Coronavirus

covid 19 map Image PixabayThe COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has plunged the capitalist system into a deep crisis. The stock markets are plummeting, a recession seems inevitable, and the ineptitude of the ruling class’ political leaders is being ruthlessly exposed everywhere.

Rather than a concerted, global response to the outbreak, protectionist tendencies in the world market have been accelerated, as governments rush to throw up borders to horde medical supplies and scramble for exclusive rights to vaccines.

The bosses and bourgeois governments have attempted to force the working class to shoulder the burden of this emergency, banning mass gatherings at the same time as sending people to work without adequate safety measures. This has been met with a backlash, with a wave of strikes in badly affected countries like Italy forcing the bosses to backtrack. This is despite the woeful response of the leaders of the workers’ mass organisations, who have mostly fallen in line with their governments rather than fight back.

While this pandemic was the catalyst, it was not the cause of the current social, political and economic crisis. This was already prepared in the last period of capitalist crisis and austerity, which savagely cut health services, brought increasingly degenerate leadership to the fore, and caused huge resentment to accumulate in the fabric of society. COVID-19 was accidental, but the calamity it has provoked was inevitable.

This virus marks the beginning of a new, tumultuous period in world history, one in which the consciousness of the masses will rapidly advance as the totally rotten state of the capitalist system and its leaders are laid bare.

 

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is just beginning to be felt in Algeria. Earlier this month, the government announced that the national budget would be slashed in half due to the global collapse of oil prices. Simultaneously, the much-discredited government is cynically manoeuvring to bury the popular Hirak movement under the cover of this healthcare crisis. But this coronavirus has brought to the fore the contradictions of a bureaucratically-ruled country, corrupted to the core by ‘le pouvoir’. These repressive measures cannot be allowed to asphyxiate the militant mood for change that has once again gripped the country.

According to federal officials, the Trudeau government has finished with the emergency response phase to COVID-19 and now is moving onto the “recovery” phase. But the prospects for a healthy recovery are not looking good. The fact is that the coronavirus pandemic has only served as the knockout punch to a weak and feeble system. 

In December, left-wing party Unidas Podemos (UP) entered the Spanish government as junior partners of the Social Democratic PSOE. This coalition rested on a slim and shaky parliamentary majority comprising a motley assortment of nationalist and regionalist forces. Two years of rudderless Spanish politics after the fall of Mariano Rajoy thus came to an end. Pablo Iglesias, the leader of UP, hailed this coalition as “the most-progressive government” in recent Spanish history. Yet recent events have dispelled this euphoria. Spain gazes into the abyss

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The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the cynicism, incompetence and brazen dishonesty of the tiny clique who run Britain. The mask has been torn away to expose the ugly face of class privilege. As Alan Woods explains, the public are sick of being treated with contempt. Johnson, Cummings and the rest are destined for the dustbin of history.

As billions of dollars are invested into creating a vaccine for COVID-19, the imperialists are only interested in protecting their intellectual property and settling scores with one another. Meanwhile, global bodies like the WHO further reveal their impotence in the face of this international public health emergency.

The left-wing government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is attempting to balance between the will and aspirations of the masses who brought it to power, and the demands of bourgeoisie. Despite attempts to placate the ruling class, they don't trust AMLO and want him gone.

On 13 May, the officially declared total number of deaths resulting from COVID-19 in Brazil reached 13,149, with 749 deaths registered in the previous 24 hours. The political crisis in the country is also escalating, as our Brazilian comrades report.

The coronavirus crisis is creating dissent within the ranks of the armed forces. This is a worrying development for the capitalist class, and a harbinger of explosive developments to come.

The pandemic has triggered the deepest crisis in the history of capitalism. There will be no return to ‘normality’. Consciousness will be transformed forever. We must build the forces of Marxism with a sense of urgency. This editorial by our British comrades explains how they are preparing to meet the new situation. 

The COVID-19 crisis is exposing the limitations of global bodies like the UN and the WHO, trapped between the competing interests of US and Chinese imperialism. Like an umbrella full of holes, they're useless precisely when they're most needed.

A string of right-wing protests against enforced social distancing and stay-at-home policies in Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Florida, Louisiana, and other states have received copious media attention in recent weeks. One particularly notable event was “operation gridlock” in Michigan, in which protestors got in their cars and deliberately blocked traffic—making it impossible for even ambulances to get through to respond to medical emergencies. Photographs and videos showed participants flying confederate flags, fascist insignias, and other reactionary symbols. Members of the semi-fascist Proud Boys gang were in attendance. The Michigan Conservative Coalition, which has close ties to

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