WE ARE ALL WAR HOSTAGES OF THE GLOBAL CAPITAL — this is not just a “pandemic”
The war substitute
So far, wars have served as an occasion for massive capital destruction — apparently Corona is now fulfilling the same purpose in a less violent way.
by Stephan Richter (Shutterstock.com), English translation is mine, original (in German) is here.
“Capitalism carries war like a cloud the rain,” said the French social revolutionary Jean Jaurès. In busy times when many people already have almost everything they need, the market will eventually be saturated. Bad for the targeted growth rates of capital. In war, on the other hand, traders earn twice: first from destruction, then from rebuilding. Destroying capital to the extent desired would only bring about a really big war. But the atomic armament with the danger of the total extinction of mankind stands in the way. What to do? Corona could represent the desired solution for the capital faction: the greatest possible economic devastation, but a more manageable destruction of human life. Perhaps — one could conclude — we would have been spared Corona had there been no atomic bomb. Without the spread of nuclear weapons, the current corona campaign would have been neither possible nor necessary. That it is taking place is a civilizational advance. Sounds a little crazy? May be. But if you want to understand the world in crazy times, you should also examine trains of thought that may initially seem crazy. It may turn out that things can ultimately be explained with a solid old vulgar Marxist worldview. Capitalism cannot be had without war We live in a time in which the principle of capitalism rules the world almost down to the last corner, and down to the most private and intimate emotions of the people. I take this as a given and forego evidence — whoever does not share this premise will not enjoy the following either. The principle of capitalism is profit making. In other words: capital, in the form of money and possessions with a monetary value, must continuously be utilized in a way that leads to the increase of this very capital. That is the principle to which everything has to be subordinated, no matter what the cost, including the lives of millions of people. Their misery and death are not meant badly on the part of capital, but simply necessary for the realization of capital, or just collateral damage that is not so important. The valorisation of capital takes place in the organized production of goods and services that are not produced for their utility but for their profitability; for this purpose capital buys labor. Profit, as we have learned from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is based on the fact that labor, like all goods, is paid on average at its production price — that is, according to the amount of labor that is required to produce and produce it entertain — but in turn creates value that is greater. Capital appropriates this difference, the “surplus value”, quite legally: This is the profit of which, to their great regret, the individual capitals have to give up parts to the state, to lenders and so on. Today the situation has changed from the time of Marx and Engels; the increase of money or capital through purely fictitious money and speculative transactions — which already existed before capitalism — plays a considerably greater role today in relation to the “real” production of goods and services. The capital must be utilized and multiply in the process — if nothing is produced over long distances in this process, that obviously does not matter. Now, as we have known since Marx and Engels, capitalism is not conceivable without recurring crises. The production of goods and services — and even more so the fictitious economy of the capital and money markets — are not controlled on the basis of the probable needs of the people, but expanded until it is no longer possible. This situation occurs regularly when the produced goods and services are largely no longer for sale due to a lack of (purchasing power) demand (overproduction crisis) or when capital has increased so much that there are simply no more profitable investment opportunities (overaccumulation crisis). Capital that can no longer be used profitably — that is the GAU, the greatest accident that can be assumed for capitalism. These crises can only be overcome if capital is destroyed on a large scale.
The audience doesn’t usually notice that. On the surface, it is only about conquering foreign territories, raw materials and markets or making them dependent on one’s own capitalist nation. All of these war aims exist — and if successful they would supply the domestic capital of the warring nation with new profitable investment opportunities. But war is always infinitely expensive and it is the opposite of productivity; it destroys capital in large quantities in all participating countries. The belligerent state — the state with Marx understood as the executive committee of national capital — must of course be concerned with burdening the losses and the destruction of capital as much as possible on “the other”, that is to say on the war opponents, including the so-called common people in their own country. But parts of the local capital can (and should) perish in the war. There remain bankruptcies, ruins, land, production facilities, know-how that can be taken over cheaply by the victorious capital factions, at home and abroad. Then there is again room to roll up your sleeves and earn money on “reconstruction” — the surviving capital can multiply again unchecked, until the next bang. With the widespread use of nuclear weapons after the Second World War, the realization that wars can only be fought to a very limited extent has evidently gained acceptance. You can still raid countries on the periphery. A war against a nuclear-armed state would most likely lead to the fact that not all nuclear weapons of the enemy can be switched off even with the most superior weapon technology — and if only two or three bombs of the enemy are used, the “costs” of the war are also simply too high for the attacker. Whoever shoots first, dies second, is the logic of war in the age of nuclear weapons. Apart from that, after a “victorious” nuclear war one can hardly profitably acquire the rubble of capital and the markets of the defeated state: there is no profit to be made with an uninhabitable desert. What to do — without nuclear war? The recurring over-accumulation crises remain, but war as a solution to capital destruction is largely canceled. As I said, peripheral states such as Iraq or Libya or Grenada can still be invaded, but even that is of little use: the destruction of the economies of such countries hardly leaves any gaps in the world market that “Western” capital could profitably fill and the defeated states become failed states in which one does not want to invest capital. What is left there? Capitalism, punished for its downfall, is forced to find ways to destroy capital on a large scale without waging a major war. Sometimes, in dire straits, rescue approaches from unexpected directions, such as the implosion of socialism, which really no longer exists around 1989. There could be no end of loot without a “hot” war, and lots of new profitable investment opportunities opened up. It is bitter that, contrary to the divine order, parts of the booty did not go to “Western” capital, but to Russian oligarchs who now have their own capitalist nation-state with Vladimir Putin’s state apparatus; but at least. Only, that was 30 years ago and the effect has fizzled out. The over-accumulation crisis strikes again relentlessly. When it came to light in 2008 as the “financial crisis”, the states could still half-fill it with tons of invented money; As everyone knew, the crash was successfully delayed, but made worse for the future: the vast amounts of money that naturally ended up in large capital have inflated it even further — and there are no investment opportunities for all this capital. One expression of this is the fact that practically no interest has been paid on money since then; no individual capital would like to expand through borrowed money, because there are no longer any profitable investment opportunities, apart from pure speculation with real largely worthless securities. There must urgently be opportunities to destroy capital on a large scale, otherwise the world will end, because, from the perspective of capitalism and its prophets, the collapse of the capitalist system is of course identical with the end of the world. Little things, like the sudden deflagration of the DAX group Wirecard, destroy at most a few dozen billion euros or dollars — these are peanuts, that is not a solution.
