On the protests in China

The New York Times, which called as far back as March 2020 for a “herd immunity” response to COVID-19 and has promoted the fabricated Wuhan Lab conspiracy theory—is enthusiastically reporting demonstrations in China against Zero-COVID.

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The New York Times video highlights the slogan, “No P.C.R. test. We want freedom!” Freedom from what? Freedom to transmit disease? Freedom to infect elderly people and kill them? Freedom from social responsibility? Freedom to “have fun” whatever the consequences?

To the extent that these demonstrations are denouncing essential measures necessary to stop COVID transmission, they are politically reactionary and deserve no support. The videos indicate that the protesters are drawn from the middle class.

The restoration of capitalism in China has generated vast social inequality, with a substantial affluent middle class that exhibits all the well-known characteristics of that milieu: extreme individualism, selfishness, and hostility to the working class.

Claims that the protests are purely spontaneous outbursts of popular discontent are highly dubious. One must suspect that the students have the sympathy, and even open support, of the most right-wing sections of the Chinese Communist Party that oppose anti-COVID restrictions on businesses.

The motivations of the Foxconn workers who are protesting the brutal work conditions and exploitation have entirely different aims than those of the demonstrations trumpeted by the Western corporate media. Their struggles deserve support.