Coronavirus

covid 19 map Image PixabayThe COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has plunged the capitalist system into a deep crisis. The stock markets are plummeting, a recession seems inevitable, and the ineptitude of the ruling class’ political leaders is being ruthlessly exposed everywhere.

Rather than a concerted, global response to the outbreak, protectionist tendencies in the world market have been accelerated, as governments rush to throw up borders to horde medical supplies and scramble for exclusive rights to vaccines.

The bosses and bourgeois governments have attempted to force the working class to shoulder the burden of this emergency, banning mass gatherings at the same time as sending people to work without adequate safety measures. This has been met with a backlash, with a wave of strikes in badly affected countries like Italy forcing the bosses to backtrack. This is despite the woeful response of the leaders of the workers’ mass organisations, who have mostly fallen in line with their governments rather than fight back.

While this pandemic was the catalyst, it was not the cause of the current social, political and economic crisis. This was already prepared in the last period of capitalist crisis and austerity, which savagely cut health services, brought increasingly degenerate leadership to the fore, and caused huge resentment to accumulate in the fabric of society. COVID-19 was accidental, but the calamity it has provoked was inevitable.

This virus marks the beginning of a new, tumultuous period in world history, one in which the consciousness of the masses will rapidly advance as the totally rotten state of the capitalist system and its leaders are laid bare.

 

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on society, Fred Weston, editor of www.marxist.com, discussed the COVID-19 crisis via livestream last night (16 March), and how this is the product of a sick system. Only a bold socialist response can provide the cure. Join the International Marxist Tendency and help us fight for a revolutionary alternative!

Claudio Bellotti - editor of Rivoluzione - discusses the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, which has the second-most cases after China. Around 24,000 people have been confirmed to have the disease. This emergency has exposed the underlying rot in Italian capitalism. A public health crisis has been brewing for decades, due to massive cuts to the Italian health system over the course of 30 years. Meanwhile, the erratic reaction of the government reflects the weakness and divisions in the ruling class.

Events on a world scale are moving at breakneck speed. The new coronavirus (COVID-19) has set in motion a chain reaction, which is upending any semblance of stability in one country after another. All of the contradictions of the capitalist system are coming crashing to the surface.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, Hamid Alizadeh (editor of www.marxist.com) discusses how capitalism and the ruling class are completely incapable of addressing the crisis.

In the past three weeks, stock markets such as the Dow Jones and the FTSE in London have lost more than 25 percent of their values. Meanwhile the world economy has been grinding to a halt. Unemployment is creeping up in one country after another. Capitalism is in a crisis on a world scale. The ruling class is blaming the crisis on the novel coronavirus. But this virus is only bringing to the surface contradictions which have been building up for decades within the capitalist system.

The coronavirus has hit Iran especially badly due to government blunders, misinformation and US sanctions. This crisis has exposed all the rottenness of Iranian capitalism and brought the masses' anger at the regime, which was already heating up, close to boiling point.

The latest outbreak of coronavirus has caused the biggest wave of stock market losses since 2008, wiping $5tn off share values worldwide. Markets are worried that the virus will have a serious impact on an already weak world economy. These fears are not unfounded.

The following article, originally published on 26 February by Sinistra classe rivoluzione, criticises the Italian government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic. Rather than inform the public and protect public health, the government has instead created needless panic, enacted inefficient measures, and suppressed the rights to strike and public assembly.

The spread of coronavirus throughout China is beginning to have serious political repercussions for the regime. The masses' anger found a flashpoint when the doctor who originally warned of the epidemic (and was hushed up by the CCP) passed away from the virus. The situation is a pressure cooker, and Xi Jinping is struggling to keep the lid down.