Proletarians of all countries, let us unite in a revolutionary international!

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Since the beginning of the year 2020, with the global spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the new economic crisis, all the calamities that capitalism inflicts on humanity and nature are more obvious than ever. 137 million people sick, 3 million deaths, and a new wave that leads to new lockdowns in all continents, prove the mismanagement of the pandemic by all the bourgeois States, incapable of having prevented it, and even more incapable to face it on the basis of the interests of society as a whole.

During this pandemic and others to come after, it is the working classes (proletariat, independent petty bourgeoisie, waged petty bourgeoisie) who suffer consequences most, while capitalist companies take the opportunity to multiply their sources of profit at the expense of basic social needs (vaccines, medicines and sanitary equipment, personal and professional protection, teleworking systems, etc.).

We, workers who ensure production, trade, services, run the greatest risk of contamination and death, and the worst after-effects of the disease, due to the clogging of health systems. We also bear the weight of unemployment and the growing threat of hunger, of confinement in overcrowded housing, of evictions for non-payment of rent, of closures of our children’s schools.

On the other hand, for the capitalist class, the situation opens the “opportunity” to recoup by exploiting new “market niches” around health spending and the self-styled “green” industry. This class pockets public money for amounts that reach record levels in each country. This money is used to try to save its large enterprises that are the most affected by the economic paralysis (tourism, air transport, aviation industry), but also, too quite often, to compensate for losses or lower profits of those less affected, again without the threat of taking over their ownership or control. From their side, banks and investment funds, as creditor or manager of the additional public debt generated by the exorbitant costs of the pandemic, receive interests.

Workers, be they waged, independent or informal, in the best case, receive from governments miserable and late allowances that only mitigate somewhat the gravity of the situation: the minimum possible to avoid, according to rulers, social explosions or food riots.

The big beneficiaries, at the expense of world medical needs, are pharmaceutical enterprises. These enterprises have developed their products mainly thanks to public subsidies or public scientific research, they dominate the trading price negotiation and the distribution of their products. This can happen because no State or alliance of States (such as the EU) calls into questions the ownership of their patents or their “sacred freedom” to make decisions based on the demands of the highest bidder. Amid the world tragedy, they multiply their profits and are the subject to stock speculation.

Therefore, vaccine availability is extraordinarily limited, not by global production capacity, but by the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, the distribution of these products between countries follows the rules of hierarchy and domination of the whole economy: priority to the imperialist States, regardless of their needs at a given time. The respect for private property, the pursuit of corporate profit, the nationalist and uncoordinated responses from thes States are incompatible with an effective and rapid struggle.

The result is that the pandemic drags on, that the world public debt reaches the highest level ever measured (99% of world GDP in 2021, according to the IMF), that after the collapse of the economy in 2020, economic recovery is slow and global employment will take time to return to the levels of 2019. Indeed, after the loss of the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs in 2020 (thus, four times more than in the 2009 crisis), the ILO forecasts for 2021 that, in all countries, only half of the jobs destroyed will be recovered and unemployment will continue to affect particularly women workers and youth.

Inevitably, this combination of health and economic crisis, in the context of an ecological crisis, has and will have wild political and social consequences. The situation reinforces the contradictions between the large imperialist countries, mainly between an expanding China and the declining but still dominant United States, and also the secondary imperialist powers (Russia, Germany, Japan, France…). Tensions rise between members of the European Union (the most serious event is the exit of the UK) and between the regional powers in the Middle East (Israel, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia). All this generates the constant threat of new trade wars, but also of military wars, especially in Africa and in Asia.

But contradictions do not develop only between States. The world economic situation affects the layers and sectors of each bourgeoisie differently. The contradictions, which always exist in this highly stratified and hierarchical class, are exacerbated when the pie to be shared becomes smaller and more fragile. Within countries, tensions among the ruling classes are manifested by bitter political struggles for the control of the national State, in order to get from it a favored legal, economic or even military support (abroad). The 2020 American political crisis expressed the current scope of these contradictions, which also seriously erode existing political systems in Brazil, England, Spain, Italy, Israel…

However, in order to save its economy, the ruling class agrees to make workers pay for the consequences of the crises and of the public debt. The current bill is already huge and it will continue to grow, at least as long as the health crisis lasts. In all countries, the pandemic disaster will be followed by violent attacks against the living conditions and social conquests of the working class, such as those that are already preparing in Spain, with further reforms against the labor law and the pension system.

For many years, even in the most “democratic” countries, the States strengthen powers of the police and the army, reduce freedoms and criminalize social protest. In addition, the onset of the pandemic has given new impetus to this reactionary trend, which will be reinforced insofar as the social revolt will inevitably grow.

Such is the situation facing the world working class. Every day that it survives, capitalism increases the destruction of the planet, furthering environmental, climatic, pandemic, and humanitarian disasters. Every day that it survives, the ruling class plunges humanity into a higher level of barbarism, coming out of one crisis to enter into another even more severe.

In every country, in one way or another, the exploited and youth deprived of a future resist and struggle. Sometimes in the form of huge mobilizations in Algeria, Poland, Belarus, the USA, India in 2020, in Burma and again in Algeria in early 2021.

But they do not have a clear program uniting all the exploited and oppressed behind the producing class, to build a new classless society that manages the economy for the satisfaction of the present and future social needs: the free association of producers.

They do not have a revolutionary party that prevents consciousness and the action of the masses from being poisoned and diverted, by reformist party leaders and by union bureaucracies, towards parliamentary illusions, chauvinism and compromise with fractions the bourgeoisie.

They do not have a workers’ revolutionary international that leads workers of the world towards the definitive solution of the main problems of the economy, of environment, of public health, which are not national and cannot be solved within the limits of a State.

This is why we call on all the most conscious workers to build with us these revolutionary instruments, the new Communist International and the revolutionary workers’ party in every country.

Free health care for all! Confiscation without compensation of private clinics, pharmaceutical groups, companies that can produce masks, protective clothing, respirators, tests, antiviral drugs…! Control of these productions by workers! Cancellation of all patents on medical equipment and treatments! Immediate satisfaction of the demands of healthcare workers! Funding for urgent measures for health and social protection through a highly progressive tax on income and with the money coming from the cancellation of subsidies to capital, of military spending and of subsidies to religions! Coordination of the production of medical equipment and international distribution at the rate of the progression of the epidemic! International collaboration for the distribution of medical resources and for the research for safe vaccines and treatments! Self-organization of workers and neighbors in committees to monitor the completion of the necessary measures to stop the pandemic!

Prohibition of all layoffs, preservation of all jobs, reduction of working hours and hiring! State-financed leave for people who must take care of their children! Prohibition of evictions from housing. Confiscation of hotels and unoccupied housing (for the mildly ill, the homeless, battered women, families living in overcrowded or dilapidated housing, etc.)! Suspension of housing rents and of repayments to banks for mortgage or consumer loans! Warranty of a decent housing, sufficient water, energy supply and means of communication for the entire population!

End of military interventions and closure of foreign bases! Emancipation of oppressed peoples (Palestinians, Kurds, Uighurs, Rohingyas…)! Immediate legalization of all migrants! Repressive bodies and the army out of neighborhoods!

Workers’ control over the activity of essential services and businesses and on the shutdown of those that are not! Socialization of capitalist groups! Workers’ government based on workers’ councils, on the destruction of the bourgeois State and on the dissolution of the professional army, of the police repressive bodies and of the fascist gangs by armed workers! Production plan decided by the people to meet social needs while preserving the environment and the future of humanity! For a world socialist federation! Socialism or Barbarism!

May Day 2021

Permanent Revolution Collective(Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey)