NHS Workers sceptical of vaccine hold firm - Any solidarity?

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Communist
NHS Workers sceptical of vaccine hold firm - Any solidarity?
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https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2021/02/28/almost-a-quarter-of-london-hea...

So it seems the resistance might well be stronger than many think, myself included. A refusal rate of 25% would put NHS workers well in excess of the general population.

Tricky one for the fake totalitarian liberals, when the minority communities they claim to care about are leading the way in vaccine refusal.

Those who argue in favour of mandatory workplace vaccination, in any workplace, reveal their own subconscious prejudice - a prejudice which says low-paid workers are little more than cattle who need to be 'dosed' for their own good.

This is rapidly becoming a class issue. However the 'labour aristocracy', the so-called middle class are yet to get with the program. 

I hope someone else has an opinion on this...

I read this website and follow the ICC because i've always seen them (you?) as highly principled with strong theoretical foundations. But the silence on these issues, it's deafening.

 

 

 

Tagore2
The ICC is made up of many

The ICC is made up of many elderly people, terrorized by the virus, and approving of the measures of health dictatorship.

Of course, other people in the ICC are neither terrified nor in favor of these measures.

Still others are undecided.

Considering the tenor of the ICC articles, it seems that undecided people are the majority, and frightened people outnumber brave people.

The ICC's relative silence on many key issues illustrates this indecision.

The ICC is not a vanguard party, it does not even consider itself as a political "party", but as a simple "current". Lenin would describe them as "tail-ist": they choose their orientation by following the movement.

If the ICC observes a movement for vaccine freedom, they will support it, and if it is a movement for compulsory vaccination ("vaccine solidarity"), they will support it too.

As this question is completely indeterminate in the proletariat, so is the ICC. ICC is used to taking no binding initiatives, and figuring things out in last. It's one way to make fewer mistakes.

After all, it's not as bad as the wsws, which is downright committed to the health dictatorship.

The wsws is also run mostly by elderly people.

The wsws and the ICC offer us two images of old age: the hypochondriac pro-dictatorship reaction on the one hand, and expectant passivity on the other.

Communist
Tagore2 wrote:

Tagore2 wrote:

The ICC is made up of many elderly people, terrorized by the virus, and approving of the measures of health dictatorship.

Of course, other people in the ICC are neither terrified nor in favor of these measures.

Still others are undecided.

Considering the tenor of the ICC articles, it seems that undecided people are the majority, and frightened people outnumber brave people.

The ICC's relative silence on many key issues illustrates this indecision.

The ICC is not a vanguard party, it does not even consider itself as a political "party", but as a simple "current". Lenin would describe them as "tail-ist": they choose their orientation by following the movement.

If the ICC observes a movement for vaccine freedom, they will support it, and if it is a movement for compulsory vaccination ("vaccine solidarity"), they will support it too.

As this question is completely indeterminate in the proletariat, so is the ICC. ICC is used to taking no binding initiatives, and figuring things out in last. It's one way to make fewer mistakes.

After all, it's not as bad as the wsws, which is downright committed to the health dictatorship.

The wsws is also run mostly by elderly people.

The wsws and the ICC offer us two images of old age: the hypochondriac pro-dictatorship reaction on the one hand, and expectant passivity on the other.

 

Whilst it might well be true that the ICC are disappointingly ambivalent and overly fearful/obediant of the whole corona narrative, it's maybe a bit unfair to emphasise the 'elderly' aspect. Plenty of the most hysterical lockdown and needle pushers are young, 'trendy', work from home types locked in a juvenile echo chamber on social media. I agree that social composition matters - the party should seek to be reflective of the class in terms of work sector, gender, age, ethnicity etc, however the fact that many ICC members are elderly says nothing of the 'correctness' (or otherwise) of their position.

Having said that, this lockdown issue really can't be just something which is coldly analysed without any firm conclusions. Millions are living their own private hell in silence. Who will speak for them?

Communist
Not a 'class issue' huh?

Nobody from the ICC have any opinion whatsoever on this issue then? Not even a personal opinion...

Forumteam
Issues raised on this thread

The ICC has a lot to say on the issues posed by this thread, and we are preparing a response. 

Communist
Forumteam wrote:

Forumteam wrote:

The ICC has a lot to say on the issues posed by this thread, and we are preparing a response. 

I see. Apologies if I was perhaps a bit rude. To be honest this is the only group I really follow politically which is why perhaps it comes across as me making demands that you take positions. I don't mean it to be like that and I don't mean to badger. I just think the ICC is by far the most principled 'communist' organisations out there. I hope one day there might be another in-person public meet. Many years ago I went to one, with virtually no money, and one of the attendees was kind enough to help me pay for my dinner afterwards. I'll never forget that.

Communist
I nervously await

I nervously await! For all I know the put-down of all put-downs is on it's way. I just want to say, much like what Tagore said, adopting a 'tail'-ist position, merely following the Trots and Leftists, would be a massive disappointment. In general these days the Left are easily taken in by insincere appeals to 'solidarity', and both the lockdown and mandatory vaccination are issues which can be framed in such rhetoric.

But for them, that's all it is - Rhetoric. For them 'revolution' is little more than historical Live Action Role Play. Dont be like them... please...

In the words of Raoul Vaneigem:

''People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth''

Communist
Story hits MSM

Now the Guardian, the paper of the hand wringing liberals who went along with the clapping shite, reports:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/mar/03/unions-attack-sinister-p...

This could be big. 

