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Coronavirus: #GlobalLockdown; Aid for People, Not Wall Street; Nationalize Health Care; Kill the Empire

John Beacham
March 17, 2020

Pictured: heroic Chinese nurses shave their heads to prevent spread of disease and to make the use of protective gear more efficient

I’ve been trying to write something on the Coronavirus for days. I want to help and how I normally help is with analysis, strategy and tactics.

My penchant is to incorporate some concrete actionable we can do together in everything I address—to be political, in other words. It is hard to do that in isolation.

But the thing is … the list of what we need a capitalist infested order to do in order to overcome a global crisis like this is monumental. It really is.

Everything needs to change, be reorganized. Everything needs to change now—no matter how severe this pandemic and economic crisis could or will become.

This crisis was predictable, yet the wealthiest country in the history of the world is not prepared, not suited for the task, and, to be honest, run by billionaire thugs and criminal, corrupt politicians who should be behind bars. The ruling elite here is unable, unless forced to by resistance and horrendous circumstances, to put our needs anywhere near the top of the agenda.

We are way past the historical necessity for the people and the planet to be centered. The majority must have power, not those ridiculous CEOs that Trump trotted out at his outrageously misleading press conference the other day—the very same people, by the way, that worked with both parties to exempt big corporations from having to pay for sick leave! The very same people that got their precious stock market bailout—to the tune of $1.5 trillion. All of that money is gone already, btw. And more money is on the way!

We should not be passive. Money needs to be spent on people's needs right now. Period.

We should be concerned; we should be calm; we should drastically limit social contact; we should demand that whatever money is necessary to solve this problem and provide for the people is deployed; we should demand a national universal healthcare system; we should have solidarity with one another, especially with all those who will suffer the most—the poor and oppressed.

But, we must also be angry, fight back and prepare to struggle.

Capitalist tragedy

The capitalist United States is not constructed to serve the people. We need Universal Healthcare, absolutely, but until the for-profit system is eliminated, abolished, we will always be putting out fires and suffering will always be light years beyond what we already have the capability to prevent.

The pandemic looks to be causing an unnecessary and very dangerous global economic crisis, precisely because the global economy is an irrational, immoral and inhumane giant that acts only in the interest of international monopolies.

Why should even one person be risking their paychecks, homes or anything else right now?

Why are many wealthy people with no symptoms getting tested while many people with symptoms have been turned away from medical facilities untested and left to fend for themselves?

Why do we not have enough tests, masks, ICU rooms, hospital beds, ventilators, doctors and nurses, and so on?

Why is there a reported shortage in protective gear for healthcare workers?

Why are doctors in Italy forced to choose who lives and dies because they cannot treat everyone?

What does it say about a system that leaves the most vulnerable, the most vulnerable at a time like this?

Why is there no binding, enforced national and international plan? Why have we not come together as a species?

Again, why are we unprepared for a situation that is absolutely predictable, industrial globalization caused and understood to be a likelihood for many decades?

Because power is not in our hands and it needs to be. It must be.

Global #lockdown

Social distancing and various recommendations are not going to cut it. The world should be undergoing a well-coordinated and cooperative shut down of all social activities to prevent unnecessary loss of life. We are heading for a global lockdown out of necessity. We should consciously get ahead of the curve and save as many lives as possible.

But do we want people like the CEOs and capitalist politicians and the racist police to be in charge of that? Do you want people like Trump, who keeps spewing a hideous racism by calling it the Chinese virus, to be anywhere near the decision making processes? No, we don't.

It sucks that there is no other choice. But if we raise our voice to demand it, we can also force our rulers to do the #lockdown correctly, or even better, force them out of the way and take care of ourselves on a scale never before accomplished and point the way to a new era of cooperation and peace.

China has shown that a rational plan and a full out social emergency strategy can work and the whole world should follow suit now. China is much more deserving of leading this struggle than the imperialist powers, btw.

But the United States, which is using the pandemic to propagandize against China and Iran and is not lifting its murderous sanctions against Iran or Venezuela, and which has a white supremacist in the white house, has no real legitimacy in international affairs and wields too much economic, political and social power.

The economic sanctions against Iran, a country which is on the frontlines of the pandemic right now, highlight everything that is wrong with the age of U.S. imperialism. The empire is a murderer of unprecedented magnitude.

This tragedy should signal the end of the U.S. empire. The future depends on it.