The Covid-19 crisis made an unprecedented impact on the world monopoly capitalist system. It cannot be unmade. Business and governments are now deep in discourse over a so-called “new normal”.
The capitalist new normal is business-as-usual. It means the same profit-driven system. It means the same exploitation of labor and resources, the same rule of finance capital, the same social structures and relations within and between nations under imperialism and local reaction.
The capitalist “new normal” is trending. It has gone viral. For the United Nations, it means financing for its old pipe dream of sustainable development goals (SDGs) — coordinated stimulus packages including debt reassessment of countries and regional “risk pooling”, promoting private investments and the same neoliberal formula of eliminating trade restrictions affecting supply chains.
The immediate and medium-term plans are varied. Some governments want outright nationalization, others opt for equity stakes in private businesses, some provide loans and/ or intervene and regulate. One thing is clear, however, it is the people who will pay for the stimulus packages in terms of higher taxes and fewer services, greater indebtedness and more job and income losses.
The capitalist “new normal” is damage control over an ailing system. It seeks more government intervention, promotion of “contact-free” economy (e-commerce, digital payments, telemedicine, automation), and adding resiliency to the old equation of cost and efficiency. This is back to the age-old practice of monopoly, of capitalist accumulation and
concentration, mass dispossession of workers and the toiling masses, and unsustainable practices.
We still have to see the full impact of the Covid crisis. As it continues to wreak havoc especially in the US, Europe and other capitalist centers, governments already want to reboot the system even without clear measures to safeguard public health and livelihood. Identification, testing, tracing, isolation and curative services against the virus are still sorely lacking.
There are no community or people’s participation in the decisions of policy makers. Worse, some governments have resorted to repressive lockdowns and militaristic and fascist measures against the people and, in the case of the U.S., against other peoples and nations as well.
The working-class and the toiling masses have long suffered from wage depression, austerity measures, social cuts, and attacks on their human and democratic rights. The old system does not need tweaking, it needs smashing and fundamental changing of exploitative structures and relations. All short- and medium-term measures responding to the crisis must set in motion a long-term solution of changing the social order by the people themselves.
In this regard, the ILPS rejects the capitalist “new normal” of maintaining the exploitation of labor by capital. Further, the ILPS asserts the following calls of the working people throughout the world:
1. Guaranteed jobs and income from the state;
2. Implement community health measures and safeguard workplaces while
upholding people’s rights;
3. Strengthen the working peoples’ role in shaping the economy;
4. Delink the economy from unnecessary sourcing, production and exchange
towards a centrally planned, balanced and sustainable growth;
5. Cancel foreign debts of developing countries and nationalize key
financial institutions with workers’ participation;
6. Implement comprehensive social protection in health, education,
housing, and pensions;
7. Ensure protection of women against violence and femicide especially
in the context of pandemic and home stay; provide refuge for women
victims of violence and their children;
8. Free all political prisoners and democratize the judicial and penal system; and
9. Lift US sanctions and promote peace against imperialist intervention
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
May 30, 2020