Comunero
Do not trust unions

I know very little about current UK bourgeois politics, but whenever unions are involved whatever is big can only be against the working class. As the article says, from a State perspective "forced vaccinations are the wrong way to go" when they have other ways to accomplish the same goal, such as propaganda, making it mandatory for traveling, etc. That's one of the roles of unions: make whatever the national capital needs more palatable for the working class. They probably realize that forcing vaccines risks a backlash, and they would be right.

To be clear, I don't oppose the vaccines per se. But I do oppose the State imposing its needs upon the working class as if they were cattle. That will happen for as long as the State exists, of course.

Communist
Comunero wrote:

Comunero wrote:

I know very little about current UK bourgeois politics, but whenever unions are involved whatever is big can only be against the working class. As the article says, from a State perspective "forced vaccinations are the wrong way to go" when they have other ways to accomplish the same goal, such as propaganda, making it mandatory for traveling, etc. That's one of the roles of unions: make whatever the national capital needs more palatable for the working class. They probably realize that forcing vaccines risks a backlash, and they would be right.

To be clear, I don't oppose the vaccines per se. But I do oppose the State imposing its needs upon the working class as if they were cattle. That will happen for as long as the State exists, of course.

 

I completely agree. I think your position is the correct one - workers are not cattle. Whether or not the unions can be trusted to carry this position forward and defend it, I don't know. This whole situation has given me tremendous anxiety so I'm grateful for any sign of 'hope' however futile

Comunero
The problem in this case with

The problem in this case with unions is the same problem that I have with the "just trust the science bro" argument. The main difference between the government's experts and a union is that while it's crystal clear that anyone in a government related position is not in the working class' side, the unions attempt to give the impression that they are not only part of the working class, but their "representatives" (and legally recognized as such). Despite this appearance, their role is still a state role. I won't trust any state institution, as I know they are just managing my class so it better serves the needs of capital.

I understand that feeling of anxiety regarding mandatory vaccination, as I have a similar feeling myself. In my case it's not that much about vaccination (I'm not too worried about the vaccine, just the "mandatory" part), but about the mass surveillance that is being deployed for "tracking and prevention". I can empathize with your relief when seeing that the unions don't think that mandatory vaccines are a good strategy for compliance: I feel the same relief whenever some bourgeois "civil rights" organization pushes back against this or that specific surveillance measure. However, it's important to understand that those "pushbacks" don't come from the working class and aren't concerned with the working class being treated as cattle, they just differ on the proper way to manage the cattle. It's "don't beat the dogs too much or they will try bite you, remember that you can use treats as well to get the desired behavior", to make an oversimplification.

Sadly, that leaves us with quite a dire situation, with a terrified and confused working class without any strength, by now, to struggle. What can we do? I don't know, but I do know that when we trust their institutions, even if critically or for utilitarian purposes, we lose.

Communist
Comunero wrote:

Comunero wrote:

The problem in this case with unions is the same problem that I have with the "just trust the science bro" argument. The main difference between the government's experts and a union is that while it's crystal clear that anyone in a government related position is not in the working class' side, the unions attempt to give the impression that they are not only part of the working class, but their "representatives" (and legally recognized as such). Despite this appearance, their role is still a state role. I won't trust any state institution, as I know they are just managing my class so it better serves the needs of capital.

I understand that feeling of anxiety regarding mandatory vaccination, as I have a similar feeling myself. In my case it's not that much about vaccination (I'm not too worried about the vaccine, just the "mandatory" part), but about the mass surveillance that is being deployed for "tracking and prevention". I can empathize with your relief when seeing that the unions don't think that mandatory vaccines are a good strategy for compliance: I feel the same relief whenever some bourgeois "civil rights" organization pushes back against this or that specific surveillance measure. However, it's important to understand that those "pushbacks" don't come from the working class and aren't concerned with the working class being treated as cattle, they just differ on the proper way to manage the cattle. It's "don't beat the dogs too much or they will try bite you, remember that you can use treats as well to get the desired behavior", to make an oversimplification.

Sadly, that leaves us with quite a dire situation, with a terrified and confused working class without any strength, by now, to struggle. What can we do? I don't know, but I do know that when we trust their institutions, even if critically or for utilitarian purposes, we lose.

Again I absolutely agree! It's not that I trust the unions, just basically the conclusion that there must be something simmering at a grassroots level - now it might well be true that the unions are merely 'containing' this unrest, but it is there. In a time where we are all under house arrest (apart from work of course, and those are the 'lucky' ones), I barely know what is real anymore. Am I real? Is the proletariat real? Am I just a simulation? - I spend all day looking at a screen. Even the way in which we conversate online and via zoom meetings is so artificial, so fake, everything, EVERYTHING we do is mediated by Big Tech, increasingly even unto our human relationships.  Will this nightmare ever end?

No, is the answer IMO, not unless we start confronting this lockdown and all of the disgusting bourgeois security culture which accompanies it. These vaccine passports have the potential to open up Pandora's Box and unleash a network of surveillance and control never seen before in human history. It is terrifying. And just because certain bourgeois factions also see this danger, that doesn't give us any excuse to merely 'sit this one out'. 

Out of interest, are you part of the ICC? 

Comunero
> These vaccine passports

> These vaccine passports have the potential to open up Pandora's Box and unleash a network of surveillance and control never seen before in human history. It is terrifying.

Yes, that's exactly what I think too. If we let this and similar, parallel attacks be successful, we risk a definitive defeat.

> are you part of the ICC?

No, I was quite close to the ICC for some years, but then drifted apart. Now I'm politically not as close, but they're still the only honest and genuine revolutionary organization that I know of.

