"Population lockdown: the bourgeois state shows its brutality"

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jk1921
"Population lockdown: the bourgeois state shows its brutality"
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Interesting to see this piece from the ICC. It would appear to stand in some contrast to the emphasis of other interventions, where there is much criticism of the decision to open up "prematurely," as well as scorn for those who reject the idea that there was no other choice to lockdown.

And if this article is heavy in its depiction of the disastarous results of lockdowns for the working class and other vulnerable sectors of the population, it is neverthless not written in the same vein as the criticims made by Tagore2 elsewhere, where lockdowns are characterized as irrational, driven by fear and stupidity, etc. Rather, the article here suggests that there was no alternative for the bourgeoisie and for society as a whole, even suggesting that the lockdowns were accepted as necessary by most of the population, despite their heavy burden.

The difference in emphasis here is important as we are now facing a new surge in the virus in which the possibility of further lockdowns looms. While most national bourgeoisie remain very reluctant to do it again; it nevertheless appears that many may arrive at the conclusion that they have no other choice very soon, giving rising case numbers, with the expected eventual uptick in hospitalizations and deaths.

However, this time it may not be as well regarded by the population. There have been a series of protests against lockdowns across Europe in recent days. What do we make of the nature of these protests? It is difficult to tell just what weight they carry in society from the scant reporting, but the fact that they are happening in a number of countries simultaneously seems important. And it doesn't appear as if they are emanating solely from the populist or libertarian right. At a protest in Barcelona, signs were seen denouncing the state of affairs as "Covidatlism." Its not clear what this means, but there seems to be a growing sense in the population that states are relishing a little too much in a new found arbitrary power to reorder society, using the virus as a pretext. The situation in Barcelona may have been aggravated by the proposal for a weekend only lockdown. Apparently, it is safe enough to brave the virus during the work week, but the workers will spend their off days locked in the house? Who wants to live like that? Is stopping this virus, assuming that is even possible, worth it?

Clearly, the various European governments find themselves in a state of utter confusion at the moment, unable to offer any real perspective for overcoming the crisis. Without a Trump to blame for the spread, it seems they are turning their frustrations in on their own populations, who are said to suffer from "pandemic fatigiue," when they are not being downright selfish and reckless. Compare this chaotic situation to the US, where the Trump administration, perhaps in its dying months, has essentially given up on mitigating the spread and has basically just told the population to endure it until there is a vaccine. However, crass this may be, it at least releives the US state from dealing with anti-lockdown backlash, the prospects of protests that call its legitimacy into question and even more deeply ruined petty bourgeoisie. Here, the federal nature of the US state may be a blessing, as these kind of decisions can be spread down to a lower level; something it appears the European governments are attempting to as well through localized lockdowns, although with much greater difficulty.

I have thought from the start that the lockdown policies were adopted mostly out of concern for the legitimacy of the state and particular governments, such that they feared the backlash and recriminations from society should the hospitals be overrun. The Swedes on the other hand, whose response the article does not really address, appear to have had the opposite legitimacy concern--that their population would not tolerate a series of lockdowns with no longterm perspective. Perhaps this was more prescient than is acknowledged? But what do we make of the protests? It is said in Italy that they are being stoked by the Mafia, but is this all a reactionary anti-social phenomenon, on the order of the "Yellow Vests," or are these protests the result of people pushed to the limits of human endurance and given no perspective?

 

 

Tagore2
“the main and real concern

Quote:
the main and real concern for the bourgeoisie was to protect its economy as much as possible and to keep the fall in profits to a minimum.

Source.

This is totally wrong: the covid will cost society hundreds, if not thousands, of billions of dollars! In Spain, for example, GDP is likely to fall by more than 10%. Many countries will endure a similar recession. Never seen since the war!

As for those who say: "yes, but we had to ..." A global containment of 4 billion people has never been done in all of human history! It was never considered before 2020, it was never proposed as a solution to epidemics!

