The prospects for the world economy are growing grimmer by the day. Governments are throwing everything they have at the situation. But they have run out of ammo fighting the last crisis. There is no way out under capitalism.
In the latest episode of Marxist Voice, a series of livestreams created by the British Marxists at Socialist Appeal, Rob Sewell (editor of Socialist Appeal) discusses the global economic crisis that has been triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Portuguese Marxists of Colectivo Marxista de Lisboa have put out this call for a general strike until such time that workers’ health can be protected, key levers of the economy are democratically managed to ensure efficiency, and guarantees are put in place to ensure workers’ wages and democratic rights are not undermined. This call has resulted in a big response on social media, showing the developing class consciousness and fighting spirit of the Portuguese working class in the teeth of this pandemic.
The following statement by trade union activists in Italy explains how neither the governments’ response, nor the passivity of the Italian mass organisations, have been equal to the task of fighting this public health emergency. The workers will not die on the altar of profit!
This article was originally published on 14 March. The situation in Brazil has developed since, and more updates will be forthcoming, but it shows how the Bolsonaro government’s first move was to protect profits and continue attacks on the working class rather than protect public health.
O Covid-19, a gestão desastrosa do início da epidemia e o pânico entretanto instalado ameaçam centenas de milhares de postos de trabalho e os já insuficientes salários de grande parte dos trabalhadores portugueses. Desemprego, redução de salários e benefícios e austeridade sem fim para, uma vez mais, pagar os “pacotes financeiros” que se anunciam.