animal question.

Monthly Review says the following, which is completely wrong:

“We need to retain the shock we received when we learned another SARS virus emerged out of its wildlife refugia and in a matter of eight weeks splattered itself across humanity (…).

Ecosystems in which such “wild” viruses were in part controlled by the complexities of the tropical forest are being drastically streamlined by capital-led deforestation and, at the other end of periurban development, by deficits in public health and environmental sanitation (…).

What were once local spillovers are now epidemics trawling their way through global webs of travel and trade. By this parallax effect—by a change in the environmental background alone—old standards such as Ebola, Zika, malaria, and yellow fever, evolving comparatively little, have all made sharp turns into regional threats. They have suddenly moved from spilling over into remote villagers now and again to infecting thousands in capital cities.”

Ajith agrees totally and says:

“The crux of this essay may be summarised thus: Viruses that had been largely contained through the complexities of the tropical forests have entered the mainstream through the deforestation caused by capital, and deficits in public health and environmental sanitation.

In short, the changes in livelihood conditions and environmental conditions of the vast majority, caused by globalisation and neo-liberal policies, lie at the root of the present tragedy. Its primary solution is the destruction of the imperialist system and the success of the Communist project.”

Let’s put aside the fact that for Ajith Communism is a “project” and that evil consists in “globalisation and neo-liberal policies”. This is even too petty-bourgeois to be mentioned and it shows a clear problem about the level of political economy in some part of the world.

Let’s see here a new thing, very important: the fact that the Covid-19 virus is not seen as a mutation. There would be a reservoir of pathogen viruses and the deforestation would bring them in contact to us. The industrial farms are the intermediary for the spread.

This is totally wrong. The virus didn’t come from the wildlife. It knew a mutation. It was in the wildlife but then it changed. And it changed through the animal farms. This is why Dialectical Materialism can only have the conclusion that we need a leap in agriculture and this means the dismissal of the animal farms.

Monthly Review has a “logical” conclusion and not a “dialectical”: we must go back in the past. It doesn’t see the leap of the virus, sop it can not see the leap necessary in agriculture. We read in the article of Monthly Review a typical peasant-populist argumentation:

“If by its global expansion alone, commodity agriculture serves as both propulsion for and nexus through which pathogens of diverse origins migrate from the most remote reservoirs to the most international of population center (…).

We reintroduce the livestock and crop diversities, and reintegrate animal and crop farming at scales that keep pathogens from ramping up in virulence and geographic extent. We allow our food animals to reproduce onsite, restarting the natural selection that allows immune evolution to track pathogens in real time.”

This means only going backward in capitalism: as capitalism, when developed, comes to interference with nature, then we should go in the past, when production didn’t not have this level of development at a planetary scale. This is totally reactionary.

What we see here is typically petty-bourgeois. Neither Monthly Review nor Ajith understand that it is the animal question which has been raised. Living at the expense of living beings is not only morally wrong, but practically a suicide. In the past, using meat has a sense as a local source of protein. But with an agriculture at the planetary scale, it is nonsense.

So,we don’t need to look at the past and try to make again a “local” production, an autonomous consumption, which is a reactionary dream, an anti-capitalist Romanticism. We need to look at the future and accept the leap which consists in the planetary agriculture, abolishing animal farms.

12 emerging thesis on Québec

I The particular situation of North America in its relation to England

a) North America posed an historical problem to England, who had at first under-estimated the importance of the modernisations required to maintain its colonial and imperial domination on qualitatively more advanced economies than, for example, India’s. England’s failure led to the thirteen colonies’ independence and the formation of the United States. 61 years later, democratic-patriot rebellions almost costed England a second independence, on its Canadian territory this time.

b) England could relatively maintain its historical domination on Canada with an historical compromise due to the particular configuration of the property right, literally cutting the country in half. Canada didn’t exist in a unified way during the colonization process and the historical conditions of the part colonized by France were backward in comparison to England’s part. Thus, it is an unequal development that will shape Canada.

II The particular situation of French Canada

a) The french part of Canada, colonised under the aegis of the Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France (also named Compagnie des Cent-Associés) has known the establishment of a feudal type regime. The lords had immediately put in place their parasite type domination, sitting down their monopolistic-bureaucratic position, with the help of the profits extracted from fur trade which the king of France gave them the monopoly of.

b) Serfdom and the seigniorial system were abolished in 1854, in words only because peasants had to buy back their liberty at a high price, which the majority couldn’t afford to, instead they started paying a regular rent. This situation lasted until 1935 and the Syndicat National du Rachat des Rentes Seigneuriales (National Syndicat for the Buying Back of Seignorial Rents).

III The dual development of English Canada

a) The English part of Canada has seen a large settlement colonization, on the basis of a qualified immigrated peasantry establishing farms. English capitalism, already strongly running, made Upper Canada its trade hub. What will become Ontario formed the starting point for the general development of the capitalist mode of production in Canada, formed by the reunion of Upper and Lower Canada with the other British colonies in North America, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

b) Capitalism which developed itself in the English part under English imperialism contained an essential contradiction: a contradiction between a free peasantry by definition producing a free capitalism and a bureaucratically formed bourgeoisie with the role of intermediate for English imperialism exporting its capital.

IV The establishment of Canada under the aegis of English Canada itself integrated in the device of English imperialism

a) Upper Canada’s preponderance rests uppon the fact that it forms the English stronghold, as opposed to a french Lower Canada, France having lost this zone after the seven years war (1756-1763). After that, there’s the fact that it forms the fallback base of the British loyalists fleeing the United-States who conquered its independence. Finally, its the material base of the victory over the American invasion of 1812.

b) The Canadian regime developed itself in multiple constitutions. The Act of Union (1840) served as a basis for the development of the Canadian ideology, because it seeks to “unite” “both” Canada in a Province of Canada, both having to equally share an unequal debt and a parliamentarian representation. It’s in 1867 that the Dominion of Canada came into existence as a confederation, with the British North America Act, which will little by little result in today’s Canada, with its actual sharing of provincial-federal powers, new provinces coming into existence overtime. It’s only in 1982, with the repatriation of the constitution, that the judicial sovereignty of Canada is fully recognized in its relation to the England and that its English-Canada national bourgeoisie has sort of “acquired” its political independence to the United Kingdom, however accompanying an ever increasing capital influx from the United-States.

V French Canada’s dialectical relation to English Canada

a) The national English Canadian bourgeoisie didn’t revolt against England’s comprador bourgeoisie. There has been a double development, principal aspect being the domination of the comprador bourgeoisie, in alliance with the national bourgeoisie placed in a subordinated role.

b) Canada isn’t born out of a bourgeois democratic regime. It is born out of the domination of an oligarchy itslef born out of the top-bottom capitalist contributions from English imperialism. However, this aspect is somewhat balanced by a strong bottom-up capitalism produced by the historically free English peasantry. This historical compromise was only possible due to the looting of Québec.

VI French Canada’s own contradictions

a) The feudal class in Lower Canada (Québec) was integrated, not toppled. Therefore there was no immediate democratic outcome in its countryside, only a gradual transfer of land monopoly from feudal lords to the big bureaucratic-capitalist land owners.

b) Lower Canada’s feudal class became totally useless because capitalism was impulse by the Anglo-Saxons and could detach from it. Therefore, the feudal class diluted itself inside Québec’s bourgeois factions, mainly real estate developers, a new monopolistic layer.

