Friday, March 27, 2020

Production for Use in a Pandemic

Profit Vs Human Solidarity

Memories are short and most people worry about one problem at a time. So we are not surprised that lessons are not being learned quick enough from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those of us in the Socialist Party have been often asked the question, how quickly can we transition to a system of production-for-use from the existing one of production-for-profit.

Well we can see quite clearly now from the COVID-19 pandemic and the experiences of those around the world have been suffering from shortages in medical equipment such as ventilators and even hospital beds that the answer is very quickly.

In Wuhan, the Chinese built a fully functioning hospital in two weeks. 

While in the UK, the Ineos corporation said it would build two hand sanitiser factories in ten days.

Many public buildings have been transformed into make-shift hospitals. The armies of many countries have set up emergency field-hospitals.

Then there are manufacturers who are re-tooling their production processes to make ventilators and face masks. In Italy, the UK and the US, car manufacturers have offered to use their manufacturing and design expertise to boost the production of ventilators. 
Britain has placed an emergency order of 10,000 ventilators designed at breakneck speed by bagless vacuum cleaner company Dyson.  Rolls-Royce, BAE, Airbus and Siemens UK which will help existing medical device makers such as Penlon and Smiths Group to ramp up production. British engineer Babcock has also joined forces with a leading medical equipment company and experts from London's Royal Brompton Hospital.
 A medical tech firm that specialises in 3D printing is now developing products to help tackle Covid-19. Axial3D creates models of the human anatomy to assist surgeons in critical operations. But the firm is now working on parts that will be used in new ventilators being built for the NHS. The company is now manufacturing valves and splitters for ventilators
Designer label, Ralph Lauren is to start making medical masks and gowns. Luxury coat brand Canada Goose said it would begin making surgical gowns.
So we now know that the capitalist production system can rapidly transform itself into one that is devoted satisfying people’s needs. It shows just  quickly socialist society will be able to clear up the mess inherited from capitalism. And how the disarmed military, in the early days of socialism could have a useful role in quickly building airfields and using their drones to deliver medical supplies instead of bombs.

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