A coronavirus as a solution
Whenever you think it doesn’t work anymore, a little light comes from somewhere, my grandmother’s tear-off calendar already knew — and was therefore more correct than Marx and Engels, who could not have dreamed that crisis capitalism would still exist 150 years later , and apparently more unchallenged than ever. And really, the little light brought enlightenment, appropriately at Christmas time, in Wuhan in China, although they don’t care about Christmas there. It was christened SARS-CoV-2. This new or at least hitherto unknown virus and the disease it caused in a relatively small proportion of infected people called Covid-19, which can be fatal for a few per thousand of infected people (similar to influenza), was not an invention and was not planned. In any case, assumptions about this do not seem convincing to me. But “Corona” was an unexpected opportunity, and after a certain period of hesitation and uncertainty, capitalism grabbed it by the head. In business as in politics, real success is always based on the fact that the actors do not simply work through their plans as precisely as possible — as business administration propagates — but that they can take on unexpected opportunities at any time. Which of course becomes easier if the opportunity could not be foreseen at the specific point in time, but one had already dealt with possible opportunities of this kind. If the opportunity really does come, it is not easily overlooked, and options for action that have already been considered or even practiced are available. There have been many scenarios, pandemic plans, and staff exercises at national and international level in recent years. The preferred story was essentially always the same: a new virus, preferably from China, mutated or jumped from wildlife to humans, is spreading rapidly around the world, causing severe and potentially fatal respiratory diseases. The story was obvious insofar as there have been influenza epidemics for more than a hundred years that follow this pattern. To be sure, mankind has got used to it; I didn’t even notice at the time that we in Germany had the most violent flu epidemic in a long time with — according to calculations by the Robert Koch Institute — around 25,100 deaths. But these epidemics have existed and will continue to exist in the future, and it makes sense to prepare for them. Totalitarian high-performance medicine In capitalism, however, the preparation for epidemics takes place according to capitalist rules. One of these is totalitarian high-performance medicine that does not deal with people or with health and the possibilities of their (re) production, but, increasingly specialized, with isolated disease units and their treatment and prevention using highly profitable products from the pharmaceutical and device industries in the context of profit-oriented hospital factories. Health policy, from the local hospital to the World Health Organization (WHO), is controlled by capitalist owners, “sponsors” or other influencers; As is well known, after the US exit, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is often associated with the vaccine industry, is now the largest financier of the WHO and thus only the most striking evidence of the multiple interests of the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries and those associated with them Medical researchers with the actions of the — formerly quite honorable — WHO. By the term “totalitarian” I mean the peculiarity that, unlike other capital groups, the medical-industrial complex does not have to limit itself to “offering” its goods and services to the public — and using all sorts of tricks to entice the public into “ voluntarily ”to buy). Instead, this medicine has saved the special authority and position of the medicine man from pre-capitalist times, who proclaims absolute truths and gives instructions to be followed.
Sometimes we are also tempted to consume medical services, such as consuming a new car or a new fitted kitchen; In contrast to car or kitchen appliance manufacturers, top medicine has the option, if necessary, of simply telling us what we — in the sense of the respective medical specialty and its prophets — now have to do and have ourselves done. And if any Pope happens to be the right figure in any of the numerous special disciplines of high-performance medicine for social and state processes taking place for completely different reasons, then Saint Christian Drosten believes that he can control the state and its apparatus regulated in the Infection Protection Act like the Holy Inquisition at the time the “secular arm” who did the dirty work of the executions. “Totalitarian” is the basic attitude of this ruthless special medicine, which considers itself justified to regulate everyone and everything in the possession of the highest truth. Whether the Drostens wield real power or are just the propaganda bastards in a play that is directed elsewhere is not yet said. For the representatives of top totalitarian medicine, a real, threatening, conceivable epidemic means fame and honor, research funding and industrial contracts and at least a feeling of considerable power and importance. It is understandable that some “leading virologists” tend to exaggerate in principle. SARS, MERS, EHEC, swine flu — the widespread extermination of mankind by nasty viruses is promised to us every few years, the audience almost began to get bored with the umpteenth remake of the same horror film. For a change, there was also BSE, it’s not always just the virologists who should get something from the matter. Behind the hubris of the virologists is the very factual business interests of the pharmaceutical industry, especially the vaccine manufacturers, who earn their money by scare-mongering stupidly and already know how to keep their panic professors happy. This time everything is different Despite the profitable tendency to exaggerate, previous “pandemics” have been limited. People were scared a lot, a lot of money was made with drugs and vaccines, but that’s it after a few weeks. Whether the drugs and vaccine doses that we all paid dearly were actually used or had to be destroyed is not so important either — the money had been collected, capital had increased, now life can go on, capitalism does not exist after all only from the pharmaceutical industry. And the scenarios, pandemic plans and exercises were not meant so seriously that one would have drawn serious consequences from them. A small district administrator from the Schleswig-Holstein province, whose heart belongs to disaster control, was “a bit shocked” because: “At a higher level, there was a transnational disaster control exercise in 2007, where the pandemic scenario was practically played out. It was about an influenza virus, but the analysis could have looked up many of the problems from the spring, for example with protective clothing for medical staff. I got the impression that these work results have fizzled out ineffectively ”(1).