VII The origins of French Canada’s own contradictions

a) English Canada’s capitalism didn’t systematize itself because it came by the top for a large part, hence some monopolistic aspects. Has it not happened, if capitalism really developed itself freely in Canada, then Québec, having backward productive forces and being held back by its feudal forms, would have been completely integrated, loosing all its characteristics.

b) The preservation of a feudal French Canadian infrastructure finds itself in the monopolistic character of English-Canadian capitalism. The consequence is the incapacity to get to a republican form and the preservation of the dominant classes by the means of four provincial framing, allowing an alliance between the English elite directly linked to English capitalism as well as the local capitalists and the French elite forming an aristocracy edifying top-bottom capitalism.

VIII Québec as a nation in formation

a) Québec’s existence despite English Canadian capitalism’s development only reflects its weaknesses. It inevitably leads, because of capitalist penetration into the feudal countryside, to the emergence of the national sentiment. Forming Québec national identity, there is its language, an established market, a particular economic life and a psychic situation born out of the French origins and Catholicism.

b) Because of the external capitalist penetration, Québec’s national affirmation only could emerge as deformed by religion and the peasantry, producing an idealistic romanticism. The feudal class was able to make profit out of it by using demagoguery, thus maintaining its position while accompanying capitalist development.

IX Positions in front of Québec as a nation in formation

a) English Canada tried to solve the French Canadian question from above, with the help of measures such as the interdiction for French people to buy land in the west of the country, the massive immigration used to recolonize Québec as an English-speaking territory, the integration of French-speaking « house negroes », an extreme provincialization, etc.

b) Because of the historically stuck up situation of French Canada, an uncommunist view of things could only lead to two things:

– a romantic dreaming of the past, wanting to go back or;

– a liberal dream of a cosmopolitan-stateless escape in the Canadian ideology and even American.

X The modernist crisis of Canada at the beginning second half of the 20th

a) The elevation of the productive forces broke the feudal domination. Quebec’s society was cut in half during the administrative period of Prime Minister Maurice Duplessis (1944-1959), an epoch known as “The Great Darkness”. The liberal-democratic faction rose to power and lead Québec to a “Quiet Revolution” (1960-1966). National sentiment rose, although romantic it nonetheless abandoned its feudal clothing. As a consequence there was massive excitation in the years 1960-1970, primarily worn by the petite-

b)  The total reconsideration of the balance of power between the United States and England since 1918 brought the generalisation of American imperialism in Canada. The pro-American faction of the Canadian oligarchy defeated the one aligned on England, as the nation bourgeoisie was weakened.

XI Québec in front of the historical challenge

a) French Canada is probably the most developed example of a bureaucratic capitalism, allowing exceptionally good standards of living and a powerful petite-bourgeoisie and labour aristocracy. Because of the high level of its productive forces, Québec also knows the same typical problems of advanced capitalist countries (24/7 capitalist corruption, strong petite-bourgeoisie in the cultural realm, labour aristocracy linked to trade-unions, etc.). It also suffers from a situation that puts it on a secondary and provincial level in the Canadian system.

b) The historical problem of Québec is that it’s always been lagging behind Canada’s modifications because of its historically backward situation. This situation is now however only there as a background to an advanced capitalism. Québec appears as the weak link not only in the Canadian device but also practically for the United States.

XII Québec’s national-democratic tasks: a historical significance

a) The only basis allowing equality between peoples of North America is socialism, itself coming from the popular-democratic effort. Because it is marginalised from Canada, itself being an annex of American imperialism, Québec represents the detonator for a Canadian and even American Popular Republican Union.

b) In Québec’s specific framework, the historical contradiction arises from the national-democratic affirmation, then generalises itself to the rest of Canada (even possibly the rest of North America and its other specific frameworks). Thus, the first task of democrats and revolutionaries from Québec is to display and pass on the national-democratic legacy, to keep it alive, study and defend its historical, social and cultural actors and to begging a historical-materialist study of the North-American situation, as to give birth to the popular and democratic movement able to strike a blow to North American imperialism. This leads either to a Democratic Union or to Québec’s independence.

With people’s war, under the banner of MLM, facing the second general crisis of capitalism!

First of May, 2020 Declaration
MLM Center Belgium
, CPF (mlm)

We are entering the new era, one where everything will change in the most profound way, at all levels, in all areas. The strategic offensive of the world revolution has now its material basis to carry itself out in the fullest way.

This perfectly confirms the assertion of Mao Zedong, during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution launched in 1966, that humanity will experience upheavals like it has never known in the next fifty, hundred years. This confirms the assertion of the glorious Communist Party of Peru, led by Gonzalo, that the victory of the proletariat “will require, approximately, 200 years counting from the Paris Commune in 1871”.

This is what has momentarily allowed the capitalist mode of production to relatively save itself which turns around in its opposite and comes to stab it.

Because this general crisis appears with covid-19, a disease in which the virus which produces it comes from a mutation directly resulting from contradictions developed by the capitalist mode of production: the contradiction between humans and animals on the one hand, the contradiction between town and countryside on the other.

Covid-19 is the product of a mutation made possible by the destruction of wildlife, its use by the capitalist market, as well as the formation of a livestock industry taking ever more horrible proportions on the scale world.

The capitalist mode of production has installed a so unnatural agro-industrial device that it causes disruption on the scale of life itself, on a planetary level.

The fact that the crisis started in China owes nothing to chance: this country has played a key role in the capitalist mode of production since its total integration into it under the aegis of the revisionist Deng Xiao Ping. Social-fascist China has helped to revive the capitalist mode of production, but its own development brings new contradictions, which are all the more explosive.

We affirm, on the First of May, 2020, that the capitalist mode of production is a complete obstacle to the development of humanity and to the enhancement of life itself. All the states which are at the service of the capitalist mode of production must be overthrown, so that humanity is able to establish socialist, dialectical and non-destructive relationships with all that forms the planetary Biosphere!

Strictly speaking, this problem has already appeared in a perfectly legible way with climate change. We even find it before with the animal question in parallel with the development of industrial farming and widespread animal testing. It is also the basis of the aggression against the human condition itself, since human beings are alienated and exploited, subjected to psychological and physiological pressures distorting them in the sense of capitalist utility.

If the capitalist mode of production developed the productive forces, which has been its historically positive role, it has now passed into the camp of destruction. It demolishes what the evolution of life has taken an immense time to develop, it distorts everything in order to integrate it into its own modalities.

It demolishes humanity, it demolishes animal life, it demolishes plant life, it demolishes the Biosphere. It advocates escapism into virtuality, into the futile consumer ego, into cynicism and selfishness, into abstractions no longer linked to reality. It produces decadence.

The concern is indeed that, at the same time as its negative aspect, it is the capitalist mode of production which ensures the reproduction of the life of humanity and the latter is therefore trapped in it in terms of values, mentalities, world view.

The cultural battle against the values carried by the capitalist mode of production is therefore essential.

In imperialist metropolises, where triumphs the 24 hours a day of capitalism, there must be a spirit of rupture at the height, an ability to be consistent to the end in the affirmation of communism. We underline thegrowing weight of subjectivity in imperialist metropolises and recall that revolutionary consciousness never emerges mechanically, but as a fracture with dominant values.

