These are dangerous times. We are living through a time of unprecedented life or death risks. No one wants to die, but who wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice their life to protect someone’s privilege to make a profit. That’s the issue being raised in all those countries which seek to lift lockdown restrictions and re-open the economy. Should we not instead be thinking about doing something about this stupid economy.
When capitalism pressed the Pause button, isn’t this a good time—perhaps the best we’ll ever have—to consider pushing Fast Forward button to a very different future instead of rewinding back to the past? It is not for schadenfreude sentiments that we point out the failures of capitalism. We are not saying in self-satisfied tones, “we told you so.” Instead we are making the case as we always have that we can build a better world for all, protecting human and civil rights, economic justice, environmental concerns, and class, gender and racial equality. As the capitalist system falters, we press for social solidarity. Imagine a world in which decisions were based on the interdependence of all, a truly interconnected planet and people.
We have all heard so many heartening stories of the charitable and compassionate acts of volunteers in this pandemic and economic emergency. Our world isn’t one where greed and selfishness is the guiding principle, as some might seek to make us believe. It’s been said that a society is measured by how it treats its weakest members and we witness how ordinary men and women are in their doorways applauding other ordinary men and women for their public-spirited services during this crisis. Although this pandemic has provided opportunities for the profiteers and the wealth concentration by the already wealthy, it will also provide opportunities for working people to question just what type of society they would like to live in.
Under capitalism we have perilously degraded the Earth and humanity, and continue to do so. Working people cannot afford to be further compromised the capitalist system. The only way for civilisation to survive is to get about the task of a socialist revolution as our salvation. What have you really got to lose? It is insanity to return to and continue as business-as-usual after the pandemic. It is time for a new agenda, focused on placing the economy at the service of all, for the global good of all.