The evaluation of the above mentioned exercise LUEKEX 2007 also showed that there is a lack of reliable knowledge as to whether and to what extent face masks effectively reduce the risk of infection in everyday situations. Corresponding research was urgently requested (2), but of course did not take place. They had more important things to do than research into preventive health protection in the terrible pandemics that were certainly threatening at any time. In 2020 everything was different. Once again one of the usual pandemics was found, the WHO could have caused some excitement, governments could have stored vast amounts of overpriced useless — and potentially even harmful — vaccination doses, the disease would have been around 8th place on the hit list of causes of death for a few weeks could climb, the audience would have passed the time with the new edition of the horror film — and after six months many would not have known what exactly this disease had been called in the spring or so. The world would have straightened out again until the next “pandemic”, which, given the current workings of the WHO, is guaranteed to be declared in five years at the latest. But this time, wherever, the insight emerged that a pandemic — a terrible disease threatening the whole world — could be a good substitute for the Third World War, which was no longer militarily feasible. “Insight” is perhaps an exaggeration; someone does not necessarily have to have rationally and consciously decided that now should be war. Social, i.e. historical and political-economic laws prevail in capitalism — just as in previous social formations — as a rule behind the backs of those involved. These must necessarily obey the laws, if punished for their downfall, but they do not have to know or understand them. It is enough for them to feel what needs to be done now. And that was felt: Big money had long been waiting for the next bang, which everyone knew (and not only felt) that it was inevitable. The tension grew. The disaster warning from the industry-controlled virology popes and the WHO fell on more fertile ground than usual: the expected disaster had finally arrived. There is something relieving and activating about this: a catastrophe that actually takes place opens up possibilities for action, one no longer has to stare like the rabbit at the snake that is expected at any time. In such a situation, one does not check whether the disaster warning appears to be correct, and a comparison with past, severely exaggerated reports of this kind does not come to mind: We trembled long before the expected bang, now it is finally here and we can do something. The thought that it might just be a fake bang or that only the Drostens of this world could have a bang would only bother us now.
Learning from China means learning to win
The fact that the alleged horror came from China was compounded. Western capital and its mass media have long been obsessed with the love-hate relationship with China: China is an up-and-coming competitor that is certainly trusted to overtake the “most powerful industrial nations” of the West; China is realizing a capitalism that seems to be far more successful than the “Western” variety, and at the same time makes it clear that it will not be subordinate to any Western domination; Irritatingly, China makes it clear that the bourgeois-democratic facade is not necessary for the successful development of a capitalist nation; So China would be the perfect mortal enemy — but at the same time China is an indispensable trade and economic partner of the most powerful western industrial capitals, which would hardly survive without the “China business”, whether they are called Apple or Volkswagen. China is our future. China is exciting. This China now considers a virus to be new and dangerous — and initially deals with it very calmly. Criminal carelessness, “our” mass media have to crow, millions will die because China ignores the virus and suppresses the warner. Then, no one knows why, China turned around and imposed drastic restrictions and bans. Criminal human rights violations, “our” mass media have to crow, something so terrible is fortunately completely unthinkable in western democracies. After that, China announced that the problem was as good as resolved, with the exception of some infections from foreign travelers. Then the thought arose: What the Chinese can do, we should be able to do as well. Now we should really hit it, it even seems to have helped. And all the cumbersome and expensive frippery with democracy and human rights actually disturbs business here rather than being useful to us. So, let’s get into battle: learning from China means learning to win. — If SARS-CoV-2 had not appeared in China, but in Argentina or Kenya, for example, then the “Western world” would have been interested in about as much as Ebola or less, since it is also considerably less dangerous than Ebola Pathogen. One can now speculate about whether someone “directed” and whether there are identifiable persons and (of course secret) committees who at a certain point in time decided to repurpose “Corona” for a major war. That doesn’t seem really important to me. It is certainly of historical interest to examine the people involved and concrete decision-making structures. But sometimes you get to so-called conspiracy theories too quickly. As screeching as the corona warriors and their mass media denounce every critic as “conspiracy theorists”, conspiracy theories sometimes seem almost sympathetic. But they have the problem that they personalize social or political-economic processes. They create the illusion: If this and that bad person had not pulled on this and that strings, we would have been spared all the misery. But it wouldn’t be. The constraints of the capitalist economy prevail largely independently of individual actors who can be identified by name. If they hadn’t acted, then others would have done it, a little earlier or a little later, in the same or a similar way. Petty-bourgeois intellectuals — like the author of these lines — tend to overestimate the power of individual heads — preferably their own. The fact that the actors are only responsible as character masks for the implementation of the silent compulsion of the circumstances and are largely interchangeable, of course, also offends one’s own conviction of one’s own uniqueness.
