A programme and a party for the socialist revolution
The Coronavirus pandemic has been the accident that unveils the imperative need. All the economical , social and political contradictions that have been brewing in the last decade have now violently exploded, placing our civilisation at an historical crossroads. The slaughter, which has taken the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people and will take many more in the coming months, is only the start.
The complete paralysis of trade and production, the massive wave of redundancies, and the collective suffering which are happening in parallel with the health crisis will have momentous consequences in our immediate future.
The nation state and the dictatorship of finance capital, which dominate all spheres of economic life and escalate their inter-imperialist wars, have, for a long time, been a brake on the progress of humanity and the improvement of productive forces. The material foundations which explain what is happening right now were already in place beforehand. The virus is not the barbary, capitalism is the barbary.
The capitalist governments and their media have endlessly compared the present situation to a war. This is not a coincidence: the nauseating propaganda to fill society with a patriotic and chauvinist spirit is sickening.
The first victim of war is always the truth. It has been so before and so it is now, as proven by the cascade of gross lies spilled by official spokespersons. What none of them says is that this war that they harangue about was declared, decades ago, by the capitalist powers. A war that has razed our social rights and social services, has created an obscene inequality, destroyed the environment and reduced whole countries to ruins. The coronavirus pandemic has ridden in the back of this war.
It is true that the prosperity from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s in the US and Europe has vanished a long time ago. But what has been happening these weeks helps us, more than any television image or newspaper report, to understand the reasons of a catastrophe that has already struck hundreds of millions of women, men and children in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, who have been crushed by capitalist greed.
This predatory and insatiable capitalism, and only it, is responsible for the current health, economic and social disaster, which will mark a before and after in world history. The consciousness of wide layers of the working class in the developed capitalist countries is being whipped by the events. The same is true for the precarious and poor youth, and for a considerable part of the impoverished middle class. The progressive and advanced conclusions that they have reached during these years of crisis, unemployment and deprivations , during which they have accumulated deep resentment and anger, will be even more consistent and definite. Anyone will understand the revolutionary consequences of this fact.
We are in the midst of an open and declared war against the working-class and the oppressed. And, as in any war between classes, we bear witness to the most selfish, petty and cynical actions and expressions of the national bourgeoisies, trying to justify their positions and save themselves at the expense of their competing bourgeoisies. The example of capitalist Europe, completely divided and dragging through the mud, yet again, its pretense of “values of solidarity and common welfare”, evidences its decadence and degeneration.
Their demagogic propaganda “in defense of life” is a cruel mockery. Trump and the handful of billionaires that control the United States industry and politics have been very clear: hundreds of thousands will die, but the important thing is the 2.2 billion dollars approved by the Congress and Senate to bailout the big companies in the Dow Jones and Nasdaq. In Europe, beyond rhetorical flourishes, all decisions have followed the same pattern, from the Conte government in Italy to France’s Macron or the CDU-SPD coalition government headed by Merkel in Germany.
The Governments and central banks of the most powerful nations have mobilised more than 6 billion euros in public resources. The objective? To guarantee the viability of multinational companies and to provide the banks with a flow of liquidity that slows down the freefall of its stock actions, and to try to minimise the impact on their balance as much as possible. The history of the 2008’s Great recession repeats itself, but at a much greater scale: at the time, they promised they would learn the lessons from financial deregulation and liberalisation, but, 10 years later, when the speculative bubble is twice as big as then, they enact the exact same measures, knowing beforehand that they will not stop the death-agony of world capitalism. It is a farce.
Capitalist propaganda follows a perfectly written script. They try to present the current situation as some kind of unavoidable event, as if we are facing an “uncontrolled and unpredictable” force.
However, the big capitalist powers knew fully well the seriousness of what was happening. When the chinese regime decided to place the Hubei region (60 million people) and its capital Wuhan (11 million people) in lockdown, there were no steps by the EU, USA or UK to put robust and effective precautionary measures in place.
The ruling class incessant lies have been unquestioningly supported by traditional social-democracy and the new reformist left formations which trail it. In its effort to save capitalism using “democratic” methods, they are not ashamed of doing the dirty work for the big economic powers.
