Racism, poverty, the police state, wage slavery Capitalism means savagery!
A few minutes of filming by an eyewitness on social media of the crime scene in which George Floyd struggled to breathe under the knees of a criminal police officer in Minneapolis, USA, have sparked widespread street protests. These are the largest anti-racism protests in the US since the assassination of Martin Luther King. More than 16,000 National Guard soldiers have been deployed to help restore order in more than 25 states, killing at least 11 people, injuring hundreds and detaining more than 8,000. Protests have spread to other countries and are continuing.
Crimes committed by racist police have provoked the pent-up anger of blacks, people of colour, young people and the unemployed etc., and have led to an uprising that has turned into a protest movement, most of which now consists of whites. The humiliation of those that suffer unemployment, poverty, misery, racism, systematic humiliation, oppression and, most importantly, the systematic violence and provocations of criminal police officers, which have become part of their daily lives (the hellish lives that democratic capitalism has created for them; lives that no longer make sense to them) can no longer be contained, and they have revolted. The procedure is the same as in other capitalist countries. The police provoke them, hidden anger erupts, and they revolt.
In 2005, in France, the cradle of the bourgeoisie, policemen brutally chased down youths. Two young people, while trying to escape, ran into a power transformer; as the police were not obliged to help them, they died. This incident was the beginning of a three-week uprising and for the first time since May 1968, a state of emergency was declared. The chain of events was repeated in August 2011 in the UK. The police shot dead a young black man called Mark Duggan. Duggan’s murder sparked a youth rebellion which resulted in hundreds of cars and shops being set ablaze.
The American bourgeoisie, like the bourgeoisie of other countries and the Iranian bourgeoisie, resorted to repression in response to street protests. Just like the suppression of the Iranian protests, police cars overtook protesters. Trump, the chieftain of gangsters, said he would take the military to the streets to suppress protesters, but fearfully, he and his family took refuge in the White House underground shelter. If the police in the United States do not massacre hundreds of people with bullets like Iran, it is because, firstly, the American bourgeoisie is more far-sighted than the Iranian bourgeoisie and knows that a massacre would lead to more radical protests. Secondly, the American bourgeoisie still does not feel seriously threatened. If it felt threatened, it would respond just like the French bourgeoisie which massacred more than 20,000 people in just one week following the defeat of the Paris Commune.
In New Jersey, police resorted to a new ploy for the ranks of protesters who marched against racism to vent their anger. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, the police are part of the capitalist state’s repressive apparatus. The police cannot be reformed by education or reforms. Capitalism must be subverted, to suppress the concept, and only by overthrowing capitalism can the repressive apparatus be stripped of its meaning.
What are the grounds for such uprisings?
These protests are a product of the crisis of capitalism, the product of years of inequality and economic and social discrimination. Class distance in the most advanced capitalist country, in the heart of capitalism, shows its ugly face more clearly than in other capitalist countries. Racism has become a monster in society, and some members of society are considered second-class citizens.
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the pounding heart of capital (American capitalism) are even more horrific and violent than in other capitalist countries, and coronavirus has exacerbated the effects of the capitalist crisis. In the future, signs of the capitalist crisis will become clearer and more violent. In the United States, the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 100,000 people, and more than 40 million have lost their jobs in the US. In such a situation, millions of people have been thrown into the army of the hungry who do not have the support of a livelihood, health, medical care and so on. Unemployment has become an important factor in the motivation to fight. Millions of people experience the hellish life that the dirty system of capitalism has provided for them.
The mercenary and dirty ideologues of the bourgeoisie have also set out to complete the scenario. They are struggling to pretend that American street protests are neither the result of the inversion of capitalist society nor the root of capitalist bankruptcy, but due to the misconduct of police officers or because the police must be better trained. It was not a police officer who knelt on a man’s throat and suffocated him under his knee, but it is capital that suffocates the working class and lower strata of society.
Amazon and Instacart workers in the US went on strike despite the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic is not a good context for class struggle, and it is possible that the virus will spread and infect others. Unfortunately, the American working class, as a social class, actually has an observer role in street protests. The working class has not entered the street protests as a social class. Only bus drivers in Minneapolis refused to help police transport detained protesters.
Although the majority of protesters are from underprivileged segments of society, and many of them are from working-class families, the working class, as a social class, does not determine the direction of social protests. Conscious and controlled class violence is different from rebellion, looting, individual violence and so on. Collective violence directed at the state, institutions and organs of the capitalist system is in the interests of the proletariat. Social revolution is not the physical overthrowing of possibilities but rather the overthrowing of capitalist social relations, which is like a chain at the feet of the productive forces.
Part of the task of the working class and its political currents is to give direction to protest movements, to lead the radical section of these movements towards class struggle. Communists are not deterministic, and they believe in the involvement and influence of revolutionaries in the class struggle. Without the intervention and influence of revolutionary tendencies in social protests, the dormant anger of social protests will be drained, and social protests will not be able to rise to a higher level.
Capitalism is the source of all injustice and inequality in society, and its stench and filth permeate society. Capitalism is the cause of our hellish life. In the post-corona world, we will see social protests at all points on this planet. Only class struggle can provide a perspective for the future of humanity. Only a struggle led by the working class can guarantee ultimate victory. The class struggle process necessitates formation of neighbourhood committees, strike committees, factory committees and other independent workers’ organizations. Independent worker organizations give revolutionary dynamism to the class struggle, defining its direction. Will the working class challenge capitalism by intensifying the class struggle? Will it expand the horizons of world revolution and put an end to the misery of billions of people on this planet?
3 June 2020