People have learned that they are only one pay packet away from destitution; the self-employed and gig economy workers lack security ; private tenants are at the mercy of their landlords; our welfare state is woefully inadequate; and those designated “key workers” previously were under-paid and under-valued. Governments that have decried the idea of a magic money tree now offer businesses trillion-dollars of bail-outs and the even helicoptering in cash to millions of workers. Government that couldn’t solve homelessness can suddenly order the abolition of rough sleeping by decree. Austerity cuts have ended, privatisation of public services reversed and nationalisation once more being advocated. And, of course, the NHS, once more is being applauded as a vital institution. The Right has transformed into the Left. A reshaping of society is by no means an inevitability but now it is featuring in the forefront of the political discourse.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, demands that recovery from the coronavirus crisis must lead to a better world by people coming together. “It has underscored and exacerbated inequalities…” he says. “Now is the time to redouble our efforts to build more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and other global challenges. The recovery must lead to a different economy.”
But the change Guterres calls for does not go far enough. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures not palliative reforms. But radical remedies. Mere amelioration will not suffice.
Even during this pandemic, plutocrats seek to prioritise profits over people. Billionaires, CEOs, and right-wing media pundits are urging for a premature roll-back on lock-downs and social distancing that the medical experts describe as premature. Working people were rightly outraged and now have begun to question those corporate sociopaths and end their hero-worship of the wealthy. We refuse to die to “normalise” the economy. When the rich catch a cold, working people contract pneumonia. The invisible hand of the market is giving us the middle-finger.
Predicting the future is a fool's game, they say. But we can speculate and make educated guesses. We will see a new “normal” following this crisis. COVID-19 has brought change to society and to daily life that we're hopeful will be a passing moment. Perhaps, it may be kind of revolutionary tipping point.If it isn’t, then should serve as a warning that we will experience ever more traumatic events in the future such as the looming environment emergency. Humanity cannot win any war against nature, but we can have a policy of “peaceful coexistence.”
It has taken the horror of the COVID-19 pandemic to expose the weaknesses and social ills of global capitalism. What comes next must be the permanent cure - world socialism. We have been shown that there is nowhere to hide any longer. The necessary response to the COVID outbreak shows how mistaken economists and politicians have been to say there's no resources for the things the the world so desperately need. What we experienced has helped to bring into focus what our needs really are . The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all how humanity can come together in times of crisis and how we are expressing and demonstrating our solidarity with one another. We can find hope during times like thisThe socialist cooperative commonwealth is the vaccine for the planet’s social ills.The best time for free access for all has already passed. The second-best time is right now. Our problems are fixable. The combination of global pandemic and climate change is killing people, right now, due to wilful political negligence and a larger systemic madness also known as capitalism. COVID-19 has made clear, we have more-than-ample resources to create change now. We can and must address the present nightmare by laying the economic and ecological foundations to protect civilisation.
Care for People, Spare the Planet, Share All with All.