This vicious slaughter has been denounced in the developed world by the thousands of health workers who are putting their life at stake in the midst of the complete collapse of the public health systems. In Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and many other places, the situation is even more desperate, and consequences will be even more catastrophic. The same will happen in the US, where even though they have the world’s most advanced technology, the fact that it is controlled by capitalist monopolies will allow the pandemic to spread like the medieval plague.
The bourgeoisie and its servile politicians- including the various strands of sociald-emocracy and the union’s bureaucracy- the televisions, the newspapers, the political “experts” and commentators call on us to fight like “soldiers” and feverishly raise the slogan of national unity. “All together in this”. But it’s ours who die, and we who suffer the scourge of unemployment and misery. What links us to that multimillionaire oligarchy whose decisions lead endlessly to further catastrophe?
The system needs the glue of “national unity”. But to what end? To strangle the consciousness of those who really suffer this war and to achieve our submission. But the fierce class struggle which we have been living, the insurrections, uprisings and revolutions that have swept Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras, Sudan, Algeria, Hong Kong…. The general strikes in France, the mass mobilisations by working-class women, the mass struggle of the youth against climate change, the rebellion of the Catalan people for the republic - all these events, and many more, herald the dawn of a new era and have provided a great education.
The chauvinist programme of “national unity” clashes with the past and current experience of the masses, and will be shattered by the global rebellion of the working-class. It will be a small matter of time until the fog created by bourgeois demagogy is lifted.
The economic debacle will escalate the inter-imperialist war.
The figures of the current economic collapse can only be compared to those from a devastating war.
According to the Institute of International Finance, the economies of the US and the EU have had a serious slump in the first semester of the year. A fall of 10% for the former and 18% for the latter. Morgan Stanley has estimated the US economy will shrink around 20% between March and June and unemployment will soar to 13%. The Deutsche Bank analysis group warns of the worst fall since the last century’s 30’s decade, following the 1929 crash.
The State institutions predict a similar scenario. The Federal reserve estimates a fall of 50% of the US GDP. For comparison, in the worst moment of the Great Depression, the GDP fell around 30%. The same source estimates that unemployment can reach 47 million people, an unemployment rate of 32%, and states that around 67 million north-americans work a precarious job, at high risk of dismissal.
The situation in China is also very problematic. The figures vary: from a yearly fall of 4.2% in growth, according to the Standard Chartered Bank, to 9% as forecast by Goldman Sachs. In the first two months of 2020, the industrial production of the Asiatic giant shrunk by 13.5% and retail shopping 20.5%.
In the formerly colonised world the prospects are even bleaker and more dramatic. In Latin America- where poverty strikes 30.1% of its 629 million inhabitants, with 10.7% living in misery- the percentage of those engaged in informal labour in 2018 was 53% (140 million workers). We need only to look at the developed nations to foresee the catastrophe looming over Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and vast swathes of the Asian continent.
The effects of this crisis will be as deep as its destructive dynamic. Because of this, it is important to keep in mind the immediate consequences in the global economy: at a first stage, an increasing trend for protectionism, national tariffs and economic nationalism; at a second stage, and as a consequence, the intensification of the imperialist struggles for the world market.
Many voices, including the voices of some self-declared “marxists”, have written the death certificate of the chinese economy, saying this will be a devastating blow for it. Obviously the market recession will have a negative effect on its productive apparatus, but to make these definite declarations you first need to compare China with its main competitors.
Chinese capitalism, a sui generis state capitalism on the rise, which can concentrate vast financial and productive resources in the hands of its state apparatus, giving it the chance to fulfill its strategic needs quicker than other countries, has clear competitive advantages in comparison with the USA and EU. This crisis has shown it clearly, and not only in regards to public health.
The Financial Times, media spokesperson of the british plutocracy, has written in a recent article that the chinese economy is working at a 75% rate, compared to its 2019 levels. It did so as a consolation prize, but it also underlined that, at the present moment, you cannot rely on a mechanical and static analysis, but you have to apply a dynamic vision to events. The dialectical method is essential to outline the perspectives of the current recession.
