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(en) Rosario Anarchist Federation FAR: IN THE FACE OF THE CAPITALIST PANDEMIC, MUTUAL SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY OF THOSE BELOW (ca) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 23 Mar 2020 08:35:35 +0200


We are living in a moment that seems to constitute a historical hinge, a new strain of a flu virus, SARS-CoV-2, that shocks the entire world, closing borders, strongly hitting the global economy and causing the death of thousands of people. It seems important to us, from organized anarchism, to develop - albeit preliminary - some analyzes and lines of action on the effects that this crisis is having and may have in the social-political field. ---- The emergence and spread of the virus reveals, once again, the resounding failure of the capitalist system, showing its most cruel, inhuman and dangerous facets for the oppressed class. Firstly, it highlights that technological advances in the field of health have not been able to prevent or counteract this phenomenon, realizing that the billionaire social resources that pharmaceutical and health companies manage are not focused on improving the quality of life. of the inhabitants and to prevent diseases but to maximize their profits, here there is nothing but capitalist common sense, but it has its effects on the health crisis that is being experienced throughout the world.
On the other hand, so far we see that in those countries where the public health systems have been scrapped by neoliberal reforms, the virus is advancing with more damaging effects. In our country, although inefficient and hit by the different governments, our strength is in a public health system that persists thanks to the resistance of its workers and users.
On the other hand, the fact that the coronavirus has devastating effects on the most affected population in recent years, the elderly, is not less. This both in terms of health, from the lack of vaccines, the increase in medications, the abandonment of an important part of treatments, as well as in the pension system, where it has been the sector historically most punished, taking as a reference Immediate the unpopular retirement reform of Macri of 2017, and its modification during the current Government. The popular camp should, in this sense, seek that some of the most recent reforms be judged as criminals, thus echoing the elimination of the Ministry of Health by the previous government as a crime against public health, The immediate consequence of the outbreak of measles was a disease that had become extinct in Latin America. Clearly, our old men are the "leftover" population of a collapsing social system. With all the aforementioned, it is clear that life and health are a business, rather than a right.
In keeping with this idea, history has shown us that on more than one occasion, diseases and control over our bodies have been used by different States as a weapon based on their imperialist interests. In addition to the well-known experiments of Nazism, in our region we had emblematic cases such as the inoculation of syphilis in the Guatemalan population by the US Army. Such aberrations are only possible in a capitalist social order, and that makes more than one doubt about the particular origin of this virus, within one of the imperialist powers that has been contesting the world order.
The social and economic impact of the rapid spread of the coronavirus is becoming evident. On the one hand we know that the brakes of the world economy will be paid by those from below. Already in countries where the virus is more widespread, there have been layoffs and lower wages, not to mention the devastating effects it is having on the unemployed and precarious sectors. In our country, the fragility caused by the public debt, and the government's intention to pay it at the expense of the people, will be added the damage caused by this pandemic, which expresses the weakness of an economic order that has almost 50% of the population in poverty, and a very high rate of precarious workers.
On the other hand, the restriction of political rights and more aggressive social control mechanisms are advancing, gaining social consensus as the only way to guarantee that the pandemic is stopped. All this within the framework of a supposed democracy, which easily modulates towards states of exception, imitating the control techniques of the much-questioned dictatorship of the Chinese CP. We know that these social control devices will be filled with resources and experience, and that it will be necessary to see if they are disabled once the pandemic ends. We believe that unless other solidarity forms are put in place and from below to contain the spread of the virus, control and repression will serve as a mechanism to "contain" also the possible discontent that the effects of this crisis generate and that will persist once it is over. Meanwhile, the deployment of the repressive forces throughout the territory is leaving the majority of the organizations of the popular sectors defenseless. Faced with this panorama, we ask ourselves the alarming question about what will happen when the poor do not comply with the quarantine and not someone who comes from vacationing in Europe or the United States. In fact, we already had an advance, with the repression unleashed by Rodríguez Larreta against the manteros, which resulted in the death of the entrepreneur Beatriz Mechato, and the subsequent arrest of Juan Grabois and 12 more CTEP militants. Faced with this panorama, we ask ourselves the alarming question about what will happen when the poor do not comply with the quarantine and not someone who comes from vacationing in Europe or the United States. In fact, we already had an advance, with the repression unleashed by Rodríguez Larreta against the manteros, which resulted in the death of the entrepreneur Beatriz Mechato, and the subsequent arrest of Juan Grabois and 12 more CTEP militants. Faced with this panorama, we ask ourselves the alarming question about what will happen when the poor do not comply with the quarantine and not someone who comes from vacationing in Europe or the United States. In fact, we already had an advance, with the repression unleashed by Rodríguez Larreta against the manteros, which resulted in the death of the enterprising Beatriz Mechato, and the subsequent arrest of Juan Grabois and 12 more CTEP militants.
To complete this characterization, at a cultural level effects are also manifested, with the reinforcement of individualism, the danger of the "other" and the culture of "save yourself who can", added that it seeks to make each "citizen" a potential vigilante. In this context, the tendency of the population, which is in economic capacity, to the gathering of food and supplies is not surprising. Isn't the capitalist system based on the hoarding of goods rather than its equitable distribution?
But expressions of resistance are already occurring. In Europe there have been cacerolazos in the context of quarantine, and strikes in sectors where the continuity of work is imposed at the expense of the health of workers. In Argentina, the mercantile companies have already spoken, demanding the closure of the shopping malls, as well as in other work areas, health protection measures are discussed.
We believe that for what is coming it is important to take into account some lines of action, such as the fight against layoffs, suspensions and reductions in wages, the claim of economic subsidies for the precarious and the unemployed, as well as the guarantee of access to food and basic necessities. , defense of the public health system, demanding a greater budget for the sector as well as improvements in the working conditions of its workers, guaranteeing that the private health system is at the service of popular needs, without profit, and appealing to solidarity between the ones below to contain the spread of the virus preventing the advance of social control.
The pandemic and its effects do not arise from nature but from a certain system that makes these crises possible at the cost of the health and well-being of the majority of the world population, it is urgent to resist this situation from a revolutionary perspective, articulating the struggles of today with the society we dream of.

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