This aspect is also present in semi-colonial semi-feudal countries, although to a lesser extent, because instability takes precedence by definition in most of the countries of the world, which are experiencing a situation of dependence on the hard core of the mode of capitalist production which are the imperialist countries.

However, given the magnitude of the general crisis of capitalism that is opening up, the return of instability in the latter is inevitable and already appears. The global confinement has deeply shaken minds, it has broken many certainties, it has challenged many routines, it has devalued a whole series of traditions.

This is also true at the world scale. Humanity, of course, fluctuates between the idealistic hope of a hypothetical return to normal and the materialist understanding that the capitalist mode of production is at an impasse.

The higher the level of consciousness, the more there is the grasp that the current situation is the result of an evasive rush forward of the capitalist mode of production, which seeks to escape the tendency of the profit rate to fall by always finding more spaces to develop.

The covid-19 crisis then appears as a natural bulwark against the hallucinatory development of a capitalist mode of production which is global and destructive.

We affirm here that only a correct dialectical materialist understanding of the crisis can bring about a correct political and cultural orientation, naturally also of the ideological, scientific dimension.

Who does not use the concepts of Biosphere, who does not want to understand the dignity of the reality of the animal question, who has never grasped the scope of global warming, who does not use the contradiction between cities and countryside in his approach… can absolutely not capture our time.

We wish to emphasize that this is in no way a modification, a revision or a contribution to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It is a use of existing concepts, a deeper understanding of them due to our times.

We note with sadness, moreover, that all of this is completely cleared out by the organizations claiming to be Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, when they should come to this by their very approach. It is true that, unfortunately, in recent years, two trends have dominated, leading straight into the wall.

The first trend, mainly grouping together all the organizations in America (North and South), wanted in an abstract-formal approach to make Gonzalo a classic of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, with a deny of the principle of guiding thought. A stereotypical style has led this tendency to negate the covid-19 crisis, to see it as a sort of bourgeois conspiracy to mask the crisis and strengthen political and police grip. Such a vision leads to total bankruptcy.

The second trend brings together organizations with a syndicalist-populist approach stemming from their “Marxist-Leninist” origin of the 1970s. It is always strange to see the Maoist Communist Party of Italy talking about people’s war when it already existed when the armed struggle was general in Italy, which seemed to it a simple anarchism. As for the other organization forming the core of this approach, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada, it openly assumes to consider that the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is a completely secondary fact, much less important for example than the Chinese revolution culminating in 1949.

It is hardly surprising that this trend has a lot to say, but that it is part of a syndicalist-populist approach, without any depth, without any scale. The emptiness of this approach is all the more obvious now.

We affirm that there are three lines in the movements claiming to be Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. There is the opportunist left line, which offers a turnkey ideology where Gonzalo would be the universal key to do anything one wants in its own way, which is leftism. There is the right opportunist line who wants to unite all the Maoists without any regard for ideological content. Finally, there is the correct line which makes the teachings of Gonzalo and the Communist Party of Peru the correct interpretation of Maoism and advocates the formation of guiding thoughts to go to people’s war.

This amounts to a two-line struggle, because the opportunist line on the right and the opportunist line on the left have the same anti-historical materialist and anti-dialectical materialist approach, as evidenced by the many noisy and picturesque, often ephemeral groups, oscillating between both, such as those structures that have already disappeared, like Jugendwiderstand in Germany, or also in the United States the Tampa Maoist Collective, the Red Guards Kansas City, the Red Guards Charlotte, the Red Guards Los Angeles, the Red Guards Austin, etc.

We for our part, with different forces, sought to develop another tendency, going in the direction of a real level in the field historical materialism, of a real ideological clarity, which goes hand in hand with the acceptance of the teachings of Gonzalo and the Communist Party of Peru. We consider that our 2013 joint document on the guiding thought is a very rich source of information. The refutation of Prachanda’s revisionism was carried out first by the CPF (mlm) and it is also a totally correct contribution.

It is very harmful that the international refutation of Prachanda did not continue politically until it was achieved in international unity. Here we must underline the harmful role of the Colombian UOC (MLM), which yesterday denounced the Maoist Communist Party of Italy as centrist and ultimately became one of its vassals.

It must be seen that the failure of the UOC (MLM) is all the more damaging since this organization had the qualities of its faults. It did not understand the concept of semi-colonial semi-feudalism and mistakenly considered its country, Colombia, as capitalist. This however reflected a very fine observation of the development of agro-industrial (bureaucratic) capitalism in its own country. The UOC (MLM) should have played a key ideological role in the current crisis, by the nature of it. But as it was haughty with the animal question and climate change,it did not grasp the contradiction between town and country adequately, it failed to make a qualitative leap which would have been of great value.

It is possible to think that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) could also have played here a very important role, because of the situation of India within the framework of the contradiction between town and countryside, of the historical culture existing in this country in relation to the animal condition. This Party, however, preserves its tradition of non-interference in the International Communist Movement, just like the Communist Party of the Philippines. These two parties have by the way always refuted Gonzalo’s teachings, like the TKP / ML of Turkey.

In any case, the problem of the assertion of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism can only have a concrete and not syndicalist, populist, semi-anarchist, etc. basis : this must be a concrete historical basis.

The basic problem in each country is the question of assimilating the principles of dialectical materialism and the concrete study of reality from revolutionary subjectivity recognizing the dignity of reality. This forms the basis for the generation of a guiding thought, orientation for the communist engagement in class struggles having, by definition, a national framework.

This movement of generation of guiding thoughts will experience a powerful development with the crisis. The bourgeoisie has no choice but to seek to make pay for it the oppressed countries, but also the proletariat of the imperialist countries. In the same way, the massive indebtedness of the States following the pandemic of covid-19 does not consist in any way of an accounting abstraction on the part of the central banks realizing a “creation” of money, but simply in a credit to the detriment of the proletariat .

The pressure is going to be enormous, dynamiting the neutralized relations between the classes due to the great wave of capitalist accumulation which started in the 1950s and was reinforced by the collapse of Soviet social-imperialism and the triumph of revisionism in China.

The class struggle will therefore not be limited to a conflict for a better distribution of wealth, as it was mainly the case for fifty years in the most advanced capitalist countries because of the relative nature only of the pauperization of the proletariat, allowing the formation of a powerful working class aristocracy. This process was relatively true in the oppressed countries as well.

The reason for this change is that the class struggle now knows the contribution of the contradiction between town and country, which gives it an explosive dimension. It reflects the planetary dimension of the revolutionary question, it plunges the capitalist mode of production into a contradiction with life itself, it reveals to the world its tendency to destructive absolutism.

And, since it is triumphant, the capitalist mode of production will storm the broad masses to try to get out of this general crisis.

It means the materialization of the most bitter class struggle due to an immense polarization within the framework of the class struggle whose framework is planetary both in form and in content of the crisis. The proletarian fabric will recompose, the confrontation between the classes will resume its authentic character, its substance being war, the battle for power.

This is an essential aspect to grasp the new period which is coming, and whose understanding will distinguish more than ever the authentic revolutionaries from the usurpers and this throughout the revolutionary process. This is the meaning of the MLM slogan: PEOPLE’S WAR UNTIL COMMUNISM!

The question is that of power. We need a state that is that of the masses, under the leadership of the working class. This state can only be born in war, in the overthrow of the old state and we see with the crisis of covid-19 how decadent, bureaucratic it is, ever more disconnected from reality and the masses.