Forumteam
flouting the principles of proletarian ebate

Many issues are posed on this thread, not least

  • The marxist analysis of the historical significance of the pandemic and the bourgeoisie’s response to it
  • The situation of the working class faced with the pandemic and the lock-down, and the difference between a class response and the defence of “individual freedom”
  • The difference between a proletarian organization like the ICC and a leftist group like the wsws

However, none of these issues can be further discussed on this thread or anywhere else on this forum if the basic principles of proletarian debate are blatantly flouted. We refer to Tagore2’s personalized attacks on ICC militants, whose position on the lock-down, he alleges, is the result of their age and “cowardice”. This is combined with an attempt to create divisions between those ICC militants who are "cowards", those who are brave, and those who haven't yet made up their minds.

This is not the first time that Tagore2 has used this form of personalized argument to explain the ICC’s positions on the pandemic. In a previous thread he attributed it to the fact the majority of ICC members are based in western Europe and therefore have no understanding of the struggles of workers outside of this zone. This argument not only reveals Tagore2’s inability to break from a kind of third wordlist Maoism, but is also an insult to ICC comrades fighting to defend class positions in places like South America, India and the Philippines, often in the face of very difficult material and political conditions.

But more importantly, arguing against political positions on the basis of the age, sociological origins or ethnic identity of the comrades defending them can only poison debate.

And above all, the “information” Tagore2 offers us about ICC militants, aimed at conveying an “insider knowledge” of the composition and motivations of our comrades, smacks of the methods of provocation used by political parasites and the agents of the bourgeois state.

Unless Tagore2 is prepared to accept the principles of proletarian debate, it is clear that he has no place on this forum.

Communist
Forumteam wrote:

Forumteam wrote:

Many issues are posed on this thread, not least

  • The marxist analysis of the historical significance of the pandemic and the bourgeoisie’s response to it
  • The situation of the working class faced with the pandemic and the lock-down, and the difference between a class response and the defence of “individual freedom”
  • The difference between a proletarian organization like the ICC and a leftist group like the wsws

However, none of these issues can be further discussed on this thread or anywhere else on this forum if the basic principles of proletarian debate are blatantly flouted. We refer to Tagore2’s personalized attacks on ICC militants, whose position on the lock-down, he alleges, is the result of their age and “cowardice”. This is combined with an attempt to create divisions between those ICC militants who are "cowards", those who are brave, and those who haven't yet made up their minds.

This is not the first time that Tagore2 has used this form of personalized argument to explain the ICC’s positions on the pandemic. In a previous thread he attributed it to the fact the majority of ICC members are based in western Europe and therefore have no understanding of the struggles of workers outside of this zone. This argument not only reveals Tagore2’s inability to break from a kind of third wordlist Maoism, but is also an insult to ICC comrades fighting to defend class positions in places like South America, India and the Philippines, often in the face of very difficult material and political conditions.

But more importantly, arguing against political positions on the basis of the age, sociological origins or ethnic identity of the comrades defending them can only poison debate.

And above all, the “information” Tagore2 offers us about ICC militants, aimed at conveying an “insider knowledge” of the composition and motivations of our comrades, smacks of the methods of provocation used by political parasites and the agents of the bourgeois state.

Unless Tagore2 is prepared to accept the principles of proletarian debate, it is clear that he has no place on this forum.

So what, you'll spite ALL OF US because of this? Because you don't like what Tagore said you're gonna take your ball and go home?

Communist
And up on your front page is

And up on your front page is a lengthy attack on some Gaizka fella. Nobody outside of the ICC will know who that is. This petty personal shit is ridiculous! 

Tagore2
The ICC does not accept that

The ICC does not accept that the positions of the ICC can be determined by its social composition. It is something that we readily admit for others, but never for ourselves. Yet it is objectively obvious that age, standard of living or nationality determines the way of thinking. But subjectively, it is much more difficult to admit. I will not deny this difficulty for myself.

Moreover, about the "insults", I would like to point out to you that you associate me with Maoism, a political movement at the origin of major property upheavals in China which have caused famines and the death of tens of millions of people. As such, I might find it infamous, as you found it infamous to be associated with the pro-war socialists of 14-18. But I don't care and I find it rather funny. Behind the hyperbole, there is always a basis of truth in the sense that I surely have a Third World inclination, and that you have a tendency to let yourself go with the flow, to accept the unacceptable because it is imposed on you by the state. For example: containment.

In March-April 2020, the government decided to contain, so the ICC declared the containment "necessary", and "the only solution".

At the end of January 2021, everyone believed that the French government was going to reconfine: the members of the scientific council were looping on the major television channels to explain to us that the epidemic was beginning a new exponential phase, that we had to reconfine otherwise we would all die. Ultimately, Macron authoritatively decided that he will not reconfine: perhaps because he had an epiphany or he received a call from a large capitalist union.

At that date, the ICC was careful not to comment on this possible reconfinement. But if Macron had decided to reconfine, would the ICC have declared this confinement "necessary", "the only solution"? And now that Macron has decided not to reconfine, confinement is no longer "necessary", nor "the only solution"? We have the impression that the ICC's position is dependent on government decisions, and when things are unclear, the ICC does not speak out.

Hence our questioning on the ICC's position on compulsory vaccination, vaccination surveillance, and the dismissal of workers who refuse to be vaccinated. Does the ICC wait until things have already been decided by the state before speak out? What is its position of principle?

All this gives the impression that the ICC is speaking out against the bourgeois state as long as there is no crisis, but in the event of a "health catastrophe" (which is not even the case), the ICC becomes much more flexible and recognizes to the state certain rights of management over the proletariat, for its own good and "for sanitary reasons".

Comunero
Some points

Tagore2, if an organization's positions are "determined" by its sociological composition, why would you bother discussing anything with an organization with an "inadequate" sociological composition?