There is a concrete question that we need to pose: How will the chinese productive apparatus react to the paralysis of the US and EU? It seems that by filling the vacuum left by its competitors, as shown by the world supply of health products, and increasing the labour productivity of its factories to increase its competitiveness and occupy new markets.
United States imperialism has fought a victorious battle against England in the end of the First World War, and achieved hegemony after WWII, but it now faces a new power that shows signs of a greater vigour, possesses far more solid financial and productive reserves, and has achieved a privileged position in areas such as technology, capital export and the world trade.
It is evident that chinese capitalism will not come out unscathed, but that does not mean that we can rely on western propaganda. China undertook huge stimulus packages in 2008, devoting more than 1 billion euros to support its productive economy and consumption (buying power), and weathered the 2008 Great Recession in a much better way than the remaining powers, keeping a growth rate of 5% or higher in the last five years. It clearly lost footing when compared with its glorious years, and has accumulated deep and serious contradictions due to the latent overproduction, with public, corporate and private debt which is now 240% of its GDP and growing. However, its competitors fare much worse. US total debt has surpassed 326% of the GDP, and the US cannot rely on a commercial superavit as big as China. Beijing is preparing for what is coming; The government is using its huge storage infrastructure to store more than 1000 million oil barrels, now that the price of crude oil has plummeted more than 20%.
It is more than clear that the chinese capitalist system has nothing to do with genuine socialism. It still shows traces of maoist authoritarianism kept during the “restoration process”. This unique historical formation, led by the old stalinist nomenklature, which converted itself in the new proprietor bourgeoisie, has allowed the State to have a much greater capacity of control and decision.
Trump’s calls to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of US inhabitants in order to restart production as soon as possible are an answer to this. The White House knows full well that the space that they are freeing will be occupied by China. However, even this circus jingoist had to retreat a bit, as its advisors realised that the imminent catastrophe can lead to other paths, starting with social upheavals inside the States.
The US will intensify its campaign against China through all available venues. But the Asian giant will increase its global influence in the next few months and years, taking advantage of the deep divisions within the Western block. What happened in Italy, the desperate procurements and purchases by the Spanish Government of healthcare supplies and instruments produced in China, not mentioning the calls to Beijing for help from African and Latin American countries, will just reinforce its role in the immediate period, causing deep changes in international relations,
China is a powerful imperialist power. But this is not new. What is new is the world recession that the coronavirus pandemic has brought forward, but that has been brewing in the last 10 years. The engine of the global economy has not just lost its internal balance, but ended up seizing, revealing the agony of the economic system.
The Capitalist State to the rescue!.... of the capitalists.
Western powers approached the 2008 crisis by putting the burden of the financial system public bailout on the backs of the working-class. A wave of savage cuts, mass redundancies, precarious conditions, evictions and impoverishment for many and,on the other side, a feast of 0% interest credits and mass debt purchase by the central banks, that filled the pockets of the financial speculators, banks and big companies.
But none of the deep contradictions within the system was solved, on the contrary. Productive investment decreased but the speculation bubble increased dramatically, and the monopolistic concentration of capital became even more concentrated -“Finance capital is such a considerable force, such a decisive force, in all economical and international relations, that is even able to bring the States which enjoy the most complete independence to submission, and indeed it brings them into submission.” (Translated from: V.I. Lenin, El imperialismo, fase superior del capitalismo, FFE. Madrid 2016, p. 125.)
The lie that “lessons were learnt from the 2008 crisis ” is completely rejected by data. Global debt- both public and private - was at a record high in 2019, reaching 253.6 billion dollars, 332% of the world GDP.
In the last few years the capitalisation of stock exchanges hit new records, reaching 86 billion dollars, or 100% of the world’s GDP. The big US banks, bailed out in 2008 with more than 2 billion dollars of public money- JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley- currently have 43% more in savings, 84% more in assets and three times in ready-cash that they had before the crisis.
US banks as a whole have now around 157 billion dollars in financial derivatives, which are purely speculative products, almost twice the global GSP and 12% more than they had a decade ago.