The contradiction between State and society has been flagrant since the start of the health crisis, in all countries of the world. It is a constitutive aspect of the crisis as a product of the capitalist mode of production and its concrete embodiment. The decadence of the bourgeoisie, at the helm of the States, is as much the product of this crisis as its political and cultural, ideological manifestation.

The most fragile imperialist powers like France, Italy or Belgium have particularly marked the international opinion by their great weakness, leaving no more no less than the health crisis to settle in their country by taking measures only very late and in a largely insufficient way. The same is true in many countries of the world, whether in India where the government has literally given up confining the population due to the total disorganization of the country or even in most African countries, terrorized by the observation of their powerlessness.

This decline of the state apparatus also largely concerns the two superpowers of today, China and the United States. In China, where the covid-19 pandemic started, the state was particularly shaken in its expansionary impulse, despite an apparent capacity to manage in terms of health, which was actually of the police-military type. The United States finds itself deeply upset by a confrontation between federal authorities and state governors, recalling the situation of the 19th century, bringing the state back to instability in its very original foundations.

We affirm that the state question is central. The people must become the new state and that requires a very high level of organization and awareness. Whoever does not work in this sense has an anarchist approach, totally foreign to the principles of Bolshevism. Not a populist activity, but a basic work must be to carried, at the same time organizational and programmatic, so that a new State is constituted, violently breaking the old State, crushing it in all the fields, therefore also culturally and ideologically.

This poses, once again, the need for a guiding thought, for a correct understanding of national culture, popular mentalities, the historical course specific to a country. It is not a question of stopping, slowing down, framing, making regress the mode of capitalist production in each country, but to overpass it.

We insist on this principle of overpassing. Historical materialism, providing the concept of mode of production, underlines that History has a meaning and this meaning is integrated, in fact, in the universal movement of matter towards more complexity, more connections, more interpenetration .

A mode of production concerns the social life of Humanity and this social life always takes place in a concrete situation. This is why we cannot understand the covid-19 crisis without seeing that it is an aspect of the destructive development of the capitalist mode of production… Just as we cannot understand the covid-19 crisis without considering life on Earth as a Biosphere, an organized, moving, evolving whole.

This cannot be understood without the dynamics of the capitalist mode of production, which seeks to escape the downward trend in the rate of profit by the pressurization of wage labor, by the widening of its fields of intervention, by the imperialist war with here the background of the inevitable Sino-American conflict. This cannot be understood without grasping the nature of the overproduction of goods and the overproduction of capital, the dialectical relationship of which forms the hard core of the general crisis of capitalism.

And all this is expressed concretely, in each country, as a revolutionary contradiction with very specific aspects.

The unity of the authentic international communist movement, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, can only go through scientific exchanges on the concrete character of these aspects. We affirm the need for an international platform allowing access to each other’s perspectives on these concrete aspects.

This process is in any case inevitable, because revolutionary subjectivity breaks with the dominant ideology, inevitably tends to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, seizing the universal to return to the particular and develop the people’s war in the country having been the breeding ground for this subjectivity.

There can be no formal spread of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, this only produces an opportunism all the more folkloric in the trying to mask its real nature.

Long live proletarian Internationalism!

Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!

People’s War until Communism!

The covid-19 crisis and the second general crisis of capitalism

The health crisis, which is at the same time an ecological crisis, cannot be separated from the general crisis of capitalism; everything actually comes together in a bundle of contradictions. The capitalist mode of production (CMP) has reached its limit and its crisis comes by itself, condemning it to death.

The termss of this new general crisis of capitalism are different from country to country, in accordance with the principle of unequal development. However, it leaves no other choice apart from imperialist war or revolution.

The birth of the concept of general crisis of capitalism

The concept of general crisis of capitalism was put in place by the Communist International from its foundation, in order to describe the decline of capitalism as the wave of the world revolution develops.

The assessment of this crisis was of course considered to be decisive in defining the tactics of each Communist Party, since the social changes, rapid and brutal, brought political turning points which had to be understood.

We find here anew the principle of uneven development. The Communist International had seen that the rising powers of the United States and Japan were spared the general crisis of capitalism, but that this could not last because Europe had collapsed. And if the Western European countries managed at first to neutralize the effects of the crisis by pressurizing workers as much as possible, in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, it was a collapse.

The Communist International had thus analyzed the situation well, especially since it announced from the start that we were going to a new world war between imperialists. On the other hand, it showed that it was very difficult to manage very different national situations in a centralized manner.

The situation after 1945

American capitalism had, in 1918, taken the place of Great Britain as the spearhead of the CMP. Taking advantage of its relative isolation, of its large territory, of constant immigration, of capitalism from below always renewed but already also of powerful monopolies, American capitalism succeeds in crossing a milestone in its development of accumulation.

American capitalism had in fact systematized approaches greatly improving productivity and consumption, notably with the large-scale industrial use of animals in food. It had widened the fields of consumption and production and this process managed to deepen more and more.

By exporting itself after 1945, this American capitalist model modernized capitalism and allowed a whole wave of capitalist growth in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s. The decolonization process was also misused by the CMP in establishing semi-feudal semi-feudal forms colonial in the majority of the countries of the planet, fully integrated in the CMP.

The USSR, which had become social-imperialist after 1953, integrated itself into the CMP, and the collapse of 1989 brought about an even more advanced capitalist modernization. The addition of Deng Xiaoping’s social-fascist China then greatly benefited the CMP.

Assessment of the situation after 1945

In the immediate post-war period, it was considered by the International Communist Movement that the situation was only an extension of the past. The needs of reconstruction were underestimated, but especially the leaps in the development of the capitalist mode of production (CMP).

It was not until the 1960s and 1970s that a new communist generation, uncorrupted by the previous capitalist development, was at the level of the deepening of the CMP. In semi-colonial semi-feudal countries, this was carried by a whole generation of leaders who understood how the CMP had used neo-feudalism to form bureaucratic capitalism from above maintaining a strong colonial dimension. These were the Siraj Sikder, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, Akra Yari, Charu Mazumdar.

In the capitalist countries, it was the Red Army Fraction that inaugurated the 24-hour understanding of capitalism, the Italian Red Brigades following in its footsteps from the Metropolitan Political Collective who had similarly grasped the nature of this process .

The three interpretations of the general crisis of capitalism

There are three options for interpreting the general crisis of capitalism. The first is to say that the crisis began in 1917-1918 and has continued since. This option is unlikely, and Trotsky claimed that the productive forces had not grown since that date, what the Trotskyists still assume today. Bordigist leftist currents hold a similar discourse.

This is anti-dialectical and indeed does not even conform to what the Communist International said, which never raised unilaterally the question of the decline of capitalism. A development of a particular branch may very well exist in the midst of a general crisis. However, it is clear after 1945 that this is indeed a broad development and not at all a general crisis.

The second option is to suppress or neutralize the concept of the general crisis of capitalism. This is what most organizations have done, removing it in most cases, maintaining it formally, simply as a very rare rhetoric for example in basic texts.

The third option is to understand that the CMP developed well after 1945, but reached the limit. This is what is correct.

The invasion of covid-19 and the second general crisis of capitalism

The crisis of the capitalist mode of production (CMP) was expressed by the crisis provoked by the covid-19, because it was by a frenzied accumulation that the CMP was brought to reinforce its extreme pressure on the natural environments. The contradiction between natural reality and the CMP has been explosive. The consequence has been that the CMP, a reproduction of social life, is a partly stopped machine.