> the ICC declared the containment "necessary", and "the only solution".

Where? I would agree they have been far from clear on that issue, but I haven't found any instance of them saying that lockdowns (or containment, or confinement), specifically, are necessary. Could you please provide the source?

> So what, you'll spite ALL OF US because of this? Because you don't like what Tagore said you're gonna take your ball and go home?

I suppose (but I don't know) that they're still preparing an intervention but have decided to intervene when reading Tagore2. I don't think that's a very good style of moderation, it would be better if at least the interventions and the moderation came from different account names IMO.

> And up on your front page is a lengthy attack on some Gaizka fella. Nobody outside of the ICC will know who that is. This petty personal shit is ridiculous!

Not true. That guy is extremely active in trying to recruit young people for his "group", so that kind of articles may at least make some of them ask him some questions. Bear in mind that this alleged "communist" is an entrepreneur who has been campaign manager for the PSOE (the main socialdemocratic Spanish party), has provided technology and "intelligence" (yes, intelligence as in compiling potentially sensitive information for strategic purposes) for BBVA, the second largest Spanish bank, and more. We are talking here of someone with decades of direct service to the Spanish bourgeoisie pretending to be a "left communist" and recruiting high school students for his personal cult in the name of the "communist left". I think that's pretty serious.

The whole COVID crisis stuff is, of course, several orders of magnitude more serious than that. I will add two important topics to Forumteam's list:

- The political nature of lockdowns and State-mandated vaccination: are they State repression? (I think yes)
- The attitude of revolutionaries towards the bourgeoisie's management of crises: should revolutionaries support specific measures? (I think no)

Communist
My earlier comment regarding Gaizka

I withdraw my earlier comment. I had no clue about said individual but perhaps thats my ignorance, apologies. Forumteam please don't bother with a lengthy condemnation of above comment regarding Gaizka as I withdraw it unequivocally. My earlier comment stands however. We're all wasting time! What is to be done? Well, I don't have a bloody clue! I'm still waiting to properly hear what the ICC thinks...

Communist
Sticks and Stones?

Tagore2 wrote:

Moreover, about the "insults", I would like to point out to you that you associate me with Maoism, a political movement at the origin of major property upheavals in China which have caused famines and the death of tens of millions of people. As such, I might find it infamous, as you found it infamous to be associated with the pro-war socialists of 14-18. But I don't care and I find it rather funny. Behind the hyperbole, there is always a basis of truth in the sense that I surely have a Third World inclination, and that you have a tendency to let yourself go with the flow, to accept the unacceptable because it is imposed on you by the state. For example: containment.

Sympathise with Tagore here. Whilst I felt the 'elderly' comment was unneccessary and mean (and I said as much - long before the forumteam), it really was just words. And thrown back was the Maoist Third World argument - fine! Didn't Lenin say that we all had an infantile disorder? Do you (forumteam) really think the Petrograd Soviet was a model of genteel conversation? People were being thrown into 'dustbins of history' and all sorts!

Tagore2
> Tagore2, if an organization

> Tagore2, if an organization's positions are "determined" by its sociological composition, why would you bother discussing anything with an organization with an "inadequate" sociological composition?

The social composition of an organization can eventually change. If the ICC established in its statutes the collectivization of the patrimony of activists beyond a certain threshold, for example beyond $ 22,900 or $ 32,452 PPP in 2020, this would necessarily have an impact on its social composition and its political determination. Such a rule would have no impact on the mass of the proletariat, which anyway has a wealth much lower than the world average. On the other hand, it would make a very useful selection of activists of a certain standard of living: if they accept the rule and stay in the party, we are assured of their political commitment. In addition, a patrimony of $ 22,900 or $ 32,452 PPP in 2020 is sufficient to be not economically dependent on the party, and to be able to leave it freely, which is also necessary to ensure the political integrity of the militants.

> Where? I would agree they have been far from clear on that issue, but I haven't found any instance of them saying that lockdowns (or containment, or confinement), specifically, are necessary. Could you please provide the source?

Quote:
Faced with the growing health catastrophe, the bourgeoisie in many countries had no alternative than to lock-down nearly four billion people, more than half of the world's population. If this was made necessary by the incapacity of the capitalist states and their health systems to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus in any other way, 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.

Population lockdown: the bourgeois state shows its brutality, ICConline on 8 October, 2020.

Quote:
La réalité des 40 dernières années de réduction continue des budgets et des effectifs dans les hôpitaux, sous les gouvernements de droite comme de gauche, vient d’éclater au grand jour : partout il manque des médecins, des infirmiers, des lits, des respirateurs et même des blouses, des gants, des masques… au point que la seule solution contre l’épidémie a été le confinement. [to the point that the only solution to the epidemic was containment]

Résolution sur la situation en France (2020 - Partie 1): La bourgeoisie française face à l’aggravation de la décomposition, Révolution Internationale, 22 february, 2021

Communist
Tagore2 wrote:

Tagore2 wrote:

> Tagore2, if an organization's positions are "determined" by its sociological composition, why would you bother discussing anything with an organization with an "inadequate" sociological composition?

The social composition of an organization can eventually change. If the ICC established in its statutes the collectivization of the patrimony of activists beyond a certain threshold, for example beyond $ 22,900 or $ 32,452 PPP in 2020, this would necessarily have an impact on its social composition and its political determination. Such a rule would have no impact on the mass of the proletariat, which anyway has a wealth much lower than the world average. On the other hand, it would make a very useful selection of activists of a certain standard of living: if they accept the rule and stay in the party, we are assured of their political commitment. In addition, a patrimony of $ 22,900 or $ 32,452 PPP in 2020 is sufficient to be not economically dependent on the party, and to be able to leave it freely, which is also necessary to ensure the political integrity of the militants.