According to the Mckinsey Global Institute, 80% of the world corporate profits are earned by 10% of the companies present on the stock market. The biggest hedge fund, BlackRock, manages 6.3 billion dollars worth of capital, the same amount as the combined GDP of France and Germany.
This is the true obstacle faced by humanity in its attempt to solve its most immediate needs. There is no way out, whilst the fabulous wealth created by wage-labour is still in the iron-handed dictatorship of financial speculators .
Marx stated that “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie”. The shock programmes approved by the Western government, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and others, has surpassed 6 billion dollars (around 7% of the world’s GDP). A mountain of cash which is exclusively devoted to provide the big companies with liquidity and to rescue the international banks, yet again. In the meantime, the resources aimed at the colossal health emergency, to protect the tens of million that have lost their jobs and homes, the hundreds of millions that will fall in even more abject poverty, are nothing more than paltry crumbs. History repeats itself, first as a tragedy and now as a farce.
Mario Draghi, ex-President of the European Central Bank, has explained it clearly in a recent article for the Financial Times “ It is already clear that the answer must involve a significant increase in public debt. The loss of income incurred by the private sector — and any debt raised to fill the gap — must eventually be absorbed, wholly or in part, on to government balance sheets.”
The capitalist state needs to rescue… the companies, finance capital and the speculators. What an amazing lesson for the old and new reformists who incessantly appeal to the state as if the state wasn’t a tool of domination of one class by the other. A brilliant vindication, from the mouth of a fully-unreformed bourgeois, of the marxist theory of state, which brings to mind Lenin’s words : “Here we blatantly see, how in the epoch of finance capital, the state and private monopolies interweave between themselves to form a linked whole and how, both the former as well as the latter, are nothing but different links of the imperialist struggle waged by the biggest monopolies against each other for the division of the world.” (Translated from: V.I. Lenin, El imperialismo, fase superior del capitalismo, FFE. Madrid 2016, p. 72.)
More divided than ever. Neoliberalism 2.0
These rescue plans have once again unleashed the voices of the system’s “democratic experts”, crying out for Keynesian measures or simply lying about the character of the chosen rescue packages, which is what the Spanish PSOE-UP government is doing.
Once again we must underline that the “interventionist” promises of the states, which a number of economists have called keynesian measures, have nothing to do with the nationalisation of big companies or productive sectors in the classical sense. Keynesianism, as an economic programme of the bourgeoisie, was only applied in very specific historical circumstances: after the death of tens of millions of people and the mass destruction of the productive forces in Europe during WWII, and due to the panic of US imperialism and the European bourgeoisie when facing the advance of revolution in France, Italy, Greece, and the advance of the Red Army in the East.
At the time, trying not to repeat the mistakes made during the Versailles Treaty of 1918, and invoking the dangers of socialist revolution, the US- which left the war with an unscathed productive apparatus, a huge leap in development of the new productive branches (oil derivatives, chemistry, auto-industry, aerospace, electronics, military), the biggest gold reserves in the world and the dollar as the only reference currency- helped the reconstruction of the european bourgeoisie and allowed the nationalisation of industries and areas which required a big injection fixed capital (steelworks, energy companies, mines, public transport companies) and that could provide cheap raw materials to private companies.
The keynesian measures were used to feed the upward cycle of capitalism and a new historical period of imperialism accumulation. The underlying material condition, as mentioned before, was the destruction of the European means of production, at the same time that the socialdemocratic and stalinist parties supported the bourgeois governments in undermining the revolution and redirected the reconstruction on the basis of capitalist “democracy” and the “social pact (social peace)”.
The bourgeoisie, forced by the conditions of the class struggle, will always be willing to concede temporary concessions, even significant ones, with the objective of ensuring the survival of its social and economic regime. But at the moment, both the parliamentary left and the big unions bureaucracies are kneeling down and willing to form a united front with the ruling class to avoid, or delay as far as possible, the outbreak of a revolutionary crisis. Before taking measures similar to the post-war ones, they will try the formulae already applied in 2008- but at a far bigger scale. Of course, the result might be the opposite to what they intended, and instead of a more or less manageable escalation in the class struggle, they can find themselves faced with a socialist revolution in classical lines.