The economic crisis is therefore not added to the health crisis, as the ecological crisis is not parallel to the economic crisis. All of this is one and the same thing, a bundle of contradictions that can only be grasped concretely in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, naturally when one has understood its real substance.

If the CMP was not decadent, it could face the health crisis – but it cannot, and in fact the health crisis would not have occurred dialectically if it was not decadent.

It is wrong to seek a source of the crisis in “the economy” before the health crisis or to summarize the crisis in covid-19. There is dialectically no cause and consequence, nor even before or after: there is a multifaceted unified phenomenon, the CMP.

The second general crisis of capitalism is a whole and one cannot abstractly separate the overproduction of goods from the industrial production of farm animals in the 1960s or the destruction of natural conditions in the 2000s.

The first moment: the petty bourgeoisie takes the blow

It is of course necessary to analyze in detail the modalities of the crisis, but we can see that with the outbreak of the health crisis and the ensuing containment, the CMP immediately faced a crisis of overproduction of goods. The distribution circuits being partially stopped, we have too much oil, too much electricity, too many flowers, too much bread. The baker can close his shop and hope to pass the storm. But flower producers have carried out destruction by the millions. Atomic power stations can be restricted in France, other means of electricity production slow down. But US oil stocks have gone so far as to be sold with a deficit.

These are only examples, of course, to indicate that depending on the sector, the break has not been the same. But it hurts very much in some fields. This is the reason for the ideology of rapid deconfinement. The bourgeoisie linked to the broken sectors is ultra-demanding, its pressure is enormous.

All sectors operating on a just-in-time basis due to a petty-bourgeois dynamic, such as the hotel industry, small businesses, small crafts, or even the industry of many sports such as football or hockey… have been stabbed by the health crisis.

The second moment: the tendency to deconfinement

The petty bourgeoisie is not a class, but a layer between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. It is logical that it was the first to know the initial blow. However, as the health crisis was severe, the changeover at the expense of one of the two classes was inevitable. This is the reason why the bourgeoisie as a whole tends to agree to the deconfinement.

It is afraid that social relations, so well framed, so well stabilized, could be affected, that this could lead to demands at its expense. It wants at all costs to avoid the recomposition of the proletarian fabric.

ir also considers that the breakage has been limited, that it’s possible to try to revive the “frozen” movements as quickly as possible. It is also very worried about the “abnormal” conditions of production and enlarged reproduction of capital. To this must be added the idea that a rapid upgrading would strengthen national capitalism in the context of global competition.

This conception of a confinement then of a deconfinement, possibly of a new confinement, then of a deconfinement, etc. comes up nevertheless against a whole series of obstacles.

And the problem is also that it’s necessary to have the means to do so. Then, there are also alliances requiring internal solidarity. Finally, there is the world market which is independent from the national market.

The third moment: the state infusion

The bourgeoisies quickly understood that the nationalist logic placed them before a possible catastrophic scenario: success could be achieved in parallel with a general collapse. This is especially true in Europe, where Germany with its Austrian satellite would gladly have sailed alone, with the Netherlands in particular, before realizing that its status as the main European power required it to maintain the European framework.

An Italian, Spanish, and even worse French collapse would plunge it into crisis itself. Hence the trend towards a state infusion in the economy. We are talking about hundreds and hundreds of billions here. All economic commentators have rightly spoken of “magic money” coming from the states to secure credits and infuse the economy.

It goes without saying here that it is the proletariat which will have to provide this magic money. In the first time the petty bourgeoisie took the shock, in the second the bourgeoisie wanted to revive directly, in the third it noticed the difficulties and intends to make the proletariat pay.

Overproduction of capital and overproduction of goods

The general crisis of capitalism is based on a dialectic between an overproduction of capital and an overproduction of goods. The latter has taken place and continues to take place. With a good part of the distribution channels blocked, with the impediment to leave home to go to consume conventionally, the goods accumulate without being sold.

By prolonging itself, the crisis acts so that the cycles of capitalist consumption were powerfully broken in places. It’s simply not possible to restart it by relying directly on day-1. Powerful imbalances will appear according to the sectors, with massive bankruptcies, and this will echo between sectors.

De facto, there is also a crisis of overproduction of underlying capital, because part of the economy being at a standstill, capital can no longer place itself, it is “in excess”. The idea of the states is to keep as much capital as possible where it is, coming to the rescue of big business. It is a question of maintaining the traditional poles of attraction of capital.

Maintaining the main activities and reviving them must prevent a freeze and scattering of capital. Here we can take advantage of the example of the first general crisis of capitalism to find out how it unfolds.

The uneven development of the general crisis of capitalism

During the general crisis of capitalism after 1917, some countries succeeded in making workers pay for the crisis in order to restart relatively, in the context of the decline of capitalism on a world scale. This was particularly the case in France and Great Britain, where the revolutionary momentum was quickly broken. The Communist Parties of these two countries have an isolated journey. On the other hand, this did not succeed in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, provoking deep crises and the assertion of truly massive and combative Communist Parties.

We now have practically the opposite pattern. The countries of Eastern and Central Europe are experiencing great stability, either because of a strong CMP as in Germany and Austria, or because of a deep-rooted bureaucratic capitalism as in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, etc.

On the other hand, countries like Italy, Spain, France and England are hit hard. Their capitalism was already experiencing too many internal problems and the expression of the general crisis is directly linked to these. Concretely, a real push by the masses is enough for these countries to experience a crisis of the greatest magnitude.

France, the weak link

With Brexit, nationalism in Britain has a head start on the communist strategic proposal. Spain is experiencing massive internal dissensions where the national bourgeoisie, particularly the Catalan one, can pull the chestnuts out of the fire. Italy and France appear all the more as the weak link in the imperialist chain.

Italy is, however, trapped in a multitude of structural problems paralyzing any capacity for centralized political projection. There has been no real revolutionary base since the 1990s, whereas the far right has grown massively.

France, on the other hand, is experiencing a centralized crisis. The reactionary wave of “yellow vests”, an ultra-minority but very noisy movement reflecting the panic of the petty bourgeoisie, had already shaken social reality. The wave of strikes against the reform of pensions, with especially the rail workers, from the beginning of December 2019 to the end of February 2020, was a complete failure, but similarly destabilized social relations.

Here we find the situation after 1918, but this time with no possibility of exit. The Communist International was already seeing the contrast between the extremely ambitious objectives of French imperialism and its sinking base, with a largely parasitic capital already noted by Lenin. France then came out of it by its agrarian base and its immense petty bourgeoisie. This will not be possible this time.

It is just necessary to see the do i yourself of French capitalism. France has thus benefited greatly from the formation of a department, the Seine Saint-Denis, serving as an immigrant lever for the Paris base, causing a situation of massive third worldization. The presence of immigrant children sleeping in the streets of Paris, of drug addicts in the Paris metro, of bands of pickpockets on the Champs-Elysées … testify that the state is overwhelmed. The failure to have even masks for the population and even for health workers is the direct expression of a large-scale crisis.

Belgium in a bundle of contradictions

The situation in Belgium is both very similar and particularly different from that in France, with contradictions going mainly in the same explosive direction. The Belgian state has literally resigned from its responsibilities with regard to the application of confinement in certain districts, testifying to its decline as well as its contempt for the health of the population.

