The pestilence of COVID-19 has not only revealed the failures of capitalism but also exuberated over all institutions of capitalism. The culture of crisis and conflicts are organic to capitalism. Capitalist systems are antithetical to the idea of peace, prosperity and stability. The Coronavirus infused lockdown is a time to reflect on emanating crisis and conflicts across the world. Some capitalist predicaments are temporary, but most of them are annihilating for people and the planet. The capitalist crisis is producing meaninglessness of life and alienating environment, which treats people and planet as orderly objects to consolidate and expand the empire of profit. The profit driven economy produces compliance culture of politics that destroys the idea of democracy and individual freedom to uphold the interests of the market forces.
The assaults on democracy, secularism, multiculturalism, reason, science, peace and stability have become everyday affairs within capitalism. The clients of Davos priests and capitalist powers led by Brussels, Westminster and Washington are on overdrive to reverse the trend, but they have failed to provide basic health, education, employment and food as fundamental rights. The dignity of life and citizenship rights are in shatters under capitalism. Capitalism and all its institutions are trying to recover from the crisis by expanding its support for imperialist wars, neo-colonial modes of resource exploitation, authoritarian politics and reactionary religious forces in the society. These capitalist methods of survival put people and planet in danger. It diverts progressive nature of class conflicts with reactionary nationalist and religious forces. It obscures the future of humanity.
The world is facing major humanitarian crises today due to wars, global warming, pandemic and loss of sources of livelihoods for the survival of the masses. These crises owe its origin within capitalism as a result of over exploitation of nature and human beings. Scarcity, famine, natural disasters are natural outcomes of profit fetishized capitalist system, which reproduces crises and accelerates hunger, homelessness, poverty, inequalities and exploitation in world scale. Capitalism survives by destroying the creative abilities of individuals and regenerative abilities of nature. Therefore, capitalism cannot offer any form of alternatives for sustainable future of humanity.
As advanced capitalist countries in Europe and America suffer under capitalism and the pandemic of Coronavirus, the countries like; China, Cuba and Vietnam show their commitments and abilities to contain Covid-19 and ensure public health, security and safety of human lives. Socialist experiments with all its limitations show that people’s lives are more important than profit driven economic system. Therefore, it is time to revive alternative politics by expanding working class struggles by forming local, regional, national and international alliances with all democratic, liberal and progressive forces all over the world. The sustainability of working-class struggle within a progressive path depends on the quality and size of the communist parties to guide them. History of working-class struggles reveal that only communist parties can transform class consciousness into class organisations and class struggles.
The future of people and survival of the planet depends on our abilities to organise people and communities under the red flag to overthrow capitalism. Communism is the only alternative to celebrate democracy and individual freedom in real sense whereas capitalism promotes fictitious freedom and market democracy. It is only communists who can overcome narrow silos and develop class unity of intersectionality to fight different layers of exploitation and inequalities based on gender, race, caste, religion and sexualities. The class unity and struggles acknowledge individual differences and uniqueness. It is only communists who fight for a nuclear free world. Communists fight for a world free from war, exploitation and inequalities. There is no other party, group or ideology but communists who talks about humanism, peace, prosperity, people and planet without borders. The current crisis is an opportunity to campaign for a bigger communist party based on mass struggles to ensure an alternative to capitalism. Peace within a communist society or perish within capitalism are two available paths. The choice is clear before us. There is no future within capitalism.
The 20th century experienced the sparks of alternatives to capitalism with the rise of anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-fascists and anti-war working class struggles for peace and democracy. Each of these struggles were organised and led by the working classes in Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania. The 21st century is the time to demand and reclaim the ideological perspectives and historical legacies of working class struggles often led by the socialists and communists all over the world. The forward march of equality, liberty, fraternity and justice depends on our abilities to organise ourselves and fight against all forms of reactionary ideas and institutions established by capitalist system.
From the rice fields of Asia and Africa to the supermarket shop floors of America and Europe, it is only the working classes work and ensure all the pain within the bondages of capitalism. The working classes can also organise themselves for their own freedom from capitalism that exploits them. The working-class consciousness, courage, discipline, endurance, morality, and understandings are exceptional qualities in human history. Therefore, it is only the working classes, who can establish a just world free from exploitation and inequalities. A consistent, continuous and strong working-class struggle and a bigger communist party are twin necessities of our time. There is no other way but to fight locally, provincially and nationally to reclaim lost working-class glories of internationalism based on peace, solidarity and prosperity.
*Bhabani Shankar Nayak, Coventry University, UK