Normally, I agree with most of what you say - particularly in relation to the Covid phenomena.

However, giving this much power over to the organisation I think would only open the door to corruption. Ultimately, it would require somebody to act as 'overseer' - but who oversees the overseer?

I personally, until such time as the revolution comes, want to ensure the best standard of living for myself and those close to me. I wouldn't want to become an employer or a landlord, but I don't want to be poor either. From experience, I know there is no virtue in poverty.

I don't think the party itself needs to be a microcosm of a communist society, for the simple reason we are not striving to establish a party dictatorship - we want all power to the workers councils. That means all power to the proletariat, regardless of their moral conduct.

Communist
Something we can all agree on

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-56288237

 

Nurses set to strike over 1% pay increase offer

Tagore2
Et voilà!

Et voilà!

Quote:

"Dans ces conditions lamentables, la vaccination demeure à ce jour la seule porte de sortie."

("In these dire conditions, vaccination remains to this day the only way out.")

Source: La bourgeoisie profite de la pandémie de Covid-19 pour attaquer la classe ouvrière!

ICC is not an independent organization:

  • Does the government confines? It was "the only solution"
  • Does the government impose a curfew? It was "necessary"
  • Does the government plans to make vaccination compulsory for caregivers? It is "the only way out".

It will become easy to predict the political line of the ICC:

  1. government takes political direction
  2. the ICC is waiting a few weeks
  3. the ICC declares that the government's political line was "necessary", "the only solution", "the only way out", but that it is at fault because it is not going fast enough, not far enough and that it does not put enough resources into it.

A few more months and there will be no more any difference between the ICC and the wsws.

KT
Unbelievable

I can’t trust anything that Tagore 2 writes.

This time last year, insisting the Covid virus was a scam (as did Trump and Bolsonaro and, today, the seriously sick Magufuli, president of Tanzania) he told us that “only” 3,500 people worldwide had died. It wasn’t a problem.

Right now it’s 2,000 deaths a day in Brazil alone!

Today over 2.6 million are dead through Covid-19, with over 118.6 million reportedly infected – an acknowledged gross under-estimate on both counts. On all continents, it still spreads: Poland, Russia, Hungry, Mexico, the Amazon Rainforest…

Against this ‘non existent’ problem, Tagore 2, like ex-President Donald Trump, touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure and claimed the French state had banned its use precisely because it wanted the virus to continue. Why?

Because the true purpose of the lockdowns, Tagore 2 suggested this time last year, was to enable the ruling class to strengthen the power of the state to a degree such as exists only in states of war. Quarantine measures could be a general exercise to prepare states for an open dictatorship, the abolition of democracy and war.” (Covid-19: A Pretext for Dictatorship?, ICC Discussion Forum, March 12, 2020)

As if the dictatorship of capital wasn’t already a done deal. As if democracy somehow stands in the way of war, rather than aiding and abetting it. As if the state didn’t use any and all social phenomena as a pretext for further reinforcing its power. And as if the state didn’t wish for ‘business as usual’ in order to continue its unfettered accumulation of capital wrought from the collective labour of the proletariat.

What this approach hides is the ‘everyday reality’ that capitalist social relations are eroding the conditions for all life on this planet at many levels, a deteriorating situation of which the Covid-19 Pandemic is just the latest manifestation. What this downplaying of Covid-19 hides is the fact that while Trump and Bolsonaro, Prince Phillip and Boris Johnson were infected, they survived, thanks to their position and privileged treatment, while the vast majority who’ve suffered directly or indirectly are members of the proletariat. This is indeed a class issue.

Now our medical expert tells us that the ICC is supporting lockdown, ‘compulsory’ vaccination, that it is not an ‘independent organisation’ but one which ‘follows the government’. In short, it is not an organisation of revolutionaries, but an organisation of the bourgeoisie. One mostly made up of old people and cowards, apparently.

These are all lies and slanders – every bit of it. I agree with the Forumteam that Tagore 2 really has no place on these boards. Let him go play with the conspiracy theorists and the anarchists, with primitivists and the Maoists. To repeat, I can’t trust anything that Tagore 2 writes. Above all else, he’s neither serious nor credible.

Tagore2
It seems that the last step

It seems that the last step has been taken, since now TK is asking for my expulsion for "conspiracy theory". We will see if Forumteam has taken this step, also entering, like Facebook, in the crusade against "fakenews", "conspiracy theories" and "populism".

I note, however, that TK is stifled by anger, to the point of making a funny amalgamation between Bolsonaro, the anarchists, the Maoists and myself. Even for making an amalgam, let's try that it has a minimum of internal consistency.

While I cannot find the quote where I said there were only 3,500 covid deaths in the world last year, it is perfectly correct to say that there were almost no covid deaths outside China in February and early March 2020, and that the daily death toll in Brazil in March 2021 does not refute the fact that there were very few deaths in February and early March 2020. Only anger can explain an also flawed reasoning.

In addition, TK is too emotional and not enough science and thoroughness. Instead of repeating what he hears on TV, TK could research what the age-standardized death rate in Brazil was in 2020, and compare it to previous years. In France, the standardized death rate for 2020 is similar to that of 2015, and lower than all years prior to 2014. In England and Wales, it has suddenly returned to its 2008-2009 level, which is a significant increase (figure 6). But in 2008-2009, no one found this mortality particularly extraordinary. In 2008, I do not remember that TK sounded the toccin to warn us that this mortality was abnormal.