Looking at concrete reality, every national bourgeoisie is prepared to fight tooth and nail to defend their monopolies in the inter imperialist conflict which will be waged during the recession. These objective forces are behind the eruption and fracture of the EU. Whilst the southern governments, led by Italy and the Spanish State, demand that Merkel’s government rolls up their sleeves and accepts to share a part of the crisis, the german bourgeoisie refuses to mutualise the costs of the collapse.
“In particular, we need to work on a common debt instrument issued by a European institution to raise funds on the market on the same basis and to the benefits of all Member States, thus ensuring stable long term financing for the policies required to counter the damages caused by this pandemic.”, declare Pedro Sanchez, Conte and Macron in their last joint letter to the European Council. Meanwhile, Germany’s Economy minister says “No” and all the german finance and industrial capital aligns behind him.
Both the German and Dutch bourgeoisie, in addition to emphatically rejecting eurobonds, will take all possible measures to protect themselves from contagion and protect their national industries at any cost. This year, Spanish GDP will fall more than 10%, whilst Italy’s will fall around 11,26%. According to Goldman Sachs, both Germany and France will not be safe from this and may suffer a contraction of 8.9% and 7.4% respectively. That is why Merkel told all southern countries that they can resort to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), as Greece was forced to do in 2010. And, as then, the ESM will only give the resources in exchange for harsh measures in the way of more social cuts.
Europe has exploded. The European Union project, as we know it, is finished. After Brexit and facing a long recession, the centrifugal forces which were hardly contained during the 2014 euro crisis, resorting to the crushing of the Greek people and the sowing of austerity, are every day more uncontrollable.
In every continent we can foresee the return to economic nationalism, the increase of tariffs, the competitive devaluation of currency, and protectionist measures to defend the internal market from external attacks. The absence of any coordination between world powers, which can be seen in the successive failures of the G-20 and EU meetings, confirms this analysis. The lack of an unified response by this group of jackals completely proves the reactionary character of capitalism.
A programme and a party for the socialist revolution.
“All talk to the effect that historical conditions have not yet ”ripened” for socialism is the product of ignorance or conscious deception. The objective prerequisites for the proletarian revolution have not only ”ripened”; they have begun to get somewhat rotten. Without a socialist revolution, in the next historical period at that, a catastrophe threatens the whole culture of humanity. The turn is now to the proletariat, i.e., chiefly to its revolutionary vanguard. The historical crisis of humankind is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership.”
Leon Trotsky, The Transitional Programme
The catastrophe that looms over the world will have its epicentre in the US. Trump’s government had to ditch its initial plans of quickly returning to normal economic activity when it was leaked this would cause between 1.5 and 2.2 million deaths. But it will clearly be a massacre: US capitalism keeps more than 45 million people without health insurance, and the figures will rise quickly with the mass redundancies ahead.
And to this slaughter it needs to be added the tens of million of newly unemployed people, the destruction and paralysis of factories and whole industries, and the collapse of the world’s health system, which will lead to an exponential increase in poverty. It is not a coincidence that international institutions, analysts and paper editorials are brimming with reports that forecast that this will be a worse recession than the 1929 crash. And those who try to sway public opinion saying we will witness a “V shape” recovery, as is the case of many leaders of the reformist left, will soon swallow their words.
After the 1929 crash, the agony of capitalism ended in the defeat of the socialist revolution in Europe, fascism and finally a deadly world war. But a similar war would not happen now. With the nuclear arsenal available to the big imperialist powers, it would be a case of assured mutual destruction. But that doesn’t mean that regional wars will not happen, causing millions of deaths and horrifying destruction, as we have seen in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Nor that the bourgeoisie is not conscious that it will have to wage an extremely brutal class war against the working-class.
Engel’s slogan, made famous by Rosa Luxemburg: “socialism or barbarism!” calls to all of us, the workers and oppressed of the world. After years of ideological reaction, with the collapse of both USSR and the Eastern European stalinist regimes, the capitalist restoration in Russia and China, the rightward shift of the mass organisations of the working class, trade and labour unions and of the socialdemocratic and formerly communist parties, we need to raise again the flag of internationalist socialism, this time higher than ever.
