Long live the first of May!
Convinced of the possibility of defeating neoliberal rapine and global capitalism, now more than ever we must make every effort to organize, unify and coordinate the transformative action of all the anti-capitalist forces of the world. We must take advantage of the cracks in the omnipotence of the insatiable beast, which is now seen by many as a decrepit old creature in prolonged agony whose demise we must help to accelerate, remembering Lenin’s reflection that “capitalism will not fall if social and political forces do not exist to make it fall.”
And of course, such an unjust and predatory enemy of human beings and nature must fall, which the current health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has shown. The system’s perverse and anti-social inability to solve life-and-death problems, due to his own structure of insane selfishness, has multiplied. Reality has shown us with the weight and pain of its terrible consequences that, if you do not want to plunge into a bigger catastrophe than the one we’re already suffering from the coronavirus and hunger, the world is in urgent need of immediate change, such as the de-commodification of health and social security, at the least. This implies, at least, the de-commodification of the pharmaceutical industry and the recovery of natural resources for the common good, unless one prefers to delay the definitive burial of capitalism, whose consequence is nothing less than barbarism, translated into the domination of capital by resorting to the most brutal forms of economic exploitation and alienation that will undoubtedly go hand-in-hand with relentless media dictatorship.
In various parts of the world, the sensible demand has become widespread in favor of the more active intervention of the state to control the harmful effects of the market on the usurious management of basic health services, social security, water, education, housing, transportation, etc., and to attempt a revaluing of solidarity, confronting the privatization debauchery of neoliberalism, with a redistribution of the world’s wealth, which today is concentrated, scandalously, excessively and criminally, in the hands of a handful of owners that is no more than 1 percent of the population.
The hour of Yankee political, economic and military supremacy is at its sunset, even in what for decades it has considered its backyard, and the strength of capitalism is also declining, driven by the current unprecedented global recession. On this twilight horizon, the deep structural crisis of capitalism, which the “black swan” of the pandemic is now navigating, hastens its inexorable fate which, undoubtedly, is in the hands of the subordinate classes as they become aware of the exploitation and oppression that overwhelms them, and that another world is possible if we get rid of that mean, decomposed and deranged “imperial bourgeoisie.”
Our Colombia, without a doubt and even with the tricks of its leaders’ soap operas, cannot escape this situation. It does not matter that the reality of contagion and the dimensions of the health crisis are made up, and that quarantines and measures of social isolation are expanded and given “intelligent” names to cover up the narco-scandals of the president and his vice-president. Because no matter how the pantomime is staged, the stubbornness of the events and their consequences will reveal the farce of their stingy, crafty and useless policies, such as the publicized twists to Familias en Acción, or the Solidarity Income, or the VAT refund and the Senior Citizen program, among others, which are a mockery if you take into account the huge economic giveaways that the government, using financial juggling, earmarks for those large companies that boast of their “donations” while they process income tax discounts. False “business solidarity”; false “gifts” propagated to facilitate tax evasion for Sarmiento Angulo-type characters, and incidentally cto lean up the discredited image of the country’s gangsters, with the complicity of those who the sacred cows in the financial sector allow to discredit the nation’s resources.
Keep making your August, for surely, like all pigs, your December will come! Continue bailing out the bankers and Mac Pollo, Arroz ROA, Flor Huila and Ingenio del Cauca … with the credits that should have gone to the peasants and to benefit the most needy. The party is not going to last forever. In Colombia, apart from the unemployed and workers on starvation wages, there are around ten million workers termed “self-employed” who are suffering the consequences of so much folly and like many millions of other poor people, face the dilemma that if they are not killed by the coronavirus they will be killed by hunger. In addition, more than 2 million people do not have access to an aqueduct and sewer… and still it is ordered that people wash their hands with soap and water, apply gel and apply disinfectant, because our rulers do not know what country we live in. Like [Colombian President Iván] Duque, they believe that the country is full of pastries where average employees earn two million pesos a month (!).
The workers must demand that the wealth they produce be wealth for the common good; it must be a requirement for governments that private hospitals and clinics intervene to care for patients infected with COVID-19, and all the conditions that burden the poor; formalization and an end to destruction of jobs must be demanded. And it must be a demand that the hypocrisy of false philanthropy and the false charity of capitalists and bankers who profit even from the alms they appear to dispose of, be eradicated, for they are only thinking that the anti-neoliberal protests that shook the continent and other world stages, overflowing the avenues, squares and borders in 2019, must not return with more force from the bowels of loneliness and silence of the deserted streets of cities muted by the virus.
The people are eager to break with isolation and with the causes of a tragedy that could have been avoided if not for neoliberal austerity and the dehumanization of the system, which has not really been hurt at all by the agony of the thousands of people who do not have or will not have the resources to access an increasingly privatized health system, not even the few public resources that survive after being trimmed by the fanaticism of those who make everything they touch a business and a feast of corruption. It is known that millions of companies are either bankrupt, or in crisis, or have already closed, leaving millions of workers at risk or already tossed out. It is believed that at least 500 million people will fall into the clutches of poverty, causing greater social calamities than those generated by the capitalist crises of 1929 and 2008; thus proving the need for a new world economic order that brings us social justice and frees us from a new imposition of barbarism and fascism.
So for this May Day in Colombia and in most places, where that date is the most emblematic of the year, although surely you will not be able to leave your homes, you can join hands and fists of memory from the depths of emancipating subjectivity, expressing the old and new demands by all means that we have at hand. We must and we will fly from every home, from every insurgent camp, from every corner of the homeland where the feeling of the proletariat’s struggles beats, the flags of its most laudable causes, in which it believes and has conviction of victory, shouting our faith in Colombia, in Our America and in the oppressed of the world, waving the national tricolor and the red of internationalist resistance, breaking the chains for a better, post-capitalist world, without exploiters or exploited, with social justice, saying long live May Day, long live the workers and the proletariat of the world!
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP), Second Marquetalia
Mountains of Colombia, May 2020
Translated by Greg Butterfield