As for the results of this unprecedented “experiment”, two massive epidemiological studies, already cited, one in Spain and the other in Italy, have shown that confinement had no effect on contamination, quite the contrary: confined workers were slightly more contaminated than unconfined workers.

More recently in France, the state decreed a curfew on one third and then two thirds of the population, from 17 October. Today the country is testing over 1 million people per week, so we are able to verify if there is, I wouldn't say causation, but at least a correlation between the curfew and the Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people. What was the result? Absolutely zero! No effect! On the contrary, the curfew is associated with an increasing rate of contamination. But this is not causation: the epidemic is simply following its course, indifferent to irrational and unnecessary government actions.

What about Argentina? Contained continuously since March, and the epidemic continues to grow, as if nothing had happened!

What about Sweden? No lockdown! The epidemic went through its exponential phase, reached its peak, and then slowly subsided. Where are the tens of thousands of deaths predicted by catastrophists?

It's the same for all countries! There is no correlation, let's not even talk about causation, between lockdowns, curfews on the one hand and contamination on the other. And why? Because containment is an irrational measure never tested, never considered, and it has been "experienced" by the idiots who rule us in spite of all the epidemiological knowledge developed since the appearance of scientific medicine!

But then what steps to take, you will tell me? But the measures to be taken are already known to the doctors, it is just that the government has been unable to organize them! Protecting, testing, isolating and treating, is this the peak of scientific knowledge in epidemiology? But France, which is one of the countries with the most PCR machines per capita in the world, was unable to organize the tests in March! Because France is not even able to manage a stock of masks! The state has become such a huge machine, so inefficient, so rotten with contradictory conflicts of interest that it is unable to manage an epidemic, despite all the knowledge, all the scientific and technical progress accumulated since the 19th century!

On the contrary, it was panic at the top of the state, and everyone wanted to do like the others like sheep, so that we could not blame them for anything! The state is made up of a bunch of incompetents, advised by experts paid by the pharmaceutical industry. Institutions are unable to cope with serious crises, and in the face of carelessness and panic, only one thing remains: authoritarian police state measures, to control the population. This is how curfew and lockdown should be understood!

And it depends a lot on the rulers and the organization of the state: in Sweden, they have not confined, they have not had a health catastrophe and they are avoiding a appalling economic recession. They did as we did it all before 2020, the year when everyone went crazy and wanted to “innovate” with this lockdown, unprecedented in the history of mankind.

Tagore2
Tomorrow, I will participate

Tomorrow, I will participate in the anti-lockdown demonstration in France.

jk1921
Tagore2 wrote:

Tagore2 wrote:

It's the same for all countries! There is no correlation, let's not even talk about causation, between lockdowns, curfews on the one hand and contamination on the other. And why? Because containment is an irrational measure never tested, never considered, and it has been "experienced" by the idiots who rule us in spite of all the epidemiological knowledge developed since the appearance of scientific medicine!

But then what steps to take, you will tell me? But the measures to be taken are already known to the doctors, it is just that the government has been unable to organize them! Protecting, testing, isolating and treating, is this the peak of scientific knowledge in epidemiology? But France, which is one of the countries with the most PCR machines per capita in the world, was unable to organize the tests in March! Because France is not even able to manage a stock of masks! The state has become such a huge machine, so inefficient, so rotten with contradictory conflicts of interest that it is unable to manage an epidemic, despite all the knowledge, all the scientific and technical progress accumulated since the 19th century!

On the contrary, it was panic at the top of the state, and everyone wanted to do like the others like sheep, so that we could not blame them for anything! The state is made up of a bunch of incompetents, advised by experts paid by the pharmaceutical industry. Institutions are unable to cope with serious crises, and in the face of carelessness and panic, only one thing remains: authoritarian police state measures, to control the population. This is how curfew and lockdown should be understood!

And it depends a lot on the rulers and the organization of the state: in Sweden, they have not confined, they have not had a health catastrophe and they are avoiding a appalling economic recession. They did as we did it all before 2020, the year when everyone went crazy and wanted to “innovate” with this lockdown, unprecedented in the history of mankind.

