The Coronavirus has become a pandemic and a scourge primarily because capitalism has been callously pillaging and destroying the public health care system all around the world, from China to Europe and the United States (where it was very weak to begin with) and has for decades impeded its development in more backward countries and also because of the voracious appetite for profit which guides every choice made by the international pharmaceutical industry.
Unfortunately, a comrade of ours has contracted the disease at this very early stage. Guy Hesser is from an imperialist country, France, and has fought the French bourgeoisie and, as an internationalist, struggled against world capitalism all his life. Since the “French spring” of 2016 he has been actively committed to building a new revolutionary organisation, the Renaissance Ouvrière Révolutionnaire (Revolutionary Proletarian Renaissance), a sister organisation to parties that run this web site.
Many international comrades of course wrote to Guy expressing their sympathy and wishing “bon courage”. His answer to these comrades was an exemplary expression of personal courage and political engagement. We publish it here as an example for the younger generation of Marxist militants and also as a contribution to the class struggle that is going on despite the ravage created by the Coronavirus, since the Coronavirus pandemic itself is a matter of class struggle.
He has, since writing that e-mail message, started to distribute political material to his international comrades regarding the struggle against Macron’s attempt to establish a state of exception using the Coronavirus as a pretext. Let there be no misunderstanding: the disease is continuing. But the revolutionary Marxist spirit in Guy is alive and kicking!
Get well soon, Comrade Guy!
Greetings to you my comrades and friends,
I have received several expressions of sympathy from you and I am very touched.
I would like to answer each of you personally, but I hope you will understand that I am giving only one answer. Indeed, without my invitation, the Coronavirus had the strange idea of coming to visit me and I contracted the disease. I would like to reassure you right away, for the moment (you see, I am not promising anything), since the form is not too virulent and I am not at the point of death. However, make no mistake, the covid is a real virus, not an operetta virus (unlike our government which is a kind of operetta mockery).
The virus is doing its job and during the illness, the slightest undertaking costs an unusual effort and soon I am led back to the horizontal position with no other desire than to wait for it to pass.
Beyond what the disease does to us and beyond the deaths, there is the action (or perhaps inaction) of this government, its total unpreparedness and the absolutely criminal effect of its policy which has destroyed our health care system and in particular the public hospital.
Prior to this major health crisis, there was no shortage of warnings and alerts coming in turn from almost every sector of the country's health services: from strikes in the emergency room... until the recent resignation of 1,200 department heads from all their administrative functions.
Many are those who denounce this policy and already seem to want to set dates for a new confrontation, but this time before the courts.
The last two facts to date are the announcement, on the 17th, by Agnès Buzyn (Minister of Health) that she had, at the end of January, warned the government about the importance and probable consequences for France of what was happening in China at the time. On the evening of that statement, Buzyn went back on her initial statement, limiting it, perhaps (one tends to assume) under pressure from other members of the government. This initial announcement suggests that the government did not take the necessary action when it was needed.
Yesterday, it was the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, who threatened employees who, without any individual and collective protection (despite the fact that the legislation imposes such measures as a duty on all employers), would like to assert their "pension rights" for "serious and imminent danger".
Then Prime Minister Edouard Philippe stepped forth to announce that he might consider promulgating laws by decree, including in such a delicate area as increases in working hours.
In short, for both Le Maire and Philippe, business and dividends come before our health.
If the corona gives us the opportunity, we will soon be writing new pages in the history of this country.
And as Gramsci so eloquently said, “to the pessimism of the intellect, we will oppose the optimism of action” (quoting from memory, of course).
Warm greetings to you all (and not only because of the fever).