The Covid-19 pandemic challenging our planet is simply the latest crisis and certainly will not be the last, even if we do create a socialist world.
In 2008 capitalism teetered on the brink of the abyss, its structural flaws exposed for anyone who cared to look. The 2008 crash almost broke the global financial system. It was saved and the bankers were saved from their incompetence through bail-outs by a mystifying something called “quantitative easing”, a “magic money tree” reserved solely for the banks and the large corporations. Its fruits were not shared our in the ensuiung austerity and spending cuts.
Now, the plan is for another “magic money tree”, needed to deal with the disastrous economic toll wrought by the virus. This time some of it will be offered to working people. Not because capitalism suddenly cares about the homeless and those reliant on food banks.
Capitalism is an amoral economic system driven by the accumulation of profit for the owners of capital. Governments will try to conceal for a little longer the fact that capitalism will try to buy our continuing deference to a system that cannot cope with the coronavirus. The government will dip into the wealth that has been extracted from us over the many past decades. It won’t work to shore up the capitalist system indefinitely. The ray of hope that can be gleaned is the willingness of so many people to stand vigilant against wrongdoings and misinformation.Our current patchwork of social service coverage leaves people to gamble with the outcomes of their health and their economic future. It should now be obvious that it is in our own self-interest to want everyone in our communities to be healthy and secure if only to protect ourselves. What is called for is a systemic change. The status quo is no longer acceptable. We must understand the interconnectedness of all on our planet. Unless we acknowledge this kinship we all share, our future is in doubt. We must wake up to the reality that we are one human family. That we are all Jock Tamson’s bairns. The world socialist movement is about us, ALL of us.
Response to the pandemic and economic collapse are already showing change is possible. Our fragmented, unequal and for-profit system is being seen as the problem. When this crisis subsides we need to demand that we do not go backward. It has demonstrated that we completely transforms our healthcare, economic, and environmental systems and much more.