Down with the chauvinist-bonapartist police & surveillance state – defend democratic rights! No to health policy in the service of the capitalist monopolies – expand the public health sector under workers and popular control!
Manifesto of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 29 July 2021, www.thecommunists.net
1. The ruling class in Europe, China, Israel, Argentina and other countries have started, or are pushing for, the fast introduction of the so-called “Green Pass”. The official purpose of this passport is the combat against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This is basically a certificate (in paper or digital format) that a person has acquired immunity or has been vaccinated. While the concrete application differs from country to country, the concept of the “Green Pass” is basically that possession of such a certificate is mandatory in order to work in specific sectors (health, education, etc.) as well as to enter restaurant, gyms, museums, cinemas, stadiums, long-distance public transport, travel, etc. The concept of “Green Pass” is inextricably linked with the campaign of governments to impose mass vaccination, or more precisely, to make vaccination compulsory for large sectors of the population.
2. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) unreservedly condemns the offensive of the ruling class to impose the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations. We do so because it is evident that this system is neither motivated by concerns of public health nor does is serve such a goal. In reality, like the Lockdown policy and the COVID Counterrevolution as a whole, it is dictated by the political and economic interests of the ruling class. Hence, socialists have to oppose the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations. We call the vanguard of the working class and the oppressed to mobilize against this new counterrevolutionary offensive. The main reasons for our stance are the following.
The main consequences of the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations
3. First, the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations is a gigantic attack on democratic rights which opens the road to a dramatic expansion of the chauvinist-bonapartist police and surveillance state. The whole concept is directed towards the creation of a new Apartheid – dividing the population in those who are vaccinated and those who are not. The latter are excluded from most sectors of the society and reduced to second-class citizens who are in the crossair of state apparatus and capitalists.
4. Secondly, the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations can only be effective if a gigantic repression and surveillance apparatus is created. It requires a centralized data entry system of the health conditions of all citizens and of information of who has been at what place at what time. Without such a centralized data entry system no “Green Pass” system could work. It is evident that this dramatically expands the omnipotence of the capitalist repression apparatus. It makes George Orwell’s “1984” reality with a single stroke! Furthermore, it will be not only the state itself which has access to all these data but also the capitalist monopolies or maybe the bosses in general (they will say that they need to know if their labor force is healthy). It is not necessary to point out that various criminal hackers or political opponents will also be able to access such information.
5. Thirdly, such an expanded system of state surveillance requires by its very nature an “armed fist” in order to enforce the restrictions. In other words, the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations allows the capitalist state to expand the repression apparatus to enforce everywhere that people who are not vaccinated do not enter this or that place, public transport, etc. Likewise, such repression forces will have to be present at various places in order to control and enforce the rules of social distancing, etc.
6. This is even more the case as only an utterly naïve person could believe that the virus will be eliminated in the foreseeable future. Hence, the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations does not end the “old” methods of the COVID Counterrevolution – based on the Lockdown policy and “social distancing”. No, it is very likely that the ruling class will continue to implement such counterrevolutionary measures and will rather complement them with the new methods.
7. Fifthly, the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations will become a gigantic chauvinist weapon of the imperialist bourgeoisie against migrants from poorer countries. If the state imposes comprehensive surveillance of its own citizens within their country, it will even more control all movements at the borders of its territory. The state will only allow those migrants to enter the country who can proof that they are vaccinated. Imperialist governments will build upon the public hysteria about COVID-19 and claim that any migrant who is not vaccinated is a potential danger for the whole population. Such a policy will legitimize an even more brutally and deadly mission of police and army at the borders and at the sea. In addition, as a substantial number of migrants are living in imperialist countries without official permission (so-called “illegal migrants” or “Sans-Papiers”), governments will use this as a pretext to increase the presence of repression forces on the streets and to control the identity papers of people.
8. Finally, the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations represents an extraordinary business opportunity for the monopolies in various sectors. This is not only true for the pharma corporations but also for the bio-tech industry, the IT and the security industry, and others. It is no accident that the leading monopolies associated with the richest billionaires in the world – from Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg to Zhong Shanshan, Jack Ma and Huang Zheng (to name only a few) – have been key proponents of the Lockdown policy, of the concept of social distancing, of the “Green Pass” and of compulsory vaccinations. In short, the leading monopolies which were the economic backbone of the first stage of the COVID Counterrevolution (focused on the Lockdown policy), are also the driving economic force behind the second stage.
