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”.