A war is picking up speed
The governments of the leading western industrial nations did not all go into the corona war at the same time and with the same enthusiasm. Statesmen like Emmanuel Macron spoke of “war” at an early stage, while the administrations led by Boris Johnson and Donald Trump initially did not expect too much of the matter. But once a world war like this takes off, one cannot escape. The countries of the periphery followed anyway, with very few exotic exceptions — whether because of their religious orientation towards the example of the capitalist states of the first guard, or because of the usual discreet influence of Western advisors, investors, the World Bank and the IMF, WHO et cetera, that makes little difference in the result. A great war is never waged for one purpose alone. And the meaning of war in the capitalist economy, the destruction of capital — if possible exclusively at the expense of the “opponents” and one’s own lower classes — is not really suitable as an official war goal that could sweep away the bulk of the population. The population is not the problem, however; the Corona story is completely sufficient to create the necessary war mood, and the propaganda machine knows its craft. The individual warring powers each use the opportunity to advance their interests through the war. After the Trump administration was no longer able to prevent the USA from entering the war, it is now pursuing the goal of damaging China in order to avert the downfall of the USA — de facto, of course, of delaying at best. In the corona war, Germany believes that it is taking important steps towards realizing its geostrategic goals formulated by Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg in the “September program” in 1914: domination of a united Europe as a basis for reaching out to world power. That is why all war damage in one’s own country is poured in with vast amounts of invented money — except of course the damage to those who are not systemically relevant for the functioning of capitalism. According to the calculation, you will get away with it better than France, which after the departure of Great Britain is the only remaining competitor “on an equal footing” for supremacy in the European Union (EU). The other large economies within the EU, Italy and Spain are unlikely to recover after the end of the war and will fall back to the rank of marginalized countries that are dependent on Germany or France — such as Greece or Portugal. To make this process irreversible, it makes sense to extend the war with a “second wave”. The “big leap forward” made possible by the corona war to an economic and social order based entirely on electronic communication, in which every activity for business and the state can be completely saved, monitored, evaluated and blocked at any time, could definitely be expanded further ; who knows when such a good opportunity will come up again. In peacetime, all the political talk about “digitization” unfortunately does not lead to real visible progress.
The battle of the two lines
On the other hand, there are also intra-capitalist contradictions in one’s own country: the cost of war increases with every week, and the requirement of capital destruction has largely already been fulfilled or, to put it positively: it is now time to distribute the booty and start a new orgy of capital utilization. That is why there are increasing voices that the state should no longer support all corona-damaged companies, but only those that are “viable”, that is, who will probably be among the war profiteers; and the bankruptcy applications suspended by the special corona law should no longer be delayed. The bankruptcy wave is intentional, in capitalist Newspeak it is called “structural adjustment”. And there are increasing voices in the large, system-bearing media that give facts and figures to consider on the subject of “Corona”, which you were not allowed to take note of a few weeks ago if you were not denounced as a Covidiot and right-wing aluminum hat conspiracy theorist wanted to. The situation is contradictory: not only for the domination of Europe and the world, but also for the short-term profit of the pharmaceutical industry, the IT and Internet economy — and, as a side effect, also the bicycle dealers and pizza services — an intensification of the war is desirable during the The auto industry, the petroleum industry and everything related to civil aviation are slowly running out of air. Obviously the decision as to whether and how the war should be continued is still contested (3); this naturally leads to dissonances and contradictions in the mass media, which no longer know exactly in which direction to direct their propaganda cannons. How could they? When in the spring of a few weeks in Germany the corona hysteria became the corona state, the infection protection law was converted into a general emergency law and basic civil rights were sacrificed to the state of emergency to an unbelievable and obviously unfounded extent, one was horrified and incredulous before this development: Why you do that? How can they? What’s next? Some felt reminded of 1933, when the total state was established in no time with the consent of the large majority of the population. It seems to me that the events of 2020 can be compared more with 1914 than suddenly — and in the perception of many contemporaries apparently: now finally — the world war “broke out”, which had been in the air for a long time (4). The interpretation of current events as a new form of (world) war in the atomic age makes a number of developments that initially appear absurd and unexpected become more understandable. “War” is a phenomenon that has been rooted in our culture for thousands of years. The idea of “war” is not only passed on in the social consciousness, but at least as strongly in the collective subconscious. This kind of thing does not go away just because there has not been a war in Germany or on its borders for 75 years — a situation that has been steadfastly worked on since 1990, but that’s another story. “War” means an alternative reality: other laws, social rules and morals apply, the entire system of coordinates into which human activity fits is different in “war”. Self-evident and fundamental rules of social coexistence are no longer in force, “You shouldn’t kill” becomes “Kill!”. This reinterpretation of all moral or ethical ideas is not a problem — everything is different now, it’s war. When the war is over, the rules of civil social coexistence apply again; these are practically not affected at all, but of course they cannot apply during the “war” state of emergency. In a war, all members of the warring nation must stick together, cooperation, submission and willingness to make sacrifices are absolutely necessary — with regard to willingness to make sacrifices, there is of course an exception for members of the respective ruling class who prefer to become war profiteers. Doubts about the war are not allowed, anyone who expresses even the slightest concern is a traitor to the country and should be ostracized. Everything must submit to war. Martial law applies.
