Coronavirus has brought bourgeois societies into complete chaos all over the world. Capitalism was already on the brink of a great decline and recession before the pandemic unsettled all the economic and social balances both at home and abroad. People are being locked in their homes, workplaces are being closed, unemployment rates are being predicted to soar, national economies are going deeper into debt and emergency laws are being applied country after another. Unilateral and arbitrary changes to working conditions, as well as revoking of civil rights will be the most likely developments in the near future. This is the development that the far-right has only been able to dream of.
The connection between the decline of the social system and a pandemic has happened before. Pandemics are caused by the social, financial and cultural decay of production methods, not the other way around. Coronavirus acts as a catalyst that is accelerating the death pangs of capitalism and forcing the social system into its hospice bed. Global supply chains are collapsing. During the globalization, capital flooded into China, but now it is needed to return. Trump has declared the disease as the “China Virus”, and is preparing for war. Stock market is collapsing and corporations are losing several dozens of percentages of their value. In Europe, the post Brexit division continues. After the 2008 crisis the European Central Bank (ECB) has bought state bonds for astronomical sums, at the same time feeding liquidity to national economies via national banks.
Banks however, have used liquidity to fund their own expenditure, not to produce real economy. During the past roughly ten years this has caused not only the debts of the EU states, but also the debts of consumers to grow up to the level where most of them cannot possibly be repaid. The ECB has used all its crisis management resources. This is bringing up again the question of abandoning Euro, which can be seen in the EU declining Italy’s cry for help. From here on, every country will have to look after its own interests, although the ECB keeps promising a support package of nearly a thousand billion. Governments will be nationalizing corporations and even banks. This bourgeois dominance of national state does not mean steps towards socialism, but is an attempt to save capitalism. Controlling economy cannot be done without strengthening the state hegemony. The only open cheque will be the financial support to companies. For this aim brand new notes will be printed, as there will not be courage to touch the private equities or the 60,000 billion dollars kept safe at tax havens. There will be an army of unemployed, worsening of working conditions, and debilitating health care even further. The basis of the pension system has already collapsed, and mechanisms of violence will be put into action.
The police, Army, Border Guard and even National Guard (such as in Estonia), will be sent to protect boarders and later suppress movements of the disobedient strata. Espionage will probably start blooming. Israel is always the first to readily adapt more authoritarian measures. The intelligence service of Zionism was granted authority to use individual citizen data information to track their whereabouts. Citizens who were found to roam closer than two metres of one another, have been forced into quarantine. Emergency laws and emergency measures for passing laws show that liberal democracy is an illusion that only works in a situation where capitalism feels safe. A situation of a hidden dictatorship will govern in the future society. Fortress Europe is already here. At the Greek border asylum seekers are shot at and immediately turned away. The Greek borders are guarded by the Greek Border Guard and Army, Frontex, Greek Nazi organization volunteers and even notorious fascists sent from Germany.
In these circumstances class conflict has new content. It is no longer a struggle between classes about the division of social profit, inequality, income differences or the level of working-class exploitation. The question is now about life and death. Boris Johnson in England wants to use “herd law” and let the pestilence roam freely. Those who would survive this process would have “good immunity” to the virus (although lung damage would be likely). Trump knows that capitalism can only be saved by war, although ultimately, not even by that. Therefore, he blames pandemic on China. Until now it has been known that capitalism conflicts with working people’s interests. Now it is justified to claim that capitalism conflicts with continuation of life.
Working people, unemployed, the youth and retired must get organized and action. The solution to the crisis does not come from the government. Coronavirus will live its cycle and then calm down. The damages caused by capitalism will pester people for a long time. Mass unemployment due to the collapse of economy must not be accepted. As soon as the circumstances allow, we should assemble to meetings. We should demand flexible working hour scale. Remaining working hours must be divided evenly so that there is enough work for everyone. Companies facing bankruptcy should be occupied, and the business continuation planned by the employees under their own control.
- Share working hours: Sliding scale of hours against growing unemployment
Support for companies and such easing is paid by debt or cuts to public budget. Either case, the cost is paid by working people. We say:
- No to cuts. National economy has to be reorganized in such manner that it takes into account the needs of people and nature, not the interest of capitalists.
Pension funds have been invested in stock market, that suffers of the crash of capitalism and devaluation of stocks. We say:
- No to cuts to pensions. No to pension payment cuts
For years capitalism have privatized parts of health care. Municipalities buy services prom private companies. This happens, even the social- and healthcare reform of previous government failed totally. Especially in health sector, during the corona epidemic, layoffs are to be warded off fiercely.
- Health care have to be returned to public ownership. More doctors and nurses to hospitals. No to lay-offs on health care. Temporary work contracts to be replaced with permanent ones.
- Expropriation of private clinics without compensation. Their human- and material resources are to be used to fight coronavirus
- Medical supply and medical companies have to be socialized. Supply, manufacturing and use of drugs have to be organized to serve patients’ needs, not interests of corporations
- Empty hotels have to give accommodation for the homeless
- Firing workers have to be banned in whole country.
Finally, there is the question about far-right. Professor Martin Schein critisizes justification of emergency laws. He says, it contradicts with the constitution as it means putting aside the democracy. Municipalities have jurisdiction to close schools and limiting movement. Temptation is for the government to start using legislation that does not have justification yet. Emergency laws were put to use first time after second world war. This measure prepares ground for far-right. If they will rise to power, through elections or otherwise, ready framework for authoritarian legislation is there.
- Down with state of emergency. Virus can be fought without the context of dictatorship.
- Fight fascism, racism and all kinds of far-right. Take your fate to your own hands and close far-right out from all power structures.
Our future is not in the nightmare where capitalism has doomed us to live in. Road to future opens by abolishing capitalism and by organizing society on socialist principles with workers power. This opens view to total emancipation of people and classless society.
Marxist Workers’ League