Jorge Arreaza Montserrat
Ernesto “Che” Guevara, in his meridian clarity and precision in analyzing the political and social context, pointed out in 1964 that: “it is the very essence of imperialism to turn men into wild, bloodthirsty animals”. This powerful sentence is combined with numerous similes about the brutality of the capitalist system: its inhumanity. The synthesis of this quality of capitalism, as opposed to the socialist idea, is clearly expressed in the dichotomous phrase par excellence: Socialism or Barbarism. With this sentence by Rosa Luxemburg we enter the main debate in the world today, mediated by the unexpected circumstance: the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The impact that this disease has had on humanity is unquestionable. In just a few weeks, the economic, political and social dynamics of the entire world have changed.
Today, it is clear that the approach to the situation is directly related to the way we view the world, how we perceive it and how we understand politics.
The philosopher Jacques Ranciere pointed out:
“We are in a world in which capitalist domination has spread everywhere and structures our experience, without assuming the appearance of a kind of global power. (…) Perhaps today we can no longer think of opposition as a conflict of forces but as a conflict between worlds, between different constructions of forms of sensory experience, starting from the most ordinary”.
There are, in fact, opposing worlds that range from complex structures, which pass through the value that is given to life, to the origin of the accumulation of capital, to the day-to-day life of each and every citizen.
At the dawn and development of the pandemic we witnessed the contraposition of these exclusive worlds. On the one hand, states that established as their fundamental purpose the safeguarding of human lives, to ensure that the impact on their citizens was as small as possible. On the other hand, nations that placed a premium on the “well-being” of their economies, prioritizing the dynamics of trade and finance, investing in the immunization of the population through the massive spread of infection among their inhabitants.
But the situation has transcended itself. Covid-19 reveals too many fissures and fractures in the unnatural dam that capitalism represents. With this, one of the theses naturalized in this era of globalization enters into inevitable revision: the elimination of the State under the absolute and total domination of the neoliberal market, which has demolished the borders and regulations of each country. The end of history brought about the death of national sovereignty. Everyone had to kneel before the new God, the world market, and the fundamentalist pastor with his manifest destiny, with his inquisitorial and untrustworthy church: the elite of the military, industrial, technological and financial complex of the United States.
A new tyranny began that judged the terrible sin of people thinking with their own heads. Whoever did not follow the dictates of neoliberal dogma was excommunicated from the new creed of capital. For this, there was no longer any need for a stick, only control over the world’s financial system. Financial excommunication became the weapon for the merciless extortion of the new “King of the World”. Thus the sins of sovereignty were sentenced with unilateral coercive measures, wrongly called sanctions, because there are no laws in the world that surpass the theocracy of Uncle Sam. Countries like Cuba, Iran and Venezuela suffer the irrational punishment of this disproportionate supremacy of the self-proclaimed owner of the world.
If one thing is clear in this 2020, it is that the nation states, their vision of how to handle the situation, their political stance towards their citizens, is the key to being able to cope, in one way or another, with the lethal danger facing humanity.
In spite of the sanctions, the savagery and the bestiality with which the United States applies its dogmatism, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has managed to contain the spread of the virus in the country, in an endeavour characterized by discipline and popular conscience. President Nicolás Maduro acted in a firm and timely manner, from the perspective which identifies those who believe in humanity, the right to life and happiness. The decisive action of the Bolivarian Government has been decisive in containing the exponential spread of Covid-19.
The role of the State sets the tone. Today we are sheltered by the robust public health system, which we value more than ever, thanks to the vision of commanders Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, when they devised the Barrio Adentro Mission, which has provided doctors and health care centers throughout the country. President Maduro, despite the attacks on the Venezuelan economy, has continued to strengthen this social program for life, elevating it to what he has called the 100% Barrio Adentro Mission.
It is a pillar today in the definitive battle when the Venezuelan and Cuban doctors, together with the organized People’s Power and the Bolivarian National Armed Force, make an immeasurable effort to do house-to-house screening tests – which are oriented by the 20 million surveys collected by the Patria System, which was also designed by President Maduro – and to deliver food to the people who are fulfilling their voluntary and conscious social distancing.
Only a country with a humanist vocation manages to develop a system of free care for the population of this magnitude, in the midst of the most criminal attack against its economic and political integrity. Governments today have had to resort to their own solutions. The capitalist system does not offer global answers to the crisis, and leaves countries to their own fate and peril.
Also during the last few weeks, several studies and research papers have been published on the consequences of the situation on the world to come. In the analysis made by the Venezuelan team of investigators of Mission Truth we will find a profound account of the action of the United States during this process. It shows that, despite the intrinsic complications of its own internal disaster, the United States prefers to take advantage of the opportunity to deepen its attacks on the world’s sovereign peoples and the multilateral mechanisms that were conceived and have acted to help the entire international community contain the threat.
The global paralysis has not prevented the United States from finding an instance of reassertion, regardless of the fact that it is further accelerating that death within it, which is expanding without interruption. The demonstration of sadism towards Iran, the exhibition of unbalanced strength towards Venezuela or the dysfunctional adolescent behaviour towards China and the World Health Organization (WHO), also outline the limits that nations can reach in the moral and systemic field.
On the other hand, we review the deep analysis of the Bolivian intellectual Alvaro García Linera, who in a conference given on March 30th in Buenos Aires, made a journey through the main contradictions of globalization and neoliberalism and their impossibility to adequately address this pandemic, announcing a return, as we had previously pointed out, to the adequate action of the state as the only possible structure to contain the danger:
“For now, only the State, under its Gramscian integral form of administrative apparatus and politicized and organized civil society, can guide social wills towards common actions and shared sacrifices that will require public policies of care in the face of the pandemic and economic recession”.
In contrast to the arrogant and aggressive vortex of the United States, we have seen the synderesis and willingness of countries like China and Russia. These giants, called upon to lead a world in which there is respect for the sovereignty of countries and international law, have demonstrated with facts that there is another way of relating. The pandemic has consolidated the multipolar and multicentric vision of the world in gestation.
China, having heroically overcome the outbreak on its territory, has taken it upon itself to provide help and advice to all those who need it, regardless of their ideological status or wealth. Our people are grateful for this unconditional commitment extended by President Xi Jinping, who established an airlift with specialized humanitarian assistance and medical advice in order to make progress in containing the pandemic within our borders.
Similarly, the Russian Federation, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin and the detachment of its people, has established an exemplary dynamic not only with the Venezuelan people, but has selflessly sent medical forces to affected places, such as Italy, in order to be able to confront this struggle together.
And, of course, Martí and Fidel’s Cuba, sending medical brigades to several countries in the world, including Italy, Venezuela, African and Caribbean countries, and making their scientific pharmacological advances available to humanity.
These are gestures that mark a different way of seeing the possibilities of a new world, where aggressions cease, where the economy of peoples is not suffocated for political reasons, where the preservation of life and happiness are the only priority of peoples and governments. A world in which it is not a question of imposing the law of the empire in force, but the rule of international law, assumed collectively for the common good.
We need to abolish the bestiality of imperialism, the murderous and arrogant vocation of a harmful and intolerant leadership. In response to this, we raised the voice of our songwriter father, Ali Primera, when he trembled with the feeling that our people are crying out today: “Help them, help them, let humanity be human”.
In the face of imperialist bestiality, let us arm ourselves with humanity to protect the new world that is to be born.