The place of the new system within the COVID Counterrevolution
9. All these developments do not come as a surprise as they are only the logical consequence of the fundamental nature of the COVID Counterrevolution. The RCIT as well as the Argentinean comrades of Convergencia Socialista (who have recently joined the RCIT) have emphasized from the very beginning of this era in February/March 2020 that the ruling class exploits the pandemic as an excuse for a preventive counterrevolution. As we pointed out in our Manifesto “COVID-19: A Cover for a Major Global Counterrevolutionary Offensive” (21 March 2020), the ruling class was faced with a pre-revolutionary crisis beginning in autumn 2019 due to the beginning of the Great Depression of the capitalist world economy, a global wave of mass struggles in numerous countries on all continents, and the acceleration of the tensions between the Great Powers. “These are the conditions which make it necessary for the ruling class to adopt major steps in order to regain the initiative and to enforce its political control over the popular classes via massively expanding its state apparatus. In order to achieve this goal, they create the atmosphere of global panic and a state of emergency. They do so both on a national as well as on a global level.”
10. It has been always clear to us that these factors do not disappear as capitalism has entered a deep, long-term and catastrophic period of crisis. It will remain necessary for the ruling class for an indefinite future to expand the chauvinist-bonapartist state apparatus in order to control and atomize the popular masses. Likewise, it will be urgent for the monopolies for an indefinite future that they try to increase their profits via such a “health” policy. Hence, we predicted that the new measures to surveil the population – under the pretext of “public health” and “combatting the pandemic” – will not disappear in a few months or 1-2 years but which is here to stay for an indefinite period. As we stated in our Manifesto in March 2020, “with one stroke, “Big Brother” is here, openly and without any attempt by the capitalist state to conceal it. The massive surveillance techniques will soon be the new normal worldwide.” (For a more detailed elaboration we refer to our book “The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It”, published in April 2020)
11. For all these reasons, it is clear – both from announcements of leading representatives of the ruling class as well as from the inner logic of the fundamental nature of the COVID Counterrevolution – that the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations is a long-term project of the ruling class. It will only disappear if it is defeated by a popular uprising!
12. The vast majority of the monopoly bourgeoisie in imperialist countries as well as in advanced semi-colonies has advocated and implemented the COVID Counterrevolution and its ideology of justification since spring 2020. They claimed that SARS-CoV-2 would have caused an unprecedented pandemic, that it would represent such a dramatic danger for humanity that this would justify unprecedented restrictions of social life and mass curfews. Shamefully, most so-called left-wing parties parrot this propaganda advocated by large sectors of the ruling class and their media. Stalinist and left-populist parties supported the Lockdown policy from the beginning, brutally implemented it where they have been in power (e.g. Spain, South Africa, China, Vietnam). Some of them (including so-called “Trotskyists”) even called for a more draconic mass curfew (“ZeroCovid”).
COVID-19: Some Myths and Facts
13. As the RCIT has explained since February 2020, Marxists do not deny the existence of a pandemic or that the virus is dangerous for certain sectors of the population (old people and people with pre-existing disease). This is why socialists advocate the expansion of public health sector under workers and popular control. Likewise, vulnerable groups should be offered supportive measures if they wish so (e.g. leave of absence with full wages, comprehensive social and financial support for those who wish to isolate themselves, etc.).
14. However, from the viewpoint of public health there is no justification at all for the transformation of the society in a totalitarian direction! First, the bourgeois whips demagogically exaggerate the danger of the pandemic. As a matter of fact, this pandemic is not unique as similar events in last decades have also caused the death of millions of people (e.g. the influenza pandemics in 1957-58 and in 1968-69, HIV/AIDS, TBC, etc.). None of these pandemics has ever provoked a government to impose mass curfews on its people or to force the whole population to get vaccinated! Sweden, a country which has experienced no lockdown at all until now, had a total mortality per capita in 2020 which was only 1.5% higher than in 2015. Secondly, it is evident – and has been confirmed by various studies – that countries which imposed the Lockdown policy did not fare better than countries (or regions) which did not (e.g. Sweden, Uruguay). More generally, it is completely absurd to destroy a society because of a pandemic which might cause a somewhat higher mortality rate (up to the level of what it had been 5 or 10 years ago)!