The state is in fact increasingly out of step with the broad masses. A very significant example is the pedestrianization of the historic center of Brussels, commendable in the abstract, but which in fact has proved to be a concrete basis for the increased development of anti-social behavior, from delinquency to drug trafficking, with groups of pickpockets or drug addicts going so far as to harass passers-by.

However, this example is placed in the midst of the North / South contradictions, Wallonia / Flanders, masses / State, proletariat / bourgeoisie, which intertwine and do not cease, in the absence of revolutionary solution, to cause a political collapse.

The necessary study of the general crisis of capitalism

There is a need to study the second general crisis of capitalism. It is necessary to study the aspects, the interrelations. It is a contribution that is inevitably necessary to find one’s bearings in an entirely new period, a revolutionary period.

We are entering the era of the masses and their journey follows dialectically the development of the general crisis of capitalism. Who is unable to understand the CMP, to grasp the modalities of its crisis, will be unable to lead the revolution.

Covid-19 crisis, health crisis, state crisis

The covid-19 crisis does not come from outside of humanity, of its social organization, of its environment. It comes from capitalism itself, because it is a mode of production that encompasses all aspects of human life and the reproduction of it, on a planetary scale now.

The contradiction between town and country, which widens with the deepening of the capitalist mode of production, leads to situations where qualitative breaks are made in the natural domain, as here with the covid-19, mutation of a virus, not “bursting” of virus from previously isolated animals.

In the same way, the health crisis in the strict sense does not take place alongside the capitalist mode of production. It is one aspect of it. Indeed, the health crisis depends on the state, which itself is the condensation of the balance of forces between the classes within a given society. And this state is more or less bankrupt, depending on the extent of the crisis in the capitalist mode of production in the country concerned.

This is why we want to underline here the bankruptcy of the Belgian and French states inf facing the crisis, a failure parallel to that of the American state, as opposed to the management of the German, Chinese, South Korean states. Not that these states are of a different nature, because this is not the case: the point here is to underline the scale of the general crisis in Belgium and in France, as well as to see clearly that the crisis obeys worldwide to uneven development.

The question of means, anticipation and organization

In relation to a health crisis, there are three fundamental aspects: that of the material means of the hospital sector, that of anticipating the crisis by means of response plans, that of the organization of the sectors making the decisions.

We absolutely do not want to fall into the trap of a criticism that boils down to the question of organization, even if it is important. It would be a mechanical-formal approach that would not go to the heart of the matter. By this we do not mean to say that socialist organization would not be superior to capitalist organization – we mean to say that organization stems from the content of political orientations, from ideological choices.

To focus on the question of organization is to look at the form of the response to the health crisis and not its content. The same goes for anticipation, although this is obviously essential too. That capitalism is not far-sighted is a thing to criticize, but it would be wrong to regard this as the main aspect.

The main aspect of a health crisis is always above all that of the means – if by means are meant not only the material capacities of health structures, but also human beings and their choices, their decisions, their orientations.

This is why the health crisis is, by definition, political. Beyond knowing how things are done, or even planned, it is necessary to determine precisely what is done.

The health crisis reflects a state crisis

Since the bourgeoisie is the dominant class in Belgian and French capitalism, it rules the state, not mechanically, but as it is a condensation of the class struggle. We are terribly shocked to see how there have been, on different sides in the movement of opposition to capitalism, anarchist reactions making the State a simple monster which would be mechanically at the service of a manipulative bourgeoisie.

Capitalism is not a tyranny, unless it finds itself in the case of fascism in an ultra-aggressive and ultra-monopoly situation. The proof that this is by no means the case is that the states were obliged in each country to move in the protection of health in general, and not only for the bourgeoisie. It was a real attempt to protect the population, not a masked operation of of masses repression.

This protection of the masses, and this is precisely the questionable aspect, was not up to par in Belgium and France, when it was much more so in an imperialist country like Germany. These three countries nevertheless experience relatively similar social and political situations, at least in their general features. It is there that one reads a state crisis and, in its core, a crisis of the capitalist mode of production in its national aspect, here Belgian on one side, French on the other.

The health crisis in Belgium and in France is a state crisis in Belgium and in France, and expresses, reinforces the crisis of the capitalist mode of production in Belgium and in France.

This is, in our view, the real revolutionary analysis which is necessary.

The health crisis and the failure of the French state

On March 7, 2020, the conservative-populist media BFMTV could still give one of its articles the title “Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at the theater to encourage the French to go out despite the coronavirus”. The French State has actually literally fallen over in its response to the health crisis and it is all the more striking that France is a very powerful country in the field of health, whether with infrastructure or with research, pharmaceutical monopolies or even open and effective state support.

It has become clear that the capitalist mode of production in France has so pressurized and fragmented this area of health that it has been unable to react in a determined and structured manner to the challenge of the health crisis. Despite the number of scholars, researchers, engineers, collective entities, both academic and directly capitalist, no warning has been produced. We must use the term product because it is a product of the production forces.

One of the most terrible examples is that of Agnes Buzyn, doctor, teacher and researcher in medicine, Minister of Solidarity and Health since May 2017. She resigned from her position in order to be appointed candidate on February 16, 2020 at the mayor of Paris, the initial candidate of the presidential party having resigned following an equally revealing scandal, since it involves the sending of videos of a sexual nature in an extra-marital relationship.

Agnes Buzyn had previously explained on January 24, 2020 that “the risk of importing [covid-19] from Wuhan is practically zero”, that “the risk of spread is very low” – all to explain after her electoral defeat that the elections had been a “masquerade” and that she has allegedly warned the government about the health crisis, the risk of a “tsunami” epidemic from January 11, 2020.

This is obviously rambling and, therefore, fundamentally untrue. This reflects a whole inconsistent and parasitic state of mind predominant at the head of the health field, having fully integrated its integration into the capitalist mode of production and incapable of any step back from its own activities.

It is in fact a failure in the field of health, but therefore a failure of the State since it is up to the State that the responsibility for it falls.

The health crisis and the failure of the Belgian state

The Belgian state also found itself in an overhang with the needs necessary to deal with the health crisis. This was inevitable at the structural level, since there are eight ministers in Belgium in the health field, overlapping at federal, regional and community levels. University hospitals have a separation between French and Dutch speakers, as well as between those belonging to the State and those belonging to the Catholic Church.

It is therefore not surprising that Sciensano, the Scientific Institute of Public Health, therefore had no plan to respond to a possible pandemic. The difference with the French situation is that the French state, centralized and having immense and coordinated means in health, could have had such a plan, while on the Belgian side, the dispersion prevented it by definition.

This results in denial and Steven Van Gucht, president of the Scientific Committee and head of the Sciensano Viral Diseases service, said in the Chamber on March 3, 2020: “We are well prepared,” In the worst case scenario, and all things considered, ( …) in nine weeks (…) we are in the same order of magnitude as a big flu epidemic” (in five weeks the figures were already double this forecast).

This is the background leading Minister of Public Health Maggie De Block to denounce the alerts of doctors on February 28, 2020, defining them as “dramaqueens (tragedians)” which have to stop “whining”. In the House, she explained on March 5 that “this is a new type of flu, but mild (“milde griep”), which will continue on our planet before becoming a seasonal flu.” On March 9, she announced her first death from coronavirus, only to deny it a few minutes later.