As for the 2.6 million deaths caused by covid in one year and four months, I wonder why TK is not taking a little more interest in my thread on the prohibition of alcohol in Soviet Russia during the civilian war, since alcohol currently kills ~3 million people per year, more than covid. Covid remains a minor cause of death in the world, it was not at all the great black plague predicted by illuminated people like Ferguson.

Covid causes no premature or abnormal deaths if it is treated early, unlike alcohol.

TK would be unable to explain why some countries have defended the thesis of the efficacy of HCQ or other repositioned treatments, while others have fought against these treatments and have promoted molecules under license. Faced with this contradiction, TK takes the party to defend the thesis of his own government. Why think for yourself, when you just have to repeat what you have heard on TV?

Propaganda provokes terror, terror provokes the paralysis of thought, and any attempt to set in motion this petrified thought provokes anger and redoubled adhesion for the state's theses: a phenomenon perfectly described in Georges Orwell's 1984 novel. That's why there isn't even a reason to blame TK, despite its vehement call for censorship. TK is just following a straightforward path, as are following millions of others. And the destination of this path is already known: defend lockdown, defend censorship, approve of the violation of safety standards in vaccines development.

KT
TK Max

Tagore 2’s ‘theories’, shall we call them idiosyncratic theories, about Covid-19 and the capitalist state aren’t actually the main issue here. But before developing this further, let’s help our medic’s faltering memory.

Tagore 2 can’t recall a whole serious of denials, downplaying and relitavising the capitalist-promoted plague of Covid 19, reminiscent of a Trump, a Bolsanaro and the rest of the lying crowd? He can’t remember saying it was ‘only’ 3,500 deaths? We indeed hope he recovers his faculties soon. To help, I have already given the reference, in my post above: It was here “A pretext for dictatorship?” 12 March, 2020 at 17:23 hours (UK time, I presume). This time last year, as I said. https://en.internationalism.org/forum/16821/covid-19-pretext-dictatorship.

“The French government plans to postpone the municipal elections. Although I am an abstainer, I am not unaware of what the “postponement” of the elections means, just as nobody should ignore the significance of the national quarantines for the freedom to come and go.

Covid 19 has killed 3,500 people worldwide.

But respiratory infections and chronic respiratory diseases kill more than 6 million people a year. Cancer of the trachea, bronchi and lungs kills an additional 2 million a year. Other diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, diarrheal diseases and tuberculosis still count their deaths by the millions.”

At the time, it was pointed out, and still needs repeating, that Covid-19 deaths and the dislocations resulting (including, of course, all the horrors of the medieval-style lock-down) do not replace of all the other diseases but occur in addition to them: a new and wholly preventable burden. As is said in medical circles: epidemics are unavoidable. Pandemics are optional.

But it’s not Tagore 2’s dubious theories that’s the main problem here. It’s his behaviour, his comportment, his trashing of a revolutionary space. He has happily entered a friend’s home then shat on the carpet, denigrated his hosts and declared them part of the enemy class. Then, like all bullies, he acts hurt, plays ‘the victim’ when confronted with his behaviour and told to stop it or leave.

The ICC has made quite clear how we should attempt to conduct ourselves on this forum. “A real debate among internationalists is only possible if there exists, without hiding the divergences and the contradictory positions of course, a respect for the visions of others. Insults and cynicism, arrogance and brutality are incompatible with the development and the defence of any proletarian position.” (A New Start for the Forum, June 2020, ICC Discussion Forum).

In response to this orientation, Tagore 2 wrote: “I really appreciate this forum. Unlike other organizations, which hold the threads of discussion in their hands, the ICC forum has allowed, in any case for me, true freedom of expression.” … (ibid)

Some months on, having not made much headway in convincing others of his orientations, Tagore 2 changes his tune. He accuses the ICC of betraying the working class, like the Social Democrats at the time of WW1. Confronted with this most serious and false assertion of class collaboration, he withdraws, only to return with more insidious nonsense arguing that the ICC’s political positions are the product of the age of its militants and of their cowardice and, later, that the organisation’s positions merely follow government propaganda and that it will shortly end up like a leftist (ie bourgeois) group.

It’s by acting like a parasite or a provocateur, it’s these lies and slanders, denigrations and distortions of the work of a revolutionary organisation, that are putting Tagore 2 on the path to exile from this Forum.

To quote again from ‘A New Start for the Forum’: “The real content, the real meaning of freedom of expression, also called freedom of speech, is determined by the concrete conditions in which it is applied. In the proletarian struggle for communism it means the widest possible, collective debate in all the unitary organs of the class: the massive assemblies, the workers’ soviets, the strike committees, etc. But for decadent capitalism it means a very sophisticated form of manipulation, theatre and brainwashing. All this means that freedom of speech cannot be conceived in abstracto, as something that has the same function in in all circumstances…”

KT
PS

I don't speak for the ICC Forum Team. I'm not a member of the ICC. I am a supporter of the organisation.

KT
KT wrote:

DP.

Tagore2
According to Our World In

According to Our World In Data, the number of deaths attributed to covid was 4,917 worldwide as of March 12, the date of my publication. But some of these deaths were later reported, so the figure of 3,500 fits well with the number of known deaths on that date.

3,500 or 5,000 deaths, globally, is a statistically insignificant number.

In summary, you are blaming me for saying something true on March 12, 2020. Which is an interesting way of arguing.

There is currently no evidence that the number of covid deaths added to the total number of deaths worldwide. On the contrary, many contagious diseases, notably influenza, are almost completely gone in 2020, so it appears that covid-19 has replaced other contagious diseases, and not added to them. Additionally, covid-19 almost exclusively kills people with low life expectancies, such as the flu, so it likely did not increase the global standardized death rate in 2020.

