The coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is a “trigger event” in world history, one which has laid bare all the contradictions of capitalism. Every aspect of the social crisis that had developed over the past several decades—the growth of social inequality, the assault on democratic rights, the drive toward militarism and war—were all accelerated by the onset of the pandemic which was foreseen and preventable. Nearly 35 million people have been infected by the deadly disease and more than one million men, women and children have lost their lives with no end in sight.

As workers now understand more sharply than ever, the real orientation of the bourgeoisie—including both the Republicans and Democrats in the United States and their counterparts throughout the world—has been to use the pandemic to transfer trillions of dollars to the major banks and corporations while letting the deadly disease rampage through the population as politicians advocate for “herd immunity.”

This page provides the opposing perspective—for the working class to solve the pandemic crisis itself. The giant banks and corporations must be placed under public ownership and democratic control. The vast fortunes of the rich must be expropriated to make funds available to ensure universal access to health care, housing, utilities and other social needs. All of economic life must be reorganized on the basis of a global, planned economy, removing the obstacle of private property and the profit motive. Workers must be clear that the pandemic is only a symptom of a much greater disease: capitalism. The cure is socialism.

Cemetery workers in protective clothing bury three victims of COVID-19 at the Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)
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