The horror of genocidal capitalism

Image_Elyeser Szturm

By Eliziário Andrade*

Here, in the covid-19 crisis, those chosen to die are the elderly and “unproductive”, those who are on the margins of the system or marked by anticipated social criminalization only because of their social condition and class, color or gender.

The crisis we are witnessing is an unprecedented subversion and permanent agitation in the relations of production and, consequently, in all social and cultural relations carried out by the logic of capital and by the greedy and imperturbable interests of the bourgeoisie, which has extended its dominion over the entire world. and the human condition. Today, as in the past, as Marx referred to in the Manifest, there is a process similar to the action of a sorcerer who sets in motion all his creative, destructive and evil forces, but he is no longer able to control them, order them rationally and starts to move in an erratic and destructive way on a large scale (ALFA -OMEGA, 1976).

The crisis we are experiencing differs in some aspects and from past historical circumstances due to its scope and explosive degrees of contradictions in the economic, social, political and environmental totality. The contradictions that capital faces today in order to be able to fully reestablish the stable conditions for the development of the productive forces necessary for its reproduction, providing the conditions for economic growth with a virtuous cycle of high profit rates and wealth accumulation, face each more and more narrow and limited spaces that diminish the means to avoid the generalization and deepening of the structural crisis that invades all spheres: global finance, public and private debts and of the people that grow all over the world.

The strongest example comes from reality itself, where global debt in relation to gross domestic product reached a historic record of 322% of GDP in 2019 and which, in absolute terms, would be US$253 trillion, a level never seen before. On the other hand, the world capitalist economy has decreased to 2,5% a year, and if the pandemic continues, it seems that it could reach a rate of 1,5%. (Roberts, 2020)[I]. And with a scenario where world trade could fall by 32% this year (ICOMEX, 2019), Brazil, at best – with the impacts of the coronavirus – could approach a 1,0% growth rate . The loss of industrial production, which at the end of 2019 closed at 1,1% (IBGE), tends to worsen with a brutal reduction in investments in machinery and equipment, civil construction and technological innovation, which has fallen to 15,5% of GDP. Still expressing the crisis in several sectors, ICMS collection fell by 25,2%, demonstrating increasing losses for retail trade (SCPC, 2020). The World Bank, in turn, still predicts a 5% drop in Brazil's GDP this year, due to the pandemic, while the IMF estimates that the world economy will experience the biggest downturn since the 1929 crisis.

In this context, the Brazilian economy shrinks more than all emerging countries, reaching a rate of 5,3%, while unemployment will rise to 14,7%, throwing thousands of workers into the world of unemployment, with loss of income and lack of prospects for survival. But none of this seems to contain or soften the fury of neoliberal ideology and macroeconomic policies that deepen the assault on the State and massacre workers with reforms that only target those who live from work, granting the broadest and most complete advantage to productive and financial capital. .

There is no doubt that the recession is set, on the one hand, the monopolies will lead the economy to stagnation, and on the other hand, worse living conditions for the majority of the population will consolidate. The dimension of the crisis is catastrophic, but not final, and it is not known how it will end. Meszáros, in The structural crisis of capital, when referring to the nature of the crisis we are experiencing, predicts that it has a historical character and without the possibility of long-term stabilization:

The structural crisis of the capital system as a whole – which we are experiencing (…) – is destined to worsen considerably. It will become much deeper at some point; it will invade not only the world of global finance (...), but also all domains of social, economic and cultural life” (MÉSZÁROS, 2011:17).

It is a period of the twilight of capitalism in which its internal crisis is amplified, anticipating and illuminating the hidden meanders of its contradictions. For if we agree that the determining factor, the loci The main cause of the structural and general crisis of capitalism resides in the downward trend of the rate of profit and that the answer given to it, in itself, already reflects the contradiction itself: saving capitalism with more fictitious capital from public funds, forming unimaginable debts that exacerbate the causes and consequences of the crisis. And it is here that, once again, various spokespersons for Kyenezianism appear, the more ideological ones and the occasional opportunists, again repeating the inverse illusion of the neoliberals, invoking the State – even if limitedly – ​​as the Savior.

It is deja vu the ideas that sought to face the crisis with greater regulation of the economy and expansion of state credit; right at the neoliberal turn, these measures were blamed for the crisis and replaced by the radicalism of market recipes. Result: the central problem of capital appreciation with the expansion of credits with low and advantageous interest and monetary growth of central and private banks was not solved, nor was greater proportionality created in the economy between real productive capital and financial capital.              