Rather than claiming without proof, calculate the 2020 global standardized death rate as soon as the data becomes available, and compare it to previous years. Thus, you will have the proof or the refutation of what you put forward.

As for the ad hominem considerations that you evoke, they have no importance given the political line that the ICC seems to be taking:

Quote:

Mais dès que la pandémie sera derrière nous, il faudra de nouveau occuper la rue, occuper tous les espaces publics pour discuter des moyens de la lutte et résister aux plans d’austérité que la classe dominante va chercher à nous imposer.

(But as soon as the pandemic is behind us, we will have to occupy the streets again, occupy all public spaces to discuss the means of the struggle and resist the austerity plans that the ruling class will seek to impose on us.)

Source.

Yes, yes, "as soon as the pandemic is behind us". But covid-19 could become a normal disease of the human species, so the pandemic will never be behind us. In the meantime, the ICC supports government measures.

For me, it would be an interesting development if I was kicked out of this forum, whatever the pretext. I would be hard pressed to see it as a "purely individual" decision, given the widespread movement from the left in favor of the most restrictive state's measures and internet censorship.

Let us peacefully let things happen, if there is a need for them to happen.

Communist
Let us peacefully let things happen, if there is a need for them

Tagore2 wrote:

According to Our World In Data, the number of deaths attributed to covid was 4,917 worldwide as of March 12, the date of my publication. But some of these deaths were later reported, so the figure of 3,500 fits well with the number of known deaths on that date.

3,500 or 5,000 deaths, globally, is a statistically insignificant number.

In summary, you are blaming me for saying something true on March 12, 2020. Which is an interesting way of arguing.

There is currently no evidence that the number of covid deaths added to the total number of deaths worldwide. On the contrary, many contagious diseases, notably influenza, are almost completely gone in 2020, so it appears that covid-19 has replaced other contagious diseases, and not added to them. Additionally, covid-19 almost exclusively kills people with low life expectancies, such as the flu, so it likely did not increase the global standardized death rate in 2020.

Rather than claiming without proof, calculate the 2020 global standardized death rate as soon as the data becomes available, and compare it to previous years. Thus, you will have the proof or the refutation of what you put forward.

As for the ad hominem considerations that you evoke, they have no importance given the political line that the ICC seems to be taking:

 

Quote:

Mais dès que la pandémie sera derrière nous, il faudra de nouveau occuper la rue, occuper tous les espaces publics pour discuter des moyens de la lutte et résister aux plans d’austérité que la classe dominante va chercher à nous imposer.

(But as soon as the pandemic is behind us, we will have to occupy the streets again, occupy all public spaces to discuss the means of the struggle and resist the austerity plans that the ruling class will seek to impose on us.)

Source.

 

Yes, yes, "as soon as the pandemic is behind us". But covid-19 could become a normal disease of the human species, so the pandemic will never be behind us. In the meantime, the ICC supports government measures.

For me, it would be an interesting development if I was kicked out of this forum, whatever the pretext. I would be hard pressed to see it as a "purely individual" decision, given the widespread movement from the left in favor of the most restrictive state's measures and internet censorship.

Let us peacefully let things happen, if there is a need for them to happen.

Well I for one hope you aren't banned and would lose a lot of (or even all) my own enthusiasm for posting on here if you were to be banned. In principle, we are all in the same camp despite the divisions. It's easy to forget that, but often impossible to rediscover it once that unity is lost. 

We can be certain of losing that unity if we engage in personal disputes, but not only that - arguing over who is to blame for said disputes probably just doesnt help either. 

One theme is clear, however - we all want to further the conversation on this topic - as illustrated by a greater diversity of usernames seen posting over the past few months. That's a good thing.

Communist
as soon as the pandemic is behind us

''as soon as the pandemic is behind us''

That could be read as an admission/acceptance that pandemic has put the class struggle on hold. Doesn't something seem off about that? 

I certainly wouldn't accept that the antagonism of classes has been suspended. But in continuing to adhere to lockdown regulations we are passively accepting the conditions for struggle laid down by the state. The ICC often points out the inadequency of unions, but if we're limited in our ability to meet freely outside of work, then it can be difficult to just find the time to organise independently - much easier, and from a purely self-interested point of view probably the wisest move, to just speak to your union rep, in these conditions.

To accept the lockdown, is to accept the authority of the capitalist state. It places limits not just on 'freedom' (which is actually an idea which means something to many); but our ability to organise and communicate effectively. To see friends, co-workers etc as potential 'carriers'. That's not merely a matter-of-fact health-based statement - it is a command to atomise and isolate ourselves, only temporarily being 'allowed' out to work.

Forumteam
ICC and the students' protests in France

We suggest that Communist reads this article Mobilisation des étudiants: Confrontée à la misère, la jeunesse ne se résigne pas! | Courant Communiste International (internationalism.org) about the street protests of students in France about the current conditions being imposed on them.  If you don't read French, we suggest using DeepL Translate. The article expresses its solidarity with the students whether or not their actions are "allowed" by Covid restrictions because they are taking place on a class terrain. So much for the ICC allegedly supporting the state against the working class. But at the same time, we are compelled to make a sober assessment of the situation and recognise that under current conditions, the prospect of widespread class struggle is unlikely - not because the majority of the working class are deeply tied to the state's measures, but because they are aware of the real dangers posed by the pandemic. 

Communist
Forumteam wrote:

Forumteam wrote:

the prospect of widespread class struggle is unlikely - not because the majority of the working class are deeply tied to the state's measures, but because they are aware of the real dangers posed by the pandemic. 