And it is of course the background of the great disturbance on March 23 as for the shares in the distribution of masks for Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels… while it was learned on the same day that several million FFP2 protective masks had been destroyed in 2017 as considered obsolete, and five days later, that an order for three million of these masks had been canceled for reasons of bureaucracy.

Two failures showing that the state is out of step with society

The health crisis reflects in substance the society / state contradiction, due to the nature of the present state as a condensation of the class struggle with the domination of the bourgeoisie in both Belgium and France.

We want to emphasize the importance of considering this contradiction. There was indeed a primary anti-state reaction from the ultra-left, from both anarchists and “Marxist-Leninists”, even people claiming to be Maoist. Not mastering the teachings of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, they did not understand the nature of the state which has a double character: as an organ of repression and as a social body.

They believed that containment was a low-cost control operation, even a conspiracy. They considered that all the positions of the Belgian state and the French state were by definition reactionary, which is anti-dialectical. This is the expression of a petty bourgeois fear of the state monster.

In reality, the state manages the health system both to maintain the functioning of the capitalist mode of production by treating people so that they work, and because it only has legitimacy as a vehicle for some historic progress. The workers of a capitalist country of the 21st century are acutely aware of the achievements in the field of medicine and no bourgeois regime could hold if it was not up to this task, which means that imperialism American faced a major political challenge that shook it in its foundations.

Many people around the world have seen the contradiction between the means of medicine and the inability to have a unified global mobilization taking full advantage of science. This raises the question of the general orientation of society, and therefore of the state, of humanity and therefore of a world state. Current states are unable to provide what is a universal health requirement – a need for communism.

Belgian and French states bankrupt before a new phenomenon

It should be emphasized that the crisis in the Belgian and French states is of a new type, since no state has ever had to deal with a phenomenon like covid-19. It is a new phenomenon responding to new conditions: those resulting from an explosive contradiction between humanity and wilderness.

It is a contradiction that takes place within the capitalist mode of production, the state itself being a contradiction within the capitalist mode of production by its social role on the one hand, anti-social of the other. It is therefore entirely false to say, as the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada does, that “there is nothing fundamentally new and surprising in what the pandemic tells us about capitalism” (COVID-19: International competition at the heart of the current crisis).

We recognize here that this organization, which claims to be Maoist, rejects dialectical materialism, Stalin, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. On the contrary, everything is fundamentally new. This is a global crisis, with global consequences, appearing clearly for the masses of the world. This is a new phenomenon historically, heralding the period of great upheaval on a global scale.

It is precisely this aspect that makes states waver.

The states facing the challenge of a global contradiction

The health crisis was born as the result of an activity of planetary dimension and consequently it raises a question whose answer can be itself only an activity of planetary dimension.

States cannot, by definition, be able to respond adequately to the health crisis, by their very definition. Even if we admit that China has responded effectively on its territory – which remains to be proven – we can see that this country was unable to prevent the spread of covid-19. Humanity appears here as part of a single global process and no country is independent of this planetary chain.

There is an explosive contradiction here, because the states have only been able to respond to the crisis by closing the borders, which is the opposite of their approach so far, approach which opens them to allow strengthening in all areas of the capitalist mode of production.

The covid-19, the result of the capitalist mode of production reigning in a planetary manner in a unified manner, provokes a backward movement of it. And national divisions within the capitalist mode of production, within the framework of the tendency to war, push each country to return to efficiency as quickly as possible, to turn in on itself, reinforcing the crisis.

We do not pretend here to list all the contradictions that have emerged or have been reinforced with the covid-19 crisis. We say however: understanding the planetary nature of this crisis is the key to having a revolutionary understanding of it.

There will be no “next day” or a return to normality. We are dealing here with a dialectical leap in the crisis – a leap which corresponds to the need for communism on a world scale.

Marxist Leninist Maoist Center of Belgium

Communist Party of France (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)

April 2020

The irruption the Covid-19 crisis as political economy test

[Article from the next number of the international PDF review Communism.]

The irruption the Covid-19 crisis has produced a series of reactions and non-reactions that say a lot about the political economy of the revolutionary organizations, or sometimes the lack of it, or even the non-revolutionary character of them.

It is well known that the main problem of the revolutionary dilemma is to avoid Reformism when being realistic, and avoid the ultra-left tendency when being revolutionary. This is the main contradiction explaining the positions that has been taken across the world. This is contradiction is of course sharpened by the deepness of the crisis. This is literally a crash test.

The negation of the crisis

Most commonly, there have been more or less no reactions. Most of the revolutionary organizations are in fact radicalized petty-bourgeois, isolated in a bubble, acting only in a parasitic form, needing “social movements” to pretend to exist. They were therefore not able to face the irruption of the crisis. Their lack of political economy just paralyzed them. A French group like “Unité Communiste Lyon” is able to publish Trotskyst-like articles when the trade-unions are active (“let’s ask for more”, “let’s go further” etc.), but just had just nothing to say about the crisis when it came, as its identity is purely parasitic.

But what we see can be also astonishing. The German media “Dem Volke dienen”, which uphelds Maoism, didn’t react at all, continuing as nothing would happen (like publishing a picture of a simple graffiti in Berlin in support of the Irish liberation), with very few articles… denouncing the government measures of interdiction of groupings (for blocking the spread of the virus)! There was even a “rebel” small grouping in the streets to support political prisoners in the city of Bremen. In the same spirit, there was a call for the First of May demonstration signed by Turkish associations from Switzerland and Austria which are linked to the TKP/ML.

This is a reaction of negation of the crisis. It was not taken seriously, it was merely taken as an “event” which would be not directly linked to class struggle, to the capitalist mode of production. So, as it would come from “outside”, it could not have a real sense in itself. And as we see, with such a caricature, the only criticism possible would therefore concerns the quarantine (denounced as a practice “of the Middle Ages”), the restrictions of movement, etc. All of this would be an imperialist plot, a capitalist use of the crisis! The situation would be dictatorial. In France, as say in a fantasized way some people pretending to be “Maoists”:

“Police harass passers-by, especially young people who look black or Arab.”

The Finnish group Punalippu (“Red Flag”) sums up this ultra-left interpretation as following:

“The only legitimate position, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, is that all actions of the bourgeois dictatorship must be condemned, as they do not serve the people but imperialism, and thus there is only one option for them: a revolution (…).The coronary threat has highlighted a huge number of capitulations.

The legal left and the forces in the yoke of its influence generally seem to support capitulation. Some have already materialized, for example on the 13th of March when the planned climate strike in Tampere – and reportedly in others cities as well – was canceled under the pretext of preventing the spread of the corona. Apparently this infectious disease is a more serious threat than the much talked climate crisis? Is there no coronavirus on a dead planet?”

The “plot” of the crisis, “alarmism” and “tailism”

In some cases, there was another form of negation of the crisis, with a theory of the plot. The bourgeoisie would use the Covid-19 virus to mask the crisis of capitalism. The Norwegian media “Tjen Folket”, published for example the Rød Front long call for the First of May demonstration, which contains only three times only the word corona:

“The crisis in capitalism is not primarily a “corona crisis”. The capitalist economy explodes in a new cyclical crisis about every ten years.
Today’s crisis follows the crises and recessions of 1990-93, 1998-2002 and 2008-2009.