15. This is not only absurd but also extremely dangerous since the policy of Lockdowns has catastrophic middle- and long-term consequences due to the lack of attention to people with other serious diseases (e.g. cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.). Furthermore, it is safe to assume that many people will have serious illnesses or will die directly because their immune defenses have been weakened due to the tremendous social stress caused by the governments’ COVID policy. We repeat that such a policy is, from a public health point of view, completely absurd given the fact that the COVID virus is not particularly dangerous for the vast majority of the population – i.e. for all except old people and people with pre-existing disease. For example, according to official data of Sweden’s authorities, all age groups under 75 years experienced hardly any or no increase at all of all-cause mortality per capita in 2020; only those above 90 years saw an increase of all-cause mortality per capita to a level higher than that during the last decade (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Sweden)
16. To those who advocate mass vaccination, we say the following. We are not anti-vaxxers and vaccination has been useful against this or that illness. A socialist society would make serious research of public scientific institutions about which medicine is most effective against a disease. Such research would not be motivated by business interests but by public health considerations. We are not against vaccination if it is tested for its short-term effects and long-term consequences. However, we oppose the bourgeois propaganda for the COVID vaccines that have been hastily introduced – obviously in order to secure gigantic profits for the pharma corporations. Surely, crazy explanations by morons like Brazil’s President Bolsonaro that vaccines will turn people into crocodiles can not be taken seriously. Nevertheless, not only have the potentially long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines been barely researched. The vaccine policy of most governments is a Bonapartist mix of control and forcing people to obey to medical procedures as the price for the right of social freedom (which remain nevertheless limited). This is a general rehearsal for a future in which capitalists are not only dictating over the economic and social life, but even over the body of the working class and oppressed.
17. Furthermore, it would be naïve to assume that the laboratories of the big pharma corporations would subordinate their research to the interests of public health. No, obviously, they are paid by the corporations for the purpose of increasing their profits. Hence, their primary interest is to develop medicine for the largest possible market. For example, a vaccine which has to boosted once or twice a year by everyone is an excellent way to make gigantic extra profits! In other words, the pharma corporations make business with the pandemic and have no interest to seriously eliminate it. If we add the psychological effects and other diseases caused or worsened by the Lockdown policy, it is evident that this increases the business opportunities for big pharma even more!
18. Given the fact that the long-term consequences of the currently used vaccines are not known, we propose that their application is limited to the vulnerable sectors of the population (as long as the affected people are informed about the risks and agree on such a treatment). Likewise, we oppose that alternative, methods to vaccination – like Ivermectin, equine and human plasma, ibuprofen soluble, etc. – are not seriously considered. As our Argentinean comrades from Convergencia Socialista have pointed out for some time, it is necessary to call for the allocation of a part of the health budget to the development of such alternative treatments – even more so, as there have been promising results in Argentina.
19. Furthermore, it is clear that existing vaccines do not stop the spreading of the virus. This is evident from countries in which the majority of the population has been vaccinated (e.g. Israel, UK, Chile). However, everybody who wants to get a vaccination should have access and possibility to free vaccines of their choice. The same is the case for alternative treatments, medicine, etc. Only the workers movement can organize access to these resources in the most democratic and most effective way. Irrespective of the individual choice, we must state clearly: while vaccines as such have been used in the past mainly for medical purposes, it became clear with the COVID-19 vaccine program that a huge political dimension has been added. Revolutionaries oppose any policy that makes getting vaccinated a precondition for participation in all aspects of economic, political and social life. Indigenous people, Black people in the United States, Roma and Sinti people in Europe and many other oppressed have already been forced to medical procedures in the past. They correctly mistrust the ruling classes based on their historical experiences, and we have to share this approach now more than ever before.
20. Even if it would be the case that vaccination reduces the risk of the virus, this would be hardly an argument for the current bourgeois mass vaccination policy. First, as said before, it is widely recognized that the virus is not particularly dangerous for large segments of the population. Why starting a never-ending cycle of mass vaccinations against such a virus?! Secondly, it is often ignored that the rush to introduce a campaign of new vaccines has negative long-term consequences. As such vaccines don’t eliminate the virus in the whole population, it fastens the mutation of the virus, i.e. it makes the virus more dangerous. How can this represent an improvement from a public health point of view?!
