This morning we began the day with news of naval skirmishes in the Gulf between Iranian coastguards and US Navy warships. The general ceasefire called for by the UN in all wars due to the spread of the Covid epidemic was never completely successful but is increasingly failing to do so. The pandemic also accelerates warmongering trends and will leave us a sinister legacy: a restructuring of global production that paves the way for war economies.
Yesterday Russia mobilized Syrian mercenary troops to Libya in order to reinforce the assault on Tripoli while testing new anti-satellite weaponry.
The Burmese army redoubled its offensive against the Rohingya provinces this week and images of dead and drifting refugees trying to flee to Malaysia went around the world… far from the main headlines.
The accusations leveled against each other between the USA and China on account of the coronavirus are increasing in violence every day and help the Chinese state in channeling anger and frustration towards an increasingly xenophobic and warmongering nationalism. This is not just trade war propaganda. During the last few months, the US increased military pressure in the South China Sea and China staged naval air conflicts with “foreign armies”. Skirmishes, often disguised as conflicts between fishermen, have already left a trail of sunken fishing boats.
However, the most relevant part of what is happening on the war front does not this time have to do with troops, weapons and open conflict. The renationalization of productive chains that we have been pointing out as a future goal is already a global consensus, the push for the concentration of capital within each state has been the favorite theme of the economic press in these weeks; and let’s not even talk about the militarization and control of civilian life linked to the confinement and control of the pandemic. Germany has focused its containment strategy during deconfinement on an app that maps the social relations and contacts of its citizens. Other countries are trying to implement similar systems, although some, such as Portugal, are momentarily backtracking as they clash against their own laws. Where national capital does not provide for such sophistication, repression has become the order of the day. In Nigeria, the number of people killed by the security forces for not complying with the restrictions is greater than the number of deaths from the disease itself.
In other words, the social and productive reorganization precipitated by the Covid crisis is laying the foundations for a war economy.