For 200 years, the capitalist system has gone into crisis every 8 to 10 years. The crisis is part of capitalism. They are called “banking crisis”, “IT crisis”, “financial crisis”, “oil crisis” or “corona crisis” only on the basis of the circumstances or where the crisis first manifests, but these names never describe the real cause of the crisis (…).

Everywhere, we now see that the corona virus is used as a pretext to lock people in and prevent people from organizing and fighting unemployment and poverty. A curfew is introduced and a curfew is enforced with violence.

Why? Because rulers tremble because they know the crisis can cause uncontrollable rage from the masses.”

This is not dialectical Materialism, but practically a magical conception of the world. And as it’s magical, petty-bourgeois, it’s irrational. The Maoist US Incendiary Editorial Board kicked in this context its leading figure out, which in response made a self-criticism:

“Comrades in the US have generated two lines on this: that COVID-19 is a real tiger, and that COVID-19 is a paper tiger. Despite the centrists who would play with words to appeal to populism, who try to uphold revolutionary slogans while buying into the bourgeoisie’s alarmism, these are the only two lines.

While well-meaning comrades may equate the two opposing lines, their centrism actually serves the ruling class. It is urgent they understand this and confess and self-criticize for their alarmism and tailism, which negates organizing for socialist revolution.

Not only is COVID-19 not the real paper tiger that the bourgeoisie and even some comrades make it out to be, but it wasn’t even the cause for economic crisis.”

The sanitary crisis would not be of a real dimension – we come here back to the erroneous conception of the Covid-19 crisis interpreted as coming from “outside” capitalism.

The absurd conception of the sanitary crisis as a mask

One important article summing up here this wrong reading of the situation is “World economy heading for depression: coronavirus hides the crisis of imperialism”, published by the Brazilian media A nova democracia. It gives data about the weakness of the capitalist economy at the end of 2019 and says:

“Industrial production and financial market stock exchanges collapsed in early March in practically the world. The trigger, as the world press monopoly advertises, is the expansion of the coronavirus.

However, it is actually the crisis of relative capital overproduction.
Coronavirus alone could not have such an impact on the world economy. The reason for the interruption of the reproduction of capital is capital itself. The Crítica da Economia portal, citing newspapers from the reaction itself, noted that the coronavirus is now less lethal than the flu (…).

The occurrence of coronavirus is just a fact that aggravates the economy. However, behind this fact there is already a latent relative overproduction of capital.

The crisis of relative overproduction of capital occurs when the production of capital exceeds too much the consumption capacity of society defined, ultimately, by the contradiction between the social character of production and the capitalist appropriation of the product.”

This is absolutely non-dialectical. What is here said:

* does not understand that the Covid-19 crisis is not coming from outside the Capitalist mode of production, but that it is a component of it;

* underestimates in a mechanical way the effects of a sanitary crisis, because of the understanding capitalism not as a mode of production (of everyday life) but as a “structural system”;

* has the petty bourgeois conception of the capitalist mode of production being able of “thinking” and “masking”.

To say that the Covid-19 can only “aggravates” a crisis which is proper of capitalism is not Marxism, but Structuralism. It is speaking of capitalism as it would float above reality.

Reformists and Revisionnists on the Front

The Covid-19 crisis has shown the vacuity of the ultra-leftist. But it has also permitted the Reformists and Revisionists to express their ability to adapt themselves. As they place themselves as “Planists” in capitalism, they can afford to develop an efficient demagogy, because they don’t need to give any content. They just need to pretend have a better organization form. They naturally obtain much more echo than the ultra-leftists, as they recognize the sanitary crisis and as they propose a “solution”.

In fact, they propose nothing, but it’s easy: they say they would act in a better way, because of an orientation turned in direction of the people. The best example for this is the Workers’ Party of Belgium. Its denunciation of “austerity” and its promotion of a “medicine for the people” is absolutely formal. There is no content except a point of view, flatly christian, of Good versus Bad. This is all the more striking when we know that this Party pretended in the 1990’s to be the nerve center of the International Communist Movement.

Another good example, because ideologically from the same kind, is the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada, an organization defining itself as Maoist but having the same complete rejection of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution like the Workers’ Party of Belgium. The RCP of Canada presents therefore the things in the same mechanistic manner, without any content, in its article COVID-19: events reveal that we are in the antechamber of socialism :

“In fact, the present situation reveals, even more clearly than usual, that with a level of economic concentration as high as in Canada, and with the considerable amount of knowledge, techniques and means that necessarily accompany such a level of concentration, it would be relatively easy to solve all the problems of society (poverty, unemployment, economic crises, corruption, waste, disease, lack of services, shortages, etc.) and to meet all the needs of the people by implementing centralized planning and mobilizing the popular masses.

In fact, if this does not happen, it is only because the process that would have to be set in motion in order to achieve it – the abolition of bourgeois private property and the complete collectivization of the means of production – would go against the interests and will of the capitalist class currently at the top of society.”

Socialism is here as easy as pressing the “centralization” button and then the one to “mobilize the masses”. It is not possible to be more empty. This emptiness is at least hidden under Romanticism with the approach to promote China and Cuba as fighting with efficiency the Covid-19 crisis. Those countries would be “socialist” and their sense of organization, as their “socialist” interests, would have make possible for them to success on the sanitary Frontline. The Communist Party of the Philippines praises Cuba, the French Editions Prolétariennes which upholds Mao praises China as applying nowadays with success the principles of the Cultural Revolution (!), the French PRCF, uniting the “Left” of the Revisionnist French CP, praises both.

The Communist Worker Union (MLM) – Colombia does it also, in its article The USSR and its struggle against epidemics, in a manner which is at the same time hidden and absurd on all levels. It is spoken of “State monopoly Capitalism”, which is an absurd concept invented by Eugen Varga and upheld by the Khrushchev’s Revisionism. And such monopolism is considered as a better social form, when in fact it should be considered as totally decadent and reactionary!

“Today there is no socialism in any country, although there are countries that call themselves as such, for example in China, North Korea or Vietnam, which decades ago were socialists, today there is only a monopoly state capitalism.

The current Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has shown that such countries have been better off than capitalist countries where the role of the state is less and at the exclusive service of private monopolies, even if, when they were truly socialist, they would have defeated the epidemic more easily.

While Italy, Spain and now the United States, capitalist countries where private health systems predominate, are being devastated by the epidemic, with little possibility of maneuver and with all the burden on workers in those countries.”

This is an amazing praise of social-fascism!Against the theory of the Plot and against PlanismThe Covid-19 crisis has proven that most of the political economy of revolutionary organizations is either not revolutionary or that they are no organizations. They are shapeless expression of the petty-bourgeoisie aiming to weigh on the bourgeoisie. Their vision of the world is eclectic, with a strong petty bourgeoisie tendency to consider capitalism as organized, the Bourgeois state as an unilateral monster.

Their Utopian proposals, when really constructed, become in an inevitable way Planism, which has nothing to do with socialist Planning, which is not a method but an ideological driving of existing forces on the basis of the communist vision of the world. The theory of the “Plot” from above to mask the crisis of capitalism is here even typical of the anticommunist Socialists from the 1920’s-1930’s, and even Planism corresponds in an important way to their mechanical conception of “centralization” as solution of all the problems.

The problem in the background is the inability to understand the capitalist mode of production and their idealism bringing them to consider that the Covid-19 comes from outside and that it is so only a small parameter more in the capitalist “structure”.