"War of the masks": the bourgeoisie is a class of thieves!

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"Each of us must participate in this massive effort to preserve global security," said the director of the WHO in a press release dated March 16. On March 27, French President Macron declared: "We will not overcome this crisis without strong European solidarity, on the health and budgetary levels". And German Chancellor Merkel demanded, in the face of the health crisis: "more Europe, a stronger Europe and a Europe that works well"! Politicians urge people to show solidarity, good citizenship and unity to fight "the invisible enemy". While the need for masks and medical equipment is immense due to a scandalous shortage, all politicians and the media have denounced thefts in hospitals, pharmacies and even from carers' cars. The bourgeoisie winds up the media and widely publicises the selfish behavior of these “infamous and despicable” thugs, at a time when the whole world is in a so-called “war” against the pandemic of Covid-19.

In reality, while on the one hand the bourgeoisie displays its indignation and contempt for theft, on the other it coldly applies the same methods of brigands on the international scene: hijackings and “requisitions” of orders from other countries, outbidding and purchases of medical equipment directly from airport tarmacs. This is how the bourgeoisie expresses its “solidarity” “to preserve world security”!

So, at the start of the epidemic in Europe, China diplomatically and interestingly, sent some masks and respirators to Italy, but these were immediately diverted by the Czech Republic. With staggering hypocrisy, the latter completely denied any theft and pleaded an unfortunate “mistake”!

At the beginning of March, it was France which "requisitioned" Swedish masks on its territory from under the noses of Spain and Italy, countries very hard hit by the epidemic. It was only after the intervention of the Swedish government that the French state agreed, under pressure, to keep "only" half of the stolen stock. A month later, with the affair gaining momentum (it was, of course, a “misunderstanding”), Macron pleaded for "more coherence" and, despite himself, sent all of the masks on to their destinations.

The United States is also accused of having diverted medical equipment destined for Germany, Canada and France. Trump, unlike his foreign counterparts with more civilized appearances, nevertheless displayed his colours clearly and brutally: "we need these masks; we don't want other people to get them"!

In Africa, an epidemiologist recently warned about the very worrying situation on the continent: hospitals cannot obtain tests. Priority is given to the big guys, the big sponsors: the United States or Europe. The “great democracies” are holding on to testing equipment for their own interests! No wonder then that Africa seems little affected by COVID-19! The list of cynical acts of piracy by bourgeois states grows ever longer![1]

Even at the national level, the bourgeoisie falls into the war of each against all by default. In fact, like the states that scramble on the tarmac in order to steal medical equipment, federal states, regions and even cities are tearing themselves apart in order to protect "their" inhabitants.

Similarly, in Spain, where the weight of regionalism weighs heavily, a controversy erupted when the government decided to requisition and centralise the stocks of masks. But the incompetence of the Spanish authorities has led each regional government to look for its own supplies in competition with the others. The central state has been accused of fueling tensions and even of "invasion" by Torra, the president of the Generalitat in Catalonia. Everything is a pretext to assert petty “regional” interests where one is master of one's home! In Mexico too, the governor of Jalisco is pressuring the federal government to stop keeping back tests for the benefit of the Mexico region.

The bourgeoisie drapes itself with beautiful moralising speeches and calls for international solidarity, urges its "troops" to close ranks around the protective state. What lies! The "solidarity" which the bourgeoisie calls for is only an expression of each for itself, a reinforcement of chaos and capitalist barbarism on a planetary scale!

Faced with the crisis, letting the national state rip-off masks intended for "foreigners" only aggravates the problem. Capitalism, cynical and deadly, has no perspective to offer to humanity other than what is illustrated today by this lamentable spectacle of plunder: misery and destruction! The only social force capable of putting an end to the war of each against all is the working class, a class that has no homeland to defend, whose interests are the needs of all humanity and not that of the “nation” (or its “regionalist” version)! It is the working class, through health and careworkers, who today are saving lives at the risk of their own. Although the current pandemic context prevents any massive mobilization and limits expressions of solidarity in the struggle, it is the working class which, in many sectors and in several countries, is trying to resist the consequences of the negligence of the bourgeoisie and the anarchy of capitalism. Our class is the bearer of a society without borders and without competition, where hospital workers will no longer be forced to make an abominable "assessment" between the “productive” and “unproductive” patients (retired or disabled), where the value of lives will no longer be determined by budgets!

 Olive, April 7 2020


[1]  But unlike the filibusters of yesteryear, who stole gold and precious goods, these thugs also compete for the typical goods of capitalism: low-end products: gowns that fall apart just like cardboard, mouldy masks, resuscitation ventilators with inadequate catches, etc !