They have attempted to strangle May Day this year in Turkey and the world. But the working class flied the flag of May Day all around the world. Workers firmly kept carrying the torch fired 135 years ago by their genuine class ancestors. Defying the persecution by the capitalist order they resisted the onslaught of social isolation veiled under the pandemics and spread out the enthusiasm of May Day in factories, streets and all other domains of life. Thus they demonstrated that the legacy of 135 years is not unattended, casting another slap in the faces of those fools who claimed “the working class is over”. Hail to the working class!
Having turned the pandemic into a rifle aimed at the working class for more than a year, the capitalist rulers imposed prohibitions and restrictions on May Day celebrations, despite the fact that it has long been an official holiday in many countries including Turkey. The bullets fired from this rifle have been increased unemployment, impoverishment, increased inequality and authoritarianism all along. They caused severe wounds in the chest of the working class in most of the countries ranging from the advanced ones to the underdeveloped ones. But as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The working class whom they seek to make fit into the “new normal”, showed all around world that it is the heir of the age old traditions of struggle. Adding the grievances of all the oppressed to the river of grand struggle, it made it clear that it is the refreshing breath of “a new world”, a world free of classes, exploitation, and borders, which is the aspiration of humanity since the old ages.
For many years the working class had been in retreat and sacrifice before the capitalist system. But with the 2000s in all corners of the world it turned back into the path of struggle in many ways, with differing rhythms and intensities. Despite discontinuities, pauses, regressions, confusion and organizational weaknesses, there is no doubt that the working class is on this track. Capital is waging a war to break this general trend of rise by strangling social life and attacking hard-fought gains of centuries under the veil of pandemic. But that’s futile. Forced to stay at their homes, forced to work in factories, the working class did not forget May Day and called out its anger.
Covid-19 was the excuse for prohibitions and repression on May Day this year as had been the case last year. Curiously enough, the novel coronavirus pandemic which is said to be a threat for “entire humanity” has not led to a deterioration of the conditions of “entire humanity”. Most of the biggest capitalists during this pandemic swelled their wealth and their giant global companies multiplied profits. And the bourgeois states seized the opportunity to gain more powers against the public. So while the working masses have suffered severe losses both on economic and political fronts, the top elements of the bourgeois order have made great gains against them on both fronts. On top of that the virus takes the lives of toilers and not the bourgeois, which means it hits the toilers on the health front as well. That is why we say it is not the virus but capitalism does the killing. In truth the novel coronavirus has become a new kind of bullet in the rifle directed by capitalism at the working class.
Covid-19 pandemic, from all respects, is part of the profound historical crisis of capitalism. No matter where does it come from, be it a deliberate product of secret military projects, or an unintended accidental product of such projects, or inevitable consequence of the ruthless destruction of mother nature, all possibilities lead to the same destination: the transfer of the novel type coronavirus to humans and the resulting Covid-19 disease are caused by capitalism, period! What is more, that Covid-19 has become a pandemic, and healthcare systems have failed, and that millions of working people died, are all due to capitalism. Do not fall for looking for culprits elsewhere. Also do not heed those pessimistic misanthropic viewpoints blaming especially the so called “human greed.” They are all misleading bourgeois deceptions. Fortunately, based on the experience with the pandemic for more than a year, the working class has come to a better understanding of this situation. Faced with the choice “die from the virus or hunger” it began to draw the conclusion that it should not fall victim to the scaremongering around the pandemic. The fact that, despite all prohibitions and repression, millions of workers around the world came out to the streets to celebrate May Day in a massive way is a perfect demonstration of this realization. We reject the dilemma “virus or hunger” and say “neither virus nor hunger!” Thanks to the admirable development of the productive forces there is surely cure for both the virus and hunger. The only thing to do is to get rid of the capitalist order which is the sole obstacle to solving these problems. Send it to the dustbin of history!
Historically capitalism has outlived its life. As its miserable performance during the pandemic shows, it has no promising future to offer to humanity. Despite the fact that new vaccines have been discovered with an unprecedented speed and that it is possible to produce them en masse, billions of toilers are left without one. As the capitalist system is based on private ownership of the means of production, monopolistic drug companies do not share their patents and technologies. And this is despite the fact that they have been funded by large public funds in order them to develop the vaccines, which are largely consisted of taxes collected from the working people. This is just one of the signs which show that capitalist system is at an impasse from the standpoint of humanity. The current high level of automation, digitalization, robotization etc. lead not to people working less, gaining more free time, leading a wealthier, more peaceful, more fraternal life in abundance, but to more poverty, more destitute, more sickness, more stress, and more oppression. And we have more war, more militarism, a more destroyed nature, more racism and discrimination as well. If a social order creates such a big potential for abundance and at the same time make humanity live through such grave troubles, then this means that this order is finished for humanity. And it is time for humanity to go beyond and move forward to a new social order.
May Day is perfectly relevant in that sense too. Although it was born out of the demand of 8-hour day in its practical form, it is in essence an expression of the aspirations of the working class for a humane life. And in its broadest sense these aspirations mean a world free of classes, exploitation, oppression, and full of freedom and peace. Accordingly, despite the fact that the 8-hour day has been won long ago through hard-fought struggles in many countries, May Day did not vanish. On the contrary, it continued with ever growing substance, reaching down to the present. It is enriched with demands that directly express this general aspiration and also a myriad of other concrete demands. This is the richness of the working class. And, at present when capitalism is convulsed by its historical crisis, May Day keeps its march forward gaining ever more influence and strength. The fact that the ruling class unrelentingly attacks May Day events all over the world, steps up persecution, strives to intimidate by increased police powers as in the most recent example of Turkey, is not for nothing. It is for the same reason that the rulers in Turkey banned Taksim Sqaure again for May Day celebrations, after allowing it just for a couple of years following the 40-years ban. The fact that the ruling parties felt free to hold their indoor and outdoor mass political meetings during the pandemic is just another example of their class hypocrisy.
However, despite the suffocating atmosphere the rulers seek to create the working class is still upright like a giant plane tree and giving refreshment to hearts with its branches full of green leaves. It flies the flag of May Day boosting the enthusiasm spreading through the factories and streets.
Hail to the working class!
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