The hour of the executive
War is the hour of the executive. Parliament has to approve the war and to approve legal and financial conditions, after which it has done its duty and will no longer play a role until the end of the war. With the Infection Protection Act, a suitable enabling law was already in place for the corona war. With the addition of the “epidemic situation of national scope” (5), this was supplemented by the dictatorial powers that appeared to be necessary for the Federal Minister of Health, and supplementary budgets had to be approved. After that, the executive decides alone, from the generals in federal and state governments down to the smallest non-commissioned officer in the village public order office. War is a sublime experience for the military and, in the corona war, for the warring administrations. Anyone who had a time-consuming and stressful job in peacetime, with no room for a significant private life, is constantly watched and fought by the opposition and their own “party friends” who are just waiting for a mistake to bring down members of the government and to conquer their posts, and mostly without any noteworthy effects or successes (there are numerous former ministers at federal and state level who have left virtually no traces after several years in office) — in the (corona) war they suddenly have far-reaching options for action and can unrestrainedly into people’s lives rule into the most intimate details. “Intimate” is to be understood literally here. In Schleswig-Holstein, for example, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health are allowed to stipulate that both partners — more than two are forbidden anyway — must wear a mouth and nose cover during sexual intercourse and leave their address for the health department (6). There are supposed to be people who claim that the enjoyment of orgasm can be increased if it is accompanied by an almost fatal strangulation — whether the gentlemen had this in mind and wanted to encourage the shortness of breath during the sexual act or whether the envy of the health minister played a role, whose companion in life lives in New York and is therefore only allowed to communicate with him via the Internet during the corona war and who now wants to spoil sex for other people due to the lack of his own opportunity is not known. — So far, these rules only apply to paid sexual services; The gentlemen will also notice that the “risk of infection” with every sexual contact with people who do not belong to the same household is just as high as in a brothel. Anyone who can suddenly move so much and exercise so much power over other people’s lives can finally feel themselves and can finally believe that they are important. This intoxicating feeling of power arises not only when every provincial general can enact his own laws in his area of operation, and often quite different from the commander of the neighboring province; You are powerful and also relieved of the responsibility for the consequences of your own actions if you have to implement the surprising instructions of the highest army command unprepared, as the Kiel Prime Minister in the case of the school closings (7). In general, unlimited power is most beautiful when, in the event of going wrong, you can say afterwards that you only had to obey orders and that you are therefore not responsible for anything. The older ones among us remember how annoying the war stories of the old men were in our youth and how euphoric they told of their war time; the war victims, if they had survived, preferred to remain silent. The next generation of young people will learn to hate the transfigured faces with which their grandparents’ generation, today’s decision-makers, will rant about their contribution to saving humanity through the corona war, while the young people will patch up the pieces of the war and the costs over decades has to pay off.
At the beginning of the First World War, there was the famous saying of Kaiser Wilhelm II: “I don’t know any parties anymore, I only know Germans.” Even in the Corona War, there are no more parties. In the provinces it looks like the locally responsible member of the Bundestag of the Greens, together with her colleagues from the CDU and SPD and her colleague from the Left, publishes a press release (8) in which she calls on the population to obey: “We expressly encourage you to find out more about the coronavirus from the Federal Ministry of Health or the Robert Koch Institute. Rumors or information from dubious sources should not be taken into account. “ The analogy to Kaiser Wilhelm’s war also makes it easier to understand a phenomenon that has plunged many people into perplexity and despair: the practically total absence of left opposition to the corona campaign, the complete swinging of left organizations and publications and almost all of the left or left-liberal intelligentsia on the line a war that should obviously have been rejected. In 1914, “the Left” was practically identical to Social Democracy, which for its part was a very large movement that was broad in terms of content and organization. The basic social democratic knowledge of the prewar period included internationalism, anti-militarism and the awareness that the hostile antagonism was between the working class of all countries on the one hand and the various national bourgeoisies on the other, not between the working class of Germany and the working class of France and so on. With the beginning of the war everything was forgotten, Karl Liebknecht was alone in the SPD parliamentary group with his rejection of war credits. The left was, then as now, fixated on the state in its political ideas and demands, and its functionaries secretly or openly strive for little posts in the state apparatus. Socialism, the lofty goal, turned out to be the mere desire for social democracy in the “revolution” of 1918 to replace the monarchist and bourgeois government officials with social democratic comrades without even attempting to make substantial changes in the state and society. The state had shown the left through the socialist laws what it thought of it, but the social democracy steadfastly and increasingly believed in this very state, despite all verbal radical omissions. It is probably the same today: If the state declares a state of war, declaring itself and its people to be in dire need, then this left cannot stand aside, but must put aside all criticism and go to war with them. Criticism of the machinations of the pharmaceutical industry and the medicine that is dependent on it, criticism of the constant restriction of basic democratic rights and the expansion of state surveillance, etc., all of which are basic components of left-wing identity, must be put on hold at the hour of greatest need for the state. And if the state declares the hour of greatest need, then critical questions about the justification of this declaration of war would only be treason. In the corona war, with the complete failure of the left, we are actually only experiencing one phenomenon that we have known for more than 100 years and whose return was to be expected. It would be interesting to investigate (but exceeds my historical knowledge) whether the failure of the left in the war in 1918 and in the following years did not contribute to driving dissatisfied and disoriented sections of the population into the arms of right-wing groups, such as right-wing radicals and fascist groups today try, not without success, to gain ground in the spontaneous opposition to the corona war and to thrust into the vacuum left by the failure of the left. Intellectuals at war The same applies to left-wing liberal intellectuals. Their ancestors, the academic youth of 1914, were mostly not “left”, but had pursued equally enthusiastic and utopian ideas in the youth movement as the students of the 68s and 1970s. In 1914 they were thrilled that there was finally war. In contrast to today, students and high school students, sometimes class by class, volunteered for the front and died quickly as inexperienced soldiers. Today, the left-liberal intelligentsia is less shaped by students in their youthful exuberance, but by established academic middle class. They limit themselves to propaganda and prefer to leave the disadvantages of the war to the lower classes.
