• 23 mar 2021

    Two tragedies combined

Two tragedies combined

The meaning of the struggle to overcome the crisis of proletarian leadership

Editorial, Masses 630, March 7, 2021

Everything indicates that the pandemic will remain for two years, at best. After a year, contamination and deaths return to the highest levels. The corona virus mutation has been causing astonishment among infectologists. Much has been learned from tackling the pandemic. But, the new unknown, as to the vaccines’ ability to respond to variants of the virus, causes greater unpredictability of the future.

This apprehension occurs when it is certain that vaccination will continue to be slow. As long as the great powers do not make a leap in immunization, semi-colonial countries will continue to be at the mercy of vagueness. It is evident that pharmaceutical monopolies take advantage of the trade war, driven by the great powers, with the United States as the flagship.

The bourgeois policy of social isolation has failed. It was determined by economic limits and political conflicts, which were unleashed within states and governments. It was tried to buy time and delay the collapse of the health system, waiting for vaccines. Properly tested and approved, monopolies began to dictate the course of combating the pandemic. The great powers have taken over almost all production. The rest of the world remained uncovered. The virus adapted with mutations, became more transmissible and deaths were rising.

The poor and miserable, who make up the global and national majority, paid dearly for the failure of the bourgeois policy of social isolation and now pay dearly for not counting on immunization. The numbers change daily. It is enough to have reached more than two million and five hundred thousand in the world, moving towards to three million, to have the dimension of the human tragedy. In Brazil, deaths exceeded two hundred and sixty thousand, rapidly evolving to three hundred thousand. In absolute numbers, the country is second only to the United States.

The conflicts between Bolsonaro and Doria, involving governors, mayors, judicial authorities, etc., which seemed to have cooled down with the flexibilization  of social isolation, and concentrated on the vaccine war, became even more striking. The return to the partial closure of activities, in the face of the bankruptcy of the hospital system, and of the bodies that are piled up in refrigerated containers, gives the precise dimension of our tragedy, which is not of the bourgeoisie and its rulers, but of the oppressed majority.

There is another tragedy, which remains hidden and which just a few can see. The working class and the rest of the exploited have been subjected to mass layoffs, reduced wages, the destruction of rights and the implementation of counter-reforms by Temer and Bolsonaro. The closing of factories, shops and services harms the business of the bourgeoisie, but the one who suffers in the flesh is the wage earner. The expansion of misery and hunger forced government officials to alleviate the social crisis with emergency aid, which is a crumb. The masses suffer from the pandemic and the economic measures of the exploiters.

The union leaderships did not and do not meet the duty to organize the exploited, to defend themselves with their demands and with the collective struggle method. They embraced the bourgeois policy of social isolation of Doria et al., and were unwilling to raise the masses against the Bolsonaro government, which underestimated the seriousness of the health crisis all along, persisted in the line of counter-reforms, and dedicated itself to protecting the financial capital.

The working class, disarmed politically, ideologically and organizationally, had no way to react to the fear of the pandemic, and to launch itself in the struggle in defense of its own emergency program, which would respond to the health crisis, the layoffs and the measures of the government and the National Congress, like the MP 936.

The crisis of leadership emerged from the tragedy experienced by the masses. This is the worst of tragedies, since decomposing capitalism has nothing progressive to offer the masses, and results in a constant advance of social barbarism. The economy in Brazil fell by 4.1%. It will not be rehabilitated in the next period. The year ahead will continue to be difficult for the exploited. The fight for health protection and jobs is a requirement of the situation.

The class-conscious vanguard must take the lead, propagandizing and agitating the exploited’s emergency program. The pressing needs of the oppressed majority are clashing with the leadership’s class-conciliation policy. They can therefore turn against political and organizational obstacles, which prevented collective demonstrations. The progress in the construction of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party, linked to the struggle of the proletariat, is the condition for overcoming the crisis of leadership.

Factory workers, other workers and the oppressed youth, we are experiencing two tragedies: the sanitary-economic crisis, combined with the crisis of leadership. It is with our program of demands, with our organization and with our own forces, that we will go through this storm of barbaric capitalism, and will leave strengthened, to fight for the transformation of private property of the means of production into social, collective, socialist property!