• 08 maio 2021

    How has negationism been responded and how should it be responded

How has negationism been responded and how should it be responded

Masses 634, Editorial, April 18, 2021

The second wave of Covid-19 definitely showed the inability of the bourgeoisie and its government to control the pandemic and to protect the population. In early May, 400,000 deaths are expected. The projections, until the end of the year, are much more gloomy. The onslaught of contamination, since January, exposes the contradictions of the first wave, which went on for about a year. Social isolation measures have largely failed. The dismantling of the emergency hospital structure showed the irresponsibility of governments. The carelessness with the supply of medicines and oxygen indicated the absurdity in the elementary measures of relief to the victims. And, considering the general health system, the precarious material and human conditions of the public system were verified, in contrast to the powerful private system. Added to this picture is the late and slow vaccination process.

From the outset, it was clear that the virus would spread among the masses, formed by a poor and miserable majority. Infectologists promptly announced the danger that contamination would penetrate popular neighborhoods and slums. Installed among the poor and miserable, it would bankrupt the public health system, and cause deaths on an increasing scale.

In the first stage of combating the agent of nature, a wide and rigorous social distance was essential, accompanied by subsidiary protection resources, such as the use of a mask and other items. And resort to the emergency equipment of SUS. Social isolation served as the backbone of the WHO guidelines, until the vaccine was ready.

This general plan caused disagreements and hard conflicts within the bourgeoisie and, therefore, of its rulers. They were divided into two fields: on the one hand, “negationism”; on the other, “affirmationism” (a term that is not used). The first denied science and the second affirmed it. The practical consequence was to oppose the general application of social isolation, or to use it planned. The notorious negationists were Trump, in the United States, Bolsonaro, in Brazil. It was not by chance that the Brazilian government maintained its commitment to follow the head of imperialism. Trump softened his denialism, in the face of the interests of North American laboratories, which armed themselves for the vaccine race. And Bolsonaro remained a radical opponent of social isolation, and of a rapid immune response.

The stupidity of this reactionary position led the head of the Brazilian state to say that the country was just facing a “little flu”. The concept of “negationism”, which has the practical meaning of denying the seriousness of the pandemic, and, therefore, measures of social isolation and mass vaccination, however, ended up being reduced to religious ideology, to sectarian obscurantism, which served as smoke screen to economic and social implications.

Governor Doria started to lead an alliance of governors of different political nuances, contrary to “negationism”, limited to attacking it as a denial of science and, therefore, of life. Thus, the determinant factor of Bolsonarist resistance was emptied, which was and is, above all, the economic-financial factor. Sectors of big capital, and also of medium and small businessmen, fed the negationism. Mainly, the latter remain fierce opponents of social isolation, but not vaccination. Bolsonaro’s denialism persists, but is politically defeated. It turns out that the “affirmationism” of the Dorists and allies proved to be unable to control the pandemic, and to guarantee full hospital conditions. This was because it was also limited by economic power, which could, to some extent, yield to the fall of business. It is in this context of contradictions that the bourgeois policy of social isolation failed, delayed vaccination and extended the death trail.

There are, however, other forms of denialism, which have been hidden under the rubble of this clash. Monopoly control of vaccines, and the trade war unleashed over the precious commodity, delay global immunization, and prohibit its access to most backward, semi-colonial nations. The limited patent-breaking banner indicates that the world is facing one of the worst denials. However, Brazilian science and life affirmationists remain on their knees in the face of monopolies, and the new head of imperialism, Biden, who stood up for affirmationism before Trump.

There is another hidden denialism, which is that of the union leaderships and the reformist and centrist parties. These affirmationists disarmed the working class ideologically, politically and organizationally, in the face of Bolsonaro’s denialism and Doria’s affirmationism. In the name of social isolation, they began to deny the objective need to mobilize the exploited by their own response. And to collaborate with the bourgeoisie, refusing to organize the struggle against the closing of factories, layoffs, wage cuts and loss of rights.

The three denialisms are variants of the same problem: the inability of the bourgeoisie to protect the exploited in the face of the pandemic. Only with the program, the politics and the methods of struggle of the working class is it possible to face together the negationism of the bourgeoisie and the anti-workers negationism of the union bureaucracy.

Let us fight for the recovery of the social forces of the working class and of the other workers with their own emergency program, and with the mobilization of the masses. The Revolutionary Workers Party calls the class-conscious vanguard to fight for the in person realization of a classist and internationalist 1st of May. May World Workers’ Day serve to reject bourgeois and anti-workers’ denialisms, and affirm the independent organization of the exploited, based on their demands, and the proletarian revolution and dictatorship as a strategy.