The crisis of the global capitalist system has deepened since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing class divide within nations, the intensifying exploitation and oppression under monopoly finance capital, the rivalry of imperialist powers along with plunder, wars, militarism and fascism have all caused great suffering for the working people and the masses and made them more vulnerable to the present global health crisis and the economic failures of the system.
The neoliberal regime has failed to save the capitalist system. COVID-19, one of the worst pandemics to hit the world since the Spanish Influenza of 1918 is now exposing the vulnerabilities of privatized national public health care systems and the inadequate response of the capitalist governments. The epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from China to Europe and now to the United States, the heartland of capitalism. There is a frenzied scramble for immediate financial stimulus to revive a dying economy for monopolies who have stolen everything but are now gripped with fear in the face of angry people who have nothing.
The failure of neoliberalism is evident in all continents. The global crisis that continues to linger since the 2008 depression is bound to further explode as global production and global value chains are destroyed, resulting in erratic financial collapses including commodity markets and currency markets.
Capitalism, with its profit-driven policies leading to destructive impacts on the climate and degradation of the environment, has facilitated the mutation of viruses. There was no decisive action and an absence of preparation for the pandemic from capitalist governments because of cutbacks in public services and a lack of emergency planning: and now capitalist countries are trying to hold off the lowering or ending of production for as long as they can while maneuvering to be in the best possible position in terms of competition for markets.
The working masses are hardest hit by the pandemic. The livelihood and health of the vast majority of the world’s population are at risk. Loss of jobs, massive unemployment and bankruptcies of small companies are taking their toll. Lockdowns and quarantine measures are enforced with an increasing use of state terror and coercive military powers, particularly against the poor. Those in the midst of civil war and armed conflict have seen greater political repression. Xenophobic and racist policies are being fanned by rightist groups.
Economic sanctions and the “war on terror”, mainly imposed by the United States on such countries as Iran and Venezuela, have worsened the situation. Efforts by China and Cuba to help in the medical response are spurned by chauvinist imperialist powers.
Despite calls by the United Nations for international cooperation, there is no solidarity between imperialist countries. We see no support from the US and the EU for Italy. Some European countries are proposing a system of debt sharing or so-called Corona bonds. Others propose expropriation of capital.
Over a century of imperialism, of profit-driven plunder and wars, killed millions of people and will not save humanity. The people are crying out for systems change. Use the social wealth created by the working people to guarantee jobs and income, provide economic relief and medical services. Redistribution of wealth, taxing the rich, is not enough. Bailouts should not be for corporations. Production and exchange should be for the people. Socialism is the only viable alternative. We must nationalize strategic sectors including ports, banks and financial systems and put these in the hands of the workers. Now should be the era for the common good.
In line with our long-term aspirations, we assert these immediate and urgent demands:
- Guaranteed incomes and benefits, cash grants and relief for the working people now.
- Epidemic management upholding peoples’ rights, mass testing and adequate health services for the people.
- Social protection for the farmers, workers and the toiling masses.
- No bailouts for big corporations, implement bailouts for the working class.
- Cancellation, not simply relief, of onerous foreign debt of poor developing countries.
- Suspension and renegotiation of unequal trade agreements.
- Mobilize science and technology for the people.
- Nationalize public health systems, resist and condemn neoliberal policies.
- Respect democratic and human rights; release all political prisoners.
- Lift sanctions against 30 countries and territories including Cuba, Venezuela, Palestine and the DPRK.
- Rechannel military budget to public health and social services.
We need to educate the people, expose the roots of the crisis, know the needs of the people and find ways to support them, and oppose increasing militarism and fascist measures.
Fight back imperialism and fascism! Assert peoples’ welfare and rights! Struggle for sovereignty, democracy and socialism!