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A Moroccan proverb goes: “the sheep spends his whole life being afraid of the wolf, but in the end, who feasts on the sheep? The shepherd!” Well, some months after China and 10 days after Italy, Moroccan authorities announced the country’s first cases of COVID-19 on 2 March and attributed them to “external factors”. Specifically, a Moroccan returning from Italy, then French tourists. The epidemic has worsened, infecting 2,024 people, of whom 126 have died (as of 15 April, 45 days after the first infections) according to official data.

150 years ago on 22 April, Vladimir Lenin, the great Marxist and leader of the Russian Revolution, was born. For over a century, there has been a sustained campaign to slander his name and distort his ideas, ranging from bourgeois historians and apologists to various reformists, liberals and assorted anarchists. Their task has been to discredit Lenin, Marxism and the Russian Revolution in the interests of the “democratic” rule of bankers and capitalists. In our latest podcast, Rob Sewell (editor of the British Marxist paper, Socialist Appeal) sets the record straight.

Today, 22 April, marks the 150th birthday of Vladimir Lenin, the great revolutionary leader. Whilst the bourgeois historians and liberals slander him, we celebrate the life and ideas of Lenin – ideas that are more relevant now than ever.

The following article was written at the end of February and the first days of March, just before the world was hit by the crash of the stock markets on the 9 March and the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This sharp change in the situation obviously also changes the plans of the ruling class. But the underlying economic and political tendencies at play are still the same, although the issue of climate change obviously was pushed to the background. In the case of the Green parties, their character as parties of the ruling class is even-further confirmed in these times of crisis.

Since the beginning of the healthcare crisis, the decrees issued by the Conte government have, one after the other, increased the number of restrictions. This is on top of the ordinances from the different regions. A campaign has developed and has promoted social distancing through calls to stay at home, hashtags and appeals. But all this fervour did not affect the millions of workers forced to continue going to work in non-essential companies and services.

The speech we publish today was given at a meeting of the leadership of the International Marxist Tendency, held yesterday by video link with the participation of comrades from 25 different countries. The IMT is a Marxist revolutionary organisation with sections all over the world. Read more about us and how you can join!

Indian workers face illegal pay cuts and layoffs at the hands of their unscrupulous bosses, working hand-in-hand with a yellow union. Meanwhile, the regional and central governments are using the COVID-19 crisis as cover to sneak in attacks on the working-class. Defend wages and workers’ rights!

The economic crisis and pandemic have made it patently clear that US capitalism is not at all exceptional. Like everything else in the universe, American capital’s political system is subject to sharp and sudden changes. After Bernie Sanders handily won the first few contests of the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination, he was seen as an unstoppable threat—prompting every other candidate to immediately fold up their campaigns and close ranks against him. After months of panicking over Bernie’s momentum, the ruling class finally managed to reverse the course of the electoral race—and they did it with unprecedented speed. Now, after an electrifying rollercoaster ride, Bernie Sanders’s

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The Finnish government, led by Social Democrat PM Sanna Marin, faced a challenging spring even before the global crisis caused by the pandemic. Hailed as a left-winger and a radical reformer by liberal outlets and the international media upon taking office, her coalition government includes centre-right parties on the same platform as her predecessor Antti Rinne. She has already withdrawn her earlier stated support for reforms such as a six-hour workday and a four-day work week.

Spanish royal household is entering one of the greatest crises it has had to face since the coronation of Juan Carlos I in November 1975. The findings of the Swiss public prosecutor's office of irregular accounts and trust funds in tax havens, which have transferred more than 100 million dollars in the last decade, in the name of Juan Carlos I and Felipe VI, has sparked popular outrage.

The Ecuadorian province of Guayas has become ground zero for the coronavirus in South America, which has intensified in recent weeks. Its capital, the city of Guayaquil, has a disproportionate number of cases with respect to its size. It is home to most of the country's diagnosed cases and deaths. With funeral homes saying they are out of space and coffins, there are corpses in the streets and others in cardboard boxes distributed by the authorities. With the morgues filled beyond capacity, the government has organised refrigerated trucks as makeshift morgues. The responsibility for this disaster lies with the government's neglect and the crisis of capitalism.

The wealthiest man in Egypt has sparked outrage by suggesting that “life must go on” after the coronavirus pandemic: which is to say, business should resume as quickly as possible, whether or not it is safe for workers, in order to keep the profits rolling in. This reveals the naked contempt of the Egyptian bourgeoisie towards ordinary people, whose class anger is bubbling just below the surface.

With the whole world’s attention turned towards the coronavirus crisis, the western-backed Saudi war on Yemen has continued unabated. The war machine and arms industry, fueling this savagery, have been deemed to essential to shut down during the pandemic.

The breakneck speed of events is evident here in New Zealand. On 1 March we had one confirmed case of COVID-19, a NZ resident returning from Iran. Two weeks later, we had 10. Then over the space of a week, the number of cases soared to more than 100. On the weekend of March 21-22 the government closed the borders to all but returning NZ citizens and residents. Finally, on 25 March the country was put into a complete lockdown. All worksites are now closed except for an approved list that provides essential services, such as food and medicine. Apart from essential workers, no-one can travel more than 2km from their place of residence. People can buy groceries and go for a

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An open split has emerged within the Tories, between those who are desperate for business to return to normal; and those who are terrified of the backlash if private wealth is put above public health. We must fight to put lives before profits. Originally published 7 April.

Macron’s latest speech has confirmed what we already knew: that his priority is not to save as many human lives as possible, but to safeguard the profits of the capitalists. The measures he announced during his speech on Monday are motivated solely by the defence of the material interests of the ruling class. The MEDEF (the bosses’ organisation) was surely satisfied.

Watch Fred Weston (editor of marxist.com) discussing the world situation as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. While the bourgeois are trying to blame the current social and economic turmoil on the virus alone, it was in fact just the trigger for a crisis prepared in the last period. This video was recorded during an internal meeting of the IMT in Britain. 

The media, bourgeois and reformist leaders have all been whipping up a “wartime” spirit of national unity against the threat of COVID-19. Recently elected leader of the British Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, has even made overtures about joining a government of national unity with the Conservatives. But the coronavirus pandemic is exposing the class lines in society more than ever. National unity is a reactionary fiction. What is needed is workers’ unity in the face of this crisis, and against the rotten system responsible.

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