The talk about solidarity, reason and humanity, which is allegedly shown by wearing muzzles and complying with the most absurd corona rules, is just as broadcast-conscious and mendacious as the enthusiasm for war in 1914, but homeschooling for the child in their own children’s room with their own computer is quite comfortable, and on weekends you drive to the weekend house in the country, where there are no masks. The sacrifices have to be made by the others who sit unemployed with three children in their small social flat in the skyscraper and are not allowed to send the little ones to kindergarten or even to the playground. While the war volunteers with higher education in 1914 ultimately contributed to plunging their own people into misery and misery, which they supposedly had to protect from the evil enemy, their descendants today support the terror against the ancients, who as victims of the as “Solidarity” declared campaign of the corona warriors in their homes were taken into solitary confinement, without daily structure and without social contacts, without reasonable medical care, without hope and with no prospect of an early end to the oppression, in the case of lack of insight — for example because of dementia — medication sedated or restrained in bed with judicial authorization. The repugnance and mendacity of the talk of “solidarity” and “protection of our elderly” can easily compete with the flagrant prose of the war transfiguration of 1914 and the following years. These left-wing war volunteers also make up the majority of the mainstream public and private media staff. However, a special people gathers here. They became journalists when they were young, out of pursuit of clarification and spreading the truth — an honorable motive. The mute constraint of circumstances has taught them that with these lofty goals you usually get nothing, especially not a full-time, well-paid editor. With criticism and clarification — even in the late-night program or in the feuilleton — you can only get away with it if you were one of the first to have the right nose for the topic “in the air” and is therefore graciously accepted by the editorial board. Most of them have only learned to follow every emerging topic as the second, third, umpteenth infusion; so your journalistic B-goods just barely remain for sale. They can be dispensed with at any time during the next reorganization or publishing merger. This situation cannot really be endured, because these people are usually not stupid enough to simply completely ignore the contradiction between claim and daily reality. Endurance takes strength and alcohol. Since they do not drink lukewarm Doppelkorn but expensive Italian red wine, they do not consider themselves to be alcoholics. If you suddenly turn these people into war correspondents, they blossom. At last they can get involved and do missionary work unchecked, play a leading role in the salvation of humanity or their own people — emerging doubts about the meaningfulness of the military mission would only have a disruptive effect. Under these circumstances, the step from investigative journalism to embedded journalism is only small. The feeling, which can only be suppressed with difficulty, that something is wrong with this war and that one is actually only being abused, turns into an all the more intense hatred of all who dare to contradict or even dare to ask critically. The hateful character assassination of all critics of the corona campaign is psychologically necessary to kill any sense that the critics may be right on one point or another and that you yourself have finally become a traitor to your own ideals. If they didn’t do so much damage, you might feel sorry for the Corona war correspondents. Collateral damage The corona war comes — and this is new — without targeted mass killing. However, as in every great war, there is a huge number of deaths that are recorded as collateral damage. But that is part of the war and is no reason to forego war. Nobody cares that dozens, if not hundreds of millions of people will also starve to death as a result of the corona campaign this year and the next. The fact that hundreds of thousands will die prematurely because of the extensive collapse of medical care in the periphery is of no further interest. The destruction of these human lives is not directly intended — that the corona war was invented to reduce the world’s population, I believe is a rumor.