21. To those who advocate compulsory vaccination we have nothing to say. As die-hard supporters of chauvinist state bonapartism who legitimize the shift towards totalitarianism, these are enemies of the people.
Mass protests and revolutionary tactics
22. It is hardly surprising that the draconic imposition of the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations provokes wide-spread resentment by large sectors of the population. Despite a systematic and hysterical campaign by a nearly monolithic alliance of all parties and media of the bourgeoisie, many people do not buy the propaganda of the governments. In France, Italy, Greece and other countries large demonstrations have already taken place. In France, many local initiatives have sprung up in order to organize resistance. Likewise, various local trade union branches (including such of left-wing trade unions like CGT or SUD) oppose the new laws of Macron. However, on a political level, so-called left parties do not play any role in such mobilizations. This is hardly surprising since nearly all of them have been hard-core advocates of the COVID Counterrevolution since the beginning. As a result, those political forces which play a role in the opposition against the Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations are primarily petty-bourgeois democratic forces (including various artists) as well as certain right-wing forces (e.g. « les Patriotes » in France – a Euro-sceptic split from RN). Given the support of Stalinist and left-populist parties for the policy of Lockdown and mass vaccination, it is only logical that other forces take the leadership in such protests.
23. No doubt, die-hard reformist and centrists will point to the important role of right-wing forces in such mobilizations in order to justify their denunciation of these protests. However, it is the fault of the so-called “left” that reactionary forces can air as “democrats”! If the “left” capitulates to chauvinist state bonapartism, populist demagogues have free rein. Such a situation is not without precedent. When Nazi-Germany occupied nearly all countries in Europe in 1939-41, the major force among left-wing parties – the Stalinists – refused to organize serious resistance because of Moscow’s alliance with Hitler. When Stalin joined forces with U.S. and U.K. imperialism (1941-45), the Stalinists (as well as the social democrats) strongly opposed any class struggle in pro-Western countries and colonies. Hence, it was left to other forces – including some who collaborated with Nazi-Germany like Nasser in Egypt or Bose in India – who played a leading role in the liberation struggle.
24. What should be the tactics of socialists towards such demonstrations? Naturally, this has to be decided concretely on a case-by-case basis. However, the RCIT has advocated certain principles about this issue since spring 2020 which, in our opinion, are still valid. The strategic goal is to build a socialist, pro-working-class pole within the mass protests as this is a multi-class, highly contradictory, and often confused milieu. It is crucial to defeat and drive out reactionary, right-wing forces. It is absolutely legitimate to make tactical alliances with progressive, democratic forces. However, socialists have always to keep an independent profile. It is impermissible for socialists to build for demonstrations organized and dominated by right-wing forces (or even to make alliances with them). There can be contradictory situations where a mobilization has been originally initiated by a right-wing party but assumes such a mass character that they lose control over it in the course of a demonstration. In such situations it can be tactically sensible to intervene and to break sectors away from such a demonstration. Naturally, it is useful to distribute propaganda and agitation and to discuss with participants wherever segments of the masses – driven by a democratic outrage against the COVID Counterrevolution – are engaged in protests. However, it is imperative to avoid any impression that the red flag could have anything in common with the flag of right-wing chauvinism! In the end, the goal must be that socialist, progressive and democratic forces organize their own, independent mobilizations against the COVID-19 Counterrevolution.
25. In summary, the RCIT considers the system of “Green Pass” and compulsory vaccinations as a new and dangerous stage of the COVID Counterrevolution. It opens the road to a drastic expansion of chauvinist-bonapartist police and surveillance state. It is driven by business interests of monopolies the pharma, bio-tech, the IT, the security, and other industries. Socialists must unreservedly oppose this gigantic reactionary offensive against democratic rights. They must build for socialist leadership in mass protests against this attack. Our main slogans are:
* Defense of democratic rights – no to all “emergency” laws of the last 1,5 years!
* Expropriation of all pharmaceutical corporations under control of the working people!
* Expansion of the public health sector under workers and popular control!
We call all socialists who share a perspective as we have outlined in this document to join the RCIT in the struggle against the COVID Counterrevolution!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
taken from here