The recession will lead to the further discredit of bourgeois parliamentarism, social-democracy and the traditional conservative parties, it will increase social and political polarisation, the divisions in the ruling class and it will also reinforce the authoritarian inclinations of many governments. If in the last few years we have witnessed the loss of stability in the middle class and middle layers, and its sharp oscillation between the left and the right, the new scenario will just reinforce this trend. The upsurge of the far-right is a real threat and it will be magnified, as well as the reinforcement of police states. If we do not want to repeat past failures, we need to learn the lessons from history- until the last consequences.
The new left formations, such as Podemos, Syriza, the Left Bloc, Die Linke and similar others have promised us that once in government they would bring the capitalist oligarchy into line. They abandoned the programme of revolutionary marxism, replacing it with a mix of petty-bourgeois radical ideas that follow the same path: to create a “kind-faced” capitalism, a capitalism with a “human face”. This possibility has been long ruled out by practical experience as a most reactionary utopia. The only possible capitalism is the one we are living in, that destroys the environment and allows the death of millions to save the dictatorship of finance capital.
The leaders of the aforementioned organisations, completely alienated from the day-to-day experience and feeling of the masses, poisoned by parliamentary cretinism and, in many instances, turned into the pillars of capitalist order, have completely failed in providing a solution to the current crisis. They accept small crumbs from the table of the most powerful, which they hurriedly present as a big success against neoliberalism, but give their active collaboration in the “patriotic” manoeuvres and the “rescue” packets for the big companies and big banks, designed by the ruling class.
We need to break once and for all with this philistinism, with all that try to deceive the working-class so it does not take the revolutionary path. The only way to successfully tackle the looming catastrophe is if the working-class, at the vanguard of all the oppressed, takes the reins of power and nationalises the banks, the monopolies and the lands under its own democratic control and management. Only by organising society on a socialist basis can we avoid the abyss to which capitalism is driving us to.
The system has unleashed destructive forces that it cannot control. And it has created the conditions for an open rebellion of the working class. Obviously, we cannot predict its rhythm or deny that the reactionaries, repressive and bonapartist measures by the State and in layers of the middle classes will also progress. But it is clear that these events will have a formidable impact on the consciousness of millions of people, and that the most advanced and progressive conclusions will sweep through the vanguard working-class and youth. That is why there is no time to waste.
The maturity of the objective conditions is never automatically expressed in consciousness; generally, consciousness is a crucible that reflects the conservatism and tradition cultivated for generations. Only in the time of big upheavals, such as the time we live in, it suffers sudden shifts and rises to the height of historical developments.
The parliamentary representation of an oppressed class is very inferior to its real power. The classical conditions for a revolution, that reformists had dismissed as outdated, were manifested in the many mass movements, rebellions and insurrections that we have seen throughout Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe on 2019: divisions on the ruling class; determination by the oppressed, youth and workers to take the struggle until its conclusion; neutrality or even support of the middle classes… But all of them lacked the decisive factor to catalyse the objective conditions into a triumph: A revolutionary party with a marxist programme and influence amongst the masses.
During big battles, a revolutionary does not ask what is going to happen in the case of defeat, but what needs to be done to achieve victory. It is possible, it is achievable, therefore it needs to be done. The concrete task is how to transform, in the course of the colossal events that we are facing, the fury and discontent of millions of people into a conscious support for the programme of socialist revolution.
The working class can only trust in its own forces to end the rotten regimes of private property and the nation-state. And to earn that confidence, it needs to have a clear programme and perspective, and these can only be provided by an audacious and firm leadership. And that is how the role of the revolutionary party turns into the most decisive objective factor of them all.
Through their experience- and for the masses, an ounce of this terrible experience is more valuable than a tonne of theory- the working-class and their vanguard will reach the appropriate political and practical conclusions. We need a revolutionary party capable of successfully dealing with this task: to finally expropriate the expropriators and to put the wealth generated by wage labour at the disposal of genuine social justice. The victory of socialism will be the victory of Humankind.
Join the International Revolutionary Left and defend the programme of the socialist revolution.