The first state to lockdown was China (but only in Hubei?). The lockdown there appears to have been particularly brutal (doors welded shut to keep people confined), but also rather successful. Regardless if you believe the official numbers coming out of China, the authoritarian police state measures, have allowed it to control the spread better than most other states, even if in the end they might not prevent the pandemic from eventually running its course.

What has been truly amazing in this global crisis, has been the speed and extent to which Western governments adopted the Chinese methods, shutting down their economies and eroding the "personal freedom" which is part of the foundational ideolgies of their sociteies. There are reports that the Chinese state, after its early experience with the virus, went on a diplomatic campaign encouraging Western states to emulate their methods. I don't know the veracity of these, but if true it is interesting. Still, caught on the back foot and faced with incredibly ominous epidemiological predictions, it is perhaps not surprising that many Western governments concluded that it was in their best interests to follow the Chinese model as best they could. However, the Swedish example, and to a lesser extent the United States, shows that is erroneous to suggest that there was "no alternative," to enacting lockdowns enforced by the state. So why then did this happen?

Clearly, I think, there was the problem of the legitimacy of state itself, but also more immediately of the particular governments, should the worst predictions come true and there was a media spectacle around the overrunning of the hospitals. These predictions even appear to have momentarily swayed Trump into backing a limited call to stay at home (Although, I susepct his administration probably thought the worst case scenarios were wrong and that they could take credit when the death toll was lower). This may have been a failure of the science: overestimating the death rate, failing to account for pre-existing immunity, amount of asymptomatic cases, etc. But it also speaks to an underlying fear of the bourgeoise in that they know they are on some tenuous ground with society, having pushed cuts to the health care sectors in preceding years.

Secondarily, however, I suspect that there is a level of "Promethean delusion," among certains sectors of the ruling class--a function of an overall ideological crisis, in which they really thought they could suppress the virus. This very quickly mainfested itelf in the form of ideological culture wars however; with a serious discussion of the epidemiological and medical dilemnas drowned out by recriminations over a "murderous herd immunity strategy" on one side and an authoritarian attempt to control social life based out of irrational fear or a cyncial will to power on the other. And this is where we are today, in a hyper partisan and polarized media envrionment with most states running scared, but unable to offer their poulations much perpsective for transcending the crisis. With many of the liberal factions of the bourgeoisie appearing to see the Chinese response as a model, while the libertarian and populist right celebrate the Swedes, we are truly in an ideological crisis that challenges previous narratives.

Tagore2
Professor Toussaint and his

Professor Toussaint and his team studied the statistical association between the covid death rate and different parameters. Using multivariate analysis, they was able to distinguish between parameters that were positively, negatively, or not associated with mortality.

Are positively associated with mortality:

  • life expectancy,

  • the rate of obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer,

  • sedentary lifestyle,

  • GDP per capita,

That is, parameters specific to developed countries.

Are negatively associated with mortality:

  • the rate of infectious disease,

  • the increase in life expectancy,

  • temperature,

  • UV exposure,

That is, parameters specific to emerging countries.

Are not associated with mortality:

  • the humidity level,

  • the severity of lockdown.

The article has just been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal: it should be published next week.

In the meantime, you can see Professor Toussaint's lecture which exposes the main results, especially at 19:31.

There are indeed studies that come to the opposite conclusion, but these studies are based on mathematical simulations and not on actual statistical data.

All of these simulations are not science, as they are extremely sensitive to initial conditions, and these conditions can be arbitrarily changed to give the desired result. A good example of such flawed simulations is the Gardner’s forecast based on Ferguson’s model, who predicted 96,000 deaths in Sweden if the country did not contain. Sweden did not contain. There were 6,000 deaths.

Tagore2
Riots in Barcelona.

Riots in Barcelona. Demonstrations in Italy. Against the lockdown.