The prospect of widespread class struggle is unlikely because of the lockdown - not the pandemic. Because people have been fined £10k for organising 'gatherings'.

Most people I know do not particularly fear the pandemic. You might think that's wrong, but it is what is.

Thank you though for sharing the article - I will take a look.

Communist
Didn't say that!

Forumteam wrote:

So much for the ICC allegedly supporting the state against the working class. 

I did not say that.

Tagore2
Quote: the majority of the

Quote:
the majority of the working class [...] are aware of the real dangers posed by the pandemic.

Question to Forumteam: if the world age-standardized death rate of 2020 is lower than that of 2019, is the ICC likely to revise its position?

Tagore2
AstraZeneca vaccine suspended

AstraZeneca vaccine suspended in several countries around the world.

This illustrates several things:

  • Sheep mimicry of capitalist governments
  • consequence of the violation of safety standards in the development of a vaccine.

However, this does not tell us anything about the benefit risk ratio of this vaccine: before and after the suspension, it will take months and years before determining the real benefit risk ratio.

--

The consultation of the French state reveals a massive and radical rejection of the vaccine passport among the 110,507 participants:

  • 67.1% radically con,
  • 20.2% radically pro,
  • 5.6% moderately con,
  • 5.1% moderately pro,
  • 2% mixed.

This sample is not representative of the French population, but illustrates that there is a radical and uncompromising opposition to compulsory vaccination, much higher than radical support for compulsory vaccination.

Résultats de la consultation sur le passeport vaccinal

Communist
UK Protests over weekend

A lot of different protests over the weekend. Anti-lockdown, Extinction Rebellion, BLM, Reclaim the Streets. I wouldn't be surprised if you started to see these various groups form something akin to the Yellow Vests. If we get a long, hot summer things could end up really kicking off as in 2010.

Tagore2
Federal Health Officials

Federal Health Officials accuse AstraZeneca of voluntarily providing outdated preliminary data on its vaccine, and of hiding definitive data showing results significantly lower than those officially announced:

Quote:
In a two-page letter to AstraZeneca and federal authorities on Monday, an independent panel of medical experts that was helping oversee the vaccine's clinical trial in the United States said the company had essentially cherry-picked data that was “most favorable for the study as opposed to the most recent and most complete. ”

U.S. Health Officials Question AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Results

I call for caution: STOP TRUSTING CAPITALISTS.

NHS Workers got it right. 

NO MORE VIOLATION OF SAFETY STANDARDS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF VACCINES AND TREATMENTS. These vaccines must return in the standard process of developing new treatments, and be evaluated by independent experts.

Capitalists are liars.

"Celui qui croit à la parole dans la politique est un imbécile sans espoir"

It's the same in medecine.

Communist
Johnson: Capitalism and greed helped vaccine's ''success''

(Quote marks in title are mine)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-56504546

You know what, Capitalism can have this one.

Given the disparity in death rate outcomes according to age, with under 60s wothout pre-existing conditions being highly highly unlikely to die of covid, is it really so unreasonable that the reason this vaccine is being pushed so hard on virtually everyone regardless of individual health status is just pure profit? Think about it, a captive market - a herd who need constant boosters every time a new variant is discovered?

Just a theory, not saying it's true. And yes, you might call it conspiracy theory? But conspiracies happen don't they? I don't buy into the conspiracy theory of history, I just think that economic forces give rise to said conspiracies, I find the present fear of anything which might be labelled 'conspiracy' very strange - Isn't it perfectly reasonable to theorise about individual conspiracies, without buying into the conspiracy theory of history or a 'hidden hand'. 

Communist
Johnson: Covid-19: Pubs could require vaccine passports (BBC)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-56517486#comments

 

So here we are. I remember many years ago going to an ICC meeting in a London pub. If such a meeting were to take place now, and the pub insisted on vaccine certification, would that be something that is seen as a problem? What I mean is, would it be acceptable in the name of 'safety' to prohibit unvaccinated (for whatever reason) individuals (comrades) from ever physically being present at conversations? 

This 'freedom pass' is very, very dangerous and sure to created a more atomised, alienated and divided working class.

Ultimately this will hinder any future ability to 'struggle' collectively.

Tagore2
In France, gatherings of more

In France, gatherings of more than 6 people outdoors are now prohibited, "except for a declared demonstration" (?).

In companies, employees are now prohibited from eating together, each in a sanitary bubble of 8m2 (each separated from the other by ~3 meters).

Silence means consent.

Communist
Europe 2021

Tagore2 wrote:

In France, gatherings of more than 6 people outdoors are now prohibited, "except for a declared demonstration" (?).

In companies, employees are now prohibited from eating together, each in a sanitary bubble of 8m2 (each separated from the other by ~3 meters).

Silence means consent.

That is grim. A 'DECLARED' demonstration - ie a demonstration held on terms set by the state.

I predict that this will be a long hot summer of civil unrest across Europe. We won't accept a two-tier system of health based discrimination, not a chance.

 

Communist
Tagore2 wrote:

Tagore2 wrote:

In France, gatherings of more than 6 people outdoors are now prohibited, "except for a declared demonstration" (?).

In companies, employees are now prohibited from eating together, each in a sanitary bubble of 8m2 (each separated from the other by ~3 meters).

Silence means consent.

Not even Henry Ford would have dreamed of such minute control of workers movements

Communist
Forumteam wrote:

Forumteam wrote:

The ICC has a lot to say on the issues posed by this thread, and we are preparing a response. 

Have we had the response yet? Don't mean that in a snidey way, just genuinely not sure...