But it is true: These people are not systemically relevant to capitalism. The preservation of their lives therefore naturally plays no role in a war that is supposed to be waged to save every single old man and woman. The situation is somewhat different with the economic collapse of the countries on the periphery: here, collateral damage observed with a shrug of shoulders is mixed with deliberate calculation. If you have been able to buy mineral resources, land and national companies for the proverbial apple and ’n egg, in the future these countries will be forced to sell themselves for the rotten apple alone and forego the egg. These are positive prospects for capital that could make a prolongation of the war appear useful. How is it all supposed to end? If the interpretation of the “corona measures” developed here as a qualitatively new form of world war without (nuclear) weapons is correct, then certain prognoses should be derived from it. The first question that arises is when the war will finally end. This can take a long time: the cultural pattern of “war” in the western world includes the historical phenomenon of the Thirty Years’ War. The military defense of Western values in the Hindu Kush is also not far removed from this time frame. The German Chancellor, who is known to be more prudent, announced early on that a “new normal” (with a muzzle obligation for everyone — wearing the mask replaces wearing the party badge of the non-partisan war party) is being sought, and it can be assumed that this formulation was not thoughtless. In other words, the German leadership is not interested in a short-term campaign, but — as one of the war aims — in a fundamental social transformation at home as well, and this takes time. It has already been explained above that the foreign war aims also make a longer war appear reasonable. In the first weeks of the corona campaign, with good will, the country’s political leadership could still be convinced that they actually believed in the Drosten pandemic, and the stated goal was to flatten the curve or avoid overloading the health care system. This goal was clearly achieved quickly. The actual war probably only began afterwards, and it is designed for the long term: the pandemic will last until a vaccine is available, it has now been announced, which means that the war is planned to last several years. For propaganda reasons, of course, the availability of a vaccine had to be predicted for the foreseeable near future, here for spring 2021, which would have meant a war that would have lasted one year; more could not be expected of the audience. Of course, everyone knew that developing and approving a reliable vaccine against a novel infection usually takes more than ten years than three years, is extremely difficult for human coronaviruses, and has not been achieved in the case of the HIV virus for 35 years. In other words, if you no longer want to deny the federal government’s sanity at this stage, then there must have been plans to extend the campaign to several years at this point in time. The government will not abandon this perspective of its own accord. Another question is: How can and should this war end? In our imagination, the cultural pattern “war” has three possible outcomes: victory, defeat or armistice. A victory in this war would, according to the inherent logic of the war propaganda of the past few months, mean eradicating the virus. Obviously, this is impossible (9). Viruses of this kind do not disappear — but sometimes become more harmless over time due to various mutations — and the method of war also ensures that it cannot be won: By defining a positive result of a PCR test as “Covid-19 Infection “, years after the death of the last SARS-CoV-2, there would still be” proof “of constant” new infections “. The virus cannot be declared “eradicated”, the war cannot be won. Unfortunately, the virus cannot sign a “ceasefire” in principle, so this variant is also canceled. All that remains is defeat. In the face of inevitable defeat, belligerent parties can be driven to acts of desperation that far surpass the previous course of the war in senselessness and cruelty.
April and May 1945 provided terrifying examples of this. Not a good prospect. Now our consciousness, rooted in a long cultural tradition, knows not only the three possible — or in the case of the Corona war: actually impossible — war outcomes also irregular cases, such as the proverbial “Hornberger Shooting”: at some point the battle no longer takes place, the war creeps without knowing whether someone won and if so, who. This “impossible” outcome of the war is currently becoming apparent, for example, in the Afghanistan war. Would it also be conceivable for the corona war? That would, however, assume that the belligerents would have other things in mind in the course of time and therefore gradually abandon their campaign without being able to determine an exact time when the war ended. The war would have to lose its importance, almost imperceptibly. It can take a long time. Another, and even less pleasant, variant would bring the war to an end when a new, even worse — so this time perhaps: real and not just erupting in the fantasy of the drostens of this world — catastrophe attracts all attention and capacities and the corona war is dwarfed and gradually forgotten by it. Not a nice view either. Finally, in the good old Marxist tradition, a really positive perspective should also be considered: The peoples are fed up with the war and are using powerful mass actions, general strikes and so on to force its end to the bitter resistance of the ruling class, which with the end of the war is swept away by a revolution. It would be nice, but for the prophecy that the corona war could end like this, I am currently lacking historical optimism. It is easier to imagine the end of humanity these days than the end of capitalism. Another question is easier to answer: What should become of the immensely powerful armaments industry and the Bundeswehr if classic, conventional and nuclear armaments prove to be unnecessary in the Corona World War? Well, you don’t have to worry about the men — women are rarely to be found there. On the one hand, it has just been decided that up to 15,000 members of the armed forces will be deployed inside the corona war, making it clear that the new type of warfare also offers prospects for classic military apparatus. The imposition and enforcement of martial law and the use against one’s own population have never been alien to soldierly thinking. On the other hand, the strategists have been talking about cyber war as the future field of warfare for a number of years, and the booming IT industry, already largely militarily shaped in its origins, is happy to expand its existing close cooperation with the arms industry and the military. Military drones, armed or unarmed, are just one particularly striking example of the integration of heavy industry and IT in the arms business. The armaments industry will find ways to earn money from virtual warfare and to develop systems that optimize the instruments of the somewhat provisional corona war for future opportunities. And finally, in the virtual world war according to the corona pattern, the capital that is still tied up in the classic heavy industrial part of the armaments industry is not left in the rain: For regime change in countries on the periphery with insubordinate government, tanks and frigates will still be needed in 20 years.
