By the Communist Workers League
Why a transitional program specifically for the COVID-19 crisis?
Normally a socialist program is a more or less general and permanent outline of how an organization aims at initiating a revolutionary struggle to overturn capitalism and construct a socialist state with the proletariat and oppressed nations, using nationalized property and planning, controlling production and hence society.
This pandemic has created a unique situation. This virus, unlike a war or economic crisis, is a “force of nature” creating an enormous social and economic crisis and has sparked a deepening class division.
It may be as the Trump regime asserts that very soon a vaccine or cure will be created, or that the virus will “magically disappear” in the summer sunshine. Perhaps so, but Marxists should refrain from believing in bourgeois fairy tales. This disease has already infected more than 8.5 million people, causing nearly 460,000 deaths worldwide, according to official figures, which are understated. It has killed more than 122,000 people in the U.S.
Economically, it has spawned a terrible crisis for our class, throwing 40 million out of work already, more than 20 per cent of the workforce, which can only be compared to the Great Depression. This situation has been alleviated temporarily for some in our class because of one time payment and the supplement to unemployment are receiving until the end of July, but rent and mortgage non-payments are already skyrocketing, health insurance has been cut off for millions, and millions are facing hunger while tons of vegetables and milk are buried and farm animals are euthanized. This has all the hallmarks of spawning a pre-revolutionary situation, along with intensifying the danger from Trump’s fascist base.
Yet Wall Street seems strangely unaffected. After an initial panic in March, equity prices have stabilized. The Federal Reserve Bank has poured trillions into their coffers to buoy them. But with much of production paralyzed and profits melting away, they know that bankruptcy and ruin are on the horizon. That is why they and their minions from both parties more or less back Trump’s “reopen the economy” campaign.
At the same time, public health agencies that are tasked to create and direct policies to minimize the effects of this pandemic, the NIH, the FDA, and particularly the CDC are being pushed aside and muzzled. The production process for PPEs and medical equipment has been ravaged by corporate greed and corruption, exacting a terrible toll on health care workers.
Yes, left organizations have written many articles, held online forums and supported demonstrations about this. Yet not to be found in a minimal scan of socialist outlets is a revolutionary socialist program tailored to meet this crisis. While predicting the future is difficult, if this crisis deepens to the point that the capitalist system can no longer exert its control over the situation, then the left will need such a transitional program to exert direction and leadership in the struggle: ….