Pending the publication of De Larochelambert et all., you can read, in French, an article which summarizes its conclusions, and provides some graphics.

All other things being equal (multivariate analysis), there is no association between the intensity of the lockdown and mortality.

You can wait for the publication of the original article to give you an opinion. But in my opinion, we are at a crossroads. Society will be increasingly divided over lockdown. Economic losses accumulate with each lockdown, to the point where society can no longer hold out. No country can survive with -10% of GDP per year.

Tagore2
The ICC is recovering

Quote:
  • the disorganised rivalry of the imperialist powers, notably among former allies, has turned the reaction of the world bourgeoisie to the pandemic into a global fiasco;
  • the ineptitude of the response of the ruling class to the health crisis has revealed the growing tendency to a loss of political control of the bourgeoisie and its state over society within each nation;
  • the decline in the political and social competence of the ruling class and its state has been accompanied in an astonishing way by ideological putrefaction: the leaders of the most powerful capitalist nations are spewing out ridiculous lies and superstitious nonsense to justify their ineptitude.

[...]

[...] The resort to the medieval methods of quarantine in answer to Covid, when capitalism has developed the scientific, technological and social means to understand, pre-empt and contain the eruption of plagues, (but is unable to deploy them) is testimony to the impasse of a society that is ‘rotting on its feet’ and increasingly unable to utilise the productive forces that it has set in motion.

[...]

Of course, the worsening of the permanent economic crisis of capitalism is the root cause of this transition, a crisis which is common to all periods of its decadence. But it is the management - or rather the growing mismanagement - of the effects of this crisis that has changed and is a key component of present and future disasters that are characteristic of the specific period of decomposition.

[...]

The mass quarantine by the imperialist states today is certainly accompanied by the greater presence of the military in daily life and the use of war-like exhortations by the states. But this demobilisation of the population is to a considerable extent motivated by the state’s fear of the threat of social disorder in a period when the working class, while quiescent, remains undefeated.

[...]

[...] The capacity of the state to hold a decaying society together, however invasive it becomes, is therefore destined to weaken over time and in the end become an aggravating factor of the very contradictions it is trying to contain. The decomposition of capitalism is the period in which a growing loss of control by the ruling class and its state becomes the dominant trend of social evolution, which Covid reveals so dramatically.

Source: Report on the Covid-19 pandemic and the period of capitalist decomposition

There is still some slag left over from the old line:

Quote:

the different factions of the world bourgeoisie subsequently gambled on an economic recovery, at the expense of an even greater number of victims, by re-opening society while the pandemic had only temporarily abated in certain countries.

In no country in the world has the epidemic restarted immediately after unlocking was completed.

In accordance with the epidemiological knowledge we have on other respiratory viruses, Sars-cov-2 regressed in all temperate countries during the summer, mutated, and a new epidemic broke out with new variants early in the new cold season 2020-2021.

I stress that our knowledge is currently too limited to be certain of the seasonality of the virus. But it looks a lot like what we already know from other respiratory viruses in temperate countries.

In any event, it is absolutely certain that it was not the unlock in May that sparked another outbreak in October. Chronologically, this is not consistent: the disease fell below the epidepic threshold in summer and it is a new epidemic, different from the first, with new recent variants, that we are currently facing.

It is important to continue thinking about the lockdown as a means of controlling the population when the state was unable to organize an adequate response to the health situation, due to the aggravation of its internal contradictions and those of the capitalism itself.

 

Tagore2
Socks and books are now

Socks and books are now banned from sale in French supermarkets.

In Wales, the sale of baby milk is sometimes prohibited because it is considered "non-essential".

Panic, irrationality, and economic disorder are worsening, and threaten to have serious consequences if not stopped.

Tagore2
An organization of Spanish

An organization of Spanish police will demonstrate against the freedom-killing confinement measures on November 7. For the moment, this demonstration is peaceful. We must carefully watch this protest by the police against the police state. If you have militants in Madrid, it would be interesting to participate, in order to take the temperature and discuss.