Now that political leaders have decided to put most of the world population under house arrest supposedly for our own good to protect us from the coronavirus COVID-19, they have in effect achieved a new and unprecedented level of power and control over the rest of us. Politicians tell us that their new measures of control and surveillance are only temporary and that they will be lifted or at least appropriately regulated as soon as the virus is defeated. Be this as it may, the precedent has been set and it is probably enough to make some of our more dictatorial politicians wet themselves with excitement.
The story of international rulership has changed significantly and we -the world population, must change with it, otherwise the new (post COVID-19) normal could be significantly worse that the old (pre COVID-19) normal – with a capitalist form of socio-economic governance and productivity that is clearly not good enough to protect us from the emergence of such pandemics in the first place.
Closing state and regional borders, restricting our movement and interaction with each other, bringing non essential industry and commerce to a standstill, compensating financial institutions to a great extent and individuals to a lesser extent, our politicians will claim to be putting our safety and well being first and foremost and that we should therefor trust them. The thing is, if we couldn’t trust them before COVID-19 why should we trust them now and into the future when they will have experienced having more authoritarian control over us than at any previous time in modern history.
Now that we are well into a coronavirus – COVID-19, pandemic and judging by the ad hoc panic like responses of most governments, surely it has never been more obvious why and how capitalist forms of governance and productivity inevitably fail to provide the most basic ecological, social and cultural needs of the vast majority of life on planet Earth. In short, it is because capitalism now places far too much emphasis on profit and the accumulation of privately owned wealth, it is a social dynamic that is clearly out of control.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic the international ruling class and their political servants are already revealing their profit driven priorities – ‘The choice, according to the Economist, is clear. The consequences of a prolonged regime of factory shutdowns and social distancing are, from a sober-minded business point of view, too terrible to contemplate: “Markets would tumble and investments be delayed. The capacity of the economy would wither as innovation stalled and skills decayed. Eventually, even if many people are dying, the cost of distancing could outweigh the benefits.” [Emphasis added] WSWS.org 6th April 2020. Because capitalism places so much emphasis on the accumulation of privately owned wealth, it has inevitably morphed into being a totally dysfunctional social dynamic that must be replaced with a more sophisticated, scientific and sustainable socio-economic form of governance and productivity. So, how do we – the vast >99% majority of the world population, now change our story so that a post COVID-19 world is an improvement on where we are now? With this question in mind I was recently inspired by a discussion between Yuval Noah Harari and Amanpour & Co’ on CNN, it was based on the theme – ‘life after COVID-19’, here is a pertinent quote from it –
‘When people are told the scientific facts, and when people trust public authorities to tell them these facts, citizens can do the right thing even without a Big Brother watching over their shoulders. A self-motivated and well-informed population is usually far more powerful and effective than a policed, ignorant population.’
So, what will it take for the human population to do away with ‘Big Brother’ like regimes and be able to trust our political leaders to give the ecological needs of our planet and the social and cultural needs of us humans a higher priority than that of private property and the accumulation of privately owned wealth? My short answer is – nothing less than a world socialist revolution. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed the inability of capitalism to provide our basic social and cultural needs, it also reveals to the human productive force – better thought of as the waged and salaried working class, what potential power and influence it can have on our future well being. The so called ruling class is best thought of as those who own and pay the wages and salaries of the productive force. To all intents and purposes, in the context of world socialist revolution, unless one owns the means of production and enough privately owned wealth to be listed among the wealthiest <1% of the world population, one might as well regard oneself as being one of the >99% working class.
For reasons that should by now be obvious, the working class can rest assured that the ruling class will not transform let alone replace capitalism, nor will they reduce let alone stop their exploitation of natural resources – including that of human labour, without a fight. The ruling class and their capitalist systems of governance and productivity will have to be overthrown. The only force capable of this is the international working class, the force that does all the work. The waged and salaried working class designs, builds, operates, maintains, protects and defends everything. Moreover, nowadays working class taxes are being used to bail out and rescue failed international corporations and banks, this is a warped kind of socialism. Hence the ruling class cannot survive without the working class, whereas the working class can not only survive without the ruling class, it has the potential to actually realise it’s full potential and thrive without them.
A political program and party of world socialist revolution not only exists but is also well prepared to lead the working class in the fight to rid our world of the ruling class and capitalism. Thanks to this program rank and file committees of workers and students are organising themselves from the ground up, independent of main stream politics and unions that are subservient to the corporations. To join this preparation for world socialist revolution and a better post COVID-19 normal, contact the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its Socialist Equality Party (SEP) or the International Youth and Students for Socialist Equality (IYSSE) via the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS.org)
NB: better still if you are eligible to vote in the 2020 US Presidential elections, you could support and vote for the SEP candidates – Joseph Kishore for President and Norissa Santa Cruz for Vice President and thereby help get the revolution underway.