Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!


"Cholera, typhus, typhoid fever, smallpox and other ravaging diseases spread their germs in the pestilential air and the poisoned water of these working-class quarters. Here the germs hardly ever die out completely, and as soon as circumstances permit they develop into epidemics and then spread beyond their breeding places into the more airy and healthy parts of the town inhabited by the capitalists. Capitalist rule cannot allow itself the pleasure of generating epidemic diseases among the working class with impunity; the consequences fall back on it and the angel of death rages in its ranks as ruthlessly as in the ranks of the workers.

    As soon as this fact had been scientifically established the philanthropic bourgeois became inflamed with a noble spirit of competition in their solicitude for the health of their workers. Societies were founded, books were written, proposals drawn up, laws debated and passed, in order to stop up the sources of the ever-recurring epidemics."

(F. Engels – The Housing Question)

“The question of the state is now acquiring particular importance both in theory and in practical politics. The imperialist war has immensely accelerated and intensified the process of transformation of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism. The monstrous oppression of the toiling masses by the state, which is merging more and more with the all-powerful capitalist associations, is becoming ever more monstrous. The advanced countries are being converted -- we speak here of their "rear" -- into military convict prisons for the workers.

    The unprecedented horrors and miseries of the protracted war are making the position of the masses unbearable and increasing their indignation. The international proletarian revolution is clearly maturing. The question of its relation to the state is acquiring practical importance.”

(V.I. Lenin – The State and Revolution)

The present pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) confirms and reveals to the masses the present situation of imperialism in its general and final crisis and the role of the bourgeois state. As with all the epidemics, the capitalist destruction of the environment and the natural disasters, the coronavirus disease also affects first and foremost the exploited masses, mainly the poorest, in the neighborhoods of the working people in the oppressed countries and also in the imperialist countries. Just as Engels pointed out, it is only when the epidemic threatens the imperialist bourgeoisie itself and its system that a “global crisis” is declared and dramatic measures are implemented. What is not called a crisis is that every day 25.000 people die of hunger in the world, 3000 children die of preventable Malaria, and thousands die, even in imperialist countries, because they do not have the means to pay for medical treatment, or die waiting for medical treatment because “there are no resources”.

The current measures taken by the ruling class and its states and governments in all the countries show us two things: first, that their main objective is not to save human lives in general, but to protect the big bourgeoisie and its profits, its capital and its access to enough labor force; and second, that they take the pandemic as a pretext to accelerate their plans already underway of war of redivision, intensified repression, open dictatorship, strengthening of the bourgeois state: desperate measures to preserve the capitalist system of exploitation and oppression, imperialism. Although some of the measures against the virus are justified and necessary – and remember that the exploiters also need to care about the health of the workers to be able to exploit them (but only as far as it is profitable) – the whole handling of the situation is mainly guided by these interests of the ruling class and its needs in the crisis of imperialism.

Now, when the pandemic brings to the fore the acute situation created by the economic cuts and the “neoliberal” management of the healthcare system, even the most “neoliberal” politicians demand nationalization and centralization through the state. The revisionists, fulfilling their role of embellishing imperialism, applaud such demands enthusiastically and talk about “socialist reforms” and the supposed “defeat of neoliberalism”. In reality, what is happening is that the purpose of the bourgeois state is revealed with crystal clarity: “the executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie” (The Manifesto of the Communist Party). The role of the bourgeois state is to guard the interests of the whole ruling class, using the centralized power and the State Treasury to protect the big monopolies from the effects of the crisis and repress the people’s mobilizations. It is now revealed more clearly to the masses that the states, who said they “don’t have resources” to guarantee the basic needs of the people, do have unlimited resources to “save” the big enterprises, no matter if the current government calls itself “left” or “right”.

Just as was the case with 9/11 in 2001, the current pandemic serves perfectly as a pretext to strengthen and militarize the repressive apparatus and the whole dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, now with the curfews, prohibiting the gathering and movement of the masses etc., in effect accelerating the already initiated plans to combat the growing popular struggles; the revolutionary situation in uneven development in the world. Now they can legitimize measures that were impossible to legitimize before the pandemic. The vain attempts to save imperialism from its general and final crisis – with intensified exploitation, the new re-division of the world and the genocidal war – demand more open dictatorship, more counterrevolutionary violence and repression. The pandemic allows them to do all this and at the same time control public opinion with the supposed “need for national unity to overcome the crisis”; i.e. “unity” under the dictatorship of the imperialist big bourgeoisie. In Germany and other countries they have banned gatherings of more than two persons. Several countries are adopting new laws to officially permit the use of different kinds of electronic surveillance, laws to facilitate the quick implementation of states of emergency etc. In the midst of the pandemic, yankee imperialism accelerates its preparations for invading Venezuela with its “criminal charges” against Maduro, and continues with its military NATO exercises in Europe.

The enemy of the proletariat and the peoples is not only “neoliberalism”, but the whole capitalist system, imperialism. If the imperialists need to, they will use state capitalism, nationalizations, centralization and corporatism, and they have the help of the revisionists and the fascists to drag the masses along in their dark reactionary plans and paint them “red”. But the masses do not let themselves be fooled that easily; all the counterrevolutionary measures and genocidal wars generate more resistance, more revolution. The crisis that we are experiencing is the crisis of a dying system of exploitation and oppression, the agony of imperialism. The international proletariat and the oppressed peoples are rising up and call for revolution. It is the duty of the Communist Parties to guide and lead the struggling masses, developing the revindicative struggles – demanding the right to healthcare – serving the struggle for the power, always in implacable struggle against revisionism as the main danger; mobilizing the masses in preparing, initiating and developing the people’s war in each country, aiming for the world people’s war against the imperialist world war and continue advancing with people’s war until communism.


Peru People’s Movement
March 2020


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