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Virus of Superstition

Bacteria and viruses know no frontiers. The attempts to infect public fear of the coronavirus epidemic with xenophobic and racist superstition would be pathetic, if it were not for loutish electoral speculation. Today the Chinese confront it, but should it be a pandemic tomorrow the hunt for those infected will point to migrants, who will once again be scapegoated on the pages of Facebook. Yet the bourgeoisie, in the centuries during which it still remained a revolutionary class, knew how to shed a light of clarity through the mist of thousand-year-old superstitions. Renaissance men founded the scientific method; the intellectuals of the Enlightenment changed the view of the world; pioneers of science and technology accompanied the industrial revolution in mechanics, steam energy, chemistry and electricity; heroic doctors founded modern medicine, going so far as to experiment with vaccines on themselves in order to make it possible to face terrible diseases. Finally, science married large-scale production, transforming existence for billions of humans like never before in the history of humanity.

Having reached the imperialist twentieth century, however, the capitalist industrialisation of science found its limit and its contradiction precisely in capital. The economy is global, evident when the quarantine in Wuhan and Hubei disrupted supply chains around the world, but in that arena the partial forces of capital and of powers face each other in a destructive dispute, destined for crises and deadly conflicts. Humanity has managed to apply science to nature, but still does not dare apply it to human beings in their social relationships. The capitalist economy is therefore an uncontrolled battleground of chaos in which the immediate and partial interest of the single competing capitals dominate, and where it is impossible to direct productive forces to guarantee a truly humane development. It is for this reason that while humanity should have both the knowledge and means to deal with epidemics or natural disasters of all kinds, not to mention the long-term trends of demography, it is nevertheless continually taken by surprise and forced to chase events.

To close the loop, the aged societies of imperialism are so fatuous and rotten in parasitism that they have also lost the memory of those revolutionary conquests of the bourgeoisie. Thus the political field lies open for bombastic imbeciles and blind adventurers, often the same vile advocates of xenophobia, who, for a few more votes, do not scruple to rehash superstitions against vaccination, Only in communist militancy is there the sincerity of knowledge, and the struggle for a truly human society.

Virus of Superstition. (2020, March). Internationalism, 12.