The next war is canceled
The answer to the question, should the Corona war be over, when is the next event of this kind to be expected? WHO-style “pandemics” occur on average every three to five years and in all likelihood will continue to do so. The next corona war will be canceled for now. Because a big war with the destruction of relevant parts of capital — preferably abroad — is regularly necessary under capitalism, but the time intervals are considerably greater. In the next “pandemic”, the “reconstruction” so called by the European Union, ie the new phase of capital accumulation and expansion at the expense of the taxes to be paid by working people and falling social benefits, will not be over for a long time. One can therefore assume with a probability bordering on certainty that the Drosten will explain to us at the next pandemic why it is not so dangerous this time and any comparison with Covid-19 is inadmissible, although the next virus may actually cause significantly more people to die is called SARS-CoV-2. As far as the PCR tests are concerned, Drosten will remember what he already knew six years ago: “This method is so sensitive that it can detect a single genetic molecule of this virus. If, for example, such a pathogen scurries over the nasal mucous membrane of a nurse for a day without becoming ill or noticing anything, then it is suddenly a Mers case. Where previously terminally ill were reported, now suddenly mild cases and people who are actually very healthy are included in the reporting statistics ”(10). And where is the progress of civilization now? According to the thesis put forward for discussion here, the corona war is a new form of world war that can fulfill all the functions of a major war that are necessary for capitalism to survive, without using the weapons previously regarded as “military” and without direct (!) Killing to be consciously planned and implemented by people. This new type of warfare converges with the forms of cyber war and “hybrid warfare” that have been discussed and increasingly practiced in the military apparatuses of the leading countries for years, so it is not really new in all aspects. The progress now consists in the fact that, even without the abolition of capitalism — which, thank God, does not seem to be in the queue — it will in any case be possible to avoid the final big bang of the atomic world war. Nuclear war cannot be ruled out, but at least it is no longer inevitable if capitalism is retained. The same applies to the slaughter of millions of people in the metropolises. Conventional wars and the use of weapons of mass destruction have not disappeared from this planet, but will continue to take place in the struggle of the metropolises against the periphery and in the proxy wars between countries on the periphery. As in so many other cases, this civilizational progress is by no means a cause for pure joy. But at least: under the given circumstances it is progress.
Sources and Notes:
(1) Norddeutsche Rundschau, September 29, 2020, page 10. (2) “Already in the preparation for the exercise it became clear that there was a lack of detailed, scientifically sound knowledge regarding the benefit of barrier measures using mouth and nose protection (MNS) or masks for the general population. The implementation of corresponding epidemiological studies is indispensable for the further development of the corresponding recommendations. “, Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, LÜKEX project group: Evaluation report of the third transnational crisis management exercise” LÜKEX 2007 “by the LÜKEX project group, as of April 15, 2008, page 46. (3) Chancellery Minister Helge Braun accordingly expected the meeting of the Chancellor and the Prime Minister — in months for the first time in person and not as a video conference — on October 14, 2020. a “historical debate”, see for example Norddeutsche Rundschau, October 15, 2020, page 15 ; the expected or hoped-for decision in the battle between the two lines did not materialize at this meeting.
(4) Friedrich Engels as early as 1887: “Eight to ten million soldiers will strangle each other and eat all of Europe as bare as never before has a swarm of locusts. The ravages of the Thirty Years’ War compressed into three to four years and spread over the whole continent; Famine, epidemics, general wilderness of armies and masses caused by acute distress; hopeless confusion of our artificial machinery in trade, industry and credit, ending in general bankruptcy; The collapse of the old states and their traditional state wisdom, so that all the crowns roll by the dozen over the pavement and nobody can find them who can pick them up … “, Marx / Engels, Werke MEW 21, page 350 following. (5) Law on the prevention and control of infectious diseases in humans (Infection Protection Act — IfSG) Paragraph 5. (6) State ordinance to combat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Corona Control Ordinance — CoronaBekämpfVO) of October 1, 2020, Section 9 Paragraph 2, Schleswig-Holstein. (7) Interview with Daniel Günther, including Norddeutsche Rundschau, August 28, 2020, page 3: “March 12 was decisive for me when we went to school and daycare during a long-planned meeting between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor — have notified closings. I couldn’t foresee that. But from then on I knew that we were in crisis mode and that governance would be very different from what I had experienced in the two and a half years before. “ (8) Dr. Ingrid Nestle (Greens), Cornelia Möhring (left), Michael von Abercron (CDU) and Ernst Dieter Rossmann (SPD): Joint appeal of the Bundestag members of the Pinneberg district, March 20, 2020, https://www.ingrid-nestle.de/press/joint-appell-der-bundestag-members-des-Kreis-Pinneberg /, last accessed October 25, 2020. (9) Incidentally, the (almost) complete eradication that is in principle possible with some types of viruses is sometimes a Pyrrhic victory — at the end of August 2020 the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) proudly announced the success of the smallpox vaccination campaign, which is now also being used in Africa Poliovirus is eradicated. Only: The successful eradication relates to the “wild” polio — vaccination must continue, because now there is “the persistent threat of polio from the vaccine,” said WHO Director General for the Africa Region, Matshidiso Moeti. Outbreaks of mutated vaccine viruses, the “circulating vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV)”, are currently occurring in underimmunized communities in sixteen countries, according to: Dr. med. Mabuse №247, September / October 2020, page 8. (10) Kutter, Susanne (Interview): Virologist Drosten in conversation 2014, “The body is constantly attacked by viruses”, Wirtschaftswoche May 16, 2014, (quoted from https://www.wiwo.de/technologie/forschung/virologe-drosten-im-versraech-2014-der-körper-iststaendig-von-viruses-attacked/9903228-all.html, last accessed on October 25, 2020.