Another Massacre in the Mediterranean


The following article is a translation from our Italian comrades of the Internationalist Communist Party (Battaglia Comunista). The news of the sinking of the migrant boat off the coast of Greece, with the loss of hundreds of lives, came at the same time as the grotesque state funeral awarded to the sexually predatory and crooked former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi (for more on that see This provoked the following response from our Italian comrades. Since it was written, it has now been revealed that the trawler had been stationary for hours (and was not en route to Italy as the Greek authorities claimed) and there are some suggestions that the trawler may have sank when the Greek coastguard tried to tow it towards Italian waters. News of this has sparked protests in Greece itself (see It is a tale of our time and, as the article states, the issue is not migration (which is what human beings have done since the dawn of time) but a capitalist system with its imperialist imperatives that make misery for many on the planet forcing them to seek a more bearable existence in the very centres of the system where their misery not only originates but where the fruits of their poverty are to be found.

Another Massacre in the Mediterranean

Finally, after four excruciating days devoted to the passing of "thank goodness he's gone Berlusconi", after the wall-to-wall vomiting of the TV networks and newspapers, which brought to light the lowlife of the worst of the bourgeoisie (i.e. almost all of them) we descended from the stars and returned to the squalid bourgeois world, the real one, to count even more dead. So many have come along, one after another. At sea, hundreds died in a shipwreck in the Peloponnese, alongside the thousands in Ukraine in one of the many infamous wars of imperialism, and alongside both, we have further massacres in the workplace. These will go on until this society founded on profit is razed to the ground. Of course, for the bourgeoisie, hundreds of thousands of proletarian deaths, of the poor and the wretched, are not worth one rich thief, and to even compare them to him is blasphemy. We, on the other hand, as we dance over the death of a single class enemy, are brought to our knees by so many deaths for which the bourgeoisie is responsible.

In the newspapers these days it is difficult to find news of deaths at work – over 60 victims a month, already more than 300 in 2023 – because the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. pages, are all dedicated to sanctifying Mr. Plastic Billionaire [Berlusconi – ed]. We happen to read in the so-called "communist newspaper", Il Manifesto [daily newspaper in Italy with a leftist editorial position - ed] of 14 June: “In 24 hours, six people died at work: two in the Brescia area”. And then it continues “On days when the death of famous people brings the country to a halt, what went on at six o'clock at work yesterday is not – as usual – news". True, fine, except that the same newspaper for two days in a row signed up all the “best” names, and beyond, to dedicate almost the entire newspaper to a character whose death deserved only to be greeted with the utmost silence.

It's the usual refrain of talking the talk but not walking the walk, so much so that Il Manifesto dedicated no more than a single article to the news in question, not even under the signature of a journalist (it was an agency report). A dry and cold chronicle of the facts of six faceless, unknown deaths, simple numbers that add up to other numbers to make statistics (1,090 deaths in 2022, up 21% on 2021), numbers that don't even "make news" for this "communist" newspaper which focuses its attention on a sexual predator. These dead cannot be even remotely compared to those who die in the fulfilment of their duty, i.e. those who represent the state – which daily uses its armed hand to control everything. They are instead just vile cannon fodder consigned to replenishing capitalist coffers; they – our class (men and women) who died at work – exist for the bourgeoisie only as producers of wealth, they exist for the capitalist economy only as producers of surplus value. They are the abstraction of an abstraction, their concreteness manifests itself only in the productivity of their labour which creates commodities.

Imagine then how this cannon fodder involved in the production of surplus value, who roam the world, literally uprooted from the country of their origins – either as a result of wars between the various bourgeois and imperialist factions, or the environmental devastation brought about by the capitalist mode of production – ends up as excess labour in the market for the purchase and sale of labour power. Just let these proletarians/dispossessed die, and become food for the fish without breaking the balls of the advanced civilised societies of the West.

Another tragedy at sea? Another massacre of migrants! Enough! Enough, we can't take it any more. Our sleep and dreams should not be disturbed by those who dare to die in our beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Why not "help them die at home", far, as far as possible, from our eyes and ears?

Those who dared to die on the day of the state funeral of the criminal were greatly resented for spoiling the ceremony, it is not clear whether in mourning or celebration. Be that as it may, the massacres at sea follow one after the other. After Cutro, where 94 were confirmed dead and an unknown number missing, comes this other, far more serious, massacre. Off the coast of Pylos (Greece), a boat capsized with all its "cargo"; out of 750 women, men and children, only 104 were saved, therefore over 600 dead lie on the conscience of the international bourgeoisie, assuming it has one, and if it does, it certainly has a brazen face.

To remember other tragedies of this size we need to go back to 2015, where 800-1,000 died off the coast of Sicily; and another 500 four months later off the coast of Zwara (Libya). In 10 years there have been more than 26,000 deaths in the Mediterranean alone; at least according to official figures. The government of the "La Ducia" [aka Giorgia Meloni – ed] has promised an iron fist, "Scipiona l'Africana" is touring far and wide visiting all these countries that her beloved grandfather [Mussolini – ed] spent twenty years trying to conquer a century ago. Perhaps the “Signora Ducia” does not "remember" the tens of thousands of deaths caused by her black-shirted brothers. In fact, to maintain the black thread that binds her to her predecessors, she offers money to the bloodthirsty Tunisian dictator, Kais Saied, to throw migrants into “holding centres” (really prisons where what passes for human rights make you shudder, see Libya).

In the chorus there are always those who stand out by appealing to human rights: "Every person searching for a better life deserves safety and dignity," tweeted UN secretary António Guterres. “I think this shipwreck is a signal that our migration policy is not working well at the moment and we will change it with the Migration Pact," said the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson. Here, in fact, are the brazen faces, two of many. They have turned the world upside down, they are at the service of those responsible for these tragedies and speak of dignity, the very dignity they help trample every minute of every day. Lo and behold, after tragedy upon tragedy, they have discovered that something is wrong! Dante Alighieri never met this dirty brood of bourgeois, or else he would have changed the famous lines he put in the mouth of Ulysses, "Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge,” to have them say: “you were made to live as brutes, to follow only riches and profits.”

“We need a European search and rescue program immediately. A public tool that prevents the massacres, patrolling the Mediterranean to track down boats in danger and make them safe." (Il Manifesto, June 16). Then, of course, there are the "comrades" who suggest what should be done. Of course we need to understand which Europe they are talking about, and above all which society, perhaps the imaginary one. Because it would be interesting to see those responsible for this disaster, i.e. capitalism, legislating against its own interests. It would be the first time since it came into the world.

These tragedies will only end with the end of capitalism, only its death will free men and women from such massacres.

Battaglia Comunista
19 June 2023


Image: protest in Greece in response to the sinking of the migrant boat.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023