The following leaflet was given out in various cities across Italy on 6 June on the occasion of demonstrations by the various rank and file (Cobas) unions against the imposed return to work whilst the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage.
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spanner into the capitalist works but not completely prevented it from squeezing out profits.
Hardly deterred by the contagion, even in its most acute phase, the capitalist class has commanded thousands of workers to return to their place of production.
For our class, the health risk has been and continues to be constant, even more so in the face of the ferocity with which the bosses have ordered that we either continue to work or go back to work as soon as possible. Quarantine, “social distancing”, have been revealed as empty words in the face of their rush back to the exploitative process of creation and appropriation of profit.
The list of dead and infected workers hides behind a veil of hypocrisy like the mask covering our mouths.
Never before have life and profit entered into such dramatic contradiction as they have during times of crisis, and in particular this crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.
While the working class struggles here and now in defence of its existence, the bourgeoisie is playing its cards, certainly for today, but more especially for tomorrow.
The war economy has become its survival perspective: everything to do with the economy, society and the workplace will have to bow to this imperative.
The bourgeoisie is gearing up for a new phase of austerity and sacrifices, even worse than those that came before.
If today, the workers are given nothing but a few drops from the river of money reserved for banks and businesses, as tomorrow dawns, there will be nothing but “blood and tears”.
Struggling over our specific working and living conditions means understanding, now more than ever, that this crisis is not just a health crisis, but a crisis of the whole system. It is a crisis of a capitalism that guarantees nothing, but has only its own predatory and parasitic instinct towards humanity and the environment. In periods of crisis, our struggle requires us to acknowledge that capital has no room to give us anything, but can only keep taking everything from us. Hence every struggle must take on, with greater force than ever before, the political perspective that the system must be overthrown: not because the result of the immediate struggle is guaranteed, but because it is the only way that our determination to free ourselves forever from capitalist slavery can mature.
• The virus is capitalism!
• Capitalism can only recover by marching over the bones of the dead!
• We must organise ourselves and struggle to resist and defend ourselves on the basis of our needs, which are incompatible with those of capitalism.
• We must organise ourselves to build the revolutionary alternative to this decadent society.
Saturday, 6 June 2020