While deadlier diseases have come and gone, the world is now in a uniquely disastrous position with the COVID-19 pandemic as it affects the entire world simultaneously. With capitalism grinding to a screeching halt in some areas, the refusal of the state to competently allocate resources, millions out of work, and already marginalized communities bearing the brunt of the virus, the contradictions of our current world order have been laid more bare than ever before in recent history. While the far right and the petite bourgeois element of society responds by holding protests demanding the return of business as usual, with a callous disregard for any safety measures and the praise of the president.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Silicon Valley technocrats and old money imperialists trying to hijack the crisis to push for a more permanent form of technological social isolation, which we must reject wholeheartedly. The crisis is, in actuality, a truly American phenomenon. Many places around the world have managed – with a variety of techniques – to alleviate the health, social and political problems associated with the pandemic. The US, in contrast, is going into a rapid, world changing crisis, primarily because of the peculiarities of American greed, the viciousness of American racism, and the ignorance of the American ruling class. The US has never been closer to a total collapse, and it is almost totally self-inflicted.
The left seems conspicuously absent today. Frankly, this situation could have been predicted long ago. In the last four years that Trump has been in office, the radical left has greatly shifted towards careerism, and incremental opportunism. We see self described anarchists rally for Bernie Sanders, social democracy, and even Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. We used to eject the journalists and smash their cameras at our rallies, recognizing that we are not trying to recreate the spectacle but destroy this alienated world all together. It’s no wonder that in light of all this, the radical left seems toothless as the society collapses.
Ironically, the pandemic intersects with the advent of May Day. While many leftist groups seem to have gone MIA, Trump is pushing for a return to business as usual by May 1st.
In light of the current crisis, and for a reminder that just as before, capitalism, white supremacy, and the state are the biggest roadblocks to the problems we face, in conjunction with comrades around the world, we call for autonomous actions this May 1st. Unlike the far right, we actually care about people’s lives and think it’s a good thing that massive rallies aren’t being planned. As a matter of fact this opens up the day for more useful actions than the typical routine parades held every year.
So for this year we are calling for revolutionaries around the world to take creative autonomous action, and begin exposing the institutions and individuals who are responsible for the increasingly desperate situation we all find ourselves in today.
Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, April 26, 2020.