Currently, the character of this crisis in the capitalist world goes beyond a financial, credit or lack of working capital crisis, nor is it the repetition of yet another cyclical crisis, of deregulation of speculative capital. We are facing a crisis that manifested itself in 2007-2008 in the USA with the collapse of the subprime and fabulous masses of speculative and fictitious capital, also extending to the entire sector of the real economy. Today, once again, due to the drop in the rate of profit and the difficulties in realizing capital, we are facing a second moment of a process of exhaustion of a specific and uncontrollable stage of capitalism. It is not by chance that the profitability of capital in the main economies of the world shows a downward trend and that for this very reason tends to reach the credit markets, collapsing the financial system for a long time. (ROBERTS, Idem).                

Faced with this scenario, the bourgeoisie and the neoliberals do not have mercy or cry before the pain of humans, the political forces that support them will do everything to save their interests, recover part of their capital and increase their wealth. They are ready to challenge ecological imperatives and limits in favor of immediacy and demand for increased profits, privatize the production of public goods such as water and the very air we breathe, lower wages and minimize the effects of deadly diseases that take great part of the working and impoverished population to mass graves. And the longer this period of existence of capitalism increases, the tragedy increases, where tomorrow tends to be worse and more bitter than today for future generations.

The pandemic is the other side of this same historical reality, the causes and sources of the current health crisis do not come only from the social impacts of covid-19, but from all the garbage produced by capitalist industries in the world that contaminate nature, deliberately poison and legal, agriculture and food consumed and generate various forms of anomaly for the health of humans and animals. In addition, quantities of known and unknown viruses proliferate in society, and health authorities have neither control nor control. The sources of production of lethal viruses and bacteria produced by war laboratories are built from the inter-imperialist disputes of the bourgeoisies in the capitalist world, where criminal effects are coldly planned to infect and decimate entire populations with chemical and nuclear weapons. And in the same way, the pharmaceutical industry also operates, which has the intention of not curing people or even taking care of health, but centering its business, according to the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2009, Thomas Steitz, on profitable medicines that should be taken throughout life, and warns that, more and more, the bacteria produced in society are becoming infinitely resistant and antibiotics tend to be ineffective.

For this very reason, financiers and market strategists are not concerned with illnesses and deaths resulting from pandemics such as the covid-19, or other social and economic causes, they are thinking only about stock markets and speculators' profits, stability of the capitalist economy. Financial capital executives, presidents and ultraliberal ministers, to the amazement, indignation, revolt or passivity of many, defend with gallantry and cynicism their rationality arising from the logic of capital in search of defense and guarantees for the functioning of capitalist production, profit and circulation of coins on the market. A situation that reminds us of the actions of the Nazis who built a political and social “normality” to murder human beings – Jews – en masse in gas chambers to the astonishment and hypocrisy of the “civilized” bourgeois world.

Here, in the covid-19 crisis, those chosen to die are the elderly and “unproductive”, those who are on the margins of the system or marked by anticipated social criminalization only because of their social condition and class, color or gender. This social selection that defines which ones will survive, already defended at the beginning of the late 19th century by the reactionary pastor Malthus, was embraced by the bourgeoisie and conservatives around the world as a good idea, a genius solution to face the crises of capitalism, a reasonable price to pay for profit. In this way, barbarism is defended and applauded loud and clear and becomes a convenient extermination action with planning and graphic calculations to indicate the daily score of the number of people apparently eliminated by covid-XNUMX.

There is no more dissimulation, euphemisms or half words to manifest and defend what was already known in a clear and unmistakable way – the strength and power that conditions, determines and predicts life and its future is capital with its mixture of rationality and irrationality commanded by a destructive logic of accumulation, where the defined criterion for letting oneself live or die comes from a factor external to the nature of human beings: the blind dynamics of the reproduction of capital and profit that moves in the horror and madness of the capitalist economy . Thus, there is no way to suppress the domination of capital that governs our lives and produces this barbaric reality without suppressing the State's form of domination, which supposes that we think and act strategically and from the perspective and political horizon of the working class, building in a way independently a political program capable of leveraging the conditions for the counter-hegemonic struggle within an anti-capitalist and revolutionary movement.

*Eliziário Andrade He is a professor at the State University of Bahia (UNEB)


[I] In

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