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.

 

New Zealand has apparently beaten the COVID-19 pandemic and the Labour-led government is the most popular in history. However, the reformists in charge still think they can manage capitalism indefinitely. Instead, they should be laying the ground for socialist policies. 

All over the world, lockdowns are being lifted. Amidst the biggest economic and social crisis in living memory, the ruling class is pushing a “return to normality” – before it is safe, while preparing new attacks on the working class. This pandemic is continuing to bring the rottenness and cynicism in capitalist society to the surface.

The Central Trade Unions (CTUs), comprising 16 unions, called for protests all over India on 3 July, which took place throughout the country. Nearly 100,000 demonstrations occurred in all the states of India including Puducherry, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha and Maharashtra. In these demonstrations, protestors agitated outside their union offices, in plants, and on streets and roads. This strike was accompanied by a coal workers’ strike against privatisation, lasting three days from 2-4 July.

Since the spread of COVID-19 began in Canada, there has been a huge surge in opioid-related overdoses across the country. This spike in overdoses is directly connected to the scaling back of resources for those struggling with opioid addiction. This is just another example of how COVID-19 has taken all the problems of capitalist society and exacerbated them, affecting the most downtrodden layers the hardest.

The recent deaths of three migrant workers in Canada from COVID-19 have once again shed light on the horrific abuse and exploitation of workers under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Packed like sardines into overcrowded bunkhouses and workplaces with little regard for their health and no rights or protections, migrant workers have contracted COVID-19 at a far higher rate than the rest of the population. Far from being a new phenomenon, the situation is part of the long saga of Canadian capitalism killing migrant workers for the sake

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The COVID-19 crisis is hitting India hard. Despite only spending 1.2 percent of GDP on healthcare, Modi is assuring his fellow countrymen that they do not need to worry; that India is equipped with the required infrastructure to cope with the pandemic. This is a blatant lie. The Indian healthcare system was devastated even before COVID-19, and it is certainly no better under the current crisis. With the coronavirus hitting all major towns and villages, the rottenness of the Indian healthcare system is laid bare. Here, we will analyse the situation facing the health system in India, the state’s inability to address the pandemic, the role of the private sector, the limits of Indian

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The capitalists and the stock markets were breathing a sigh of relief as new economic figures showed a slowing of the rate of the decline in the world economy. However, none of the problems have been resolved and the inevitable uptick after the easing of lockdown will not alter the prospect of a deep economic, social and political crisis.

This extensive work (originally published in March by Lucha de Clases in Spanish) exposes who controls the world’s economic and health resources, how we can break away from the exploitative and irrational capitalist system that is strangling public health, and how we can ensure healthcare for the working class of the entire world.

On June 19, the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union (ILWU), a militant union of 42,000 members, shut down 29 ports along the West Coast of the United States and Canada, as workers withheld their labor for 8 hours. The strike was organized to demonstrate the labor movement’s solidarity with black lives after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, and held on the Juneteenth anniversary of the emancipation of the last chattel slaves in the US in 1865.

India now has the world's fourth-highest infection rate, with confirmed infections of 425,282 and an overall death toll of 13,699 and climbing. Without providing healthcare or aid for millions, Modi has washed his hands of the crisis, and turned his attention to saving Indian capitalism at the expense of workers and youth in his “Unlock 1.0 India” scheme. 10 major trade unions have called a new general strike on 3 July against attempts by Modi’s government to impose draconian working conditions on the working class.

The pandemic and the economic catastrophe it has triggered are threatening to roll back decades of gains in terms of women’s liberation. Capitalism in crisis can offer only counter-reforms. To end oppression, we need socialism.

Britain’s care homes have become a killing field for coronavirus. Cuts to the NHS have pushed patients into social care, causing further contagion and fatalities. To fight the pandemic, the whole sector needs to be nationalised.

The following article was written by a doctor, who works in the city of São Paulo. COVID-19 precipitated and exacerbated the conditions of an ongoing social and economic crisis in Brazil, and internationally. The bourgeoisie is confused and divided in the face of a problem that it cannot bear, but it also cannot solve.

On 20 May, Tsai Ing-wen officially began her second term as Taiwan’s president. Against the backdrop of the world capitalist system rapidly descending into a historic crisis, Tsai’s inauguration speech betrays her and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s intention to maintain the status quo for Taiwan as per usual. Yet, in the context of the unabating pandemic, the collapsing global economy, and the class struggles that inevitably will follow, the Tsai government, with its “progressive” image, could only pursue the course of attacking the workers to protect the status quo for the capitalists. The workers and youth of Taiwan must be prepared for these attacks ahead.

The police murder of George Floyd—an unarmed black man, who was handcuffed by four police officers in Minneapolis before being choked to death—has unleashed a wave of protests across the country, escalating out of control in several cities. Following the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, this latest in an endless string of police killings was the straw that broke the camel’s back, unleashing a tsunami of pent-up fury at all the injustices in American society. Necessity has been expressed through accident – although Floyd’s murder was no accident.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is just beginning to be felt in Algeria. Earlier this month, the government announced that the national budget would be slashed in half due to the global collapse of oil prices. Simultaneously, the much-discredited government is cynically manoeuvring to bury the popular Hirak movement under the cover of this healthcare crisis. But this coronavirus has brought to the fore the contradictions of a bureaucratically-ruled country, corrupted to the core by ‘le pouvoir’. These repressive measures cannot be allowed to asphyxiate the militant mood for change that has once again gripped the country.

According to federal officials, the Trudeau government has finished with the emergency response phase to COVID-19 and now is moving onto the “recovery” phase. But the prospects for a healthy recovery are not looking good. The fact is that the coronavirus pandemic has only served as the knockout punch to a weak and feeble system. 

In December, left-wing party Unidas Podemos (UP) entered the Spanish government as junior partners of the Social Democratic PSOE. This coalition rested on a slim and shaky parliamentary majority comprising a motley assortment of nationalist and regionalist forces. Two years of rudderless Spanish politics after the fall of Mariano Rajoy thus came to an end. Pablo Iglesias, the leader of UP, hailed this coalition as “the most-progressive government” in recent Spanish history. Yet recent events have dispelled this euphoria. Spain gazes into the abyss

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The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the cynicism, incompetence and brazen dishonesty of the tiny clique who run Britain. The mask has been torn away to expose the ugly face of class privilege. As Alan Woods explains, the public are sick of being treated with contempt. Johnson, Cummings and the rest are destined for the dustbin of history.