Clashes, denialists and lumpen petty bourgeoisie
In Italy, the transition from demonstration to riot was almost immediate. In France, the passage from symbolic protests to resistance to closures and passive opposition indicates a similar evolution. In Spain there have been two nights of clashes in half a dozen cities.
The common slogan of the European petty bourgeoisie
The dominant arguments in this wave of riots are shared in all of Southern Europe and for all of the petty business bourgeoisie: deaths by covid would be equivalent to the economic deaths of their businesses. It would be necessary to balance the fight against some deaths and others.
The moral barbarity is evident, although the formulation is identical, even if a bit cruder in the argumentation, to the public positions of the big companies of consumer goods and distribution. Less than a week ago Juan Roig, owner of one of the main Spanish supermarket chains, stated that we have deviated much towards health and little towards the economy. In other words, saving lives is deviating from the main goal, profits, and would have to be balanced.
Having said that, the attitude towards strikes and protests by workers, even against health care providers asking for more resources, can be expected. And global. In Canada, we are seeing a real media campaign based on these sentiments this week against the health care strikes. A little over a month ago we saw something similar in South Korea.
Idealism and delusion of an intermediate class
The left-wing version is certainly more sophisticated, but it is not at all different from things like pandemic denialism, eschatological catastrophism announcing the extinction of the human species, or the more delusional theories of pop trumpism.
dialectic|tendencies of material reality are always contradictory
All this to understand how the losses of a business can be considered equivalent to the death of hundreds of people in one day, or how a massacre can become invisible.
Dialectic|reality is indeed contradictory
On the other hand, trying to freeze history at a point where the small businessman, the academic or the corporate middle class are recognized by the big funds, pampered by the state linked to them. Where they reaffirm their status vis-à-vis the workers and are not overwhelmed by the crises of the system or the pandemic, this may take apparently anti-capitalist forms but is profoundly reactionary. Be it in its ultra-right-wing version, in its denialist version, in its environmentalist version, or in its left-wing liberal or identity-based version.