Saturday, May 02, 2020

Get organised.

In this pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that we are only as healthy as the poorest in our society. The COVID-19 pandemic and the often callous responses from governments is exposing millions to deadly hazards and deepening poverty. Over-worked and under-paid workers are now deemed “essential”, something we have always known. But now we have the media shining a spotlight upon us, many are striking back, protesting against unsafe conditions and lack of danger money for the risk we undertake in the course of our employment. People are desperate.

 The coronavirus may well contribute to exposing the failures of capitalism in a time of multiple crises. Trying to reform capitalism is not sufficient or good enough. The futility of short-term fixes and the mere tweaking of markets are pointing to the need of an even more fundamental transformation, to a new form of economics. Socialism is a worldwide vision that transcends the artificial and the illusory borders of the nation-states. The Socialist Party seeks to widen fellow-workers’ imagination and horizons.

Millions if not billions have lost their income and their jobs because of the pandemic lockdown and are, reasonably, looking for someone or something to blame for their hardship. If blame can be placed rather than acknowledge an inherent flaw within capitalism then changing government policy or a leader means they can keep capitalism.  Anything that will distract people from blaming capitalism or the decades of austerity measures that have dismantled social safety nets.

On the right, populists have found China and the World Health Organization as their scapegoats to direct anger towards. The liberals demand a return to normal, a return to the drudgery of business-as-usual. Socialists, though, call for revolution, for working people to take control of their communities and workplaces. 

Capitalism may not disappear tomorrow, but clear alternatives — worker control, free access to housing and food and the many other necessities of life. We must be present and propose cooperation and solidarity instead of competition. If we are intending to re-open industry and enterprises, why not now think about their purpose. The idea is pretty straightforward. In a more rational society, production would be to satisfy peoples needs and not to provide profit for property-owners and share-holders.

Working people are dependent on capitalists for their means of livelihood. When they enter the workplace, they submit to a dictatorship where they surrender their independence in return for a wage. This oppressive and exploited condition is called “wage slavery.Socialists demand our fellow-slaves emancipation with a call for common ownership of all the means of production and transportation. We say there can be no peace between the classes as long as want is found among working people, and the owning class, enjoy all the good things of life. We urge our fellow-workers to take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the planet.

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