1. Nationalisation of the banks and the big industrial, extractive, communications, food, and energy monopolies under the democratic control of the working-class in order to establish a socialist production plan that places the rights and lives of people on the forefront.
2. Defend Public Healthcare.Governments need to provide all the necessary means of protection ( gloves, masks, equipment) in the fight against coronavirus. Nationalisation of all private healthcare providers and medical supplies manufacturers. Nationalise the pharmaceutical sector now, all medicines needed to fight coronavirus and other illnesses should be free.
3. Immediate hiring of the hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals needed to face this crisis. The doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, maintenance personnel,cleaners… all healthcare workers to create committees to control and manage all health resources and to rectify any counter-productive decisions taken by managers and bosses.
4. Immediate stoppage of all productive activity not essential to fight against the pandemic. To guarantee, by law,that all non-essential factory and company workers are allowed to be home with full pay, that their posts are respected and that no labour right is lost. All necessary protective and safety measures for all essential workers. Severe economic penalties for the businessowners that disobey this.
5. Workers’ control of production. Formation of workers’ committees in all workplaces and industrial sectors, democratically elected by assemblies, in order to redirect production and immediately produce all medical supplies needed to face the pandemic: PPEs, ventilators, masks, gowns….
6. Legislation forbidding evictions. No salary reduction. Business-owners should share all the profits accumulated in these years! Return the money from the banks and bosses bailout!
7. Closed factories nationalised under the democratic workers control. Indefinite unemployment wage subsidy that guarantees average incomes until a new job is found. In the case of the United Kingdom- 2340 pounds a month and 1200 euros a month in the case of the Spanish state.
8.For dignified working conditions. Repeal all anti-labour and anti-pensions counter reforms. End the social cuts. Retirement at 60 years of ages with 100% of the salary and good contracts for the youth. Immediate 35 hours a week without loss of pay. A decent minimum wage- £15/ hours- £2220 a month. End precarious labour: guarantee of at least 15 paid working days every month and safe contracts for all.
9. Drastic reduction in the prices of supplies and items essential for the daily life of working-class families. This should be etched in the law and speculative practices should be firmly prosecuted. Enough with the lavish enrichment of the big food multinationals and supermarket chains! Nationalise them all under the democratic control of workers and users.
10. For safe and dignified housing for all. Forced expropriation of the big letting agents, banks and vulture funds and creation of a universal system of public housing with accessible social rents. Cancel, by law, all evictions and exemption of payment of rent, energy, gas, water, heating and telecommunications for all redundant, unemployed and struggling workers, keeping the provision of all these services for them.
11. Ensure adequate, healthy, dignified nourishment and a dignified life for all: free public canteens, and a drastic increase in the human and material resources of social services.
12. Defend all economic, social and political rights of migrants and refugees. Repeal all racist laws and immediate closure of all detention, internment and concentration camps. Mobilise thousand of millions of dollars/pounds to save the lives of migrants and refugees.
13. No restriction to freedom of expression, protest or organisation. End the police state and the militarisation of social life!
14. A free, democratic and high-quality state and public education system from early childhood to university. Not another pound of the public purse to faith-schools and private education!
15. Against the environmental catastrophe: nationalise all energy companies (electricity, mining, oil & gas, renewable energy production, etc)... And a public investment plan to create a 100% environmentally friendly and sustainable energy industry. For a free, environmentally.friendly and high quality public transportation network. Nationalise the land, and the meat and food processing industries. No to the capitalist exploitation of the oceans! For an environmentally-friendly and sustainable alimentation.
16 Against all types of oppression, machist and sexist violence against working-class women. End patriarchal justice! Same wages for the same work. For the right to free and safe abortions for all. Against the oppression of the LGBTQ+ community.
17. Fight fascism and far-right formations with an organised and massive struggle by the working-class and youth. Against the impunity and protection that the state apparatus gives to fascists and the right.
18. No more imperialist wars! Immediate cancellation of all external debt imposed by the monopolies and the IMF.
18. For the right to self-determination of all oppressed nations.
20. For the socialist revolution and the World Socialist Federation.